Jadis and her Scavengers at the Junkyard Community have been conspicuous by their absence thus far in The Walking Dead Season 8 but could Rick's helicopter sighting by connected to this shady bunch?
The sole reasoning behind this theory lies in what was originally thought to have been a production error in Season 7. During a scene at the Junkyard, Rick is standing in front of a painfully obvious green-screen backdrop and in the distance, an aircraft can be seen flying through the sky. This was initially dismissed as little more than a gaffe, but given that the scene was clearly a green screen effort, it's odd that such a mistake would slip through the net. When filming live, items can understandably be included in-frame that should not be there, whether that be a rogue production truck, an actor's watch or a stray water bottle. However, for this to occur in a backdrop added during post-production is odd indeed, perhaps even odd enough to have been intentional.
Interestingly, Jadis actress Pollyanna Mcintosh commented on the scene, noting in an interview with The Huffington Post that when she spotted the aircraft, she too wondered whether it would become a vital story element later on. Of course, just because the craft was spotted near the Junkyard, that doesn't mean it belongs to their community. However, many viewers are speculating that Rick's current mission may be to meet with Jadis and her people and an aircraft being sighted twice near the same settlement doesn't look like a coincidence.
A Meaningless Easter Egg
By far the most unexciting explanation, granted, but a possibility nonetheless. The Walking Dead is reasonably well known for including throwbacks to previous episodes and Easter Eggs for longtime fans to enjoy. As mentioned previously, this isn't the first occasion a helicopter has distracted Rick in the show, with one sighting forming a key moment of the pilot episode. As such, it's possible that the aircraft in "The Big Scary U" was simply a nod to Rick's past; a way of connecting the latest episode to the very first and saying "look how far our boy Rick has come".
It may have also been a narrative technique to demonstrate how the war against the Saviors is consuming Rick's thoughts. Usually, he'd be itching to head out in the direction the chopper was traveling and attempt to make contact but right now, he's too focused on Negan to even consider any other excursions.
In either case, it's entirely possible that the latest helicopter sighting has no deeper meaning than what was included in the episode itself and although that would be hugely disappointing for fans who were sent into a tailspin after the scene, it wouldn't be the first time this season that a huge, climactic tease has led precisely nowhere. Isn't that right, Morales.
The Walking Dead continues with "The King, The Widow and Rick" November 26th on AMC.