The Walking Dead 812 recap: The Key

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

The Walking Dead season 8 episode 12 is full of nonstop action. There’s betrayal, new friends, and a car chase. Here’s your recap of “The Key.”

The episode begins with Negan smiling, Simon looking over his shoulder and Dwight contemplating his wedding rings and the cigarette in his pack. There’s a knock at the door and Negan is there to celebrate his return. He needs his top people there to help him. Negan listens to his story and is happy he made it. He tells Dwight to have some beer, get dressed and then they can get to work.

The Walkers are eviscerated and Negan tells everyone about how they need to get their weapons all dipped in the blood. He tells Simon that the Hilltop will fall to its knees when they see what the Saviors are packing. Simon agrees, but he’s not enthusiastic about it.

Dwight goes outside and looks around as the Saviors get ready to leave. Simon tells his people they’re going for flesh wounds. Don’t kill anyone. Let them turn. Dwight goes to get on his bike, but Simon says Negan is riding on his own so Dwight can come with him and Simon can fill him in on their plan. Arat and the other Saviors get in and drive off. Dwight looks upset at losing his opportunity to flee, but he goes along with the plan. Negan watches everyone go, then he loads up a bucket with blood and guts, puts it in the passenger seat. He dips Lucille in it and tells her she’s beautiful.

The gates at the Hilltop open and Rick walks in. He sees the Savior prisoners, and then Michonne greets him. He takes Judith and hugs her. Everyone looks at him. Daryl gives him a nod. He pays his respects to Glenn and Abraham, and that’s where Daryl finds him. Daryl says he thinks about the people who are gone and those that are still there. It’s not fair. Daryl says he went back to the Sanctuary to get the job done, and Rick says he was right to do it. Rick had been too worried about saving their people. They have lookouts ready to watch for the Saviors. Daryl says they can go out together, but Rick says they should split up. Rick says he’s going to be ok, but he’s clearly not. He thanks Daryl for getting everyone to the Hilltop.

Maggie and Rosita watch as Rick leaves in an SUV and Maggie wonders if he’ll come back after his loss. She reminds Maggie that she came back. In the distance, Enid reads Carl’s letter. Maggie spots some crates in the field nearby.

The caravan of Saviors drives along. Negan is in the back. Simon asks Dwight about his thoughts on their little road trip. He wants to know Dwight’s opinion on whether the Hilltop will cower after yet another message. Simon says that he doesn’t think this will work. He thinks Negan’s plan will work, but he thinks they have thrown a lot at Rick, Maggie and Ezekiel and they keep coming. Nothing scares them.

Rosita returns with the crates in the field and a note asking for the crates to be filled with either food or records in exchange for information. Michonne says this isn’t the Saviors, and she wonders if this is someone trying to save them. Michonne offers to go, even though Rick might not understand. Maggie says Jesus has been scavenging to no avail. Maggie decides to go with them just in case it could be a good deal.

Rick watches as the Saviors drive in. He spots Negan’s car and decided to take off after him. Forget the plan. He’s going after Negan himself.

The trucks are on their way. Simon spots the SUV coming down the alley and says nothing. Rick rams into Negan and send the car spinning. Dwight asks if Simon can see him, but Simon doesn’t seem overly concerned about him. He parks the van in place and tells his people that they need to stick to the plan because someone is out there. Arat thinks they should go after him but Simon says he and Dwight will go after him. He puts Arat in charge and says they’ll look for Negan.

Watch The Walking Dead on fuboTV: Watch over 67 live sports and entertainment channels with a 7-day FREE trial!

Meanwhile, Negan’s car has rolled over and he regains consciousness. Rick gets out of his car and starts shooting at Negan’s car as he wakes up and flees. Rick follows him into a building, leaving the door open for Walkers to follow. Rick’s gun jams as Negan runs upstairs. He’s out of bullets and so he throws an ax at Negan, who ducks and rolls along the floor. He drops Lucille into a hole in the floor and he drops down, too, when Rick tries to cut his fingers off.  

There’s a car blocking the fork in the road. Maggie gets out with Michonne and Enid, guns drawn. Georgie jumps out with Hilda and Mitch, and she wants to know if they have music. She doesn’t want to share anything with the weak, and Maggie is glad for that. Enid moves in and she and Rosita check everyone for weapons. Georgie says she’s there with knowledge, which catches Michonne’s attention. She offers knowledge for food. Georgie says she hasn’t found many communities like the Hilltop, because they’re special. The dead have brought out the best and worst in people, but the worst are winning. Georgie offers knowledge of how the future works and she wants to share because she thinks they’re a “fine group” even though their manners are poor. Michonne advises a deal, but Maggie plans to bring them back to the Hilltop.

Rick wanders through the darkness and Negan says he’s still alive like a cat. He’s searching for Lucille and he can’t find her. Rick asks where his people are, and Negan thinks they’re coming. He says he knows Rick is working through some bad stuff and he wants to save Rick too. He saved all of the communities, and their children, before Rick came along. He’s willing to make a one-time deal in honor of Carl because he respected Carl, and he’s willing to give back the communities and let Rick work for him for 25% instead of 50%. Not only that, but all will be forgiven. Rick wants to know what happened to the Scavengers, and Negan realizes that he was betrayed in the worst way. No one is coming for him. Rick finds Lucille and slings her on his shoulder.

Simon asks Dwight if he ever thought about killing Negan, and Dwight responds with sarcasm. No, he never thought about it after Negan took his wife or burned his face. Simon says he did it to stay alive, and their leader is not doing his part. Simon wants to make sure the Saviors survive and move on from past challenges, just like Dwight. Dwight says nothing until Simon prompts him. He doesn’t think there’s any way to move on like that. They continue walking until they come upon Negan’s busted up car, riddled with bullets. Simon suggests that just because he walked away doesn’t mean he’s still alive. He suggests that they could walk away, and restart the community. Be proud of it. THE NAKED WALKER approaches and Dwight lights a cigarette. He flicks it to the car and it goes up in flames as the naked Walker approaches.

Back at the Hilltop, Jerry reports that they haven’t seen movement from the Saviors. Michonne comes in and says they should let Georgie go but Maggie says they need the food because they need the food more. Enid agrees, and someone is going to take it regardless. The Saviors are coming, she argues, and they’re going to kill people. Michonne reminds her that Carl rescued Siddiq and now they have a doctor and a friend. “And now he’s dead,” Enid says. Michonne sends her away. Maggie agrees that things don’t just work out, but Michonne argues that Carl never lost hope. Maggie looks at Judith and Gracie and thinks about her decision.

More from Undead Walking

Rick says it was only a matter of time before Negan met someone like him. He can’t save anyone because all he does is to take things. Rick says all he cares about is the bat and Rick says he’ll let him say goodbye. He lights Lucille on fire and starts breaking down the door that’s keeping the Walkers from getting out. Negan shows up and tackles Rick and both men fall inside.

They land in the room and Rick starts hitting Walkers with the flaming bat. Negan seems more concerned about the bat than the Walkers. They fight and Negan regains control of Lucille. The room full of Walkers makes it difficult to fight, especially because they’re on fire. Negan jumps out a window and Rick follows.

Maggie comes out with crates of the records. Georgie has decided that she’s going to give them more food in addition to the knowledge. She gives Maggie a book called “The Key to the Future” with plans for building windmills, water sources. She wrote it all down. In the meantime, Georgie wants cheese and pickles next time for Hilda and Mitch. Maggie is blown away by the surprising gift.

Enid admits to Michonne that she killed Natania because she was killing anyone and everyone. She killed Natania and lived and Carl saved someone and died. Michonne says that Carl wanted them to fight for their future. Battles will come and go, but there has to be something to fight for.

Simon and Dwight return to the Saviors and tell them that Negan is gone. They reveal that there was just blood out there. Simon asks who they are and they’re all still Negan. With or without him, they will keep going. They don’t know for sure where he is, but the plan was to go to the Hilltop and scare them into getting with the program. They have to get with the program and “expunge” the people who get in their way instead of letting them go.

Negan is in a car. He wakes up and finds Jadis driving. She has a gun at his head and she knocks him out when he laughs.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.