The Walking Dead is thrown into the grinder, literally, after the tragic death of Carl Grimes. The Lost and the Plunderers deals with the aftermath on several fronts. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) take action while dealing with their grief. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) loses his grip on a key lieutenant. The junkyard settlers pay a grisly price for their duplicity. Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) make a poor impression. Rick and Negan speak at long last.
The Lost and the Plunderers opens with a black card that says "Michonne". In Alexandria, Michonne and Rick are standing over Carl's grave. While Rick laments, Michonne dispatches walkers around them. Rick initially leaves Carl's gun on his cross, but then decides to take it. They go back to their house to gather supplies. Michonne weeps when she sees the handprints of Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Judith on the porch. They pack a van and are ready to leave, but then Michonne sees the gazebo burning. Carl would sit on the roof. They try valiantly to save it, but are surrounded by walkers. They leave Alexandria behind.
In the van, Michonne asks if it's time to stop fighting the Saviors, as Carl had hoped. Rick tells her about the letters, and that Carl wrote one to Negan. He says they must get the junkyard settlement back on their side. They have people, weapons, and were seen with them at the Sanctuary. They make their way to junkyard. But when they enter, a booby trap seals the entrance with garbage. They turn around to see a sea of walkers coming.
The second card says "Negan". We are in the conference room at the Sanctuary. Negan is giving orders over the radio. Simon (Steven Ogg) asks if he should go "run down Rick". Negan says no, he wants the "garbage people" back in line. He orders Simon to go the junkyard, get their deal back in place, and just kill one as a reminder. Simon is not happy with the plan. He wants to kill the rebellion, find other settlements to extort. A Savior brings in Maggie's message from the Hilltop. It's the dead Savior in a coffin, with the note that she has thirty-eight of their men. Simon is furious. That was his crew. Negan isn't having his lip. He tells him to follow orders and go to the junkyard.
The third card says "Enid". Enid and Aaron are prisoners of the Oceanside community. Cyndie (Sydney Park) is now in charge after Enid killed her grandmother. The community wants them executed. Enid does not back down. Cyndie's grandmother made her do it. She would shoot her again if she had to. Enid says they must recognize who the enemy is. If they are killed, others will come to Oceanside and wipe them out. Cyndie decides to let them go. Aaron tells Enid to report back to Maggie what has happened. He will stay and figure a way to get the Oceanside back in the game.
The fourth card says "Simon". The Saviors arrive at the junkyard. It's initially an armed standoff. Simon approaches Jadis (Polyanna McIntosh) and says their deal is still in place. He just wants their guns, and an apology. Jadis thinks it over, then decides to capitulate. The junkyard people hand their weapons to Simon's men. In a key moment, Simon asks why this place has solar panels and a helicopter pad. She mumbles it's "our place". He then asks for the apology. Jadis meekly offers her regrets. It's not good enough. Simon kills two of her lieutenants. She screams her apology. Too late, Simon orders his men to kill them all. The Saviors return with the guns. Negan asks if there was trouble. Simon lies, everything went smoothly. Suddenly the radio blares to life. Rick wants to talk to Negan.
The fifth card says "Jadis". At the junkyard, Rick and Michonne escape the walkers by running on top of a trash pile. They see a bereaved Jadis in a white slip. She tells them the Saviors killed her people. She then explains that she used to come here to find materials to paint. They made the junkyard their world. Rick tells her that this tragedy is her fault. He grabs a car door as a shield. They leave Jadis behind and fight their way to the entrance. Jadis begs to come with them, but Rick fires a shot to ward her off.
Jadis is alone on a trash pile. She begins to bang on metal, attracting the walkers towards a chain. As they approach, she unhooks the chain and flips a switch. The trash grinder springs to life. She watches as all of her people fall into the crushing gears. Their minced bodies piling out as red mush on the conveyor below. She then walks to a cabinet hidden behind trash. Jadis takes out a can of applesauce, and eats forlornly by herself.
The last card says "Rick". As he and Michonne leave in the van, Rick explains that he wasn't shooting at Jadis. He just wanted her to go away. Michonne again brings up Carl's hope for peace. Rick decides that he needs a moment. He stops, takes the letters and walks into a field. He radios for Negan. Rick tells him that Carl's dead, that he wrote Negan a letter, and that he wanted them to find peace. But it's too late, he is going to kill Negan. Negan asks if it was the Saviors that killed Carl. Rick tells the truth. Carl was bit saving someone. Negan lambastes Rick. Carl was their future. Rick should have been there to stop him. He saves people, while Rick's foolishness gets people killed. The episode ends with Negan telling Rick he failed as a leader and a father.
The Walking Dead plummets back into a nonsensical plot. It's ludicrous to think the junkyard people would disarm so easily. Hand over their guns, just to be mowed down like chumps? Then there's that sneaky line about the solar panels and helicopter pad. What? The junkyard people are sitting on a helicopter and the Saviors haven't found that out? That's totally unbelievable, even in a world of zombies. The Walking Dead continues the absurd, next week on AMC.