The Walking Dead Power Rankings 8.06: “The King, the Widow and Rick”

Is it any surprise that an episode which features the return of the Garbage People turned out to be anything other than … well, garbage?

We're six episodes into this eighth season, and while we've gotten some action and a few decent episodes, we're still meandering along in the dark about what the overall plan is and who's doing what and why. We're six episodes in, and it feels like nothing has changed save for the deaths of a few people we don't know. Six episodes in, and we're back with the Garbage People—quite literally the worst characters this show has ever seen. Six episodes of mostly filler … again. 

I think the direction of this season is much better than Season 7, but something has to happen soon—right? I sure hope so.

Walking Tall

From displays of dominance to faction elimination, a look at which characters saw their prospects rise this week.

Pritpaul Bains: Siddiq

In a literal sense, it doesn't get much better for Siddiq. He goes from scavenging for food and water all on his lonesome, with the dead he's “saving” his only companions, to potentially rejoining the land of the living and finding dependable food, shelter, and friendship. So far, I'm enjoying his character. It's nice to see an interesting new face who isn't a terrible human being (…yet, at least). Not loving this awkwardly shoehorned parallel storyline they're trying to run with Siddiq and Carl, though. Yeesh. We get it. Parents, right? Move on.

Adam Wagner: Maggie

Being a leader is hard. Being a leader is especially hard in a post-apocalyptic restructuring of society. This is war, and there are no Geneva Conventions by which to abide. Maggie is faced with some very tough decisions—not the least of which being whether she should execute several enemy prisoners or use the community's dwindling resources to keep them alive despite the imminent threat they pose.

But “The Widow” is handling her newfound responsibilities with aplomb. She listens to her key advisors, weighs her options, and acts on what she feels is the greater good. Let's hope she continues to be the one making the decisions after all this is over.

Joe Brosnan: Dillon

I may have had to venture to IMBD to figure out what his name was, but as soon as the episode ended, I knew that the baby-faced savior would be my riser.

Something the TV show has failed to do is humanize Negan’s group, but it’s obvious that not everyone in his group is a horrible person. Sure, there are assholes like that Kurt Cobain-looking snake, but that’s certainly not the hard and fast rule.

So Dillon is here for two reasons: First, because he was a random character who was given lines and didn’t die in the very same episode—a rarity these days. Second, because he serves as the reminder that Jesus is right, in a way. Once Negan and Rick rewind their tape measures and pull up their pants, there’s going to be a whole lot of not-bad people left over. And not-bad people don’t deserve to die.

Eaten Alive

From poor decisions to lost lives, a look at which characters lost ground this week.

JB: Gregory

I think Gregory was onto something when he suggested building some gallows in the Hilltop. And I know just the person to take the inaugural trip.

PB: Rick

For forcing viewers to have to suffer once more through the garbage antics of the Garbage People in their garbage yard with their garbage aprons and their garbage asses hanging out (seriously, WTF?) and their garbage bangs and their garbage promises and their garbage dialect and their garbage logic and their garbage dumpster prisons.

AW: Dwight

Dwight might finally be doing something good to try and make amends, but he's made a lot of enemies—and they're holding grudges. Tara can't forgive him for killing Denise, and Daryl won't likely forget “Easy Street.” Add to that the threat of Negan finding out about his betrayal, and Dwighty Do-Right is on the losing end of both battles. Eugene and his “cukes” might be his only true ally—and that's a lonely place to be.

Hershel’s Heroes

A tribute to the late, great Hershel Greene, this section searches for the best displays of humanity amidst chaos this week.

AW: Warden Jesus

Though shalt not torture your prisoners. I was wondering which Jesus would turnip this week. After whoopin' Morgan all the way to another show to save the Saviors who surrendered, he's sticking to his guns and playing warden to his lot of prisoners. I know he was a bit hurt when Maggie revealed her true intentions after he seemingly won her over, but I don't doubt Persistent Jesus will continue to fight for what he thinks is right.

JB: Carl

Like most kids, Carl needs to pave his own path in order to find himself. Unlike most kids, that path turned out to be saving a wayward wanderer broken down by his soul-saving zombie hunt. At first glance, Carl’s instincts look great—Siddiq is a new, welcome face with seemingly no ties to an antagonistic group. This made me miss the good old days when nowhere was safe and the zombies actually posed a threat. I hope Siddiq proves to be a good dude and a solid addition to the team. The last thing we need is another Rick Grimes parenting lecture.

PB: Morgan

For biting the bullet and downgrading to join the B-Squad over on Fear the Walking Dead so another member of the main cast wouldn't have to.

Rapid Fire

  • Maybe the zombies know who the main characters are and get all nervous when they’re about to eat one. So it’s not lazy writing—it’s just a string of “unclutch” zombies. (JB)
  • The thrust of all this action and planning and who's doing what and why is still clear as mud, and that failure is squarely on the writers. Things just happen, and they expect those things to just be accepted. (PB)
  • Rick, you’re stupid. Stop doing the showrunners a favor—we don’t need any more filler. (JB)
  • “This can be our last fight.” STFU, Rick. You know damn well that there's never a last fight. (PB)
  • When Rick mentioned Sasha’s death, my first thought was that he rudely forgot to mention Rosita’s death too. You could imagine my surprise when she appeared onscreen later in the episode. (JB)
  • I'd forgotten Rosita was still on this damn show. She still kind of annoys me, but full points for that RPG kill. That was great. (PB)

  • Why is Gregory not in prison right away? Why is Maggie even giving him the time of day? (PB)
  • “Hippie-Dippie Kung Fu Fighting Friend.” Seems like Gregory has been reading our rankings. (AW)
  • I get Maggie not cold-blood murdering the Saviors—but wouldn’t it have made sense to kill Jared, the greasy blonde scumbag? It would have kept everyone else a bit more in line while also getting rid of the worst person on the entire show. (JB)
  • Can't Maggie at least execute douchebag savior? (PB)
  • I was getting some Robb Stark Beheads a Karstark and Loses Support vibes from Maggie’s camp after she opted to lock up the Saviors instead of killing them. It’s never good to get a Robb Stark vibe about someone. (JB)
  • Why the hell is discount Milla Jovovich not wearing any clothes under her apr—you know what? I don't even care. (PB)
  • “Why waste time say lot word when few word do trick?” Discount Milla Jovovich skipping words and communicating like Kevin from The Office. (AW)


  • Ezekiel's existential turmoil feels sincere, but I hope he can pull himself together soon and learn from his mistakes. The Hilltop needs him more than he realizes. (PB)
  • Doesn't Henry know what happens to kids who hang around Carol too long? Don't linger by the garden, buddy. (PB)
  • Jerry is looking fly as hell wearing that maroon … thing. (AW)
  • “Yo! Door's not locked.” Jerry continues to be The Best. (PB)
  • Goddammit Jesus. Stop being so bloody literal. (PB)
  • Zombie American Beauty. (AW)

Zombie Kill of the Week

Tree trunk explosion walker.

See also: The Walking Dead Power Rankings 8.05: “The Big Scary U”


Joe BrosnanAdam Wagner, and Pritpaul Bains all write for Criminal Element and love Spaghetti Tuesdays. Follow them on Twitter @joebrosnan_@shagner904, and @pritpaulbains, respectively.

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