Two episodes ago, “The Lost and the Plunderers,” The Walking Dead near completely eradicated the Junkyard community from existence, leaving only its leader, Jadis, alive. That reduced the number of communities that needed screen time and development from six down to five. With an already robust season, the loss of the Junkyard community let the show focus on the remainders of the Kingdom, the Hilltop, Alexandria, the Saviors, and Oceanside.
According to The Spoiling Dead Fans, tonight during “The Key,” The Walking Dead’s writers decided to backfill the spot left by Jadis’ people and introduce a new group. The Q&A about tonight’s episode reveals that while much of the episode deals with the feud between Negan and Rick and the impending attack on the Hilltop community, orchestrated by Simon, it takes a moment to focus on a mysterious subplot involving Enid, Maggie, and Michonne.
At one point during the episode, several crates and a note were left outside of Hilltop, imploring the community to leave “phonograph records” to receive the “key to the future.” It’s Maggie, Enid, and Michonne that happen upon this cryptic message and opt to solve the mystery.
Those that left the crates are from a new group led by Georgie, who, ShinyFirefly from The Spoiling Dead Fans’ forum suggests looks like the latest leader added to The Walking Dead comic series. In issue #173, which released in November 2017, creator Robert Kirkman introduced The Commonwealth in Oahu. The advanced city had equipment beyond anything Rick and company have been able to get their hands on and had more than 50,000 survivors living within it. Three issues later, Kirkman introduced Pamela Milton, The Commonwealth’s leader. Not much is known about the new civilization, save that it’s more advanced and features an event arena for sports and concerts.
Whether or not the new community in AMC’s The Walking Dead is based on The Commonwealth is unknown, though ShinyFirefly points out that “The Key” was filmed in September, two months before issue #173 released. Since Kirkman works so closely on the show, it’s not unthinkable that he’s integrating the comic’s future storylines into the show. Consider Game of Thrones, where the HBO television production is ending before George R. R. Martin, who’s advising the program’s showrunners, can finish the novel series.
The eighth season of The Walking Dead continues at 9 pm EST on AMC.