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If you haven't yet watched The Walking Dead's Season 7 finale, major spoilers are below.
This season of The Walking Dead has been as subtle as ever with foreshadowing, with many important elements peppered into quiet moments and background dialogue. So last week, when Negan's muttered about a little birdie sharing Rick's plan with him, it wasn't clear if he told Sasha the truth or not. He was being honest, though, as revealed by Jadis and her Scavenger squad double-crossing Team Family, because of course they were responsible. A decent enough twist, Jadis' maneuver is more important for dealing another huge blow to Rick's credibility as an intelligent and worthy leader.
Those junkyard dirty dogs, whose mysterious boot-focused introduction in no way tipped a hat to a new population of stinky thieves, must have been constantly laughing their asses off every time Rick and the others left, especially after receiving all the guns discoverable in the surrounding area. Jadis likely had no intention of ever really helping the protagonists out, which legitimately makes her The Walking Dead's first female villain leader, and she possibly would have just done away with everyone from the get-go had Rick not brought up his anti-Negan plan. That might have been a good move on his part, but it was all downhill from there.
How could Rick not have seen this coming? The junkyard-lurking Scavengers basically have "If we want your shit, we're taking it," as their Bill of Rights. It's like a rich person hearing Robin Hood's claim to fame and then trusting him with the combination to a safe holding all the treasures. They robbed Alexandria of the supplies that Rick and Aaron nearly died for, and then Jadis greedily called more-weapons-or-nothing after initially agreeing. As well, let's not forget the biggest beacon of villainy imaginable: they tested Rick's mettle by making him fight Winston, a weaponized zombie crafted specifically to fight other people. Who needs something spelled out more clearly than this?
Jadis shot Rick inside of Alexandria, after he'd already hurt his hand in the Winston fight, so had something gone even worse for Team Family during the Saviors' attack, Rick's decision to trust them might have been an even worse move than attacking all the outposts and drawing Negan out of his RV. It's definitely his worst plan since that point, which is still quite fresh on everyone's minds, and even though the good guys won this first big battle, it's mostly because the Hilltop and Kingdom's finest showed up and helped fight, not because Rick performed some brilliant act. He did bring all the communities together, but people are going to start talking about replacing him again, and it'll be harder to fight that logic after all this.
So now that all the smoke bombs have cleared -- I admittedly loved this tactic, as TV villains use smoke bombs so rarely these days -- it looks like Jadis and the Scavengers will be around in Season 8 to possibly add to the All Out War mayhem. Though I do love her style and can hardly blame her for taking advantage of Rick's weak strategy, I wish I could say I enjoyed her presence more. Perhaps that'll change next year, when she wears a fake mustache and glasses and fools Rick into believing she's a completely different person.
By default of hiatus, Rick gets to go the next six months or so without having to worry about anyone betraying him or trying to kill him, though that'll change when The Walking Dead Season 8 hits AMC this fall. In the meantime, get acquainted with our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV guide to learn all the new and returning shows debuting in the near future.