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Major spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched The Walking Dead's latest episode, "Warning Signs."
For quite a while now, The Walking Dead has teased viewers with a rarely seen helicopter flying above the communities. In Season 8, we learned that Anne-as-Jadis was the big connection, and the latest episode offered up some actual answers. No surprise that it wasn't a full-blown explanation, nor that extremely dark implications are involved.
Who's In The Helicopter, And What's Their Deal?
The still-unnamed helicopter pilot is apparently part of a larger group that possibly trades people for supplies. What they do with these new recruits, though, is anybody's sordid guess for now. Anne would have some answers, but only as her Jadis persona, since that's how they know her. Yeah, she was totally trafficking her junkyard tribe members to keep up their bohemian lifestyle. People for paint!
As one of the group's pied pipers gathering others for the cause, Anne is responsible for two different kinds of people, dubbed As and Bs. Judging from how things played out, I would guess that an A is someone who is being unwillingly sent to the mystery group in order to meet their doom. Which would presumably make a B someone who voluntarily wishes to go and live wherever the group is living.
If Anne's admissions are legit, then her relationship with this mystery group didn't start off with such malicious intentions. Although I'm not sure what kind of slightly less shitty tasks would have gained her access to the goods needed in the junkyard. It's also possible that the pilot's needs aren't reflective of everyone else wherever he's living.
Where Did The Helicopter Come From?
In her descriptions, Anne didn't use any proper names in telling Gabriel where the helicopter takes people. She did use some very telling descriptions, though, and I've a sneaking suspicion the helicopter's origin could tie back to Season 8's mystery guest, Georgie.
For one, we know that this group clearly has an abundant array of supplies. If they can afford to keep other survivor factions going with the human trafficking element. (I guess we don't know exactly how often that stuff happens, but still.) Anne also mentions how she and Gabriel could live a life beyond imagination together if he joined her. Her tidy and comfortable junkyard apartment serves as proof of that, I'd think. Finally, we know this mystery settlement is far away from the Virginia communities.
One location The Walking Dead has yet to unveil is the stomping ground of the smartly dressed Georgie and her bodyguards. You know, the ones who were advance so far beyond scavenging for food that their sole purpose was to trade for music albums. If we're getting theoretical, then it's also probable that this new area will be the live-action iteration of the comic book setting known as The Commonwealth. If that is the case, it may be a while before we actually get to visit.
What Will Happen To Father Gabriel?
Although Anne had found peace within Alexandria's population, she immediately sought escape when others suspected her for the spurt of Savior murders. Unbeknownst to her, Anne was followed by her secret romantic foil, Gabriel. He only picked up a little from her brief conversation, but he had enough of a clue to unthread her scheme.
Gabriel definitely set himself up for failure by blatantly telling Anne that he would do the one thing that she said he couldn't do: tell someone else about the helicopter people. He said he would tell Rick, but depending on how long it takes someone to pick them up, he probably won't be talking to anyone besides Anne or the pilot in the near future. He's totally an A now.
While it's true that Father Gabriel is no longer around in the pages of The Walking Dead comics, this definitely wasn't how he went out, since Anne is unique to the TV show. As such, it's hard to know whether or not this will be how showrunner Angela Kang decides to take him out. However it goes, I want to see more of Pollyanna McIntosh's creeped out performances.
To find out more about how the helicopter mystery will get resolved, hopefully without Father Gabriel meeting his maker, tune into The Walking Dead every Sunday night on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. For other mysterious and perplexing plots, our fall TV premiere schedule should have something for every kind of TV fan.