Does The Walking Dead's Helicopter Twist Explain Missing Characters Like Heath?

Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet caught up with The Walking Dead's latest episode.

The Walking Dead's biggest mystery at this point is "How will Rick leave the show?" which is something that should get explained and resolved quite soon. In the episode "Warning Signs," though, fans finally learned more about Jadis/Anne's helicopter secrets, which may shine some light on mysteries that has have gone unresolved for years. Is the helicopter pilot's group responsible for missing characters like Heath and Sherry? Also, will that be how Rick says farewell?

After it was revealed that Anne had previously been guilty of trading human beings for junkyard supplies, viewers' minds raced to affix the helicopter reveal to the overall narrative. Once there's an option like "survivor traffickers" out there, it becomes a little easier to understand how characters like Heath may have just disappeared without a trace. No physical proof has been discovered just yet, but judging from the way Scott Gimple spoke about Heath's potential return in the past, the helicopter reveal feels like a spot-on explanation.

One Walking Dead fan put on the old tinfoil hat and broached the topic on Twitter, fully blaming Jadis for Heath's disappearance, and seemingly placing his RV within the Scavengers' garbage heap. It's pretty damned convincing, and possibly even more so when one notices the response from Skybound Entertainment's official Walking Dead account.

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Was that grit-teethed grimace one indicating the Heath theory is too close for comfort? Or, on the flip side, was it because the theory is so far off-base that it's embarrassing? I'd be willing to lean more on the former option, since The Walking Dead appears to be less manic about keeping every single show detail shrouded in leak-proof shadows.

As fans are well aware, Heath slipped out of the Walking Dead's storylines in Season 7, in the same episode that Tara discovered the Oceanside women. The only thing he left behind was a key card that had "PPP" printed on it. (Or "ddd," depending on how you held it.) Could that card have come from someone on the helicopter? Is it used on some building whenever this unknown community is?

It's not like Heath is the only Walking Dead character who ever disappeared without a trace, either. The show delivered a whopper of a shock in Season 8 when Season 1's Morales was discovered to be within Negan's Savior ranks, which feasibly means anyone from the Atlanta nursing home or Grady Memorial Hospital could show up.

Arguably the most developed Walking Dead character who left without a trace is Austin Amelio's Dwight, who presumably spent his post-finale time on the hunt for his ex-wife Sherry. Obviously, Sherry is also a potential candidate for this, since she took off in the weeks prior to the All Out War going down. But she did leave voluntarily, and it would be more fitting if only Dwight got snatched up, since that dude sucks at escaping things.

Then, finally, what about the less-realistic but more exciting idea that Rick Grimes himself could become one of the survivors that gets traded to the unnamed group? Everyone on the show has been fairly careful not to confirm that Andrew Lincoln's character will get killed off in whatever fashion, even though he probably will be. Still, it's exciting to think about The Walking Dead sending Rick off as still-living bait, if only because it would allow Lincoln to return one day.

What do you guys think about this theory? Does it hold water, or does everybody just think Heath was only a figment of our collective imagine in the first place? Let us know below.

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what new and returning shows are on the way soon, head to our fall TV premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.