The Helicopter Is Great News For 'The Walking Dead' Future

The helicopter featured in the fifth episode of The Walking Dead's eighth season might be the [...]

The helicopter featured in the fifth episode of The Walking Dead's eighth season might be the gamechanger the show is in need of.

Ask fans of The Walking Dead which season of the AMC series is their favorite and they many will choose one of the earliest. Some might even throw in Season 5, which is when the ratings peaked, but both spans of the show have something in common: the mysterious world building.

Early on in the AMC series, Rick Grimes was a man trying to do nothing more than protect his family while adapting the world around him. Questions marks surrounded his every move for audiences. Much of the show featured Rick leading a group of people through unexplored territories, encountering new threats fairly often, and making some friends along the way.

Season 5 had a similar feeling after Carol set everyone free from Terminus the most explosive (and possibly most beloved) episode in its premiere. Rick's group would be on a journey away from the cannibals of Terminus, once again exploring the world, encountering threats, and picking up new members of the group along the way.

Midway through Season 5, the group would be introduced to Alexandria, where they would stay for the remainder of the show to date. For some fans, this was when The Walking Dead lost some of its allure, keeping the walker threat at bay and no longer feeling like the apocalypse. Though it had been this since the introduction of the Governor, humans posing the greatest threat being at the forefront of the show (with the exception of the No Way Out story in Season 6 which still had the human threat of Wolves sprinkled in) wasn't as intriguing.

Then, suddenly, Rick Grimes is on a journey to an undefined location, trekking through apocalyptic side streets when a helicopter buzzes over his head.

Someone, somewhere in the apocalyptic world has a community thriving well enough to maintain and operate a helicopter. Sure, the Alexandrians, Hilltoppers, Kingdom folk or Saviors could probably operate the bird just fine. None of them have a helicopter, though. The possibility remains it belongs to Jadis and her trash heap folks but such a move would eliminate the excitement of meeting a well-established, possibly friendly group.

In a moment with such high stakes and everything Rick has built on the line, a helicopter flies over to remind him and the audience how small the feud with Negan might actually be. The sense of mystery and world building was instantly renewed within The Walking Dead, during one of its best episodes of Season 8, nonetheless.

Some critics and fans will complain about the direction The Walking Dead has headed in its eighth season but negativity will buzz around anything lasting longer than 100 episodes. Running so deeply into an apocalyptic mythology, exchanging old characters with new ones and thrusting unfortunate situations upon survivors changes the title from the one fans fell in love with seven years ago.

The feeling the helicopter inspired, however, proved that The Walking Dead is packing the same mysterious magic it has since 2010.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.