The Walking Dead: Who else have the helicopter people picked up?

Pollyanna McIntosh as Jadis/Anne - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Pollyanna McIntosh as Jadis/Anne - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC /

The most recent episode of The Walking Dead depicted the first instance of Jadis’ mysterious friends picking up a survivor out of the post-apocalypse. But, who else have they abducted?

With everything going on in the latest episode of The Walking Dead, it’s easy to see how the helicopter’s history was overlooked. Longtime viewers likely made the connection between the helicopter that rescued Rick Grimes and the first one he saw, but not everyone did. The helicopter barely made his line of sight but Rick caught a glimpse of it in the series premiere.

Rick followed the helicopter and that inevitably led him into a herd of walkers — much like the most recent episode. Various other nods were included in “What Comes After” not limited to Rick riding a horse. The biggest callback was the song ‘Space Junk (Wang Chung ’97)’ playing while Rick was whisked away. It played once before as Rick found shelter in a tank, making the song a fitting soundtrack for Rick’s departure.

The interesting thing about Rick’s helicopter voyage is that he might not be the only one. There’s a distinct possibility that Jadis and her group with the helicopters have abducted people before.

Having listened to Jadis discuss the terms of her agreement with them, they speak in such a manner that gives us the impression they’ve done this before. Their classification of A’s and B’s is also indicative of the precedent set therein.

Now that we’ve established this group’s modus operandi, the more pertinent concern is who else they’ve abducted. The helicopter people have been around since the beginning, meaning their acquisitions could number in the dozens. We obviously haven’t become familiar with these characters but one or two are plausible.

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As most of us know, Heath (Corey Hawkins) disappeared back in Season 7 and no one has heard from him since. Robert Kirkman ruled out his death and then confirmed Heath’s disappearance was due to Hawkins’ hectic film schedule. Kirkman also added that he didn’t want to spoil anything so something could be planned for Heath.

In addition to Kirkman’s commentary, new Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang recently confirmed that Heath was taken by Jadis’ group back in Season 7 and delivered to the helicopter people.

What that means for Heath is he may return in a future season of The Walking Dead, or possibly the Rick Grimes-led movie. Heath (Hawkins) was strangely whisked away without any clue as to where he went and a helicopter ride sounds like a feasible exit. If he was abducted, Heath might appear alongside Rick. Hawkins’ reason for leaving was to star in movies, so perhaps a spot in the Walking Dead movie suits him.

In addition to Heath, there are a few others who could appear alongside Rick and Heath; the Vatos being the likeliest. They appeared in Season 1 but their story-arc was left unconcluded. A deleted scene from Season 2 revealed Rick taking a second trip back to the Vatos’ home only found a pile of corpses instead of a thriving group. The audience caught a glimpse of the bodies but that doesn’t mean everyone Rick met was among the dead.

When it comes to The Walking Dead, no one is gone until they’re gone and some of the Vatos could’ve survived. Morales managed to survive long enough to bitterly reunite with Rick last season, so one or two Vatos could’ve escaped as well.

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Apart from the characters who can reprise their roles, we might also learn of new characters Rick is familiar with. Since there’s no way to determine exactly how many people Jadis’ group have abducted, their mission could’ve feasibly begun with people Rick knew before the apocalypse.

It’s a shot-in-the-dark chance, but the abductors were conducting their work in Atlanta and Rick was a Sheriff in King County before the apocalypse. Reasonably speaking, Rick could’ve had acquaintances and friends within the same area — friends who also stumbled upon this covert group of survivors. If that’s the case, Rick might be reunited with old friends in the Walking Dead movie.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. The Rick Grimes movie begins production in early 2019.