The season eight finale of The Walking Dead finally gives us the proper conclusion to the all our war with the Saviors that has dominated the plot for the last two years, including enough epilogues to give The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King a run for its money. Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 16 “Wrath” Recap”
The penultimate episode of season eight was almost completely devoid of our main cast, focusing instead on the drama and near Civil War erupting among the Saviors when Negan returns. Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 15 “Worth” Recap”
This week on The Walking Dead every possible emotion was wrung out of the escaped prisoners subplot from last week, leading to an episode brimming with emotional guilt and depicting our heroes brutally murdering people.
But hey, we got to see Rick and Morgan team up again.
Last week’s zombie fiasco allowed some of the captured prisoners at the Hilltop to make a break for it, led by professional long-haired asshole Jared. Henry, the kid who had foolishly opened their pen, was also missing, so Carol and Morgan set out to find them.
We’ve had a lot of Carol and Morgan scenes together, ever since they both ended up at the Kingdom last season. Their mutual respect and trust has been well-developed, which makes Morgan’s descent back into dementia all the more troubling.
Morgan’s character development has been incredibly frustrating. I love how Lennie James portrays the character, but I’m mostly confused as to what Morgan’s state of mind is at any time. Over the years he’s gone from dependable, to completely insane, to zen-like pacifist monk, to murderous rampage. His latest stint is another bout of madness that at this point just feels tiresome. Even Carol can’t snap him out of it, and she continues on to search for Henry, while Morgan tracks down the escaped prisoners in different direction.
Rick is going a bit crazy as well, still suffering from Carl’s untimely death. He goes to Alden, the one seemingly decent dude from the Savior PoWs, to ask where his buddies might’ve gone, seeing as how Simon basically disavowed them in the earlier fight.
Alden grudgingly reveals a diner location, and then gently suggests that Rick not murder them all. Rick basically replies with, “whatever dude,” and trots off. He meets up with Morgan, and the two instantly get captured. Come on, these are two of the biggest badasses of the zombie apocalypse!
They awaken tied up to some drama unfolding in the prisoner group. One of their members is heavily injured, and they know a herd is headed this way. Jared wants to first bring them back to Negan, then just kill them. Rick and Morgan play a little good cop, bad cop, with Morgan threatening to kill them all while Rick suggests they can all head back to Hilltop and let bygones be bygones (kudos to Andrew Lincoln for not literally winking at the camera).
Our plot herd shows up right on schedule, and some of the prisoners decide to free Morgan and Rick to help them fend off the herd.
I’ll admit what happened next caused me to actually blurt out the line, “holy crap!” The pair do help defend against the herd, but then they slowly make their way behind the other Saviors, who are likwise firing into the oncoming zombies. They give each other a look, then completely turn on the Saviors, murdering about half a dozen men in cold blood. Again, holy crap.
Jared escapes, of course, and Morgan hunts him down. After a brief fight Morgan holds him in place while some zombies chow down, leading to one of their more brutal, nasty murders we’ve seen outside Lucille. Morgan gets his vengeance for Henry, and this whole loose end is bloody well tied up.
Henry is actually alive, the little scamp. He’s in a bit of trouble in a swamp, and Carol is able to easily save him, and bring him back to the Hilltop, followed by Rick and Morgan’s return. A single glance from Alden knows that Rick has no more fucks to give when it comes to dealing with Saviors, further proving that he should absolutely not be in charge of diplomacy. Or anything, really.
Meanwhile we get to check in with the big cliffhanger from two weeks ago: Jadis capturing Negan. This was a bizarre sequence of events that involves Jadis sort-0f torturing a tied-up Negan, Negan emotionally confessing that his bat is named after his loving wife, and the two of them seeing a helicopter (!) fly over head, which Jadis fails to signal with a lit flare in time.
Not only does Jadis not actually hurt Negan, she can’t even bring herself to destroy his beloved bat. Instead she simply lets him go, and Negan walks away, which makes most of this a colossal waste of time, even with that WTF helicopter.
One of our final scenes checked in with Daryl and Rosita. The pair are spying on the bullet-making outpost that currently houses Eugene and Father Gabriel. They’ve deduced that the Saviors attacked with zombie-coated weapons and arrows because they’re low on ammo, and confirmed that Eugene has started making bullets.
Time is against them. Leave it to Daryl to go off half-cocked on a dangerous, reckless plan to assault the entire outpost to sabotage their efforts. At least they’re giving these two something to do other than piss and moan.
Rick and Morgan: Seeing Rick and Morgan kicking ass together is a lot of fun, even if them getting jumped and captured together is some major BS. I do wish we’d slow down and let them work out some serious issues with their now common history of losing their sons.
Carol: Once again it’s up to Carol to do the right thing. She prioritizes saving Henry, and does just that. But I’m putting her here for being the only one able to really get through to Morgan (though ultimately she fails to sway him). Her scene with Lennie James was one of the most emotional of the entire season, and that includes the whole Carl-dying thing.
Rick, Morgan: These two dudes are really losing it, and it’s getting harder and harder to cheer for them. Rick is evolving into a straight-up evil character while Morgan tends toward being a sociopath.
Jadis Capturing Negan: Seriously what was the point of this, other than to let Simon carry out the attack on Hilltop? Thus far all of Jadis’ antics have felt like big globs of filler in a slow-moving half-season. The helicopter was a fun tease but for right now doesn’t change the situation.
This week on The Walking Dead we finally got to see the big siege between the Saviors (now led by Simon) and the Hilltop, and it was mostly too dark to see anything.
After Rick’s reckless attack last week, the Saviors are now led by Simon, and Simon wants to go full-on scorched Earth in their siege of the Hilltop. Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 13 “Do Not Send Us Astray” Recap”
This week Rick officially returns to the Hilltop, only to immediately go off half-cocked on a last minute plan to attack Negan, further proving that he learned nothing from his son.
On the flip side, Maggie begins to see the value of trusting and working with others. We saw a glimmer of this last week when she acquiesced to letting the Savior prisoners have some outside time. This week she spots an odd message just outside their walls – an offer of exchanges from a newcomer.
Michonne jumps all over the opportunity, despite the danger. Rick isn’t here to caution them against it, since he’s already left to scout for Saviors. Hilltop is very aware that an attack with the newly freed Saviors is imminent. Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 12 “The Key” Recap”
The last two weeks have focused almost solely on Rick and Michonne, and the drama surrounding Carl’s death. This week was entirely Rick-less as we check in with the other members of our group, finally converging together at the Hilltop.
Daryl, Tara, and Rosita lead Dwight and the bulk of the displaced Alexandrians. The shortest distance to reach the Hilltop is through a swamp, which Dwight warns that even Negan and the Saviors give a wide berth.
A swamp can be a nasty hazard during the zombie apocalypse. Sure enough once Daryl and Rosita began clearing the path, the zombies start rising up, giving me some excellent ideas for a future Dungeons & Dragons encounter. Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 11 “Dead or Alive Or” Recap”
If we were hoping Rick Grimes would learn some harsh lessons of humility and forgiveness from his son’s passing last week, we’ll have to keep waiting. In this week’s episode Rick is as frustratingly pissed off as ever. To make matters worse we check in with two groups we really don’t care much about: Oceanside and the Junkies, making for a very weak episode.
For some reason The Walking Dead put character title cards between various storylines and situations. We’ve been constantly jumping between characters and locations for years, so doing this now just feels weird and kind of pretentious, like suddenly trying to be A Song of Ice and Fire novel. Events are told slightly out of order, but it doesn’t really make the episode any more compelling.
But since they organized the episode this way, I shall do the same thing with my recap. Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 10 “The Lost and the Plunderers” Recap”
You deserve better than this, Carl.
The 90-minute mid-season finale unfolded pretty much as I predicted, with the Saviors striking back swiftly and brutally against all three communities. I did not expect it to end with a far left field bomb drop in the discovery that Carl has been bitten, and his days are numbered.
We picked up right where last week left off, with Rick, Jadis, and the Scavengers approaching the now walker-less Sanctuary. That’s a dumb idea; gunfire erupts from the building, and the Scavengers scatter. So long subplot that went absolutely nowhere! Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 8 “How It’s Gotta Be” Recap”
Remember when I recapped the Savior-focused episode earlier this season and mentioned it was fine, provided they kept those to a minimum? Well you done screwed up, The Walking Dead. Just two weeks later we get yet another extended peek into the crisis at Sanctuary, this time centering on Eugene, which makes it an even worse episode.
Based on our last look at the Saviors, I was lead to believe that the show would follow the comic route with Eugene escaping with the Saviors’ doctor (whom was taken from the Hilltop) to deliver him to pregnant Maggie (at the behest of Father Gabriel). Instead the actions laid out in this week’s episode pushed Eugene even further into the arms of Negan and the saviors, though with some notable alcoholism side effects. Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 7 “Time for After” Recap”
Big comic events, the kind which Marvel pulls out once or twice a year, have what are called tie-ins, or companion comics. These are side stories that take place during the big event, usually focusing on minor characters and subplots within the larger event framework.
This week’s episode of The Walking Dead is their tie-in episode, focusing on several smaller side stories while the Savior base of Sanctuary is still under lockdown from our group’s initial attack.
As the title indicates, three of our stories involve the leaders of each of our united communities. I enjoyed the cold open, where each leader narrated their war-like Letters from the Frontlines to each other. Our group has won numerous battles, but not without cost, including Aaron’s boyfriend Eric and all the fighting members of the Kingdom. Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 6 “The King, the Widow and Rick” Recap”