Last nights episode of The Walking Dead will be a monumental episode in the eyes of the die-hard fans, what with the shocking revelation that revealed itself at the end of the episode (which we will discuss in detail later), however, everyone else, myself include, found that this was another snooze-fest with the first half of the season titled; All Out Bore…. I mean All Out War.
You’d think that an episode that focused primarily on the Saviors (somehow) getting out of Sanctuary and seeking revenge for the absolute shit-show of a siege that had befallen their safe haven, would be epic, and to be fair to the writers, they tried their hardest to make it as action packed as they could, but given the ground work they had laid in the first half of this season, it was always going to be a mess.
I think that this is mainly due to the fact that, from the get-go, every single decision Rick and his people made has been fucking terrible. I, and I know many other people I have spoken to throughout the weeks, have moaned about how stupid the united forces of Alexandria, the Hill Top, and the Kingdom’s plan really was. From the opening episode when Rick and co turned up outside Sanctuary and demanded their surrender, with no snipers to easily take Negan out (despite the fact that the show has shown us constantly just how good a line of sight everyone has to that balcony Negan and his lieutenants were standing on), and with a massive horde already in-bound if the Saviors did on the off-chance surrender, the whole plan has been a mess.
Last night’s episode continued this trend of fall outs from previous terrible plans, with the ultimate shit one launched by Daryl in the last episode. Last week Daryl decided to take matters into his own hands and drive a truck into Sanctuary so that the horde of dead outside would flood in and wipe them out, or cause them to surrender, regardless of the families and innocents inside, Daryl was just out for blood. This has been a running theme for the show (Daryl’s cold and dark quest for vengeance), and one which, I believe, it causing a rift between the audience and Daryl, making it easier on them when they kill him off at the end of the season (my own theory if you have been following these reviews).
Anyway, Daryl’s plan of driving a truck into the wall, letting the zombies in, then fucking off (?!) appeared to not work, as it allowed the Saviors the window to escape. This is the same thing that happened in the first few episode when they attack Sanctuary and then pissed off and went back to their normal lives (near enough), with only a couple of snipers dotted around (and where the fuck were these people when Negan and the Saviors were easily escaping? Rick mentioned that they must have left, but it seems a bit stupid that they would do so, allowing the Saviors to waltz out Sanctuary uncontested).
Although the show later tells us that Daryl was NOT responsible for the Savior’s escape, they give us some wishy washy excuse that it was SOMETHING Eugene did, that is not ever mentioned. Personally they should have showed us how Negan and the rest of them got out. Because as far as I am concerned, they were done for. What did they do when that herd came flooding inside? How did they get out without the snipers hitting them?
I do honestly believe that it is Daryl’s fault that they were able to escape. Whether they try and label it as Eugene’s master plan that allowed them their freedom, the fact that it was a window utilised when Daryl crashed that truck, proves that it is Daryl’s fault they got out.
Why did Daryl and his band of misfits (Rosita, Tara and Michonne, along with Morgan, who was also down with Daryl’s plan) just go in there and finish them off?
Maybe if Rick wasn’t dicking about trying to recruit the filthy filthy trash people, then he would have been able to watch over them. I do, whole heartedly, believe that Rick and the others should have just slaughtered them. At least you knew where you stand with the Saviors, with the Trash People, you have no idea if they are going to betray them again. When Rick showed up outside Sanctuary and saw that his plan had gone tits up (causing that hair cut leader of the Trash People to say “different from picture” – stop talking like this! It has only been about two years MAX when the apocalypse happened!), I thought that they were going to switch sides once again.
Rick recruiting them was just another plan that was stupid and caused more agro than it was worth. Maybe it will pay off in the second half of the season and the Trash People will really come to Rick and the united force’s aid, but given how much help they were in this episode, I fail to see this materialising. When shit kicked off back at any of the safe zones, the Trash People were nowhere to be seen!
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me go back. So the second Negan and the Saviors were free, they immediately hatched a well orchestrated plan to take all three groups who opposed them. This plan instantly succeeded and shows us just how good a tactician Negan is compared to Rick and his dog awful plan.
Negan sent his main guys to hit the Kingdom and the Hill Top (who were on a convoy back to their safe zone, yet somehow Negan knew) while he went to Alexandria to take on Rick himself.
So, with the Hill Top, Maggie, Jesus and some random fucking bloke called Neil were leading the convoy back home when they were perfectly ambushed by the Saviors. Jerry (not Jerry!) was held as a hostage, and Simon pretty much said “Give up or we kill this random bloke you (Maggie) have never met”. Naturally Neil gets killed, as we have learnt that random characters who suddenly show up and appear to get a few lines of dialogue, will be killed later on in the episode. It’s a well known fact and one that every single person who watches the show knows, making it obvious to the extent of eye-rolling.
Simon says that the Hill Top has been selected to continue to function as normal giving how much they give to the Saviors, and so they are pretty much free to go.
Maggie heads home and randomly executes one of the Saviors she has locked up, indicating that she is not giving in to their demands and that she will fight them to her last breath… I think. That was what I had taken from this.
At the Kingdom the Savior, lead by the really unenthusiastic one who always feels as if he just wants to be at home in the warm, take over the entire safe zone unopposed. In fact the most destruction that occurs is caused by Ezekiel and his distraction, which did work a treat as he was able to rescue every single one of them, but Ezekiel unnecessarily sacrifices himself to give the others a chance… but not really. After Carol and the others have gotten out of the Kingdom, Ezekiel shuts the door, from the inside, and chains it. What is stopping him from chaining it from the outside? He had just enough time to do this, and it would not result in Ezekiel getting captured.
It all seemed a bit unnecessary. I am a bit sick of unnecessary sacrifices, which, looking at it, appear to be completely avoidable, so what is the fucking point?
Back at Sanctuary, Eugene has a change of heart and says that he will help Gabriel on his mission to get the Doc out of there and back to the Hill Top. Although now that it has come out that Eugene was the one who (somehow) helped the Saviors escape, is it a bit too late for him? I personally think he has done too much to be brought back, but in the second half of the season, we can see Eugene swapping sides once again. When character’s do this it normally means that they are up for the chop, so expect that Eugene will die towards the end of the season.
Finally we have Negan who turned up with a force outside Alexandria. He does his Negan thing and wants Rick to come out and surrender. Meanwhile Carl, in Rick’s absence, is running the show and has made this perfect plan to get everyone out and save all their lives.
Carl confronts Negan (from the top of the barricade) and asks him to kill him if a blood price has to be paid. Negan admires him, until he realises that it is a distraction and a bunch of Alexandrian residence have crashed through the barricade elsewhere and escaped, thanks to Dwight somehow knowing to park all the cars too lose to this mysterious back entrance we have never seen or used before, yet the Saviors knew about it.
Dwight’s betrayal allowed them to escape, so that horrible woman Savior commander leads a chase, which ultimately ends in Dwight leading them into an ambush. The woman Savior escapes but not without learning that Dwight was the traitor.
There is a good moment when Tara, Rosita and Daryl are all surrounding an injured Dwight, and I thought it was going to be his end, but Daryl just ended up getting his jacket back, and Rosita helped him up, as Dwight cannot go back to Sanctuary.
Back at Alexandria, Negan’s livid with Carl’s tricks and gets his men to fire a load of grenade launches into the safe zone, destroying lots of houses as well as Gabriel’s church. They storm inside and Negan tells him that Carl has to be here. They are also ordered to destroy ever other house and Negan says that he is going to wait in Rick’s house and get himself some spaghetti (following on from that episode last season).
Carl uses his magic smoke grenade trick to drop down into the sewers beneath Alexandria (another place we have never seen before). Why he decided to do the big show, rather than be a bit stealthy about it, is beyond me. But there are more important things to question in this episode than this, as discussed earlier, so I am going to let this slide.
Meanwhile Rick shows back up at home and his shocked to see Alexandria on fire. He goes home to find Carl… oh yeah and his daughter who he never sees, and his greeted with Lucille and Negan. After a brief punch up, one which Rick manages to Negan on the floor and hit him in the throat with the wrong end of Lucille, before he is overpowered once again, Rick is thrown out of the window and uses it as an excuse to pussy out and run. Allowing Negan to live another day.
Eventually Rick is found by Michonne who takes him into the sewers (are good… another dark place, as the episode takes place predominately at night and it complete darkness, it is quite difficult to see what is actually going on), and he finds the residence of Alexandria are hiding out down here.
Dwight is with them and Rick gives him a look like “What the fuck are you doing here?”, before he sees Shiddiq and really thinks “what the FUCK are YOU doing here?!” Shiddiq quickly tells him that Carl let him in, at which point I thought that Shiddiq must be thinking “what kind of shit have you brought me into?”
Carl calls Rick over and the two of them have a moment before he drops a bombshell onto him; Carl has been bitten (we are assuming, but given how this is the big finisher of the episode, it is most likely a zombie bite and he was NOT bitten by a Savior or something fucking stupid like that).
Which means… Carl is going to die. 100%. While it did come as a bit of a surprise, the show was running out of time and so this is met with a zooming out fade shot before the credits roll, ending the first half of the 8th season of The Walking Dead.
So it looks like we will not see Carl and Enid’s relationship blossom, or Lydia coming into the show (a character show becomes a love interest for Carl in the comics after the war with Negan is done).
Will this revelation change the course of the end of the war? Especially comparing it to the end of the war in the comics (which is fucking rubbish). I sure hope so. Looks like we have a while to wait and find out.
I’ll carry on my weekly reviews once it starts up again in January.