The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 14 – Still Gotta Mean Something

“I found myself. Some version of myself, a better self. Still, it always feels like it could just be swept away again. But that doesn’t mean it will, and it doesn’t mean I couldn’t find myself again if it does.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

It suddenly occurred to me, watching this episode, that this season of The Walking Dead is nearly at an end – only two more eps to go after this one. I really hadn’t noticed, as the increasingly draggy All Out War plot has shown very little sign of building momentum, just ambling along, mostly uninterestingly, with no apparent end in sight. If it was World War 2, it would be early 1943 – each side has had some significant gains and losses, but palpable victory for either doesn’t seem in sight yet. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 14 – Still Gotta Mean Something”

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 13 – Do Not Send Us Astray

“Winning just means we get tomorrow. Maybe one more night. Maybe one more morning. After that – no guarantees.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Negan may have taken a leave of absence from the All Out War in this week’s Walking Dead, but his plan went on regardless in another rather average episode. It’s taken a few weeks, but finally the Savior attack squad has reached the Hilltop (aka The Last Settlement Standing), and Negan’s bio war plan was still on. Only now it’s in the even less compassionate hands of Simon, who rallied his troops with, “our goal is not merely infection, it’s CONCLUSION!” Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 13 – Do Not Send Us Astray”

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 12 – The Key

“The dead have brought out our best and worst, and the worst has been outpacing the best lately, but that won’t last forever.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Last week’s The Walking Dead was fairly average filler, while the week before was actually rather good. This week? Well, somewhere in between, really. There was far too much going on for it to be filler, and some of it was genuinely exciting. But I’m not sure I buy some of the more… unexpected plot developments, and overall it still felt overfamiliar. Nothing new to see here. Well… maybe one thing… Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 12 – The Key”

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 11 – Dead or Alive or…

“… some kinda shit in between!”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

After last week’s unexpected blip of a genuinely good episode, this week The Walking Dead was back to “well, that was… ok I guess”. This was courtesy of a script by newcomer Eddie Guzelian that went back to the show’s well-tapped vein of war movies and Westerns, but I have to say the one genre I wasn’t really expecting to see was… comedy road movie? Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 11 – Dead or Alive or…”

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 10 – The Lost and the Plunderers

“You set this course, Rick. Who’s next?”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Well, at the risk of contradicting my recent posts on The Walking Dead’s steady decline, this week’s ep surprised me by being a marked improvement on the deliberately heavy (even excessive) drama of the last. Sure, it was a bit all over the place – an inevitable consequence of the show’s rather overused device of multi-stranded, non-linear narratives. But I was surprised to find that there was some stuff in here that I found (whisper it) goodContinue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 10 – The Lost and the Plunderers”

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 9 – Honor

“What you did then, how you stopped fighting… it was right. It still is.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Despite my dolorous post of my woes recently, life goes on. Well, in the sense that The Walking Dead has returned to little fanfare and probably less interest. Still, it helps me, in the sense that, in all the current chaos of my life, I want to get back to normal… whatever that is. And writing about the steady decline of this once-great show certainly feels like normal these days. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 9 – Honor”

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 8 – How It’s Gotta Be

“If you care, you do something. You don’t just ‘hope’. It takes more than that.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

And so, The Walking Dead’s largely uninspiring eight season has limped to a mid-season finale that was… uninspiring. Plenty of action to be sure, and some welcome reversals for Rick’s Rabble in their thus far implausibly successful campaign against the Saviors. Yet it all felt too manufactured somehow, as if the writers, and the showrunner in particular, were just running on autopilot. You can just hear them brainstorming in the writers’ room – “Oops, mid-season finale coming up. We haven’t killed anyone of note, better put some people in jeopardy to bring the viewers back next year… check. Oh, and who can we kill off that will really shock people but won’t make them hate us as much as if it were Carol or Daryl?” Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 8 – How It’s Gotta Be”

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 4 – Some Guy

“I ain’t no king! I ain’t nothing! I’m just some guy!”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

After several weeks of uninspiring episodes full of sound and fury signifying tedium, The Walking Dead made an unexpected (at least partial) recovery this week, with the most satisfying ep of the season so far. The show’s usually at its best when striking a good balance between character work and action; recent episodes have failed at this because they’ve told us nothing new about the characters, and not presented us with any action the likes of which we haven’t seen a hundred times. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 4 – Some Guy”

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 3 – Monsters

“I know who you are. I saw it in the mirror through the open door. And it wasn’t any kind of blast from the past. I guess we’re not the same guys we used to be, huh? Cause you’re a monster.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

This week on The Walking Dead, it was… more of the same. Lots of gunfire, some angsting over moral dilemmas, a fair chunk of crowd-pleasing gore, and… that’s about it. You can probably guess the measure of my enthusiasm for this episode by the fact it’s taken me over a week to be bothered writing about it.

Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 3 – Monsters”

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 2 – The Damned

“This isn’t about revenge, it’s about getting it done.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

After a fairly lacklustre start to the season, I must say that The Walking Dead seemed to up its game this week, with a much more straightforward – and very action-packed – ep that cut down on the jaw-jaw and delivered on the war-war. No tricksy non-linear narrative this time, just a furious onslaught of gunfire, impalements and well-aimed crossbow bolts right from the outset, in a show that felt like nothing so much as an ep of WWII drama Band of Brothers. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 2 – The Damned”