The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 16 – Wrath

“All this is just what was. There’s gotta be something after.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

So finally, FINALLY, that’s a wrap on the All Out War, in a mostly satisfying and thoughtful season finale for The Walking Dead. It’s been two and a half seasons since we first encountered antagonists the Saviors; that’s over two years ago now. Their presence has been, since then, almost a default format for the show, and it’s a format that’s got real tired. Thank heavens the series can finally do something else. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 16 – Wrath”

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 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 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 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 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 7, Episode 8 – Hearts Still Beating

“Either your heart’s beating or it isn’t. Your loved ones’ hearts are beating or they aren’t.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

And so, a generally low-key half-season has come to an equally low-key climax. OK, it’s fair to say that you wouldn’t usually describe a mid-season finale in which one of the main characters is gutted by a smiling psychopath while playing pool in the street “low-key”, but this is The Walking Dead. Anything less than a massive battle, a huge explosion or a vast horde of hungry corpses seems a bit anticlimactic. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 8 – Hearts Still Beating”