'The Walking Dead' Season Finale

by Matthew Donnellon about a year ago in tv review

Season 8 Finale Review

'The Walking Dead' Season Finale

The Walking Dead Season 8 Finale:

The war that has been building since the end of season six; Rick’s group and Negan’s Saviors are finally coming to a head. We saw last week Negan set a trap, and the series promised this conflict would end one way or another.

Spoilers for this week’s episode of The Walking Dead.

Yeah, so that happened.

This finale was something. It was a little contrived, and I really didn’t think it was all that satisfying. I’m interested to see where The Walking Dead goes from here, but this episode didn’t nearly have the payoff it should have.

Really, not a whole lot happened.

Rick’s group prepares. Not much happens. Morgan nearly kills a kid. You know, usual stuff.

Negan gathers the Saviors. Eugene has Negan test some bullets. I immediately became suspicious. I was pretty sure the Saviors’s guns were compromised at that point.

We get the stand off that’s been hinted at for the last couple episodes. For a minute, I didn’t think it was going to be this simple. I didn’t think Rick would commit all his forces on an ambush. I thought Negan might pull a fast one and burn Hilltop to the ground while Rick’s group was away, but no, the Saviors get the drop on Rick once again.

(Though to be fair, Negan did send a convoy to the Hilltop, proving once again that he at least has some semblance of tactics. He even sacrifices his own men to make the trap look real. The Hilltop would have been razed to the ground without a timely intervention from the Oceanside women.)

Just when you think it’s over for Rick and company, the Saviors guns start exploding do to Eugene’s malfeasance. With the tables turned, the Hilltop/Alexandria/Kingdom brigade overwhelmed the Saviors.

It comes down to Rick and Negan. The fight was...okay I guess? I really expected more.

This fight should have been brutal. It should have Rick v. the Governor times ten. Their interaction started with Negan forcing Rick to watch him beat two of his friends to death. Carl died as an indirect result of their conflict. They both sacrificed their humanity. It should have been gritty and upsetting as two seasons worth of tension is released. Actually, if they had just traded blows to the point where both men were exhausted the eventual statemate and Rick’s subsequent non-violent acquiescence would make more sense.

Rick tricks Negan into stopping for a moment and then he slits Negan’s throat. If it ended there, I might have been happier, but Rick has Siddiq save Negan, much to Maggie’s dismay.

(Lauren Cohan nailed this part though. You could feel the palpable vitriol as she broke watching the man who killed Glenn get medical treatment.)

It looks like Negan gets to live.

The end shows Maggie getting ready for some type of coup, and it makes sense. She’s watched too many dumb things happen.

Now we wait till next season.

Random Thoughts:

I still miss Shiva.

I really thought more people would die. This show has approximately 67,000 characters on it. Plus, it would have made made the final fight have some stakes.

I wonder how much we’ll see Negan. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is doing 26 movies and has 14 pilots in the works.

I honestly forgot about the Oceanside people, and I honestly still don’t really care about them. But they’re better than the garbage people.

I had no idea that was another giant zombie herd. I really thought it was just part of the landscape. Hopefully, Rick doesn’t want to do another walker parade. Although, it could be a great way to get rid of the 14 million characters this show has.

I’m really sad Morgan is leaving. Morgan can be hit or miss, but Lennie James is such a good actor and I really don’t want to watch Fear the Walking Dead.

Alternate Ending: Rick slits Negan’s throat and the closing shot is Maggie in a medium shot smashing Negan’s skull over and over again with Lucille.

This season we lost Carl. To be honest, I was kind of happy because I never liked Carl, and Chandler Riggs was a terrible actor. But if this kind of non-violent, let’s-work-together stuff keeps happening because of him, I will hate him twice as much.

I really want to see more of Georgie and her community and find out who has the helicopter.

Would it be too much to ask for another tiger?

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Matthew Donnellon

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