The season eight premiere of The Walking Dead delivered. Was it the best hour of television I’ve ever seen? No, but it was decent and it hit all the right notes. For that reason, I was really expecting this week’s episode, “The Damned,” to be a little better. Instead, it just fell flat.
To be fair, it’s been years since this show was consistent so I should have seen this coming but it was still a disappointment after ending on such a crazy scene last week.
Gabriel was left behind and has, basically, been presumed dead by the group after they cornered Negan in a well-orchestrated attack. In fact, Gabriel sought refuge in a shelter, only to discover that he is actually trapped inside with Negan. Heart-pounding stuff…
So how did we get to this boring, slow, forced episode this week? I just don’t get it. Morgan, Tara, and Jesus are trying to take back the compound. Okay, cool.
Meanwhile, Carol and King Ezekial lead a group as they follow the guy who threw the grenade last week (and it was confusing and annoying as heck!), Aaron launches an assault on a Savior outpost, while Rick and Daryl take on the Shephard Office Plaza in search of “the big guns.”
There were really very few moments that made me look up from my bowl of Halloween candy. First, Daryl ended up back at the cell where he was held and tortured by Negan. It’s pretty sad and momentarily intense but it’s over in like 15 seconds. Next!
Then there’s Morgan’s transformation. Our former non-violent hero has turned into a killing machine and it’s baffling. Yeah, on some level I get it but it’s also executed so poorly by the writing team that it just feels so contrived.
The biggest head-scratching (but thought-provoking) moment was when Rick kills a guy and then finds a baby outside the room. It’s a moment of realization that reminds us that, although, these guys are “the enemy,” they are also still people with families trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. It was a bit sobering.
What did you think of last night’s episode?