The Walking Dead Issue 193 The Farm House Review: The End… Wait, What!?

4 and a half stars
Well, I don’t think anyone saw this coming.
There we all were, wondering how The Walking Dead would continue without Rick Grimes when, suddenly, leaks started to come out saying the series would be ending with Issue 193.
It has to be a joke, I thought. It has to be.
But no, this really is the end.
Robert Kirkman somehow managed to keep the ending of The Walking Dead completely secret, even going as far as to create fake covers for future issues that will never exist.
Personally, when I heard of this deception, I was unhappy about it.
I believe that a writer, director, developer, or whatever should never mislead their consumers about future products that they know will not happen.
However, after reading Kirkman’s reasoning behind this, I do understand why he did this.
I still think he should have come clean about the ending of the series but I can see that he wanted to surprise his readers in a good way.
Honestly, I am just sad that it is over.
I remember when I started reading The Walking Dead comics.
I had just finished binge watching the first two seasons of the television show and I wanted to know what would happen next so I started reading.
What I found in the comics was a far superior story to the TV show, with even more engaging characters, plot points and shocking moments.
After catching up, I continued to read the next issue every month to see what would happen.
And, even though I was recently thinking about how much The Walking Dead had descended into mediocrity, I was still a massive fan.
Even after the death of the main character, Rick Grimes (which I thought was handled poorly), I was eager to see how the series would continue… only for it to end in a surprising twist.
Enough about my opinions on the overall series though, now I want to talk about the final issue itself, Issue 193 “The Farm House.”
Since I found the previous issue to not be a very good one, and felt that Kirkman was rushing to conclude his story, I fully expected “The Farm House” to join the likes of Game of Thrones among the worst endings to great series in 2019.
Thankfully, this is far from we got.
I actually love this ending.
Do I still think it is a little rushed?
Yes.
Do I think there are a lot of unanswered questions about certain characters?
Yes.
But, overall, this was a fantastic way to end a story that I have been invested in for so many years.
The ending does not fix the mediocre Commonwealth Arc that came beforehand, not by a long shot.
However, it does bring a fitting end to the series and the many characters we know and love.
Picking up after only Kirkman knows how many decades after Rick’s death, “The Farm House” sees Carl living in the countryside with Sophia and their daughter Andrea, named after Carl’s amazing stepmother.
The issue starts with a Roamer coming across Carl’s house who kills it, before angrily storming into town to confront Maggie’s son Hershel, who sadly reminds me a lot of Sebastian.
Turns out the undead are so rare these days that they have actually become a circus attraction, and Hershel is not happy that Carl put down his property.
This starts an unbelievably absurd legal situation where Carl faces a fine for killing something that could have easily killed his daughter.
Carl states this is not what his father died for and he is exactly right.
Maggie then walks in, now the president of the Commonwealth, and convinces the judge not to fine Carl so long as he gets another Walker for her spoiled son.
It was heartbreaking to see how similar Maggie and Hershel have become to Pamela and Sebastian.
It is a parallel that Kirkman makes plainly obvious with Sophia saying Hershel could end up like Sebastian if Maggie is not careful.
Angered by how Hershel is allowed to keep the dangerous undead, Carl kills the Roamers in the night before going off on a job with his ex Lydia.
It is here that we get a full display of how far the world has come, both after Rick’s death and the zombie apocalypse itself.
Because of the decline in humans, animal populations are sky rocketing with a massive flock of birds flying over the two’s heads.
They then meet up with Eugene, who has actually started to build his railway network, giving off a very wild west theme.
Upon returning, Carl is arrested for killing the Roamers and is sent to Michonne who is now a judge.
It is here that we get a big highlight of the issue, where Michonne actually quotes what is written on the back of each volume, “in a world ruled by the dead we are finally forced to start living.”
After this powerful statement, Carl is released back to his family.
Before this though, we get a final scene from Hershel where we come to understand he is not as similar to Sebastian as we had been led to believe.
Showing those Roamers actually allowed Hershel to feel close to his father Glenn, who he never had the pleasure of meeting.
This gives us another perspective on the whole situation.
We then see that a statue has been made in Rick’s honor, with him in the pose he was in when he saved the Commonwealth from disaster right before his death.
A fitting memorial to the hero we followed for 192 issues.
Finally, we get the final and best scene in the entirety of  “The Farm House”, where Carl reads Andrea the story of Rick Grimes.
During his narration, we get shots of Maggie with Hershel, Jesus and Aaron resting on a riverbank, what looks like Negan laying flowers on Lucille’s grave, Princess and Mercer walking their dog, Lydia arriving home to her partner, Magna and Yumiko in a park, Eugene watching his train go by, Laura eating with her crew, Michonne going to see her grandchild, an elderly Pamela going to see a thankfully still jailed Sebastian, and Rick Grimes’ grave right next to Andrea’s.
Carl then tells his daughter she would have liked her grandfather to which she replies she knows, appearing irritated, before she joyfully asks him to “read it again”, as if Kirkman himself is asking his readers to do so.
The final shot sees Carl smiling as he reads to her in his rocking chair, the panel entirely white and vacant around them, except for the big “The End” to the side and, just like that, I break down.
I cried seeing such a heartwarming ending to a series I have loved reading for years.
This was a fantastic end to The Walking Dead story, and I am overjoyed with how it subverted my expectations from a day ago, when I first heard the story was concluding.
Sure, it does feel a little rushed and it makes characters like Princess seem pretty pointless in hindsight but, overall, I am happy with the ending.
Goodbye, The Walking Dead. 
You will be missed.

The Walking Dead, Issue 192, Aftermath Review: Everything Changes but not in a Good way.

two-and-a-half-stars
In my review for the shocking Issue 191 of The Walking Dead, I said I had mixed opinions about the possibility of Rick Grimes dying.
On the one hand, I did like the idea of his death being reminiscent of assassinations of other historical figures but, on the other hand, I thought it was stupid that it was Sebastian, of all people, who killed him.
Overall, I decided to reserve judgement on the death until it actually happened in Issue 192, “Aftermath.”
Well, the chapter was released yesterday and we finally got to see the great Rick Grimes die, and, I have to say, I am disappointed.
My main criticism lies in how Rick’s death honestly does not feel like the death of a main character.
Seriously, this chapter is named “Aftermath,” we should be seeing all the people Rick helped reacting to the news of his death.
Sure, we do get Carl’s reaction and that is handled very well but we get almost no reaction from the other characters.
What about Michonne?
She was Rick’s best friend and she does not even shed a tear over his death.
Maggie, Sophia, Eugene, Jesus, Aaron, these are all characters who Rick has helped survive and we do not see of their reactions apart from brief mourning shots as they go to his funeral.
And that’s another thing, we don’t even see his funeral.
Carl collapses from grief on his way to Alexandria and says he does not think he can do this without his father then the issue just ends.
It honestly feels like the death of a minor character instead of the lead of the entire series.
What’s more, it looks like the comics are going to be quickly moving on from Rick’s death.
The next issue looks to be entirely Negan focused, and the issue after that is introducing a new character Sheriff Kapoor, who looks almost exactly like Rick.
I should not have to say this but, since Rick is the main character, his death should feel like a massive event that will affect the future of the series bur it honestly does not feel like that.
I’m not going to act like there aren’t some great things about “Aftermath” because there are.
Seeing Rick get repeatedly shot by Sebastian had me screaming out in shock.
Not only this but the scene where Carl confronts Sebastian in prison is magnificent.
It shows how Carl has been influenced by both Rick and Negan because, while he decides to let him rot in prison like Rick would have wanted, he also promises to hurt him if he ever gets out, quoting Negan as he leaves by saying “ta, ta.”
However, while this is a great moment that points towards an interesting future for Carl, it does not make up for how poorly handled Rick’s exit feels.
He was killed by one of the most annoying characters the series has ever had, there is almost no reaction from the other characters to his death, which ultimately feels like that of a side character rather the main one, and the comics already look to be moving on from it in the next issue.
In my opinion, Robert Kirkman really dropped the ball with this.
The Commonwealth Arc has been downright bad in my opinion.
There were various great moments in it that made me believe it could get better but, overall, it was poorly plotted, structured, and resulted in a disappointing death for the main character.
I will keep reading to see what the series is like without Rick but, unless it has picked up by issue 200, I will think the series has officially jumped the shark.

The Walking Dead Issue 191: The Last Stand Review – Coming Full Circle with a Shocking Twist.

4 stars
Well… that just happened.
I got spoiled right before I read Issue 191 of The Walking Dead, “The Last Stand”, but it was still shocking to see the ending of the issue.
Before I begin the review, I have to warn you there are gigantic spoilers in this review so if you have not read the issue then go do that before continuing.
Seriously, you do not want to get spoiled about this like I did.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the big moment of the issue, and what is sure to be one of the biggest moments of The Walking Dead.
That being Rick getting shot in the chest and supposedly starting to bleed out at the end of the issue.
This is such a big moment in the history of the series because, make no mistake, Rick is going to die next issue.
While this has not been confirmed, it is made blatantly obvious by the issue.
Rick is shot right in the chest, and blood is leaking from his mouth so it is clear the bullet hit something vital.
Not only that, but Rick’s character arc came full circle in this issue, with him managing to peacefully resolve the situation with Pamela, and save the Commonwealth, by making a passionate speech declaring, “we are NOT the walking dead!”
This is directly mirroring a similar speech in Issue 24, where Rick states the exact opposite, and the final shot of Rick about to bleed out also mirrors the cover of Issue 45, where he is similarly shot.
Then there is Rick’s final scene with Carl, which has a real sense of finality to it, serving as the unknowing goodbye between the two.
So, yeah, Rick Grimes is definitely going to die next issue.
If he did not then it would feel like a major cop-out.
How do I feel about this, though?
Well, right now I am mixed.
For one, I actually love the idea of Rick getting taken out in assassination after gaining so much support, which is very similar to many inspirational historical figures.
It is very realistic and, with it coming directly after Rick’s arc comes full circle, incredibly well done.
My problem lies in who shoots him: The cowardly Sebastian, the son of Pamela Milton.
Honestly, the idea of the great Rick Grimes being killed by a guy who reminds of me a spoiled, bratty teenager from one of those awful MTV shows is pretty stupid.
This could have been remedied if Robert Kirkman had built Sebastian up as a more intimidating character.
For example, he could still be spoiled, as this is his main motivation for shooting Rick, but he could also have a power base and people who work for him, establishing him as more of a threat.
As it stands though, it is pretty disappointing that Rick gets taken out by such a brat.
However, whether this drives Rick’s death more into the negative side for me will depend on how that death is handled next issue.
If Rick dies before he reaches anyone then no one will know it was Sebastian because he used a silencer and probably left almost no trace.
This could create an interesting story where Carl searches for his killer and Pamela tries to protect her son.
Speaking of Carl, I am very excited to see him take Rick’s place as the main character.
One of the big themes of the series has been how children grow up in this world of the dead, but with Carl now grown up and about to take Rick’s place, it could create a new age for The Walking Dead.
Since Carl is still only around 14 though, I do expect there be a time jump to age him up so he can be a realistic leader, because I do not see a 14-year-old leading a community.
As for the rest of “The Last Stand”, it is pretty good.
I would have found the way the hyped up battle with Pamela ended disappointing if it had not been for the ending, though.
It is funny actually.
Before this point, The Commonwealth story arc has been a jumbled mess and now it all seems to be coming together to send Rick off.
It is both tragic and exciting to see Kirkman killing off his main character.
Tragic because we are seeing the end of a character we have followed for well over a decade, and exciting because this could bring a new age for The Walking Dead with Carl as the main character.

The Heart of The Walking Dead is Gone So What Happens Next?

Contains major spoilers for recent episodes:

I am ashamed to admit it but I have been in denial for a long time when it comes to The Walking Dead.
Just look at my earlier reviews and you will see I have been overpraising the show at times.
I gave the episode The Big Scary U five stars when it was not really worth that.
Looking back, its clear to me the reason I did that was because I was holding The Walking Dead to its own standards.
I was not rating episodes based on how good they were but on how good they were compared to the weaker episodes.
The thing that finally cleared my vision regarding this was the reveal of Carl’s fatal bite in the season 8 mid-season finale, How Its Gotta Be.

Carl
Pretty much my reaction to Carl’s death in the show.

Carl was the heart of The Walking Dead.
One of the main themes in both the show and the comic is how a zombie apocalypse would affect the development of a child and the person they would grow up to be because of it.
Now, the show has lost that theme.
To top it all off, Carl was incredibly important in the upcoming Whisperer arc, due to his relationship with Lydia from the comic.
They could still do this storyline in the show but they would have to replace Carl with a minor character, now that he is dead.
In short, I believe that killing off Carl is one of the worst decisions the show has ever made.
They have taken the character who was the representation of the story and killed him off.
That shows how desperate the showrunners are getting.
The mid-season premiere aired on Monday, featuring Carl’s death, and that did not do anything to sway my fears.

carl dies
Carl, played by Chandler Riggs, says goodbye to Rick and Michonne.

Carl’s death was poorly done for two reasons.
Number one, the way he got bit was really idiotic.
Number two, Rick’s reaction to Carl’s death.
Rick acted like he would if Morgan had died, not his own son.
When Lori died in season three, Rick was an emotional wreck and it took him an entire season to recover from it.
However, with Carl, who meant so much more to him than Lori, Rick acts like he lost a friend, instead of his son.
The Walking Dead does not really seem like it knows what it is doing anymore.
However, that being said, it is possible for the show to not only bounce back from this but to come back better than ever.
The first reason it could do this is that The Walking Dead is getting a new showrunner, Angela Kang, who has worked on the show for a while and know how it works.
The second reason it that season nine will deal with The New Beginning story arc.
This arc changed everything in the comic.
The story jumped years ahead and gave us a fresh look at the characters.
It even introduced some of the most frightening villains The Walking Dead has ever given us, with The Whisperers.
So, Carl’s death might not be the end for the show.
The Walking Dead may have lost its heart but it just needs to find it again.
And if it doesn’t… well, at least we still have the comic.

Did The Walking Dead just doom itself with its latest episode?

3 and a half stars
Spoilers for The Walking Dead season 8 episode 8.

The mid season finale of The Walking Dead, The Way It’s Gotta Be, was a good episode overall but may have just doomed the show itself.
Coming into this episode, we all knew something big was going to happen, based on what the show runners said, and boy did it.
But maybe what happened was too big.
Because in this episode they actually set up the death of Carl Grimes.
Carl Grimes, the very future of The Walking Dead and they are going to kill him in the mid season premiere.
In the comics Carl has a hugely important story going forward and his very presence in both the comics and show defines who Rick is.
So, I believe that killing Carl was the worst possible decision they could have made because, without Carl, the story will no longer be as impactful.
The Walking Dead may have just doomed itself.

carl grimes
Carl’s upcoming death may have just ruined the future for The Walking Dead show.

Another thing I did not like was the spoilers.
The Walking Dead is terrible at keeping secrets because so many important deaths have been spoiled.
Noah and Aiden’s deaths in season 5, spoiled.
Glenn and Abraham’s deaths in the season 7 premiere, spoiled.
And now we have Carl, which was also spoiled for me.
I do not even go looking for the spoilers, I just run into them on accident and then the show is ruined for me.
The show really needs to get a handle on the spoilers being leaked.
Then there was Ezekiel’s storyline, which I found to be pretty ridiculous, considering how Ezekiel was able to free all his people.
Although the one thing I did like about this storyline was how they humanized Gavin again.
Then there was the explosive bombing of Alexandria.
Am I the only one who found this to be not that impactful?
I do not know why but a lot of the action in season 8 has not felt very intense for me.
This is strange because in this episode we have multiple buildings exploding and yet I do not even feel thrilled by it.
However, this episode is not all bad.
I loved the storyline with Maggie and, despite how much I hate what they are doing with Carl, Chandler Riggs did a fantastic job this episode.
He easily delivered his best performance as Carl.
The best scene he was in was when his possibly final confrontation with Negan.
The Negan and Rick fight was also fun to see.

rick vs negan
The Rick vs Negan fight was one of the highlights of the episode.

Like I said earlier, this was a good episode.
But the lack of excitement I felt during the action and the implications of Carl’s certain death left a bitter taste in my mouth.
I honestly do not think The Walking Dead can come back from this.
Well, at least I still have the comics.

The Walking Dead delivers its weakest episode of season eight so far.

3 stars
The Walking Dead season eight has been pretty good so far.
There have been no standout episodes but every episode has been above average and often great.
This changes with the sixth episode, The King, The Widow and Rick.
I do not think this is a bad episode but it is average, at best.
Compared to the rest of the season, there is not much happening in this episode.
The biggest event of the episode was Rick being captured by the, oh so annoying, trash people, although it is obvious he will not be a captive for long.
Rick’s storyline was the shortest in the episode, as it only had a few scenes.
It opened moments before Rick arrived at the Junkyard, with Jadis constructing ornaments naked… for some reason.
Then Rick arrives and, one intro later, Jadis greets him, having put on her clothes in record time.
Seriously, how did she put on her clothes so fast?
Anyway, we finally learn why Rick was taking Polaroids of their victories against the Saviours, when he uses this as proof of their failures.
Jadis, however, locks Rick up anyway.
Although, it is obvious that Jadis will eventually join Rick, it is good that she said no because it would have been highly unrealistic had she said yes.
rick and jadis
Meanwhile we get a scene with Rosita and Michonne, trying to stop two Saviours from delivering a truck playing Opera music that will lead the Walkers at the Sanctuary away.
During this scene, Rosita blows up one of the Saviours with an RPG, which I found to be incredibly stupid.
They then meet up with Daryl and Tara and go to attack The Sanctuary, going against Rick’s plan.
I know they want revenge but this is a really stupid idea.
Why would they go against Rick’s plan when it is clearly working?
I hate it when the characters make stupid decisions just to advance the plot, when there were clearly other ways of doing so.
This storyline was by far the weakest of the episode.
Speaking of characters doing stupid things, Carl helps Siddiq kill some Walkers, when there is no reason to do so and nearly gets himself killed.
It felt like a gimmick to increase the tension of the episode, when really it just made me roll my eyes.
Although, Siddiq does seem like an interesting character.
I thought the character was someone else, other than Siddiq, but I was wrong about that.
I really did like how he remembers almost every single Walker he has killed, it was pretty funny.
carl and siddiq stupid
Meanwhile with the king storyline, we see how the deaths of Ezekiel’s people and Shiva is affecting him.
We get a very moving scene between Ezekiel and Carol that makes it seems like they will get together after all.
However, the writers seem to be forgetting that Carol was already in a relationship with Tobin so hopefully they resolve that and do not make it just a forgotten plot thread.
Besides, The music in this scene was excellent and perfectly reflected what was happening.
Despite the episode being the weakest of the season, for me, it definitely had the best music.
Finally we get the widow storyline, with Maggie deciding what to do with the Saviour prisoners.
This was my favourite part of the episode because we got more of a sense of who some of the Saviours are and it possibly hinted at a future storyline.
I like that we are seeing good Saviours as well as bad ones.
prisoners
The Saviour Dillon looks to be an interesting character going forward, due to his reluctance to fight and risk everyone’s lives.
He is a great contrast to Jared, in that regard because the two are polar opposites.
Gregory being locked up with The Saviours is also interesting because it raises the possibility of Gregory’s storyline happening much earlier than it does in the comics.
However, other than that, there really was not that much interesting happening in this episode.
Michonne and Rosita’s storyline felt more like filler to get them to join up with Daryl and Tara so they could go to The Sanctuary.
Rick’s storyline was very brief and offered so surprises because we saw that he got captured in the trailer and, although Siddiq seems like an interesting character, the scene with him and Carl killing Walkers was stupid.
The storylines at The Hilltop and The Kingdom were the only interesting ones but The Kingdom’s storyline was really short.
Then there was the fact of how stupid many of the characters were being just for plot convenience.
Overall a very average episode, with nothing exciting happening.
Hopefully we will get more next episode.