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.
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.

Some Guy is not some episode in the latest The Walking Dead episode.

3 and a half stars
Spoilers for The Walking Dead season eight episode four, Some Guy.

Many people are already calling Some Guy the best episode of Season 8 of The Walking Dead.
However, I do not feel that way.
I did like Some Guy but it had a few too many obvious flaws, for my liking.
In fact, I actually think this is the weakest episode of the season so far.
The Some Guy title refers to Ezekiel, in this episode, who we see torn down from a leader confident of victory, to a shell of that man who no longer wants to be called king.
I really liked a lot of the scenes with Ezekiel.
As the episode went along, we saw Ezekiel gradually lose more hope, starting with the death of his soldiers, until he loses it completely, with the death of Shiva.
Ezekiel and Jerry
Even Jerry had moments to shine in this episode, when he cut a Saviour, who was holding Ezekiel hostage, in half.
Although it is weird that he hits him twice with it, considering he obviously killed him with the first blow but that is a nitpick.
Carol is another central character in this episode, mowing Saviours down, left and right  and just generally being Carol.
However, although I did like these things, as I said, this episode did have more flaws than previous episodes.
For one thing, the danger never feels real in this episode.
For most of the episode, the characters never felt in danger to me.
When Carol was being shot at from behind the car, it was ridiculous that she was not hit with the amount of bullets being fired.
carol surrenders
Even worse is the scene where Rick and Daryl chase the Saviours with the 50. Calibur Machine Gun.
They are shot at repeatedly with this gun and, due to plot armor, are never hit.
If this was a real situation, then they would have been torn apart by gunfire.
It made the action feel very artificial and the danger not very apparent.
This episode also has a few scenes that just do not work.
First there is Ezekiel’s conversation with the Jeffrey Dahmer look alike, who took him hostage.
Some of this conversation was really good and interesting but, mostly, it was a bit of a drag.
I was just waiting for a Walker or Jerry to show up and kill him.
The final problem I have with this episode is Shiva’s death.
Yes, it was a sad death but the way it happened did not work at all.
In the comics, Ezekiel is overwhelmed by Walkers and about to be devoured when Shiva charges in and saves him, sacrificing herself in the process.
In the show however, Ezekiel, Carol and Jerry are not even close to being overwhelmed.
They could easily walk over an embankment and escape but Ezekiel wants to stay behind and sacrifice himself, even though they could all escape together.
This leads to Shiva charging in and sacrificing herself but since Ezekiel could have easily fled, her sacrifice felt completely unnecessary.
Shiva dies
Although, I did love Ezekiel’s reaction to her death.
Khary Payton did a great job in this episode.
It is these problems that makes me think this episode is the weakest in the season so far.
I still liked the episode though because there was enough character development, with Ezekiel, and some interesting action scenes to keep me interested.

Daryl is the real monster in this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, Monsters.

4 and a half stars

The Walking Dead Season eight is still going strong with its third episode, Monsters, being released last night.
Season eight is a definite step up from Season seven, which often felt very drawn out, while season eight feels exciting and fast paced.
Even in its quieter moments every scene in this episode is brimming with tension.
Specifically the scene between Rick and Morales.
It was nice to see these two catch up, even if it was at gunpoint.
Morales learning that Glenn had a wife and him calling Rick “Officer Friendly,” (a callback to season one) were definite highlights in this scene.
Unfortunately, this ends when Daryl shows up and kills Morales, without a second thought, despite knowing who he is.
Originally, I found it very annoying that they brought Morales back, only to kill him an episode later.
I wanted Morales to have a big part in the story and contribute in the All Out War story arc.
However, despite this, I can still see that Morales coming back and dying did have a point.

morales dies
For one thing, he called out how violent Rick has become and even asks him, point blank, if Rick had a gun on him, would he would have pulled the trigger.
Secondly, it also helps to show how far Daryl has gone.
He holds absolutely no sympathy for the Saviors and it does not matter if they surrender to him, he will kill them no matter what.
Another scene that shows this is when Daryl executes an unarmed Savior, who is surrendering, despite Rick’s promise that he can live if he does so.
This not only highlights how far Daryl will go when it comes to the Saviors but it also shows how Rick is seriously beginning to question the group’s morality.
His interaction with Morales has begun to show him how morally unethical they themselves are becoming and all this is shown through a look he gives to Daryl, after he executes the Savior.
Andrew Lincoln does a fantastic job in this episode, visually.
Two other important things happened in this part of the story.
First we have the death of Eric.
Now, personally, I preferred his comic book death because it shows how quickly someone can die in war but this was a good death too.
Eric’s heartfelt goodbye to Aaron was sad and really made me feel for them.
However, I did not like how they were not very clear that Eric had actually die.
All we get is Aaron seeing a Walker in the distance and assuming it is Eric.
I would consider it a possibility that he was still alive had the writers not confirmed his death.
It would have been better if they had actually shown the Walker was Eric.
The second important thing that happened in this episode was Rick going back for Gracie, the baby he orphaned in the previous episode, who Aaron offered to take back to the Hilltop.
This open ups the possibility of a crazy fan theory to happen, which will be interesting to see if it comes true.
I will not state this theory because I do not want to potentially ruin it for people but I can say it will be one of the best twists The Walking Dead has ever done, if it does happen.
The other storylines in the episode are also really good.
First we have Morgan, Tara and Jesus transporting the prisoners from the outpost to the Hilltop.
After a group of prisoners, including Jared, try to flee, Morgan starts executing them but is stopped by Jesus.
This leads to a great fight sequence between the two, ninja against ninja.
morgan vs jesus
This was one of the most thrilling parts of the episode, however it did end with Morgan leaving, which I am concerned about.
Hopefully it will not turn out like Carol’s storyline from season six and seven.
Then we have the Hilltop storyline with Gregory arriving and begging to be let in.
This scene was hilarious, especially the interaction between Gregory and Kal.
“I did not eat those pancakes,” Gregory yells.
Xander Berkeley does a really great job of selling Gregory’s cowardice and pathetic nature.
Then Jesus and Tara arrive with the Savior prisoners who Maggie eventually decides to let in, despite the danger.
I wonder if Gregory will collude with Jared and the other Savior prisoners to take over the Hilltop.
The final storyline sees Ezekiel and Carol leading an attack on another Savior outpost.
Ezekiel was another standout in this episode, with his over confident nature backfiring at the end of the episode and is sure to continue to bite him, in the next episode.
The episode ends on a cliffhanger with Ezekiel’s men shielding him from gunfire.
We are certain to see the effects of Ezekiel’s over confidence in the next episode.
ezekiel rallies troops
But, despite how much I did love the storylines in this episode, there was still one problematic scene, along with Morales abrupt death and Eric’s confusing one.
This scene was a gunfight between the Alexandrians and Saviors, at the outpost Rick was attacking.
In this scene the editing is a bit choppy and I did not recognize anyone from Alexandria or the Saviors so I could not tell who was who.
I was unable to tell if the Alexandrians or the Saviors were winning.
Still, this and the other two problems I previously mentioned were very minor in comparison to the rest of the episode, which was very exciting and enjoyable.
Season eight is off to a much better start than season seven and I am eagerly awaiting the next episode.