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 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 believably absurd legal situation that is unbelievably absurd 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 Walking Dead Issue 190, Storm the Gates, Review: Welcome but Rushed.

3 stars
In my review of the previous The Walking Dead issue, I criticized the Commonwealth Arc heavily for how aimless and mediocre it had been so far.
Coming into Issue 190, “Storm the Gates,” I was expecting it to be more of the same, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this issue could be a step in the right direction.
It is not spectacular or anything, but it does give me hope that the Commonwealth Arc might just get better.
Although, I have had false hope with this arc before so we will have to wait and see.
I will also admit that I was wrong about something I criticized Robert Kirkman for last issue, this being artificial tension.
I thought the Walker herd in that issue was just a way for Kirkman to create some pointless tension in a slow story, but the herd actually has a story point in “Storm the Gates,” with the herd attacking the Commonwealth.
The reason it got so close to the community before being spotted, is because Pamela called her troops back after Mercer was arrested, which is another case of Kirkman wonderfully showing Pamela’s incompetency.
The approaching herd leads to Rick, Mercer and the others. having to all hide in the buildings while the herd walks around, until Maggie arrives with her deus ex machina army to save the day.
Although I did like that the herd actually serves a point in this issue, a lot of the storylines here seem pretty convenient.
Rick and Mercer are somehow able to get the Commonwealth’s 50,000  civilians inside their buildings in a matter of minutes?
Then there is Maggie’s arrival with her army, which is a complete deus ex machina, but one that moves the plot forward.
I feel I should also mention one panel where Magna is looking down at Maggie and something about the artwork here looks a little off.
That said, the rest of Charlie Adlard’s artwork is stunning as usual.
After the Walker herd are defeated, Rick and Mercer plan to finally talk with Pamela, only for her to march in with her army from Greenville and accuse Rick of trying to usurp her.
Rick tries to convince her this is not the case but she is too paranoid to believe him, ordering her troops to attack in a panel similar to the ones when Negan attacked Alexandria, and the Governor attacked the prison, bringing an end to the issue.
This cliffhanger was a very welcome one for me because it finally looks like it is going to create some interesting consequences, possibly even some deaths, in the next issue.
Coming back to Magna, she shares a scene with Yumiko, which highlights their relationship, that has me believing one of them may bite the bullet.
However, while I do welcome this cliffhanger, it does feel very rushed to me on a story level.
Pamela was somehow able to organize an army in Greenville, a community probably a long way from them, in a matter of hours.
Not only this, but her accusing Rick of trying to take over feels very forced.
Up until this point, Pamela has trusted Rick, especially after he killed Dwight to save her life, so her suddenly thinking Rick wants to become leader of the Commonwealth comes out of left field, even if it does finally get the story rolling.
Overall, this was an average issue with various positives and negatives.
I hope that the next issue follows up on its promise of action and excitement, rather than reversing all of this like it did with the antagonism between Rick and Michonne.

Did Rick and Maggie get an Appropriate Send off in the Walking Dead?

The fifth episode of the ninth season of The Walking Dead, “What Comes After”, recently aired, being the final episode for Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes and Lauren Cohan’s Maggie Rhee, at least for a little while.
When I first head these two were leaving I honestly thought the show was doomed with two of its central characters (Rick being the main character) departing.
However, after viewing all five episodes of this season so far and seeing the direction it is heading, I actually think with Angela Kang as the showrunner The Walking Dead may continue to deliver a compelling narrative.
But even so, this does leave the question of whether the departures of such major characters as Rick and Maggie were done right?
Since Rick is the main character, I will start with him.
Coming into this episode I was very concerned with how he would leave the show because I thought we were going to get another Carl situation with a bad death for such an important character.
This concern was generated by the ending of the previous episode, where Rick accidentally impaled himself on some rods.
I came in feeling like I knew what was going to happen, with Rick hallucinating all of his dead friends before dying of blood loss.
However, while that first part was right, the second, thankfully, was not.
Rick does experience numerous hallucinations and all but one of them are handled expertly.
Seeing Rick interact with Shane and Hershel again was a joy to see, especially Shane because their scene together spoke a lot about how far Rick had come.
The one hallucination I did not like, however, was when Rick talked with Sasha.
This was Rick’s final hallucination and of all the characters for him to talk to during it, Sasha would have been at the bottom of my list.
She and Rick barely interacted and I do not think they were even that close so seeing Rick hallucinate her giving him this emotional pep talk made absolutely no sense.
It should have been Glenn, Lori or Carl Rick talked to, not Sasha.
Other than this though, the hallucinations were all handled well and added to the tension.
Then came Rick’s “death scene” where he blew up the bridge while he and the herd of Walkers were still on it to save his friends.
This was very emotional and if Rick had died here I would actually have been OK with it because it left a big emotional impact and served a logical purpose, unlike Carl’s death.
However, this was not the end for Rick because Jadis saved him by taking him on the helicopter with her.
And so Rick departed the show on this helicopter, with the ending song from the very first episode “Space Junk” by Wang Chung playing in a fitting end his story on the show.
This did leave me wondering what would happen to him in the future but this question was answered when I learned Andrew Lincoln would be starring in the recently announced The Walking Dead spin off movies.
When I first learned this, I laughed but, after thinking about it, I realised this could be interesting.
I will just have to wait and see the movies to know if it was a good idea to keep Rick alive for this.
Overall, Rick’s sendoff this episode was both touching and fitting, and I think they did a great job with it.
Not so much for Maggie I am afraid.
I would go as far to say that Maggie’s sendoff this episode was handled incredibly badly.
I will say I did like what happened to her in this episode, with her finally confronting Negan over Glenn’s death in a scene that, while not as good as the comics, was still very impactful.
However, there was literally nothing in the episode that would suggest this was Maggie’s last episode.
No emotional sendoff, no death, nothing.
It was like they completely forgot this was supposed to be her final episode until they had actually completed it.
Hopefully they can at least give a logical reason for her departure in the next episode.
Speaking of which, even though these two incredibly important characters have departed the show, I am still looking forward to what is to come this season.
We will be getting the full introduction of Magna and her group next episode, The Whisperers will be introduced soon, and it looks like Judith will now be taking center stage in a surprising yet welcome turn of events.
All in all, the future for The Walking Dead looks bright, even with these departures.

Time for Eugene to die after this episode of The Walking Dead

four_half-stars_0
Contains Spoilers for The Walking Dead season eight episode seven, Time for After

The Walking Dead has delivered another fantastic episode with its seventh episode of season 8, Time for After.
This episode was another Saviour centered episode, just like episode five and, just like that episode, it is one of the best episodes of the season.
Eugene was a particular standout of this episode, with actor Josh McDermitt doing a great job.
It was exciting to see Eugene’s character arc in this episode and I loved how it was symbolized.
When Eugene is having a conversation with Gabriel, (the same one they had in the comics, only much earlier) light is covering Gabriel, giving him an almost angelic look while Eugene is covered in shadow, foreshadowing him doing darker things as he helps Negan rather than his friends.
I also loved the scene where Eugene had an outburst at Gabriel after witnessing many Saviours die.
McDermitt gives his best performance on The Walking Dead in this scene.
However, although McDermitt does give a great performance as Eugene, I can’t help but fear that his time on the show might be over by season eight’s end.
It really does not feel like Eugene is redeemable at this point so I think it is likely he could die some time this season.
eugene
Another character given time to shine in this episode was Dwight, who had various interactions with Eugene.
Although these scenes were great, it did make me wonder why Dwight did not just shoot Eugene during their rooftop confrontation.
Dwight is clearly not above murdering Eugene and it would be pretty easy to make it look like an accident so Negan would not suspect anything.
Then we get get the second storyline of the episode with Daryl, Tara, Michonne and Rosita going to attack the Saviours, going against Rick’s plan.
Thankfully Rosita and Michonne do not go through with it.
I was really glad to see Rosita be against the plan because it shows how much she has grown since last season.
However, Daryl and Tara still went through with the plan and this possibly led to the Saviours escaping at the end of the episode.
I like Daryl and Tara but these two need to keep a clear head or they are going to get people killed.
The final storyline in this episode saw Rick bring Jadis and the trash people over to their side.
It was very exciting to see Rick be able to defeat a Walker and three of the trash people, including Jadis, while tied up.

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Although, I was kind of hoping Rick would just kill Jadis because of how annoying she and her trash people are but whatever.
Then we get the closing moments of the episode where Rick sees, much to his horror, the Saviours have escaped.
And, if the trailers are anything to go by, the mid-season finale will be brutal.
There was also the announcement that there will be a big death next episode so we will probably get the question of what Rick was crying about in the first episode of season 8 answered.
There is also a spoiler floating around about who it is that dies and I hope it is wrong because I hate getting spoiled.
Overall Time For After was one of the best episodes of The Walking Dead season 8.
Like most of the episodes so far this season, it would not get on a top 10 list but it is still a really great episode.

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.

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

4 and a half stars
SPOILERS FOR THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 8, EPISODE 3.

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.

A surprise return makes an intriguing twist for the Walking Dead.

4 and a half stars
All out war continued in last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, The Damned, which saw Rick’s group attack two separate Savior outposts.
The Damned was a definite improvement on last week’s episode, as an almost solely action driven episode that left you on the edge of your seat.
The Walking Dead is definitely learning from its mistakes in season seven by focusing on multiple characters, instead of a small group of them one episode and another small group in the next.
All the main characters featured in this episode are given their moments to shine.
I especially liked the dynamic between Tara and Jesus and their debate over whether they should just kill all of the Saviors.
Morgan was also a standout in this episode as we saw him go full clear mode and take out a bunch of armed men with no hesitation or remorse.
He even went as far to flashback about Rick’s speech in season six about killing all of the Saviors, which almost made him killed Jared, the Savior who killed Benjamin.
Morgan clear
I imagine that Morgan will come to regret not killing Jared, that guy is bad news.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the prisoners they captured this episode.
There was a lot of them so I wonder what they will do with them.
Will they escape or will someone like Morgan or Tara just start executing them?
We will have to wait and see.
The second of the three story lines this episode saw Carol and Ezekiel tracking a Savoir to stop him alerting his friends at the outpost of the coming attack.
This was a very minor plot point that is building to the big attack next episode, which will have dire consequences for Ezekiel, if they go the route of the comics.
However, although it was interesting to see Carol and Ezekiel interact, along with Ezekiel casually dropping his king persona, it did feel a bit weird, considering how it is urgent that they track this person and yet they are constantly stopping to talk.
Ezekiel and caroljpg
It was great to see Shiva in action again this episode, eventually taking down the man they were tracking and I look forward to see how she is utilized next episode.
Now for the third story line, which saw Rick, Daryl, Aaron and Eric and their forces attacking a second Savior outpost.
This story line by far had the best parts of the episode.
From Rick’s intense fight with the Savior, to learning he had orphaned a child, to Eric getting shot, this story line was filled with intense moments.
Not to mention the surprise return of Morales, which was unfortunately spoiled for me before I watched the episode (thanks a lot internet!).
morales
Morales has been the face of fan speculation and memes for years now, concerning his disappearance in season one and what happened to him.
The level of interest that has circled Morales over the years is kind of odd, when you think about it because he was only in four episodes and was more of a side character than anything else.
Still is is good to see him back and on the side of the Saviors.
Clearly a lot has happened since we last saw him, back in season one.
It will be interesting to see what they do with his character… if they do anything with him at all.
I hope he is not just a one episode bad guy that dies in the next episode because, if he is, what was the point of bringing him back?
I hope they actually do something with Morales and he has a point being here.
Overall, this was a great episode, with only a few minor faults in Ezekiel and Carol’s story line.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the next episode and what Morales’ return holds for the future.

The Walking Dead crawls out of its grave for an exciting season premiere

4 stars
And here I was thinking The Walking Dead was un-dead and buried.
After one of the worst cliffhangers in television history, followed by the worst season of The Walking Dead, it seemed like the show was following the example of Heroes, starting out as a fantastic show before eventually fading into downright stupidity and ridiculousness and then finally ending to the relief of everyone.
Which is why I am overjoyed to say The Walking Dead has crawled out its grave prematurely to deliver an exciting season premiere and 100th episode with Mercy.
The show runners seem to have taken the complaints about season seven into account because when viewing this episode it no longer feels slow and struggling for ideas.
This is all out war and it certainly shows.
Mercy is kind of like the season six premiere as the story is told in different timelines, although this time there are more timelines and it is not very clear which is happening when, with a few exceptions.
In this episode we see Rick leading Alexandria, the Hilltop and The Kingdom’s forces to attack The Sanctuary and bring an end to Negan’s reign once and for all… but since this is only the beginning of the season we all knew it was not going to go down like that.
The opening moments of the episode are certainly thrilling, as we see Rick and the group take out Savior lookouts on the way to the Sanctuary.
This has probably my favorite moment of the episode, when a Savior that Rick takes down taunts him, telling him how he saw Rick cry and beg during the season seven premiere and saying Negan will kill Carl.
It is then that Rick, rightfully so, allows the man to be eaten by a Walker.
It is brutal and shows that, although Rick believes only Negan has to die at this stage, he is not above killing anyone else to achieve that goal.

Rick in grass
This episode has plenty of callbacks, it being the 100th episode and all, including a shot for shot recreation of the first episode’s opening scene, only it is Carl instead of Rick.
It is in this scene where Carl comes across a mysterious man who most people seem to theorize is Siddiq but since this person looks nothing like the Siddiq from the comics I think he is someone else.
We’ll have to see what part he has to play in the coming story.
The confrontation with Negan at his factory brought a smile to my face as Negan and Rick’s roles seemed to have reversed, with Rick having the upper hand and reminding Negan of how weak he made the group feel and now how strong they are compared to him.
“Are you going to make me count?” Rick asks, repeating a line Negan spoke to him in the season seven premiere.
The shootout that follows is intense and shows Rick’s dedication to killing Negan, completing ignoring an advancing Walker herd.
It is Gabriel who snaps Rick out of it and urges him to leave with the others.
God bless Gabriel, the TV version of him is so much better than the comic book version.
A rare occurrence when a TV character is better than their comic book counterpart, in terms of The Walking Dead.
However not all is good for Gabriel because he risks his life to safe the cowardly Gregory, despite his betrayal, only for Gregory to steal his car and leave him to die.
While it is great to see how much Gabriel has changed during his time on the show, (at the beginning he wouldn’t risk his life to save people he knew and now he is risking his life for someone he barely knows and betrayed them) this can only lead to bad things for him.
Sure enough it does, with Gabriel being trapped in a trailer with Negan.
“I hope you got your s$*!ing pants on,” he says.
We do Negan, we certainly do.

gabriel
However, although this episode is a great step in the right direction for The Walking Dead, not everything is perfect.
The uncanny valley, in terms of special effects, in this episode is very apparent like in the previous seasons.
For example, Shiva the tiger looks very realistic with its CGI however a shot of a car exploding looks unbelievably fake and made me wonder why they couldn’t just blow it up practically, they did it later in the episode.
Also, while the multiple timeline idea is a very intriguing way to style the episode, I do have a problem with the Old Man Rick timeline.
Fans who have not read the comics will not know what this means but as someone who has read the comics I think this spoils the events of all out war and removes all tension surrounding who will live and die.
Because of this Old Man Rick timeline fans will now have no reason to think Rick, Michonne, Carl or Judith will die during all out war because we see them in this future timeline.
Instead of actually showing this timeline they should have just hinted at it with maybe a few shots of Rick’s cane, the flowers and Old Man Rick himself.

old man rick
However, other than these problems this was a great way to start season eight and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season will go.
Hopefully The Walking Dead will go all out for all out war.