Monday, April 16, 2018

The Walking Dead Season 8 Finale

The season eight finale of The Walking Dead aired last night, and I watched it alone. I have some thoughts to share, so if you're avoiding spoilers, read no further.

One the one hand, I'm glad the war with the Saviors is over, because it was getting really old. But on the other hand, a resolution that leaves everyone with a super happy ending is too implausible even for a zombie apocalypse. We are used to a stroke of luck saving our heroes, but in this episode, there were multiple strokes of luck and perfect timing that favored only one side. Toning down even one of them would have made a better story.  

Eugene only came up with his sabotage device the night before, and had to execute it absolutely perfectly, while working all night with a crew who couldn't be in on the plan. Every bullet had to malfunction in the exact same way, except for the ones he gave Negan to test fire, and no one else test fired at all. And then they all shot simultaneously during the battle. In addition, Eugene suddenly developed acting abilities he never displayed before to throw every off. Believable from Josh McDermitt, but not from Eugene. At least Rosita got to punch him.

Oceanside showed up during the most crucial moment with fire bombs that luckily did no damage to the Hilltop's wooden fences, seconds before they would have had to smother the baby. Why did Oceanside save the day after Tara betrayed them, Rick took their weapons, and Enid killed Natania? The only explanation is that these young women warriors really miss having men around.   

We could see Rick letting Negan live coming a mile away. That's what happened in the comics, and the Carl story line foreshadowed Rick's mercy turn. But I expected something way more satisfying, in that Rick explains his mercy to Negan, and then Maggie or Dwight shoots Negan through the head from a distance. Or Negan suffers a quick aneurysm. Or commits suicide rather than surrender.

Dwight not only lucked out in surviving threats from both Negan and Daryl, but he found evidence that Sherry is still around. She wins the 2017-18 Hide and Seek Championship.

Gabriel's eyesight returns after the battle is over. I don't really begrudge him that, but it put a cherry on top of all the other happy endings and highlighted how implausible the whole episode was.

Maggie's anger is totally relatable, and her time as leader of the Hilltop community makes her upcoming scheme against Rick believable. I can see Daryl signing on, too, because who knows what's going on in his mind, ever. But Jesus going along with the plan doesn't make any sense at all. He's supposed to be the peacemaker, the merciful one who doesn't want to kill people unnecessarily. It would make more sense that he's just sitting back and listening at this point, but The Walking Dead is not that subtle.

What was the most implausible thing about the season finale is that no one with a name died in the final battle. The only people who died were nameless Saviors. That's some kind of luck.

Oh, I enjoyed watching the show while it was on. Only after the fact did it seem awfully dumb. I'll keep watching it, as it's the only TV show I watch, along with Fear the Walking Dead. By October, I'll get over being cheated out of the death of Negan that I was looking forward to.      


gwdMaine said...

Well said. When I was voting over on Neatorama the other
day I almost went with "no one." I had this gut feeling
that after all the Negan carnage they'd take a break.
Honestly didn't think they'd have the guts to do it (pun

When Negan's front line went down like a set of dominoes
that was a what the hell? moment for me. I knew it was
going to be a boring done deal after that. I called it the
Fairy Tale It's a Wonderful Life ending - Just like Carl's

You should watch at least a little more TV. For the past
six years, IMHO, The Americans over on FX has featured
the absolute best writing on TV.

Jonco said...

While I have nothing against Jeffrey Dean Morgan and the Negan character was interesting, I was more than ready for Negan to die. Negan's character was just too unbelievable. He could have been and should have been killed long ago.
We all know he's going to escape from custody next season and same old same old chase will be on once again. I hope Maggie chops his head off.