After starting off the season with a series of episodes lacking show’s usual addictive qualities, the Walking Dead comes back strong during its mid-season premiere, supported by the cast’s emotional performances and the long-expected demise of a beloved character.
As I wrote about last year, I unfortunately, found that the majority of season 8’s episodes (with exception to the last 2, I think) really failed to get me excited or engaged.
There was an all-around lack of cohesion between the assault on the Sanctuary scenes which left quite a bit of confusion when I went to try and put the pieces together.
I don’t know, I just couldn’t feel as involved as I usually am with the storyline or even my favourite characters. Suffice it to say that I wasn’t comfortable with this sense of apathy I suddenly had for my favourite show.
However, like I said, episodes 7 and 8 changed that, and episode 9 was no different.
The episode was right back on The Walking Dead’s usual engaging form, albeit a lot more heartbreaking than usual.
The mid-season premiere focused on the final goodbyes between Carl and the Alexandria crew after we found out in December that he was bitten by a walker. 😭 Honestly though, I think this episode was one big final goodbye between us (the viewers) and a character we literally watched grow up and came to love, whether a fan of him or not.
Although there was a return of the flash forward thingys that have been getting on my wig a bit (I can’t stand Rick’s flowy white beard) this season, this episode’s riveting acting more than made up for it.
Plus, it turns they were kind of necessary, as they are actually an important window into Carl’s mind.
Man. Those goodbye scenes were absolutely harrowing. They were really well written, and the emotion between Michonne, Rick, and Carl felt so real. Probably partially because it was. It can’t be easy for those guys to say goodbye to a co-star they’ve known for years and have watched grow up. I mean that’s most likely a really big friendship for all of them.
I didn’t realise that I really cared about Carl as much as I found I did. Although he was not and won’t be my favourite all-round character, there was a sort of comfort that came with having him around, and Chandler Riggs did a good job playing on that in these last few episodes.
I like how we really got a sense of the actual wisdom that Carl has, and I think his vision will really influence the series, in more ways than one, in episodes to come.
We also got some interesting time in Morgan’s borderline sociopathic mind when he and Carol headed into the Kingdom on a rescue mission (Ezekiel for life ❤️).
Both Morgan and Carol have been victim to some traumatizing inner conflict on the matter of life and death for a while now, and I like how they played off each other during the sneak assault scenes.
You could just see the inner turmoil in Morgan’s mind as he started delving deeper into this loss of morality that overcame him after the loss of his son, which is something that Lenny James manages to portray so well.
It was ironic that Carol was the one trying to reign him in from all-out wiping out every Savior, and I’m curious to see where the situation between the two will go.
I’d say that I’m genuinely excited to see where the rest of this season will take us, especially since it’s time to properly deal with Negan, I’d like to know how this episode had an impact on Rick’s decisions.