Television Review: The Walking Dead, Season 8, Episode 2 “The Damned

The Walking Dead, Season 8, Episode 2
Title: The Walking Dead
Season: 8
Episode: 2 “The Damned”
Network: AMC
Air Date: October 29, 2017
Summary: “The plan involving Alexandrians, Kingdommers and Hilltoppers unfolds. As Rick continues to fight, he encounters a familiar face.
* This review contains Spoilers; you’ve been warned. *

The episode opens with shots of Rick and Darrel and Ezekiel and Jesus and most everyone else that we care about; all of them look off into the distance into the future perhaps – with sincerity and intensity. We’re then given a behind-the-scenes look at a Savior base just in time for some of Rick’s group to roll in and start shooting up the place.

Morgan doesn’t die, or so he says early on in the episode. As soon as the words fall from his mouth and the smile creeps across his face, I begin to worry. Sentences like these have always carried weight in this series, and thus I began to worry. Losing Morgan here and now, after everything he’s been through would be a shame. But then again, Glenn had gone through an awful lot too, and he had a baby on the way…

Throughout Episode 2, we’re bounced from one group the next, and wherever we turn, there’s either gunfire or some sort anxiety-insuring situation that’s sure to please fans not fond of the slow burn. Dramatic scenes filled with deafening silence are coupled by chaotic bursts of gunfire that leave viewers in a state of unrest. All is well as the group is shown making progress, that is until something terrible happens.

Morgan! Didn’t I say that I was concerned about him running his mouth about not dying? Well, positioned perfectly before a commercial break is a quick shot of Morgan hitting the ground after being fired at. Jaws drop as pulses quicken; hearts become heavy, and minds, ah never mind, you know what I’m getting at. Shit hit the fan and it hit quick.

Tara and Jesus find themselves in one hell of a predicament, but frankly, despite what was going on, I couldn’t help but think of anything other than Morgan. Thankfully, shortly after this display of morality, Morgan wakes up…yes, you read that right, Morgan survived. The man really doesn’t die…for now at least.

After the episode’s halfway point, the pacing slows. The intensity is reduced somewhat, but the drama ensues as TWD fans know that all of the eery silence can only mean one thing: something bad is about to happen. Rick is taken off guard but soon gains the upper hand and kills a man after locking in the old Grimes Sleeper Hold.

Ironically, Morgan goes on a John Wick style killing spree until he’s stopped by Jesus who points out that killing the Saviors after they’ve surrendered is wrong; it’s not what they do. Sorry to say it, but Jesus is wrong. That’s exactly what Rick and the gang do – in fact, wasn’t killing the Saviors and Negan the whole point of this mission? Yeah, it was. Not killing all of the Saviors, regardless of whether they surrendered or not, is a mistake.

After unknowingly storming into a nursery, Rick comes face to face with a baby, Gracie, and clearly does not recognize the man that he’s become. Episode 2 spends a whole lot of time focusing on the moral dilemmas that arise when trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. Rick gets a serious case of the feels, but he’s soon reminded of why being a ruthless badass is so important…and then we’re left with a cliffhanger, or two, or three…

The Bottom Line:

Packed with action, The Walking Dead, Season 8, Episode 2, “The Damned,” asks some important questions while also engaging viewers. The breakneck pace is consistent throughout the episode, save for a few moments, and despite all of the gunfire and ass-kicking, there was some serious depth to this story.