Television Review: The Walking Dead, Season 8, Episode 3 “Monsters”

Title: The Walking Dead
Season: 8
Episode: 3 “Monsters”
Network: AMC
Air Date: October 29, 2017
Summary: “Conflict with the Saviors leads to unintended consequences for the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and Alexandria; morality proves tricky in wartime.”
* This review contains Spoilers; you’ve been warned. *

“They are coming for us; coming for us at this very moment…” King Ezekiel begins the episode with this line, and oh how telling a line it is. In the very next scene, the King and his court find themselves surrounded…or so it seems. The tables turn quickly, and before long, Carol and King Ezekiel are back on top and there is a field of dead Saviors. Then, after a short word from our sponsors, we find Rick with a gun pointed to his face. 

Morales points out that Rick is the guy who is always willing to rush in—the guy who’s looking for something. This point is an excellent one because Rick, in all of his renditions, save for maybe Farmer Rick, was in fact always the one willing to run in, guns a-blazin‘. Sometimes it’s worked out, and others, well, not so much. Regardless this line resonates with viewers and causes them to question whether attacking Negan and the Saviors was a good idea or not.
Rick starts to hear what Morales is saying about the two of them being the same—survivors. Thankfully, Daryl shows up just in time to save Rick and hit him with a slap of reality.
Remember last week’s episode when Tara and Jesus took Saviors as prisoners? Yeah, well I do too, and frankly, I am not buying the crap that Jesus spews about the Saviors being humans and all. As much as the heroes of this story would like to say that they’re just that, heroes, they aren’t, they’re survivors. And if executing a bunch of Negan’s men who surrendered means surviving, well…all’s fair in love and the zombie apocalypse.
Side note, nothing beats the way that walkers get down hills. Am I right? Okay, back to the review.

I wasn’t surprised when Morgan and Jesus began to duke it out in front of their Savior prisoners. This was bound to happen. Clearly, I agree with Morgan and think that all of the Saviors should be slaughtered regardless of whether it is right or wrong, and regardless of whether they’re humans too, the Saviors are loyal to Negan and sooner or later they’re going to cause an issue.

Viewers are slid from one epic scene to the next; Rick and Daryl run and gun while Jesus takes on Morgan in the woods. Both scenes were equally as satisfying although I found it hard to believe that Jesus’ combat skills matched–if not surpassed–Morgan’s. Their short fight leads Morgan to reconsider his recent decisions, and yet again, take a walk away from the group and toward the wild blue yonder.

Somehow Gregory managed to make it back to the Hilltop in one piece and once he’s there, he has to answer to Maggie. Their exchange through the gate opening was nothing short of great; Gregory slithers about and Maggie shuts him down at every turn even when he tries to appeal to her conscience.

After a short exchange at the Hilltop about keeping the Saviors as prisoners, there is an excellent scene that first begins by showing Saviors and members of Rick’s group turning to Walkers and feeding on one another. This scene only cements the fact that in this world there is no good or evil. There’s merely the living and the dead.

In the final moments of Episode 3, Aaron, who has his love’s blood on his hands both literally and figuratively, volunteers to take the baby that Rick rescued (Gracie) back to the Hilltop. Soon after, Rick and Daryl are fired upon, and yet again, Daryl slaps Rick with some reality. And after King Ezekiel praises himself and his group for not losing a single man, they’re fired upon and the episode ends.

All is well until it isn’t. 

The Bottom Line:

Episode 3 builds on, and further examines, the themes made apparent in Episode 2 and manages to do so in a way that is equally as entertaining as it is informative. In the past, such themes would be examined very differently than they are now; thankfully, the creative team behind the show has managed to successfully blend insight and examination with intensity and action.

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