Show: The Walking Dead
Season: 8
Episode: 8 “How It’s Gotta Be”
Network: AMC
Air Date: December 10, 2017
Summary: “Every story and battle from the first half of the season comes crashing together in this action-packed, emotional mid-season finale.”

* This Review Contains Spoilers. There, you’ve been warned, proceed with caution. *

Review:

Once there was talk about straying from the plan, it became obvious that something was going to go wrong, and now, in the mid-season finale, we get to see exactly how things went wrong, or at least that’s the plan, right? Sure it is. And seeing as though I am writing this review while watching the episode, I am going to go out on a limb and say that the episode is going to end in typical TWD fashion with a cliffhanger that’ll divide fans. 

Chaos. Rick’s plan has been undermined, and now, without the wall of walkers keeping the Saviors in the Sanctuary, Rick and company are unable to go in with their guns a-blazing and clean the place up. Oh yeah, and just before the first commercial break viewers catch a glimpse of Negan driving away from the Sanctuary…

Despite everything going to shit, and the chaos that should be ensuing, the beginning of the Season 8 mid-season finale is slow and somber and full of dialogue. That is until Negan shows up in front of Alexandria and demands to be let in so that he can kill Rick along with whoever happens to have the lamest apology…and in other news, the ladies of Oceanside are back too.

In a matter moments, this episode shifts gears and goes from boring to intense. Maggie and Jesus and Jerry are in trouble, Negan is breathing down the necks of the Alexandrians, and the Saviors have claimed the Kingdom. Now, thirty or so minutes into the episode, we have a show worth watching.

None of this shit is fair, kid. Now having ‘trapped’ the Saviors for some time and having picked through their outposts, Rick and company are now on the same page as Negan and his folk. They’re no different, and from a viewer’s standpoint, it’s difficult to say who’s right and who’s wrong. As of right now, we viewers side with Rick because we’ve been watching him for a long time. We all have our favorite characters, but now, in Season 8, it’s important for us to take a step back and start questioning their motives.

For example, Carl speaks to Negan and claims that he is willing to die to sacrifice himself if it’ll mean that no one else will die. He’ll do it for the children… Negan, after being asked whether he planned on becoming the man that has, was beginning to see things differently, and then what happened? Carl disappeared and pissed off Negan. Sure, it’s obvious that Carl was merely distracting Negan so that his people could get away, but come on man…you had a chance and you blew it by being dishonest. And now, Alexandria is nothing but a burned out hole in the ground.

After watching Eugene drink a shot of wine (yes a shot) and then let out a good cry in bed, we’re gifted an almost dream-like sequence of Carl watching as the Saviors continue destroying Alexandria. This scene is one of the episode’s best as it perfectly showcases the destruction that a series of poor decisions have caused. Fittingly, this scene is followed up with Daryl, Michonne, Tara, and Rosita talking about their plan and whether it was wrong of them to have done what they did. In this same scene, Dwight goes full turncoat and fires on the Saviors after leading them into a trap. 

King Ezekiel gives himself up to the Saviors so that his people could get away, and moments later, Maggie, now back at camp, opens up the pen and kills one of her prisoners to send a message to the rest. Clearly, Negan brings out the worst in people…

At this point, I’m wondering how the episode will end. I’m not only hoping that Rick will show up, but I’m also hoping that the episode will end on a note worth talking about with my fellow fans.

Dwight begs to go along with Daryl, Maggie buries her dead, and then finally, after Michonne is seen staying back at Alexandria, Rick emerges, and when he does, he takes a bat blow or two from Negan. The two go blow for blow for some time in a quick fight, and then Michonne hacks and slashes a Savior to pieces. 

The Alexandrians were able to retreat to the sewers thanks to Carl…and speaking of Carl…he’s been bit! Holy shit, Carl’s been bitten!

Clearly, this war is far from over folks. See you when the second half of the season returns!

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Score
7
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