Monday, December 11, 2017

The Walking Dead: Season 8 Episode 8 - How It's Gotta Be

Hello friends and welcome to our midseason finale discussion of season 8 of The Walking Dead!   Well, they kept teasing that something big was going to happen in this mid-season finale and they weren't kidding.  Yes, more meandering with the Negan vs. everyone story is still happening but things have moved forward.  It was a 1.5 hour episode, but I got to watching it late so this will be fairly brief.  We can catch up in the comments until February!  Let's do this.

Discussion Points
  • Long story short.  Daryl's plan wasn't the issue.  Eugene got Negan and crew out of Sanctuary.  Negan and the Lieutenants were out for revenge. 
  • Kingdom LT. went to Kingdom to snuff out Ezekiel.  He got him, but not before Ezekiel could save his people with some crazy pyrotechnics and a school bus.  He shut Carol out requesting her to save his people while he falls on the sword.  But Morgan looms behind to try and save Zeke.  
  • The Hilltop crew got caught off guard enroute to Sanctuary.  Simon was there to greet his people.  He threatened Jerry and offered Maggie an option to go back home and get working and supplying the Saviors.  Simon took out gung ho Hilltopian Neil (I swear I've never seen him before) which led Maggie to get all pissed and kill one of their 39 Savior prisoners.  (I'm watching Talking Dead and the in memoriam just came up.  His name is Dean.)   She put Dean in the box provided by Simon and wrote a note on it telling them to stand down.  She wants to fortify Hilltop as it will be where the last stand happens, according to her. 
  • Aaron and Enid had a short storyline enroute to Oceanside.  They stopped for a distillery truck (full of booze I'm guessing).  But while they were sleeping for the night someone came armed and looking to loot the booze (Maybe???  I don't think they're at oceanside yet).   Anyway, Enid shot someone in the dark and it was Grandma.  So, they're in a bit of a pickle but maybe their fortunes will turn. 
  • Eugene fought with himself internally but hilariously decided to aid Gabriel and the Doc.  He drugged a guard with some ex lax or something and got them a car.  But still refused to go with them.  He's towing that line, but still holds a soft spot for his old crew.  But, I'm sure there are mixed feelings on team Rick.  
  • Meanwhile, Rick's 3 episode stint to get the Scavengers ended pretty quickly as they started getting shot at at Sanctuary.  Maybe Jadis is still on his side but tough to tell.  He got in a car with Carol and Jerry and they sped off.  
  • But Carl was the heart of the episode.  We saw a flashback with Rick to when they were talking about the dude he picked up.  Talking about how there must be a different way forward.  A way where they'll be picking strawberries with Negan.  (an extreme to be sure, but his point was clear.  They need to work together and not kill.  Here we go again.  Moral compass crap!)  
  • Negan came guns blazing to Alexandria and laid out some clear instructions for surrender.  Carl had a plan to get everyone out through the sewers.  And Dwight helped them sabotage some of the savior caravan.  
  • The writing was on the wall for Carl with the dedication they gave him in this episode including a note to Dad right in the beginning and his death wish with Negan.  He stayed behind and created a smoke screen inside Alexandria while Negan torched the place.   Lots of good scenes leading up to the final moment.  
  • But we can't skip Rick vs. Negan in the house.  First, really?  Rick just walks right into Alexandria in flames and goes to his house?  Because they'd still be there?  Okay, getting past that the fight was pretty awesome.  Even though it was just delaying the inevitable again.  Negan did provide a graphic description of how he'll kill Rick though which was entertaining.  Long story short, Rick got away and found Michonne hacking up a savior.  And they all ended up in the sewers living to fight another day.  Well, maybe one of them living just to fight ONE more day.  
  • That's right.  Carl did save that dude which I can't remember his name.  But apparently, in doing so he got bit by a walker.  We may have even seen that a week or 2 ago and questioned if he got bit.  I forget.  So, he's been a dead man walking and has some unfinished business.  So, as he has breaths to breath and his brain still under his control, he's going to keep J.S.S.'ing Enid style.  This is going to break Rick!   

We can save our sad goodbyes for the next half of the season as Carl is still with us for now.  But, it is clearly temporary.  Scott Gimple said in so many words that he still has a role to play in the story. So, we'll see what happens.  Pretty exciting finish to an up and down first half of the 8th season.  Maybe the fact that Alexandria is torched will make things exciting in the 2nd half.  Granted, we didn't spend much time there this season anyway.  Let's chat more in the comments.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you in February!


MJ said...

OMG ! They are killing Carl off ! Bet he will go out in some heroic way - maybe taking Negen with him. Holy crap ! It was when he was with Siddiq is my guess - idiots. SIGH ok - will read the recap now.

MJ said...

They went out of their way to say that the Tara/Daryl idiocy did not cause the saviors to get out - twice blaming Eugene. But it really did. My guess is that Eugene just found a way to get them out of the first floor of the building and lead them away - but Tara and Daryl def played a part too.

I thought for sure that Eugene was going to die - with so much face time last two eps. Then I was sure it was Jerry !

What did not make sense to me is that Negen wanted all three leaders on his fence. They went after Rick and Zeke - but let Maggie go back to Hilltop ? I know he said Simon said that Hilltop needed to keep providing - but letting Maggie go back seemed odd. And yeah - never saw or heard of Neil. LOL I got nervous it was Jesus or the arrow chick though.

I can't believe Rick had Lucille in his hand and did not kill Negen by the way.

Not sure Morgan can save Zeke - but he will try.

But oh Enid - you killed one of the Oceanside crew ! This can't go well. Oh - you think it wasn't an oceanside persn they shot ? Interesting.

Maybe Jadis is still on his side ? She and her crew turned tail and ran !

Dwight was awesome ! But I thought Tara was gonna kill him right there in the sewer.

Technically Carl ain't dead yet - he'll be back and they will drag out his death for a little bit - this is going to devastate Rick and Michonne and Daryl. And now most of Alexandria is burned out. Heard the Carl thing was NOT in the books.

Plumbarius said...

Probably in the minority with my comments about last night and the season in general but here goes:

Honestly, at the end of the episode, my wife and I looked at each other and said "that's it"? Not that Carl dying isn't a nice twist from the comics but having to tell us in the promos that "WE DON'T WANT TO MISS THE LAST 5 MINUTES". Imagine if we had zero idea that something like that was going to happen...although it was mid season finale so something big usually goes down.

I am not sure why I still watch this show, I think the All Out War scenario is already played out and I am ready to move on....this will end up being at least two full seasons of The Saviors. I am hoping that The Whisperers are brought in once The Saviors are dispatched with.

As soon as Neil said his two lines of dialogue from the back seat, I knew he was the "red shirt" in the car! ;)

The Oceanside road trip makes zero sense and now that Enid shot the leader/Grandma, how do they accomplish what they were trying to set out to do?

I wonder why Maggie didn't shoot the long hair Savior clown instead? My guess is that decision will get someone at the Hilltop killed.

I'm pretty sure I remember that after Carl and Saddiq were finished killing those walkers a few episodes back, Carl looked down or felt his side.

Why didn't Rick go back in the house after being thrown from the window? He had his gun back and knew Neegan was still in many chances to kill Neegan but...

Best part of the episode was the dialogue between Neegan and Carl on the wall. Neegan truly respects and admires Carl, even though it was a stall tactic, I'm sure Neegan's still nodding his head for Carl's plan and his offer to sacrifice himself.

FYI...putting on Closed Captioning has really helped with all the mumbling from Daryl and Eugene's weird syntax. :)

Mike, great job as always with the recaps!

Mike(my name also)

Mike V. said...


Yeah...carl taking out Negan makes sense. Especially since Rick knows that Negan wants to groom him to be command.

Fair point on Daryl and crew idiocy. I was too tired to defend the comments in the episode last night! lol I agree.

Agree on Maggie thing too. They made some comment about them still needing people to provide and blaming Gregory for the Hilltop issues of the past. It's a stretch.

Exactly with Rick having Lucille...that goes back to my meandering for the sake of too many episodes commentary! lol

So you think it was Oceanside? That makes sense more than me saying it was some random person on the way to Oceanside (i.e. a detour storyline).

Jadis - yeah I assume we're meant to think they're still on Rick's side or else that whole subplot was pointless.

The actor that plays Carl will be on Talking Dead in the mid-season premiere, so I think he's just there for one more ep. But it's going to be a grand ep. lol


You're definitely not in the minority. It's been a struggle for me to even keep this recap going. I know there are a few of us that watch and discuss which is the only reason I keep it going! lol

LOL on the red shirt card. When Neil uttered 2 words, I jotted down "random gung ho Hilltopper"....definitely should've known he was red shirted!

Oceanside - oh they'll have a conflict to resolve but of course they'll recruit someone! Or else the story is pointless! (same with the scavengers lol)

I was wondering too on who Maggie shot. I don't think she knows how much of an A-HOLE that guy is yet.

I think you're right with Carl/Saddiq (And MJ, Carl definitely confirmed he got his bite from helping him)

I know...Rick running away was again another meandering thing....stretching this story out for no reason.

Neegan/Carl stuff was great I agree. Though I did love the Eugene/Doc/Gabriel scene too just for the ridiculous way he says things.

I had closed captioning on last night too!

Thanks on the props...and wow...nice to see another Mike on here! (Such a rare name as we both know! lol)

MJ said...

My husband reminded me today of rick's flash forward in the premier that seemed to confuse so many - rick was older but Carl and Michonne did not look older. Now we know why - he was seeing Carl they way he looked when Rick last saw him cause Carl does not get to age ! Daaaamn

As for Rick - I guess you could say he was desperate to make surehis lover and kids got out ok so he took off rather then get vengeance.

I figure that Carl will be in at least 1 if not 2 more. Heard the actor was shocked and had just bought a house in Georgia.

Mike V. said...

Hmmm interesting on Carl not aging. Was Carl in that vision? I guess that confirms that it is indeed a vision? Probably the reality is the one where he's a wreck with the rainbow reflections. Did Michonne not look older either?? Oh right..."black don't crack" lol So maybe she dies too?

True on Rick not finishing Negan.

Oh man that sucks that he had just bought a house. I would've been shocked too. I read Andy Lincoln's quotes. This one really floored him. He had no response when Scott Gimple called him. He assumed Carl would be the one that outlives them all. Like the "hope for the future" and all when the series ended. Pretty crazy.

Jason B. said...

Neil - he's been the Hilltop's blacksmith since the very first Hilltop episode, but he's never said anything before tonight as far as I remember. A part of Carl's future comic arc revolves around the Hilltop blacksmith, but I guess they don't need him for that anymore.

Dean - Yes, he was the Savior that peed himself to make Tara and Jesus believe that he was a good guy. I'm kind of glad it wasn't Jared that Maggie killed, I'd prefer for him to have a more satisfying death haha.

That was definitely Oceanside - Enid killed the leader, Natania. Although when they rolled her over it didn't even look like her IMO, so I wonder if the actress couldn't come back and that's how they settled that haha. Great diplomatic strategy there, kill the leader of the group you want to have help you. Although what I didn't catch until second viewing was that she was about to drive a spear into Aaron and kill him, so Enid didn't have much of a choice. They should have made that more clear.

I agree that Daryl's plan still played a huge part in them being able to escape. Prior to that we saw Eugene try the music drone thing, but Dwight made sure that didn't work. So whatever plan he came up with later must have had something to do with the walkers breaching the place.

One of the Saviors talked about how the plans had to change, so I'm guessing that Maggie living was one of those changes. They hope that they will be able to keep her in line and she will be able to keep the Hilltop in line.

Yeah, if you go back and watch the scene where Carl fell on the deer and was fighting off the walkers, you can even see the one that goes for his side, you just don't see him get bitten. He then looks down at his side before he stands up, and after he does stand up you can tell he's pretty worried/shaken.

Definitely the biggest departure from the comics. Robert Kirkman has said that the whole story is Carl's. Also, the flash forward that is proven to not be real featured a lot of comic book elements. So I really don't know what their plans are now. It sounds like Gimple got rid of Chandler due to behind the scenes issues or something, but I don't really know for sure. I know that Chandler's dad is/was pissed about it, I saw a message that he posted last night about how Chandler was unexpectedly fired a few weeks before his eighteenth birthday after previously being asked to return for at least 3 more years.

The whole situation is a mess, I wonder what it's going to do to the viewership ratings. They've already declined a lot this season. They would have to lose a ton more to even consider canceling the show though, unfortunately it's more likely that the budget will just be cut if they continue dropping.

MJ said...

Funny - I've heard nothing about issues behind the scenes.

Can't have it both ways - we complain that no one of any real import ever dies - then people complain when they kill a favorite off. LOL Human nature.

I will miss the character - but I think it will allow Ricks character to go places emotionally.

Mike V. said...

Yeah I agree it certainly will show Rick hit ultimate lows, which we thought we had already seen. lol

I think the bigger complaint here is more that this is a MAJOR departure from the comics. They've changed things here and there but this is reroutes the trajectory of the TV show vs. comic. I'm not complaining because I'm not a reader. I'm just complaining that the show is starting to show its age. It happens to every TV show. I think they were thinking this ride could potentially last forever. And maybe they can drag it out a few more seasons but I think the ratings will continue to decline. And my recaps may turn into posts that say, "ok, what did everyone think?" lol

Thanks for the in-depth info on those C-Players in the show Jason! I could never keep it all straight. I mean I could, I just am not that invested. :) So I appreciate you filling in the gaps!

MJ said...

Def a major departure - and I am sure it will change many future events to not have Carl there. Personally I don't care - don't read the books.

But let's face it - we've been complaining that so many of them are 'safe' that their peril is not felt any more because we don't think they will die. So you can't also complain when they kill off someone who was considered safe.

Interestingly Gimple said he expects to be renewed for season 9 for next year - and feels they will go more then 10.

Mike V. said...

I agree...can't have it both ways! I don't really read the books either. I started to, but can't get into it.

Yeah I have no doubt they'll run the show into the ground. lol

adrain Smith said...

With The Defenders, Netflix is making another very bold, very smart move.