Audience mourns season 8: Mediocre season leaves audiences disappointed, hopeful for resurrection

Daniel Lugo

*SPOILER ALERT*

I’ve been watching The Walking Dead since the Season 1 premiere in 2010, and ever since then, I have been a long-time super-fan of the AMC drama/horror series. While it is a great
show, there have definitely been some flaws in the writing over time, and some mistakes are bigger than others.

Coming from a hardcore Walking Dead fan, Season 8 has been quite possibly the most meh season the show has had. While there were certainly some great moments, and the walker effects are still fantastic, the writing and acting are bland, and I just didn’t feel the “I can’t wait for next Sunday” mood the way I used to after an episode ended.

Whatever Scott Gimple did in the earlier seasons, when the show was worth watching, seems to have been completely abandoned after Season 7. The premiere was interesting, I’ll give it that, and it was the show’s 100th episode too, but it just didn’t feel that special. It felt like nothing more than just an average episode.

The entire first half of the season is about the crew finding guns to use against the Saviors, even though it seemed as if they had plenty already. There wasn’t anything too special in 8A, apart from Shiva being eaten by walkers trying to save Ezekiel, which was sad, and Morales returning after 7 years of not being on the show, (only to have Daryl kill him 5 minutes later) which was both shocking and frustrating, thanks a lot Daryl…

Overall, I’d give this season a 6 out of 10 rating. It may not have been the best one yet, but it was still watchable. This season did have some great moments, at the cost of quite possibly the worst mistake the crew has ever made… killing off Carl Grimes.

Carl had met a survivor by the name of Siddiq, whose mother believed that killing walkers would release their souls from suffering. After trying to take on a pack of about six walkers, Siddiq accidentally knocked Carl over, attracting two walkers. A walker bites him off screen, but no signs were shown of him being bitten until two episodes later when Carl reveals his wound to Rick, Michonne, and the viewers. Carl says a final, emotional goodbye to his little sister and to the rest of the group, reminding Judith that his mom said he would beat this world, he failed to do so, but knew that she would. Judith starts crying, and Daryl takes her, saying his final goodbye by reminding Carl that he did a great job bringing everybody down to the sewers, and gives him a nod before leaving with everyone else. Rick and Michonne carry Carl between them, taking them through the burned streets of Alexandria to the charred church. Rick and Michonne say their final goodbyes before Rick promises Carl that he’ll make it right (find peace with Negan) and Carl spares them the pain by stopping himself from turning into a walker. The show never really felt the same after this. There could never be another Carl, and though his role and lines were taken by Henry and Judith in Season 9, the show never felt the same after this.

Rick and Morgan chase after some Saviors, but they are caught, tied down and held at gunpoint by Jared (man I hated this guy…) Morgan had the idea to yell loudly that everybody turns, attracting a huge herd of walkers, the duo are cut free by a Savior, helping them fight the walkers, I was a bit ticked off that Rick and Morgan ended up killing them all after they had saved them from being eaten in the first place. A Savior quickly realizes what Rick is doing and tackles him to the ground, Rick punches him and throws him in a nearby walker’s direction, the walker bends down to eat the guy, Jared uses this opportunity to escape, and Morgan goes after him, he is distracted by a vision of Henry, just as Jared breaks a pool table stick over Morgan’s back, knocking him on the floor and giving Jared the upper hand, Morgan donkey kicks Jared off of him, knocking him outside, to where he sees 4 walkers approaching, Jared tries to run back inside, but Morgan closes the gate on him, holding him down, Jared screams at him to let go as the walkers start devouring him, Morgan finally lets go after Jared is too weak to move, and the walkers finish him off, this part made me cheer a bit, one of the few episodes in the season where Gimple had done something right, the acting and writing were great, and the acting was amazing.

The season finale honestly could have been better, the dialogue sounded like something from a kid’s show, but the acting was decent. There have been times throughout where I had laughed at how bad the dialogue was, but I don’t think any amount of bad dialogue will be as bad as the very fake looking CGI deer from Season 7.

Rick and the rest of his group with the other communities meet up at the site where Dwight had given them the fake plan, they are ambushed, with Gabriel as a hostage to Negan, he orders the Saviors to fire, but their guns malfunction, stunning and killing most of them, this had happened because Eugene had tampered with the bullets, making them unusable, Negan hurts his hand, and is beyond mad at Eugene, he charges at him but is tackled by Gabriel, he pushes him away, and Dwight runs at him, landing a few punches before Negan hits him with Lucille, and runs away, Rick chases after Negan, and the two of them brawl for a bit, Rick talks to Negan about how Carl wanted to make things right between the communities and the Saviors, Negan starts to tear up a bit, before Rick slashes his throat with a shard of glass.

Rick demands Siddiq to save him, Maggie cries out that Negan needs to die, crying and reminding Rick that he killed Glenn, she is held back by Michonne, as everything slowly falls into place, Rick’s end speech after taking Negan out was great and all, but overall, this season just didn’t sit well with me, personally, I liked it, but everything felt too rushed, the dialogue wasn’t very good, the acting was bland, and everything was too convenient.