The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 2: The Damned Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: The plan involving Alexandrians, Kingdommers and Hilltoppers unfolds; As Rick continues to fight, he encounters a familiar face. (IMDB)

Writers: Matthew Negrete and Channing Powell

Director: Rosemary Rodriguez

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 44mins

There is such a thing as too much going on. While the season premiere embraced the whole war aspect between Rick’s coalition and the Saviors, this episode continued this on multiple fronts. There was a lot that happened here to the point that it became hard to follow at times. We knew that with Dwight’s help, the coalition had some insider information on the Saviors and they used this to plan their attacks.

So what was the point of all of it. The action was somewhat exciting but it lacked any purpose and it wasn’t like any important characters were going to die in the second episode of the season (some did but not major ones). There was the Kingdom-led group attacking the research facility at the end of the last episode, another group featuring Morgan, Tara, and Jesus attacking a satellite station, another group featuring Aaron and Eric attacking another outpost, and another group with Rick and Daryl attacking another outpost to look for guns.

At least that’s what it seemed to be as the episode alternated between each haphazardly so it wasn’t entirely clear if they were connected or not. This stole momentum away from each as it would cut away at key times. There was some shooting involved but just as this season has gone, everything just appeared way too easy which also somewhat took away from the excitement. Each group was pretty much clearing outposts of Saviors with the exception of the Aaron and Eric group who were only pinning them down until some became Walkers and took care of the rest.

Also like the last episode, there were smaller character development moments that happened during the various battles:

  • Aaron watched out Eric throughout. Eric had gained more confidence over time and took a more proactive role in the battle and ended up getting shot for it.
  • Tara and Jesus found a Savior who surrendered and they argued about what to do with him. Tara wanted to kill him since that’s what they were there to do but Jesus refused since he had surrendered and that wasn’t what the Hilltop did. The Savior then turned the tables though they quickly took control again. This argument continued until they found a garage full of Saviors who surrendered and Jesus did not want to kill them either.
  • Morgan was saddled with a few terrified people who were killed although he didn’t die and then proceeded to go on a Terminator-style shooting spree until he ran into the group of surrendering Saviors. He argued with Jesus about not killing them as he was having an inner conflict about it himself. Rick’s speech about killing the Saviors before they killed them played against his speech about how every life was precious.
  • Ezekiel keeping up his positive outlook despite what was happening (probably because Shiva was still lurking around).
  • Rick fought and killed a Savior who had keys to a locked room where his baby daughter was sleeping. He then found another man that he used to know from Atlanta named Morales (Juan Gabriel Pareja) (who I forgot was in the first season) who had him at gunpoint and then called the Saviors.

The episode ended the same way it started with the same music playing along with closeups of all the characters. As it cut to black, Morales appeared to get ready to shoot Rick (but he’s obviously not going to die).

Overall, this was a decent, albeit empty episode which a bunch of action sequences that weren’t the easiest to follow. There was a lot going on but it just lacked any purpose behind it to make it exciting in any way. Although there were a few interesting character development moments, it would have been nice if the episode found a better balance between the two because it can’t just be action all the time (I imagine the season slowing down soon). The episode did not address the cliffhanger from the previous episode either so hopefully it will do that soon.

Score: 7/10

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