The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 11: Dead or Alive Or Review

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

Synopsis: Daryl finds himself in bad company as his group heads to the Hilltop; Gabriel’s faith gets tested. (IMDB)

Writer: Eddie Guzelian 

Director: Michael E. Satrazemis

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 45mins

The Alexandrians take a trek through the swamp, Gabriel and Dr. Carson spend some quality time together, Maggie has some tough decisions to make, and Eugene is in charge. This is what you can expect in this week’s episode. The developments of last episode made this episode completely unnecessary and while I understand that they have to tell the other characters’ stories, it only served to pad the season.

First, the Alexandrians had to somehow get to the Hilltop. Daryl, Rosita, Tara, and Dwight led the way. Nobody was on Dwight’s side, especially not Tara, but everyone else seemed to agree that they needed him for now and Dwight understood this. A squad of saviors were nearby too. Needing a safe way to go, Dwight suggested they travel by swamp because Negan deemed it too dangerous for the saviors. At least it meant swamp walkers which is something new to see. Tara lured Dwight away so she can kill him but he was saved by the earlier squad of saviors. The savior who had seen him betray them was missing so Dwight took it upon himself to lead the squad away from the others. Apparently that was enough to convince Tara that he was a good guy.

Gabriel and Dr. Carson were also on their way to the Hilltop. This was pretty much a clash of beliefs with Gabriel’s often off-putting blind faith competing against Dr. Carson’s logic. The irony of this was that his infection made him almost completely blind. Once lost, they found an abandoned house where they can recover. They somehow managed to find antibiotics that Gabriel needed along with another pair of car keys and a map to a nearby museum. All this forced good luck for Gabriel was a little annoying so as they were leaving, the earlier squad of saviors intercepted them and killed Dr. Carson.

At the Hilltop, Morgan calmed Henry down by telling him that Gavin, the savior he killed a few episodes ago, was the one who killed his brother and it seemed to work. Maggie needed to figure out what to do with the dwindling rations. Her people came before the savior prisoners. Gregory and the other savior prisoners wanted to be let out but she refused. The Alexandrians showed up while Daryl revealed the news about Carl with Enid having the most visible reaction. Siddiq was grateful to Maggie so he offered his medical services so now they don’t need Dr. Carson after all. Apparently this convinced Maggie to start letting the savior prisoners out.

Eugene saved himself once again when he was questioned by Negan about Gabriel and Dr. Carson’s escape. Instead, he was given his own outpost where he would make ammo for the saviors. At his outpost, Eugene was being insufferable. Negan arrived with Gabriel who didn’t implicate Eugene in his escape. Gabriel’s new fate was to work for Eugene.

Not producing ammo quickly enough, Eugene suggested they use walker parts as weapons. Negan’s new battle plan is to infect the Hilltop.

Overall, this was a mediocre filler episode with a few contrived twists and turns that didn’t feel earned. Neither Gabriel nor Eugene add anything to the show for the last few seasons so the focus on them took away momentum from the other subplots. The writing hasn’t given us enough of a reason to root for them. Now we’re pretty much waiting until the next Rick and Negan confrontation which will surely be several more filler episodes away.

Score: 6.5/10

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