The Walking Dead S08E07: Time For After
This week on The Walking Dead, we continue with the fallout from the war between the Saviors and Rick’s team, follow up with Rick’s visit and internment by the Scavengers, watch Daryl take initiative and attack the Sanctuary, and witness Eugene’s struggles at the Sanctuary, including a merciless speech to an ailing Father Gabriel, still sick with a mysterious ailment after his guts-covered trek through the walkers with Negan.
In a continuation of the puzzling visit to Jadis and the Scavengers, we see Rick removed from imprisonment to be photographed by Jadis. Why? (This seems to be the frequent question when discussing the Scavengers: Why? Just why?) She wants to sculpt him… “after.” After what? Apparently “after” another not-so-exciting battle royale between Rick and a trash walker. It’s even less exciting than Winslow, the spiky trash walker from season 7 episode, “New Best Friends.” He manages to defeat the walker, and grab Jadis and pin her down to submission. She finally agrees to join him (again) against Negan. Yawn.
Attack On the Sanctuary & Eugene’s Loyalty
Daryl is still hell-bent on going through with his attack on the Sanctuary, and Tara is by his side. Morgan, whom we haven’t seen since he walked away from Jesus and the prisoners in the woods, shows up once he sees their plans in actions, also willing to help. He appeared to be on a mission of his own, so he is combining forces to move Daryl’s plan forward. Michonne and Rosita were on board to start, but they realize in the heat of the moment that they remain loyal to Rick and decide to abort the mission. While the purpose of Michonne and Rosita being out there in the first place is still unclear (or just doesn’t make sense), this whole interaction seems like another waste of time. The only memorable moment was Rosita’s line, “I believe in Rick Grimes”, and not because it was a good line.
Eugene is remaining loyal to Negan, even to the point of kissing his hand (weirdo) instead of shaking it. But as we realize later after a breakdown, his loyalty is more of a survival tactic. Surviving is what he does, even if it’s at the expense of the lives of others close to him. He had a moment of potential glory with Negan, as the tape recorder at his side during the ill-fated iPod drone confrontation with Dwight unintentionally captured Dwight’s plans of betrayal. But in true Eugene fashion, he chickens out due to the pressure.
The only person that Eugene can really “confess” his shortcomings to is an infirm Father Gabriel, who may carry that news to his grave as soon as next week. When Daryl’s plan is successful and the truck crashes into the building and breaches the walls for the walkers to flow through, who’s going to want, or even think, to go save the ailing priest prisoner?
And what is going to happen now that Rick has arrived at the Sanctuary with Jadis and crew only to find the compound is compromised and the herd of walkers is gone? Will he know that Daryl went through with his plan? Or will he think the Saviors overcame the herd on their own? And what is happening back at Alexandria? And… who IS watching Judith?
Personally, I thought this week was a dud of an episode. The storyline with the Scavengers is boring and irrelevant, and I hate that we have spent so much time here with them and not with the characters we care about. Where’s Carl? Has he had more than two lines this entire first half of the season?
It has been interesting to watch Eugene struggle between his newfound loyalty to Negan and the pressure of being a traitor. It does not make me like his character one bit, and I never thought I’d see the day when I’d care more about the fate of Father Gabriel than I did for Eugene’s.
AMC promises that next week will be a big mid-season finale that will bring us “a shocking moment.” There are a lot of loose ends with all of our characters, once again, spread all over the place trying to finally end Negan on their own agenda. It didn’t end well for them in previous seasons, so it’s likely not going to end well for them this time either. While I’m excited to see what (finally) might happen, I also hope that it’s not another cliffhanger that will leave us in limbo until the mid-season premiere next spring. But this is The Walking Dead, so anything is possible.
Images courtesy of AMC