The Walking Dead S08E02: The Damned
In this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, we are following the paths of four different groups as the fight continues against Negan in All Out War.
The show opens with Carol, King Ezekiel, and soldiers from the Kingdom recovering from a grenade attack from a Savior. The rest of the episode we follow them on the trail of this guy in attempts to stop him from reaching the Sanctuary to alert them of their oncoming attack. Along the way, we get monarchical dialogue between Carol and the King and culminate with the Savior that they are tracking being eaten by Shiva when the Kingdom’s reinforcements meet up with the group.
Aaron leads an assault on a Savior outpost, keeping them pinned in and unable to retreat to help out the other areas under attack. There is a LOT of gunfire and seemingly infinite ammunition in the fray. We see several Alexandrians in the battle – Scott, Francine, Tobin, and Eric, and a few of them are injured, and possibly killed, in the fight. Aaron watches as several Saviors close in on Eric, and uses a car to mow them down in an effort to save his partner. But it may be too late, as we see Aaron carrying away an injured Eric, who has a serious gunshot wound to his stomach.
Morgan, Tara, and Jesus revisit the Savior outpost that the group originally attacked back in season 6, which set off the chain reaction leading up to Abraham and Glenn’s deaths and the chain of events building up to All Out War. There is a lot going on here. Morgan is going off the deep end, possibly reentering his “Clear” mindset. At one point he was offered cover when entering the outpost, to which he says, “I don’t die.” Soon after they breached the entry, Morgan and the men who offered the cover were gunned down, with only Morgan surviving without any real explanation. That seemed a little far-fetched.
Tara and Jesus have their own conflict of morality during the raid. As we learned in the first attempt to take this outpost, there are consequences to letting the enemies survive. Tara is still harboring the feelings of the loss of Denise and does not want to show any mercy. Jesus, on the other hand, does not believe in killing someone that is surrendering. Their argument puts them in a precarious situation, as the Savior turns on them unexpectedly when they are in the midst of arguing about his fate. Of course, you can put a gun to his head, but Jesus is a ninja. I never thought that he was in mortal danger for a minute. After killing several people in the compound, Jesus eventually convinces the others not to needlessly kill the others if they are surrendering. This proved very difficult for Morgan, as he is reunited with that long-haired jerk Jared that he had previously encountered during routine supply drop-offs between the Kingdom and the Sanctuary. What will the team do with the group of Saviors that surrender? In previews for the next episode, we see them leading them down a road to somewhere, and they run into a horde of walkers.
The last subplot has Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus) searching for an arsenal of guns to secure them before they can be returned to protect the Sanctuary. In the hunt, several other things were found – Daryl stumbles across his old prison cell from season 7 episode 3, “The Cell”, Rick fights and kills a Savior defending a room with what he thought was guns, but was actually a baby, and then he has a face to face meeting with a familiar face from the past – Morales. There is no love lost here, no bond of starting the apocalypse together in Atlanta. Morales is a changed man and no doubt on Negan’s side. We end with his gun drawn to Rick, and him calling to the Saviors on the radio. How will Rick get out of this one? Well, Daryl is still lurking around on the floor looking for guns, and he will undoubtedly save Rick somehow.
But what I really need to know is – will Eric survive? Aaron and Eric are one of my favorite TV couples, and I would be devastated to see something happen to them. There is still so much to their story that should be told. However, if we lose Eric, this might open the door for a new love interest for Aaron… I’m looking at you, Jesus. That is a replacement couple that I could get on board with.
Overall, it was a decent episode of The Walking Dead, answering some of the questions about Rick’s overall plan in the fight against Negan. Strikes are being set up to widdle down Negan’s defenses to make him more vulnerable. It is obvious that the war is building and brewing, and we will see the action flourish over the next several episodes, possibly the entire eighth season.