Dead Digest: The Walking Dead (SSN 8, Ep 16)

Episode 16: Wrath

   The end…is here. Let’s unpack the Season 8 finale.

     Siddique and Rick have a heart to heart about how Carl came to have gotten bit. Siddiq hammers the point home for our fearless leader that when people die, the ideas they pass on to us is all that is left. RICK, ARE YOU LISTENING?

   We officially need more Jerry in Season 9. He has now survived season 8 and I am requiring more Jerry down the line. He is the voice of “us” in all this end of world mess. Not to mention he is a lovable giant and some much needed comedic relief. Shout out to King Ezekiel who was barely in this episode. I miss you, dude.

   Morgan is officially wigged out. Now he’s seeing dead Jared, he’s telling Rick that he and himself are “worse than we were”, because up until (later) tonight, they officially threw the moral compass out of the window. I’m going to have more on that later.

   Camp Negan is marching into battle. We have Dwight in chains, and Eugene has delivered the ammunition. Rick, Maggie, and the best fighters are out on the field of war. Alden, Tara, and some lesser Hill toppers are ambushed by Saviors. Remember, Negan led the heroes to believe one thing, while tricking them with this sneak attack. As Tara and the rest are attempting to evacuate the weak and make a last stand, Cindy and her women warriors come to the rescue! They have cool fire bomb thingys! It looks like we have an official ally heading into season 9.

   I am a huge Eugene apologist. I have been waiting for him to do the right thing for a while now. And after last week when he insisted on escaping back to The Saviors and his factory, I knew he was planning something to aid Rick Co. He took Father Gabriel’s idea and ran with it, making the ammunition so it would backfire into the faces of The Saviors! Later, Rosita punches him for puking on her, but clearly he is back in the fold. The Saviors find themselves out matched, Negan is on the run pursued by Rick, and they surrender.

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    Rick and Negan have another brawl. I was living for these manly fist-fights this season. Rick buys himself some time preaching Carl’s vision of the future message. Then….he cuts Negan’s throat. But it’s okay! He only sliced to maim, not kill! He calls Siddique out to save the man’s life. Rick then gives an (admittedly) beautiful and moving speech in the theme of Carl’s message. We need to work together to fight the dead and make a life and society worth living in. And it works! The war is over. Rick sitting alone mutters, “My mercy prevails over my wrath.” One of those unofficial mantras of the season. Thanks Rick that is what the heck we have been trying to tell you to do for a while now. Tara and the ladies pay a visit to the Sanctuary to help them repair their broken windows. It’s a nice offering of, “See? We can be friends!” Alden is officially staying at Hill Top to help build the machines from Georgie’s Key book!

   Morgan stops by Jadis at the dump and tells her she’s invited to join society. It looks like she is in, and her real name and/or new name is Anne. Please, oh please, let her become a series regular. Morgan is going to chill out there for a while and then…move on. I don’t mind saying as a HUGE Morgan fan, I am not happy with how he has been transitioned to “Fear the Walking Dead.” I’m not giving up, and I am going to follow him over there, of course. But I didn’t feel any sense of closure. I don’t buy him having a nervous breakdown (again) and then needing to leave the group and run away. This math doesn’t work for me.  I just love this character SO much, and in retrospect, I don’t like how his move was handled. I need more from my Morgan! Alas, the end game was getting him off this show and into the other one, so I need to get over it and just deal with my disappointment. Fine.

   Daryl takes Dwight into the woods and sure makes it look like he is going to kill him. We hear Dwight’s pleas, his admission of doing horrible things to survive, and his tearful apology to all those he has wronged. He has never “accepted” the fact that he killed Denise. Dwight knows it was all wrong. It is hard to not have compassion for the guy. I stopped being mad at him a long time ago, personally. Daryl tosses him the keys to the truck and tells him to go find his wife and make the world a better place. Just stay away from Hilltop. Dwight goes back to the rendezvous house and finds a note from his wife, Cherry. Will they find each other? I sincerely hope so. The beauty is in not knowing for now. I will miss Dwight.

   Maggie didn’t take Negan’s injury well. She cried, screamed, and had to be held back while begging Rick to avenge Glen and kill Negan. We see Maggie, Jesus, and Daryl meeting in secret later on. She is concocting a plot to, “show Rich and Michonne that they were wrong.” Maggie, I don’t love this color on you. And I really don’t like Daryl being involved. Not to mention, what the heck is Jesus doing there? You three need to calm down.

   Rick and Michonne pay Negan a visit in the hospital. They lay out the plan to him that he is going to live out the rest of his days in a prison cell. He will be doing nothing but dwelling on the fact that his methods didn’t work, and civility won over fear. I am so happy Negan is not dead. I was 100% not ready to let this character go yet. The warring between the two camps needed to end before it got tired, but Negan has a lot more story to give us.

   There we have it! Another season of TWD in the books. If anyone needs me I’ll be in my pillow fort, crying.


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Dead Digest: The Walking Dead (SSN 8, Ep 15)

Episode 15: Worth

   This is our last recap before the season finale! Let’s dive in…

     We start off with Carl’s voice over narration while his dad read’s the letter he wrote. Carl was really pushing the whole “peace with Negan” thing. Also more notes about a bigger world out there for them to be a part a part of, The Saviors being normal people just doing their best to survive, and other really nice things that I’m sure neither Rick nor Negan will heed.

   Eugene gets kidnaped by Daryl and Rosita out at his bullet factory. They don’t plan to kill him, but Eugene freaks out and manages to escape. Since we know Eugene is a coward and can’t fight, his only line of defense is distraction. And OH DEAR GOD HE PROJECTILE VOMITS his way out of the situation. He makes it back in time to ramp up his workers to get ready for war tomorrow. Gabriel is still there and looking very green. He tried to sabotage the bullets but gets caught. What will become of him and Eugene in the finale?!

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      Negan “makes up” with Dwight and Simon. We also learn that Simon was the REAL psychopath who happily massacred all the menfolk in (what is now) Cindy’s ladies-only village. Simon calls a meeting of people who want to mutiny, thinking Dwight is one of them. Simon wants to march to Hill Top and leave no one alive. Of course Dwight double crosses him and everyone is quickly killed by Negan and his loyalists. It turns out that Gregory is back at The Sanctuary but is also a double-agent working for Hill Top. He runs back to give Maggie & Rick with Negan’s war plans.

   Negan isn’t one to back down from a fight, so he challenges Simon to a bare-knuckle brawl for control of The Sanctuary. Jadis gets her justice as Negan strangles the life out of his former general. Simon is now an undead “guard” lashed to the fortress gates. Good riddance to an awesomely bad character who made life more interesting around here!

   We also get to see who Negan picked up in the car last episode. It was Laura! I don’t think I ever knew this character had a name. But she was the one who used to call Eugene “haircut.” Anyway, she saw Dwight’s betrayal, and now has ratted him out to Negan. Negan, having known this, deliberately gave Dwight the WRONG battle plans. So now Rick and Maggie have bogus information that will probably mean death for a lot of Hill Toppers. Negan is also keeping Dwight alive… for now. I’m sure he has a fate worse than death planned for his deception.

   Aaron is staging a hunger strike outside Cindy’s village. He’s been there for days hoping to convince the women to help fight. After having little to no food or water, fighting walkers, and pleading his case, he finally passes out. Did his plan succeed? I sure hope so. But we won’t know until the finale. Sigh.

   Michonne gets on the radio to read Negan Carl’s letter. The boy’s words move him to tears. But I guess Negan has just had a really bad day. I mean, his two top generals have MAJORLY betrayed him, and he had to kill one. And Rick’s defiance has made him feel insecure. So he tells Michonne it’s all too late and he needs to come kill them all. SO what the hell is going to happen on the finale? We are being promised all-out war. Is there any stopping it? Will we see Jadis, Georgie, the helicopter, Cindy and her warrior women come riding into battle? Someone hold me.


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Dead Digest: The Walking Dead (SSN 8, Ep 14)

Episode 14: Still Gotta Mean Something

    We could also subtitle this episode, “how bad will Rick f*ck things up tonight?”

     Remember how Jadis kidnapped Negan? Yup, she’s got him back at the trash lair. He’s trussed up like a roasted chicken while pleading to her that he’s not her enemy. He’s right, but she doesn’t want to listen. She’s planning this elaborate scheme involving a flare, some guns, roasting Lucille on a pyre, and not to mention she’s got this weird contraption of sorts. It’s a walker welded onto a flat cart. Like, one of those big, flat carts for shopping at warehouse stores. It doesn’t take long for Negan to get the upper hand and they’re in a stand-off situation. In all that confusion a few episodes ago, Negan did get Lucille back! But now Jadis is threatening to burn it/her, and he’s threatening to do the same to her precious photos of her now dead commune family. They bond in their shared heartache and Negan spills that Lucille was, of course, his wife’s name. He swears to her that he will settle the score for what Simon did to her people. Last but not least, Jadis’s detailed yet mysterious plan somehow involved using the flare to signal a helicopter. Yes, THE HELICOPTER we’ve seen glimpses of over time now. Will we finally meet the wielders of said helicopter in the season finale? Jadis also wears flannel shirts now and has a tidy little apartment in the midst of her dumpster domain.

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        Rick won’t read Michonne’s letter from Carl when offered. It seems he hasn’t even been able to read his own. He’s also still hoarding Negan’s letter. More on this later.

   King Ezekiel calls out Carol for being a big scaredy-cat since she won’t go looking for little Henry. He’s still MIA after letting this prisoners escape. She decides instead to go out with Morgan while he hunts those same POW’s down to kill them. Carol doesn’t actually care about killing those people, she’s just worried about Morgan because he’s still not doing so great. He’s still hallucinating and acting squirrely. They split up when she wants to follow a path that points to Henry being alive and in one direction, and Morgan wants to keep tracking The Saviors going in another. Carol was saved by him once, and she wants to return the favor. My poor Morgan cannot let this whole vengeance thing go though.

   Morgan runs into Rick! Rick is also seeking a bloody revenge. They get captured by the runaway Saviors, led by Jared. Jared is that long-haired crazy one who ACTUALLY killed Henry’s brother a while back. Rick swears his word that if they help him and Morgan go free, they can join Hill Top. Jared isn’t buying it, but the others do. They let them loose to help fight a herd of walkers who burst in. Rick and Morgan turn on their new “allies” and kill them. Rick, this is not in the Carl code of ethics! You’re doing it all wrong, man! Morgan slowly feeds Jared to some walkers. He also makes his big “reveal”. That truth being the knowledge none of us die because in the end, we all turn into the walking dead ourselves. Rick presses him as to why Morgan saved him alllllll the way back at the start of the series. Morgan begrudgingly answers that he did it, “because my son was there.”

   Carol finds Henry! She took that leap of faith to search for him and finds the boy about to be eaten by dead people. Once back home, she lets Ezekiel see her vulnerable side. She talks about her daughter, and finding herself based on the family she’s built. It’s all actually very sweet. Rick and Morgan make it back to base too. Morgan doesn’t get the hero’s welcome from Henry he was hoping for when he tells him he killed Jared. Morgan then literally goes away to cry alone. My heart breaks.

   Rick FINALLY reads his letter from Carl! Tara seems to be okay! She and Daryl make up. She’s convinced Dwight had no choice but to shoot her (just to injure, not kill) and used a non-tainted arrow on purpose. Daryl is now teaming up with Rosita to kill Eugene, so let’s see how that one is going to play out. Negan is driving home when he finds someone on the side of the road and gives them a lift. Who is this mysterious individual?? When Negan arrives at The Sanctuary, he asks the guard to keep his return a secret. In his own words, “Daddy’s home.” Yikes.


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Dead Digest: The Walking Dead (SSN 8, Ep 13)

Episode 13: Do Not Send Us Astray

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     Dear Morgan- You know I will always love you. You’re my second favorite character after Daryl! I will be devotedly following you over to, “Fear the Walking Dead.” I’m sure the showrunners are shipping you off in the hopes that other fans will chase after you, as I am promising to do. I’m a little worried about you though. You’re wigging out and hallucinating Gavin’s bloody corpse is stalking you. It’s a little…concerning. Let’s not bring this baggage into your new show, shall we? So, uh, does this mean he has to take creepy little Henry with him?

     Simon and his Saviors show up at Hilltop to rain down some extermination. Maggie tries to barter using the POWer’s. Simon has already written those fools off as dead, so that doesn’t work. Some of the captives are a little peeved at this. We get a nice shot of Daryl is full baddassdom riding on his motorcycle whilst firing a machine gun. God bless the apocalypse. Siddique is busy working his way into my heart. He’s so kind! Compassionate! Strong! Rick snaps at him for offering a condolence prayer for Carl, because I guess he’s still a little touchy. Tara gets winged by an arrow, but she survives the battle. Many on both sides do not. Hilltop proves WAY better at war strategy and The Saviors retreat.

     Daryl and Tara have a tense conversation about how Tara has decided to not kill Dwight anymore. He took her girl’s life, but spared hers. She also magically remembered that she used to be in THE GOVENOR’S ARMY. Yeah, remember him? That megalomaniac with an eye patch? Tara was once on the wrong side too, because she needed to survive at the time. Well, Daryl isn’t so convinced.

     Michonne tries to make Rick eat a turnip. But he’s too busy feasting on grief and guilt. He almost blew the whole battle showing up late. He’s brawl with Negan wasn’t in the agenda, thus making him arrive late to the defense.  

     Maggie is super amazing even when she makes me frustrated. This week she is really grappling with being “a good leader” (as she is fondly called by several characters), and with wanting revenge for her husband’s murder at the “hands” of Negan and Lucille. That one really “sensitive Savior” prisoner who’s always trying to reason with Maggie? He has a name! Alden, apparently. I like him!

     The saddest part of the episode is coming up. Tobin dies. Well, not right away. It takes a little bit. We haven’t seen Tobin in A WHILE now. But when our troop first came to Alexandra he was big. He’s a really nice guy who had a huge crush on Carol! They even kind of dated! He wants them to be together “after this is all over.” Carol’s problem is, she doesn’t believe anything will ever be over. She thinks they’ll all be warring and suffering till they just die! Tobin was injured with one of The Saviors tainted weapons. So he ends up dying/turning and goes on a biting and zombie making spree. The Hilltop is in chaos! The gang doesn’t take long to piece together what happened.

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        Meanwhile, little Henry isn’t doing so great. Still trying to avenge his brother, the boy (he’s about 11?) goes out to the POW pen with a very large gun. In the throes of the walker panic/outbreak, the bad Saviors easily overpower him and escape. Alden and some others stay behind to help Hilltop. They are upset with Simon for leaving them, and it’s not like they really cared about “being Negan” anyway. They just wanted to be alive.

     So where is Henry? Right now, he’s MIA. What does this mean for Tara? Will we be losing this beloved, kickass, queer lady soon? Please no.


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Dead Digest: The Walking Dead (SSN 8, Ep 12)

Episode 12: The Key

If you liked our swamp zombies, you’ll love our flaming-hot eaters this week.

   Dwight is nestled back into the fold with The Saviors. He, Simon, Negan and a small band head off to The Hilltop with sharp, blood tainted weapons to turn some heroes into the shambling undead. A type of psychological warfare.

   Our buddy Rick is out scouting when he sees the convoy and seizes the moment. A car chase on this show is rare thing. The chase turns into a crash and the two take their fight into an abandoned building. Walkers are simply streaming in while the two exchange blows and barbs. “Why didn’t you just let me save you, Rick?" Negan is exhausted by their cat-and-mouse. He points out that The Saviors were fine, and the children of his people were fine, until Rick came along like the boogeyman and ruined everything. Negan even wants a new deal! Rick brings up The Saviors turning on Jadis and her trash people, which is news to Negan since that was Simon acting against his orders. Whoops. Someone is going to be in trouble.

   Rick finds Lucille in all the confusion. He manages to light her on fire and lets loose a room full of trapped, “Eaters.” Negan’s devotion to the bat is borderline obsessive, so he doesn’t like Rick having his grimy hands all over her. The thing is his “wife” after all. Anyway, the two mange to escape and Negan has vanished…

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    Meanwhile, Simon and Dwight go out to look for Negan after the crash. Simon lays it all out there, he wants to be in charge and would run things better. Forge relationships, explore, expand, so on and so forth. It all sounds pretty good to Dwight! He burns the evidence of Negan’s car, and agrees to collaborate the story of Negan being nowhere to be found. Despite the fact that they hardly looked and care even less. The two head back to their party and Simon gives a rousing speech! He claims they’re all still “Negan” (of course) and that the fearless leader is missing, but could be back. And until that time comes, he will lead them on a holy crusade to completely exterminate The Hilltop. The look on Dwight’s burned face speaks volumes. He may have just help put a guy in power who is worse than Negan.

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   Back at home, Maggie and “the gals” find a note! It’s someone asking to meet up and exchange goods. Namely, they want food and phonograph records. It could be a trap, but Michonne is all in. After all, she’s toting herself as the lead acolyte to Carl’s vision of the future. Maggie, Rosita and Enid come along. Yay, we meet new characters! The leader is a middle aged woman named Georgie. She’s dressed for office work and seems friendly, yet a tad wacky. Her companions are Hilde and Midge, decked out in the standard post-apocalyptic gear. Georgie explains that they trade stuff for knowledge. Knowledge is The Key. Michonne wants to bargain, but Maggie decides abducting them and their van of belongings is a better idea. WTF Maggie? Like Michonne, I am disgusted! Georgie is insisting that this is what they do. They want to build friendships and get humanity back in line! We need a leap of faith here, Mags! But no! Why should we be good people when we can pillaging a-holes, right??

   Carl’s vision has become the conscious compass for the show. I guess they needed something to be since Morgan has been a little crazy lately. And yes, we all now know that Morgan is leaving the main show for, “Fear the Walking Dead.” I’m just not emotionally prepared to talk about that tonight. Michonne talks sense into Maggie and the deal is struck. Only, Georgie is so impressed and happy with The Hilltop and what they’re creating there, she tweaks it. She will take one carton of records, plus give THEM their food, and hands over The Key. The key is a giant encyclopedia of preindustrial revolution “how-to’s.” How to make windmills, silos, aqueducts, and all the good stuff to get communities up and thriving without modern accommodations. She promises they will meet again…someday. And she hopes to see progress. I am choosing to 100% believe that Georgie is legit. As Michonne reminds Enid, fighting is necessary, but there needs to be room for “after.”

   So, as if that wasn’t already a FANTASTIC ending, there’s more! Negan wakes up in the passenger seat of a moving car.  The driver, JADIS, has a gun to his head. Jadis!! The Trash lady/artist/leader/creative linguist I love! I knew she’d be back. I just figured she would go after Rick first. I’m sure she’s got a plan…

  This episode was full of so much awesome girl power, my heart is singing.  Oh, and that includes the naked lady walker. Yeah, I saw her.


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