The Walking Dead has finally returned with the highly anticipated ninth episode to the eighth season. I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead, is it a perfect show? No, it has high points and low points, the mid-season premier titled ‘’Honor’’ which aired on Sunday, and which I watched last night, was without a doubt one of the low points. If you haven’t seen the new episode you should just read this anyway, it will contain spoilers but fuck it, treat yourself!
After the mid-season finale aired in December there was a slew of backlash that followed it and it seems Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl, wasn’t aware his character would be killed off and there was some sort of tension there with Scott Gimple, the current showrunner. Riggs’ father even came out with a statement about him, something to the effect of, you did my son dirty, which, well, if you’re Chandler Riggs it would just be embarrassing I suppose but it’s clear something happened behind scenes, even other cast member have said the whole thing felt a little off, either way, it’s effects have clearly echoed through their latest offering resulting in an awkwardly delivered episode that, well, it wasn’t good.
I was never a massive fan of Carl to begin with, he’s tolerable, irritating in moments and not particularly interesting especially in these past few seasons but I didn’t hate him, I just saw him as an extension of Rick and in that he was an important character but it definitely felt underwhelming when we found out he was bitten in December, it didn’t have the impact it should have and that’s probably down to the tension surrounding it behind the scenes and this latest episode was just a pathetic attempt to try and give him a good send off and my God it was poorly written and awkwardly delivered, it was boring as well, I found myself just waiting for the episode to end at one point.
Carl’s death is drawn out beyond belief, it felt like the end of the Return of the King when Frodo spends about an hour giving everyone in Middle Earth an individual goodbye, in slow motion, and it just feels like a fucking lifetime! I kept thinking for fuck sake just die will you and then he’d give another speech and there’d be close ups of everyone looking sad to a melancholy score again! It’s also clear that they wanted to wrap up his final moments as swiftly and quickly as possible, I imagine they shot his parts in the span of a day, it’s just him in a room laying down and it’s pretty much just the same one shot (as pictured above) throughout the entire episode.
Carl’s arguably, not even arguably, at this exact moment in time he’s the most major character to be killed off the show and it had the least impact of them all, it’s poorly written, poorly executed and cringe worthy in moments, his ‘’you’re my best friend’’ declaration to Michonne was sickly and the ‘I’m such a martyr’ act grew old quickly, it all felt extremely forced and just lazily thrown together. I hated that opening montage as well, more so for the irritating song they played over it, they’re usually great with the music they pick but this wasn’t an example of that, that shitty little song was a fucking ear ache, it’s like every single aspect of this episode was a fail.
Rick needs to grow some fucking balls as well! It was interesting to see him broken by Negan and to see that side of him and how he’d rebuild himself and he did or at least he’s working on it so to see him as this whimpering emotional mess again felt like a step backwards, I would have preferred to see him show some resolve in this situation and be strong for Carl, not resort to the Rick we had to endure for so long after Negan broke him, it’s not interesting to see at this point, maybe in hindsight they should have just had Negan cave Carl’s head in with Lucille instead, his death would have at least had some impact that way, no pun intended.
Everything with Morgan in this episode also felt completely forced and lacked impact, it’s just poor writing! News recently dropped that Lennie James would be leaving the show to join its spin off Fear the Walking Dead and Morgan’s storyline just feels like a completely ham fisted way to force that transition into action, it felt like exactly what it was, a means to an end. We get it! Morgan’s taking a dark turn, having to kill people has been a consistent issue for him and he isn’t dealing with it well, we get it! You didn’t need to turn him into Jason fucking Voorhees to illustrate his struggle, there’s literally a scene with him chasing a victim and it could have been in a Friday the 13th film.
I laughed out loud when Morgan stuck his hand into that guy’s stomach and pulled his intestines out, I was expecting him to pull the guy’s heart out and eat it like Daenerys in Game of Thrones! Again, we get it! We fucking get it, a little subtlety goes a long way and this episode it anything but, it’s in your face, it’s obvious and it’s forced down your throat, they were either trying way too hard or they weren’t trying at all. This isn’t the first time we’ve had a mediocre episode from The Walking Dead however it is the first time we’ve had such an underwhelming death for a major character, hopefully it’s just the result of all this behind the scenes drama and not the show just running out of steam.
Despite this mediocre mid-season premier I’m still positive going forward, I’m a big fan of the show and it just felt like this episode was wrapping shit up, ham fistedly tying up loose ends and with them tied, Carl’s death at least we’ll probably get Morgan’s departure next week, it will give the show some breathing room back and a chance to distance itself from the controversy which will hopefully give them the creative space these pussies obviously need to write the shit they actually want to write, and not something they felt like they had to just to cushion the blow of this fucking drama going on behind the scenes, it’s just weak and I’m really hoping we don’t have to endure a lot of ‘mourning’ next week.
I was definitely intrigued by that final shot of Negan in Carl’s imaginary paradise for everyone, the idea of Negan joining Rick and being a part of his crew is definitely interesting and that last scene leads me to believe that this is ultimately the direction they’ll take but it’s hard to imagine Rick or anyone else getting past Negan having brutally murdered Glenn and Abraham, I suppose Gabriel will have his back, it’s an interesting thought, it’s also a little worrying though. Anyway, those are my thoughts on The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 9 ‘’Honor’’, poorly written, poorly executed and cringe worthy with a completely lifeless tone, fingers crossed we get some of the good shit next week! Until next time Steemians.
What did you think of this week’s episode?