Title: The Walking Dead: “Monsters”
Air Date: November 5th, 2017
Genre: Serial Drama, Horror
The third episode of season eight of The Walking Dead had me saying “Wow, that was quick.” Typically, that’s something I’m used to hearing (Haha, Nudge, Nudge). Last week’s episode “The Damned” ended with quite a twist…the return of Morales. Not only that but he was aligned with the Saviors. I was expecting him to be somewhat of a player this season when he appeared again last week. I also figured this would be the crossover character that we would see between Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead. Yet, halfway through this episode, he was done. I actually had to pause and rewind to be sure Morales had just taken an arrow from Daryl. I briefly thought it might be possible he was still alive but that seems very unlikely. Outside of the Morales death, the war with the Saviors continued.
This episode of The Walking Dead continued to focus on this one massive assault against the Saviors, who have been taking quite a beating. Despite that, Team Rick is continuing to take some hits. Eric eventually succumbed to his bullet wound this episode. I think Ross Marquand did an excellent job at conveying Aarons emotion with the loss of his partner. I think it was also especially well done that we never saw Eric close up. We just see him staggering off in the distance with other Walkers. With The Walking Dead, we’ve typically seen characters faced with killing their turned loved ones. I was digging the change of pace with not having that done with Eric. The only thing is we’ve never really spent enough time with Eric to really mourn him as a character.
When it comes to characters we do care about, Morgan and Daryl took much of the stage tonight. Daryl’s scenes were more subtle than Morgans but it’s very clear that Daryl is out for blood. He kills Morales without hesitation, despite knowing who he was and having a history with him. He then shoots a Savior Rick promised to let go. Daryl was cold and calculated throughout the episode. In a series of interviews leading up to the season eight premiere, Norman Reedus did say Daryl may go rouge for a bit. He has nothing but contempt for the Saviors especially after being tortured. I like this “straight line to the mission attitude’ he seems to have. The only question is whether it will end up eventually hurting Team Rick or not. On the flip side of the coin, Morgan is still walking that tightrope of madness.
I am still not a fan of Jesus’s plan to imprison the captured Saviors. I’m completely onboard with both Morgan and Tara. If it were the workers inside the Sanctuary, it’d be a different story…but it’s not. This conflict of opinion leads to a pretty intense fight between Morgan and Jesus. Now, Morgan got some good shots in but it looked like Jesus could have easily taken him out. Lennie James has done an amazing job of portraying the emotional rollercoaster that has been Morgan’s life. It was a powerful scene when he was face to face with Jesus having pulled back from a killing blow. You can see the shift of emotions in his face. I also really dug the line “I know I’m not right…but that doesn’t make me wrong.” Morgan walks off but we’ll no doubt see him again. Perhaps…with the Saviors.
Tonight’s Walking Dead also left us with quite a cliffhanger. Throughout the episode, the fact that no one from the Hilltop was lost in the fights continued to be put out there. It was a subtle foreshadowing that something bad was going to happen to Ezikiels group. Sure enough, Ezekiel and company come under fire from the heavy machine guns Rick was looking for. In an open field no less. Several Hilltop members dive on top of Ezekiel but it’s clear several people are hit. It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes Ezikel and other members of the Hilltop. Will they be as willing to continue fighting once they see those close to them begin to fall?
My only real gripe about this episode was Maggie sparing Gregory. This guy clearly is not a leader and that was just as apparent in season seven of The Walking Dead as it is now. He shows back up the Hilltop in Father Gabriel’s car after trying to sell Rick out to Negan. Maggie not only lets him back in but says “He’s not worth killing.” Well, he’s not worth keeping alive either. Maggie not only now has a group of Savior prisoners to worry about but a lying coward who was the Hilltops, former leader.
Verdict: The Walking Dead provided another strong episode as the war with the Saviors continues. This episode has a nice balance of action, drama and character conflict that it remained engaging throughout.
- Daryl's coldness
- Ross Marquand with Aaron's loss
- Maggie letting Gregory in
- Jesus saving the Saviors