“The Walking Dead” Season Eight Review

Hunter Bish, Journalism I

The Walking Dead is like a black hole, beautiful on the outside but once inside, sight is lost and there is nothing.

Season 8 was supposed to be the epic and climatic battle with the show’s villain, Negan. Though the audience is seeing the “All Out War” play out, it is not being handled in the way that was expected.

“All Out War” is considered one of the greatest story arcs within The Walking Dead’s graphic novel series, and so far AMC’s adaption of the plot has been somewhat broken.

Yes, war is in the name of the arc, and yes this particular season in the show is focused on war, but isn’t a war going to change survivors? Won’t it have lasting effects? It does not seem like it, at least not so far. All of season 8 was focused on guns, explosions and trying to make Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), look stupid.

Scott Gimple, the showrunner for “The Walking Dead”, has been at the head of some of the greatest seasons of this TV show, but it seems as if he is losing sight of what this show really is. It is not about death, shooting or zombies; it is about how human beings react when their world is ravaged by disease and sanity disappears.

The first half of season 8 focuses on Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), and his groups’ defense against Negan’s saviors. It was tense at first, but became much of the same. Grimes goes here and shoots this, the rest of his group goes against his plan and shoots something else.

“The Walking Dead” seasons 1-5 all had flaws as well, but they carried a consistent and engaging story throughout, where loss actually meant something; season 8 has abandoned that idea entirely. Losing his wife had lasting effects on Grimes, and it haunted him for an entire season. Another example would be the silent samurai-like survivor named Michonne, who lost her group. This has led her down a very emotionless, reserved and wary path. Season 8 has printed the old Hollywood mark that sure, some may like, but for the most part this is not “The Walking Dead” that the audience grew to love, it is almost a completely different show. Season 4 has possibly one of the most shocking and gut-wrenching scenes in TV history, where the villain at the time, being the governor (David Morrissey), executes the sanest survivor in the entire series, this doesn’t just fade away either. It leads to an entire story arc that focuses on his daughter fighting against suicide because she believes there is nothing left.

In season 8, a character dying is like squashing a fly, the audience thinks nothing of it. The show also decided that season 8 was the time to make the audience dislike the most loveable characters, which many are speculating may be AMC preparing to kill those characters off.

Dixon is possibly the most popular character from the entire series, with his crossbow and his redneck attitude. Seasons 1-7 spent the time to build this character up and evolve him from a self-centered racist to a selfless hero of the group. This season was a tough one for Dixon, as the entire time was spent making him look as un-Daryl as possible. He goes against Ricks plan, and in the end it nearly kills the entire group. He kills a long lost friend without any question, just because he can. After Grimes swears to a poor teen that he can walk away unharmed, Daryl shoots him anyway. Dixon is and always has been Grime’s right-hand-man.

Possibly the biggest let-down of the midseason was the death of the fan-favorite, hat-wearing, Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs). The show seemed to be attempting to take a risk, but that risk has lead them to a point of no return. It is unknown how the show will recover from this death as every future story in the comics that this show is based off of, is completely based around Carl himself.

Overall, the show has seen a decrease in quality, and season 8 as of right now is probably the least engaging of all. The characters seem to be devolving, and the story has jumped the shark quite a bit. The show still does have some positives, such as the soundtrack, which still may not be as good as previous seasons but it isn’t awful. It also is still pretty gore-tastic, so it lives up to the TV-MA rating.

“The Walking Dead” Season 8’s first half, is a solid 4/10.