In last week’s episode of The Walking Dead we saw a character from the past come back to haunt Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and this week we find out his purpose. Just what is the line between the Saviours and Rick’s group? Is there even a difference anymore?
With the Saviours moving in for a counter-attack Rick and his allies have to fight back. His blast from the past though raises interesting questions that relate not only to Rick, but also to people like Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Morgan (Lennie James).
What we see this week for Rick is a wakeup call that he has had in the past. When he is compared to The Saviours and Negan, no matter how he argues against it, the truth is there. His actions hint at the fact that he is going too far, even if the methods he uses are needed. The fact that Daryl (Norman Reedus) saves him by moving into for the kill just highlights the fact. It is also further emphasised in a similar situation at the end of the episode.
Jesus (Tom Payne) may be naïve in thinking that death can be avoided, but he is something of a shining light in the show. Fighting to stop the killing, because he actually thinks about what will happen after the war, he literally fights for his beliefs this week. This is against Morgan who shows that he is too close to breaking.
Throughout The Walking Dead Morgan has been conflicted by his actions, and the death he is causing. This week in his battle with Jesus, we see a man who looks to have gone a little over the edge and will even fight his friends out of the conflicting thoughts in his head. The fact that Tara pushes him to believe that death is the right method for handling the saviours says a lot about her attitude, and makes her an annoying character.
While it is understandable why she is so cold, she may regret her actions in the future. Unless of course she is too far gone to save. Her need for vengeance is understandable, but her eagerness to kill the Saviours is not something to be celebrated. If anything, it shows that the character has become as bad as the Saviours themselves, in fact she is showing that she could be one to easily say “I am Negan” and have it be believable.
In a busy episode of The Walking Dead, Ezekiel (Khary Payton) also has a wake-up call, and this was sadly one the audience could see coming. While his speeches are inspirational, and awesome, his belief that none of his group would die is something that should never be proclaimed in a show like The Walking Dead. We’ll have to see next week what the result of this week’s cliff-hanger is, and what damage has been done.
The theme for this season of The Walking Dead appears to be once again the ambiguity of morality. When Rick goes on a killing spree and remorselessly massacres the Saviours is he not as bad as Negan? The question is one that has already been asked, and can’t be answered with a simple yes or no.
The title of this episode is “Monsters”, and in truth The Saviours or the zombies aren’t the only monsters in this episode. People like RIck, Daryl, Tara, and Morgan are acting like monsters, and losing their humanity. At least we have Jesus and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) clinging onto their morality which still shows hope. Now hopefully with Rick waking up to what is happening to his allies, he will realise his mistake too.
While some fans may not like the way season 8 has started, I must admit that I’m liking The Walking Dead so far. I’m expecting a slower episode next week, which will be a return to the normal flow of the show, but it has been fun to see the characters go to war. Now hopefully to see if Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) are still stuck surrounding by zombies, and what the result of that will be.
The Walking Dead airs at 9pm on Fox in the UK on Mondays.