So at the end of Sunday’s midseason afterpiece of “The Walking Dead,” there are lots of things we still don’t know, but there is one actual big one that we do.
It comes with a addle-brain alert, but if you’ve been about the baptize acknowledgment area the bodies still afterwards the crank alternation congregate, afresh you already know: Carl — sweet-tempered, one-eyed, Billy Jack-looking, teenage-angsty son of Rick — has been bit.
Not by adulation (although, yeah, affectionate of, with Enid). Not by bad luck (although, afresh you could accomplish a case). But by acceptable old-fashioned, aforetime human, currently crank teeth, which larboard such a absolute mark in his appropriate abut that you could allegedly use it to analyze the perpetrator.
He showed his blister in a affecting final arena of Sunday’s taut, dramatic, 90-minute adventure that launches the AMC appearance appealing compellingly adjoin February, aback the additional bisected of the division will begin. Carl was a baller throughout the episode, and we acceptable accept not apparent the aftermost of him, but added on that later.
In this “Walking Dead” chapter, the tides turned, again, this time in favor of Negan’s troops, who are aback on the abhorrent adjoin Rick and the armament of — if not “good,” exactly, afresh “a little bit better.”
Somehow Negan’s bodies fabricated it out of the allurement laid for them at their Sanctuary headquarters, a crank annoy orchestrated in Adventure 1 that had them holed up, administration aliment and on anniversary other’s aftermost nerve. Their exact apparatus of escape is one of the things we do not know, although there were hints.
We additionally don’t apperceive what’s activity to appear to Ezekiel, who seemed to acknowledgment to leadership, sacrificing himself so his bodies could activity aback adjoin the Saviors attack to balance the Kingdom.
We do apperceive that Maggie looks like a genius. She said she was befitting the Savior prisoners animate not for Jesus’s reason, benevolence and reconciliation, but because they ability be bare as hostages should the Saviors achieve the high hand. Well, lo and catch ...
We could go on like this, but aboriginal let’s band on the check of organization. Here are bristles thoughts on “The Walking Dead,” Division 8, Adventure 8, the midseason afterpiece and the One in Which Dwight Came Out of the Betrayal Closet:
1. It looks like the Alexandria-Scavengers affiliation is, already again, over. This time, it wasn’t Scavengers betrayal that concluded it, but the book at the Sanctuary actuality altered from the one Rick had promised. Accoutrements started firing, Rick went one way, the Scavengers went the other, and the activity of the adventure was on.
From there Jerry and Carol pulled up, somehow able to not get their tires attempt out while they best up Rick. “They got out,” Rick said, acceptation the Saviors. “They’re gonna hit back.”
The actual doubtable in the Saviors’ escape was Daryl, who went adjoin Rick’s plan to delay and appear at the Saviors en masse, later, aback they were weaker. Rick alike fought Daryl over this a brace of episodes back, the two bathed allies activity at it over whose plan would be put into play.
And while Rick was active surrendering himself to the Scavengers for arguable reasons, Daryl, man of action, absitively he had won the fight. He comatose a barter into the ancillary of the building, absolution the walkers in but, somehow, the Saviors out.
This was about the 900th time this alternation has fabricated it bright that the zombies aren’t all that menacing, alike in big numbers. It additionally reminded us that, although Rick takes a lot of affliction for characterless scheming, Daryl’s affairs aren’t all that great, either. It was him, remember, whose disability to shut up got Glenn dead at the alpha of aftermost season.
But we still don’t know-know that Daryl aback set the Saviors free, although bodies accumulate talking about the achievability throughout the episode. The abutting we appear to an acknowledgment is No. 2 Savior Simon crediting the adept Eugene with accepting a acceptable plan as the loud music in the background, he says, is his bodies arch the crank assemblage away. What we don’t apperceive is how they got from holed up on the additional attic to arena Pied Piper.
2. Wartime Maggie ability be the best Maggie yet. She and her Hilltop compadres are active adjoin the Sanctuary to booty allotment in the planned august surrender, ha, ha, ha.
A timberline beyond the alley lets them apperceive things ain’t right. And aback they’ve got Simon — and guns, but Simon is worse — in their faces. They’re directed to go aback to Hilltop and alpha growing, because its crops are the “breadbasket” of the bounded post-apocalypic economy.
Maggie has added on her apperception than watering the sorghum, though. She anon takes out one of the prisoners.
“Cupcake wants to put on a show, let her put on a show,” Tough Guy says. Cupcake’s appearance has a actual abbreviate run: She puts a ammo into the guy and leaves a bulletin for the added Saviors that they’ve got 32 added of their bodies as prisoners. (Side note: Association has burst down, but Sharpies still work.)
“We accept to be accessible for Hilltop to accomplish the aftermost stand,” she says. It’s affectionate of stirring.
3. It was alloyed after-effects for the Saviors of alloyed loyalties. Eugene, ex “traveling companion” to Rick and crew, did advice bounce his new pals from their predicament, But alike in his already afresh safe bed, he can’t sleep.
So in a moment of, perhaps, acceding with a God he says he doesn’t accept in, or with his own conscience, he wakes up in the average of the night. He grabs a attempt of the red wine he’s been demography to advice him beddy-bye (Communion wine?) and goes to the dispensary area Father Gabriel, captive from Rick’s side, is recuperating.
He’s dosed the arctic aboideau bouncer with laxatives, he says, and there is a clang. “Oops,” he says, “I assume to accept abandoned the keys to a agent amid appropriate alfresco the above gate.”
But while Eugene is attempting to accept it both ways, Dwight assuredly lets his traitor banderole fly. He sets up a awful absorptive roadblock, insisting to his Savior associate it’ll be fine. Aback it isn’t and they hunt afterwards the able vehicles, he leads his accumulation appropriate into an accessible trap.
Then, while the firefight rages, Dwight starts mowing bottomward those on his own side. “I can’t go back,” he says afterwards to Daryl, Rosita and company. “I can still advice you. … I appetite you to win. I appetite Negan to die.”
So at episode’s end, he is amid those ambuscade out in the sewer, comatose up to activate arresting aback and witnessing the agitating anguish acknowledge by Carl.
4. Carl activated our backbone at times, but he’s activity out on fire. You had a bad activity for the lad aboriginal on, because Rick flashed aback to a abstract chat he had with his son in which the adolescent of the Grimes men insisted there needs to be a beyond purpose, “all of us animate calm for article added than aloof killing added people.”
That, in a nutshell, is absolutely what’s been afflictive about the appearance in contempo years: Too abundant angry with added people, not abundant article more.
But Carl’s accurateness as a TV analyzer was additionally a abeyant marker, of sorts. Brace his abrupt bender of brooding with the show’s promotional advertising insisting that a moment at episode’s end would be one that “everyone will be talking about,” and it was time to anguish about the Beaver.
He took time to leave a letter for his dad because few TV shows in history are added into accounting communication. (Ezekiel was afflicted aback into activity by a letter, Maggie larboard the calendar for the Saviors, etc.)
But afterwards we were all done freezing the anatomy (again) to see what Carl had written, he took command in Alexandria, laying out an escape plan for Michonne and the others to execute, and it accepted a superb one. “This is my show,” he said. (At a minimum, it was his episode.)
He bought time as Negan stood at the gates, accessible to implement, as the closing adolescent put it, “scorched earth.” Carl alike maybe snuck into Negan’s own censor a bit, allurement him, “Is this who you capital to be?”
Credit the show, too, for underplaying the final scene, aback everybody has aggregate in the sewer, and Carl peels aback the cast to acknowledge the chaw he absolutely accustomed in allowance accomplishment Siddiq from his activity abandoned in the forest.
Rick — to get there, he had to accept an ultimately changeable affray with Negan in which anniversary man acclimated the latter’s weaponized baseball bat Lucille on the added — didn’t wail. He didn’t hug. He aloof silently took in the actuality that he would be giving up his alone son to the cruel apple they inhabit.
And while the kid will acceptable accept added to accord afore the chaw turns him into one of them, it now seems assertive that he is activity to canyon abroad afterwards anytime accepting a appropriate eyepatch.
5. So area do things stand, activity into the season’s absolute run of episodes? The Saviors accept rallied, but the attrition looks animate and well. In Alexandria, in the Kingdom, and on the Hilltop, cipher aloof re-surrendered to the Negan-ites.
Aaron and Enid accept got themselves captured by the Oceanside women, which ability accept gone a lot bigger if A) earlier, Rick hadn’t taken best of the Oceansiders’ accoutrements and B) this week, Enid hadn’t gunned bottomward their matriarch. Meanwhile, the added association we apperceive about, the Scavengers, is allegedly aback on their own aggregation afresh afterwards Rick led them into gunfire, but you never apperceive with those apish types.
And Scott Gimple, one of the showrunners, was on Sunday’s “Talking Dead,” and he promised that we accept not apparent the aftermost of Carl Grimes.
“The chaw is activity to comedy out as we’ve apparent bites comedy out,” Gimple said, but “it’s actual important to Carl’s adventure and the absolute adventure what happens in the abutting episode. ... Carl appropriate now is alive, and he has some business to appear to.”
On the one duke that could be apprehend as a adeptness brain-teaser from a TV pro who wants bodies to accumulate watching. On the other, he didn’t assume absolutely adequate adage as abundant as he said, and it sounds like a actual acceptable acumen to tune aback in.
Couple that with the abrupt blow apparent at episode’s end, which seems to affiance guerrilla war will be abutting on the agenda, and things are attractive able for the 2018 allocation of this season. See you in February.
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