The Walking Dead season 8 finale review: Rick’s decision; surprise consequences

Walking Dead season 8 episode 15Things are really ready to heat up on The Walking Dead but not just with Negan and Rick. Negan has some house cleaning he needs to take care of before things can move forward towards what is hopefully going to be the end of this war in the finale. He’s learned that Simon wiped out entire population of the garbage people (except for Jadis) and soon enough he’s going to learn that Simon lead the charge to Hilltop to kill everyone there under his name as well. Things were not going to end well for Simon, and that was proven at the end of this past episode. The character is dead, and now, we are on the brink as of right now of All Out War.

At the start of tonight’s finale, what we saw was pretty clear: Preparations for the beginnings of what could be the end. Negan was planning for war and with that, so were Rick and his group. Over at the Sanctuary, it was very much clear that Negan was ready for war and, to go along with that, was more than happy to abuse Dwight once more. It’s still somewhat-strange that the character has been kept alive, and it really just seems to be a way in which for him to continue to abuse him every step of the way.

Negan took Father Gabriel along his way to the final battle, and while there he made it clear what his ultimate plan was: Pretty much to kill every single one of them. At this point, the priest had all of the motivation he needed to high-tail it out of there. Negan eventually found him and what we had in the end here was the foundation for a battle of the ages … and one that ended very differently than anyone probably expected.

Let’s just say that with one move, Eugene redeemed himself for a full season of terribleness. All of those bullets that Eugene made were intentionally faulty and the Saviors’ quick advantage was almost immediately gone. Not too long after that, Rick killed Negan … or did he? While the whole point of honoring Carl’s vision was very much there, it’s hard to imagine Negan or anyone else ever surviving the blow that Rick put on him to his neck. Maggie wanted Rick to die but, in the end, he didn’t do it.

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The aftermath of the battle

Following the showdown, everyone had to figure out more of what the future was going to hold. There was a real change at peace between all of the communities for a change, which is certainly exciting — yet, also something that is probably an ideal that can never completely come to pass.

Daryl had an opportunity of his own to kill Dwight after everything that happened; yet, instead he gave him an opportunity to move forward. Granted, he told him that if he ever turned up there again he would kill them. Morgan went and visited Jadis as well, offering her an opportunity to return to the community if she so chose. Also, we learned that Jadis’ real name is Ann … so there is that.

Back at the Hilltop, Maggie made it clear that she was still very upset about the decision to not kill Negan. She was committed to bringing about peace for the time being, but she also wanted to build up the community’s defenses. At some point in the future, she is going to “show” Rick just how wrong he was for that decision … with Daryl at her side?! This is the one thing we didn’t see coming.

Rick now seems committed to this new world and new vision. As for whether or not this new world is something that sticks, that’s what we are waiting to see next season.

CarterMatt verdict

Tonight The Walking Dead came to what was a pretty solid conclusion after a season that didn’t really build momentum for much of it. The show did a decent job paying off the stories established; yet, they also introduced some new threads for season 9.

What did you think of The Walking Dead season 8 finale, and the season as a whole? Leave us a comment in the box below with your thoughts.

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