Season 8, Episode 3
Air date: Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 9PM E/P on AMC
“You see, we are the same; we’re the same; we’re the same, so there’s no choice…” – Morgan
This week’s installment of The Walking Dead is a bit fractured. King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Carol’s (Melissa McBride) group strategizes against The Saviors but that supreme confidence Ezekiel felt in last week’s “The Damned” is being put to the ultimate test in “Monsters.” Meanwhile, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) continues having an interesting discussion with Morales (Juan Pareja) but it’s not by choice. When a man holds a gun smack dab in front of your face, it forces you to listen. “Shit, well, I guess we aren’t the same guys we used to be, huh? ‘Cause you’re a monster.” Is Rick truly the monster in all this? I think Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is just as monstrous, if not more. He uses fear and intimidation to obtain a semblance of obedience from his followers. At least Rick treats his people with a modicum of respect.
Daryl (Norman Reedus) finally shows up to help Rick. Dude, where the heck have you been? I know passing by your former prison room probably sparked some PTSD, but you need to pull it together. What surprises me more is the look on Rick’s face when Daryl does what needs to be done. Why spare Morales’ life after he tells Rick what The Saviors are planning to do? AKH (Alexandria, Kingdom, Hilltop groups) have been killing The Saviors this whole time and now, Rick wants to have a crisis of conscience? I don’t condone the killing but as I have stated repeatedly, this is a TV show and sides need to be chosen. I want AKH to survive and the only way to do that is to take out their opposition. Negan and The Saviors don’t hesitate to kill everyone Rick is associated with. One thing I found extremely curious is when Morales tells Rick, “I called them [The Saviors] back because you’re a prize, Rick. We’ve been told we don’t kill you, the widow, or the king, not if we don’t have to.” Why spare Rick, Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and Ezekiel? Why only these three?
I’m not sure I agree with Morgan (Lennie James) or Jesus (Tom Payne) about what they should do with the prisoners, but I definitely don’t think taking them back to the Hilltop is wise. The disagreement takes a strange turn after an incident on the highway causes some chaos, allowing a few prisoners to escape. What happens next between Morgan and Jesus is surprising, and not in a good way. I’m curious about Morgan’s increasingly erratic behavior. It’s obvious his kill switch is on and his trigger finger is really itchy, especially for that mouthy prisoner, Jared (Joshua Mikel). Could Morgan have been exposed to a toxin that is making him a bit irrational? Could the same substance that was on that walker in episode two be polluting the air and infecting people? When Morgan tells Jesus, “I’m not right,” for a moment, I thought he meant not right in the head. Side note, how hilarious is it seeing those walkers roll down the hill? All I could think of was Chamillionaire’s song “Ridin’” and the lyrics, “They see me rollin’…” haha.
Jesus doesn’t get quite the welcome he hoped for when he arrives at Hilltop with his prisoners. Does he really think Maggie is going to be over the moon about having to constantly be on guard with that many prisoners? It’s the most ridiculous plot point. The Hilltop barely has enough food to feed its own people. Now Jesus wants to keep POWs because “We can’t let them go and we can’t kill them…we can’t.” I would love to know why Jesus feels this way. He didn’t seem to have an issue going into the compound guns blazing with Rick and Maggie in “Mercy.” What changed?
Maggie’s generosity dumbfounds me. Gregory (Xander Berkeley) certainly doesn’t deserve it.
When are we going to find out what the hell is going on with Negan and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) who are still trapped in that trailer on The Saviors’ compound? And maybe I’m getting my scenes and timelines confused, but where did the herd of walkers go from the season premiere? The fragmented and disjointed scenes from “Mercy” to “Monsters” are getting a bit confusing.
WTF? Is Rick taking Polaroids of the aftermath for posterity? Or is he trying to identify the dead – who’s part of AKH and who’s not?
The scene with Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson) is tragic. The massive amount of blood is a clear indication of imminent death but without a body, one can’t be sure. Seeing someone you love become something monstrous like a walker is hard to swallow. Walkers need to be put down but when it’s someone you know, it becomes difficult to do what’s necessary.
When a loan Savior tries to take out Rick and Daryl at the end of “Monsters,” Rick makes “a deal” for information in order to gain his freedom. Apparently, Daryl doesn’t get the memo nor does he care when Rick says, “There’s not a lot that’s worth much these days, but a man’s word…that’s gotta mean something, right?” Perhaps Daryl has no qualms about putting a bullet in that poor bastard’s head but is it right? No, but it seems this isn’t about right or wrong anymore; it’s about survival (with a big dash of revenge mixed in) at any cost.
While I didn’t dislike “Monsters,” I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I’m still a bit confused as I try to piece everything together from the season premiere to what is going on right now. And baby Gracie is saved. Is her salvation supposed to represent innocence among the sea of corruption? And I mentioned Ezekiel’s confidence being tested; at the end of “Monsters,” the whereabouts of the missing guns is solved. The devotion Ezekiel’s men have for him amazes me. Who will survive?
What did you think of “Monsters?” Comment below and tag me on Twitter @judybopp to chat.
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© 2017, Judy Manning. All rights reserved.
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