The Walking Dead 8×02 Review: The Damned
If my eyes rolled any further back in my head during this episode, they would have rolled around on my living room floor. The Damned left me simultaneously annoyed and infuriatingly anxious. I don’t do very well with foreboding hallways and opening danger doors because of all the trauma the show has inflicted upon me in the past. Despite that anxiety, this week’s episode was a drag.
During the opening credits, I wasn’t sure if I was watching The Walking Dead or Pirates of the Caribbean. Moody cross-fades disintegrated over instrumental music. Eyes flashed back and forth: Old Rick, Squinty Dixon, billowing smoke, snarling walkers, and a special appearance by Ezekiel’s cane-sword. I didn’t even remember the reason for the smoke. But hey, the walkers get a new nickname: The Damned.
Watching The Damned left me feeling dissatisfied. There appeared to be no real linear plot line; in its place was the gang (split up OF FREAKING COURSE) engaged in various fire fights and their new favorite past time of window-breaking in three separate locations. Multiple times I had to ask the people with me who was where and what they were doing. Morgan, Jesus, Tara, and company were at an outpost. Daryl and Rick were frolicking through what I can only assume was Negan’s palace, opening doors and pointing their guns dramatically. Eric, Aaron, and a few other unnamed Alexandrians engaged in a battle of the bullets and it’s not exactly rocket science to know how a battle like that will end. When a pair of S/Os are looking longingly at each other across the battle field, you know one of them is about to get the axe. Eric should have stayed home in the first place but instead he was literally spilling his guts for the Sanctuary.
I love Ezekiel. I don’t know if I’ve ever sung his praises loud enough but the character appeals to me on so many levels. His humor, his treatment of Carol, his little quirks: they’re all endearing. I don’t care that he’s cheesy as hell or that he ‘fakes it til he makes it’. He perplexes the hell out of Carol and it’s endlessly amusing.
Speaking of pairings, let me take some time to complain about Jesus and Tara and their wobbly moral compasses: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve screamed at the screen for someone to just PULL THE TRIGGER. Every time they wanna be ethical, that brief second is enough for someone to fly their true colors. The pants pissing was childish and unnecessary, like the script was written by twelve year olds.
This doesn’t really have much to do with the show – but who the hell is that baby? Is it a Neganspawn? Also Rick: note to yourself – don’t look in mirrors. You’ll scare yourself with your crazy eyes.
Watching the episode with my friend and parents, it took us a lot of time to figure out who the hell the long-haired guy was that spoke to Morgan when he staggered into the sunlight. Douchebag alert: it’s Jared, the guy who shot Benjamin in season 7. The ‘prisoners’ surrendered too easily and I honestly think there’s some trickery up some sleeves. I hope Jared tries something because I’d like him to bite it soon.
Speaking of Morgan – dude is such a boss! Anybody remember the good and the quiet Morgan–the Morgan who said he wouldn’t kill? He totally shut down and become a heartless terminator.
And then the big reveal of the episode… Morales is back! I may be one of the only people who feels this why, but why the hell is it necessary to roll him back in? The last time we saw him, he was headed South with his family before the Atlanta Company reached the CDC. Like, I get it. Maybe it’s some kind of cool homage to the first season (WHEN THE SHOW DIDN’T SUCK). Or maybe it’s yet another poor decision to control Rick by appealing to his loyalty to the OG. Morales is now Negan as well.
I know that every piece of action happening is absolutely ~crucial~ to the mid-season finale. But damn, give us more substance than just sneaking around in The Big Bad’s Lair. This entire episode was a giant dumpster fire and I’m being polite. Even my snark can’t quite handle this episode.
Let us know below how you think The Damned went this week. Do you think they’re using all of these ladders to stepping stones to lead to the mid-season finale? Or do you think they’re just teasing us?
Bekah has a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Anderson University and is the Executive Assistant at Saga Event Planning. She is a frequent convention attendee and cosplayer and co-hosts The Geekiary webcast “The Bitching Dead”.
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