Spoilers contained within. If you have not viewed episodes through Season 8, Episode 15 of AMC’s The Walking Dead, please turn back now.
No, really. SPOILERS AHEAD!
You sure, I don’t want to ruin it for you.
OK. As millions tune in each Sunday to see how “All Out War” plays out on AMC’s The Walking Dead, Jenius McGee and I have given much thought to what we think needs to happen on the show going forward. Keep in mind, these opinions are completely our own and do not muddy the comic story arc with that of the show (because as we know, the show hasn’t exactly colored within the lines *cough cough – CARL – cough*).
What happened to King Ezekiel?!
One of the most beloved NEW characters of the show’s latest seasons is far and away King Ezekiel. Portrayed by the incredibly exuberant Khary Payton, the projected strength of the previously inhabited Kingdom was bolstered by the sheer will of it’s king. Since counter attacks and kidnapping attempts by the Saviors have proven fruitless, King Ezekiel has seemingly drifted into the background. While Ezekiel deals with the loss of his pet tiger Sheeva, the petchulence of a young hurting Henry, and the undercurrent of a mutual respectful romance with Carol, the writers have all but forgotten how to make his highness “The King” again.
Compassion for Carol Peltier
On Media Rewind, Jenius and I have said this too many times in the past 8 seasons. CAROL HAS ENDURED TOO MUCH! One of the strongest members of whatever group she associates herself with – be it in Alexandria baking cookies, living a life of solitude in her cozy abode, or travelling the mean roads of the apocalypse – Melissa McBride‘s embodiment of Carol Peltier could easily stand toe-to-toe in a “Battle of Badassedness” with Ellen Ripley of the Alien franchise.
Carol is smart and tenacious but at some point the showrunners and writers need to show compassion for her character. In the beginning of the show Carol begins her story as an emotionally and physically abused wife to Ed. Shortly after, she mourns the loss of her daughter Sophia after she faces the grim reality that after going missing, she had become a walker and needed to be subsequently killed. Carol later becomes protector for two young girls, Mika and Lizzie shortly thereafter finding herself in the horrible position of having Lizzie “look at the flowers” due to her murdering her little sister in a vain attempt to show that walkers aren’t bad.
When all is said and done, no one gets out of the apocalypse unscathed. BUT, it would be nice to see a little happiness thrown Carol’s way after the horrendous story arc her character has had to endure.
Catharsis for Rick Grimes
When he’s not groaning about his “stuff and thangs” and being turned into a meme punching bag, Rick Grimes is easily one of the most tortured and unresolved characters in this world gone wrong. There is no actor alive that could embody Rick Grimes better than Andrew Lincoln has for 8 seasons but at some point, this tragic character deserves some redemption. Wait, we’ll forgo redemption if Rick can just start to heal all of his “stuff and thangs.”
We have watched his character kill his best friend (who was hooking up with his wife), lose his wife in post-apocalyptic childbirth, go as far off the mental beaten path a person can without becoming a supervillain, and then watch his closest companion and another travelling partner beaten to death by Negan. If all that weren’t enough, his son gets bitten by one of the undead and ultimately takes his own life to spare his father the burden of having to do it. WHEW! Someone get this man a strong margarita and a recliner so he can relax for a second.
Death to Eugene Porter!
Eugene needs to die. Horrifically and quickly. Our patience has run into a brick wall when dealing with the tomfooleries of this apocalyptic Tennesee Tophat. When first introduced, the quirky Dr. Eugene Porter seemed innocent and skittish. After turning full-on Negan though, Josh McDermitt‘s Eugene has become one of the most hated characters on the show. He’s credited with foiling Rick’s plan for a Savior surrender and is helping arm the Saviors in the war to come. Eugene has seemingly forgotten all about the people who helped keep him alive and get him to the place he is now. Even the most quick-witted turn of phrase can’t save Eugene from the inevitable.
The end to ‘All Out War’
Let’s face it, it seemed like a great idea. Introduce Jeffrey Dean Morgan‘s Negan to the masses in a horrific display of retribution, stage large-scale salvos over a few episodes and move on. Wait, what? WRONG! What the writers of AMC’s The Walking Dead have done is milk a character for all his worth in a storyline that honestly could have been concluded in less than half a season. While the ripples of both Rick and Negan’s actions will no doubt be felt for seasons to come, the folly of the Rick versus Negan storyline has become quite predictably stale. There are only so many times that a person can have the upper hand all to trip up and allow their foil to escape to fight another day. We need – nay WE DEMAND – resolution! Maybe after all this Benny Hill-esque shenanigans are done we can finally introduce the Whisperers!
Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Are we too hard on the show? Are you liking the direction and pacing of what AMC’s The Walking Dead is doing? Also, be sure to subscribe to Media Rewind on the Boom Howdy Podcast Network where Jenius McGee and Dustin P. provide an episode breakdown each week.
AMC’s The Walking Dead airs its Season 8 finale on Sunday, April 15th at 8pm CT.