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‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8, Episode 14: “Still Gotta Mean Something”


Warning: This review may contain spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of The Walking Dead.

Despite a fantastic opening and new interesting plots, The Walking Dead  still manages to disappoint. A large ongoing issue with the series is  the promise it brings with new and interesting ideas and the lack of  follow-through thereafter. The lack of any punch or pay off is the  driving force as to why the series is no longer what it once was, and  any vain attempts to call back to earlier moments in the series fall  flat. When it comes down to it, “Still Gotta Mean Something” only comes  off as astonishingly average—which has unfortunately become a trend.

Image from AMC

As previously mentioned, the opening is one of the craziest and most  fun scenes the show has to offer. Unfortunately, the continuation of the  scene has very little payoff. Jadis has her own time to shine as a  flashback shows the details of her survival during the execution. If it  weren’t for the man who accidentally spares Jadis spouting trash  dialogue in the most ham-fisted way possible, then this whole scene  would have been perfection, but unfortunately this is The Walking Dead.  What happens after this encounter really takes the cake. Whenever the  series shows a slice of pre-infection life, it almost feels alien, and  Jadis in normal clothes in a clean wooden room is a fantastic visual. To  end this fantastic scene, Jadis – now without bangs thank god – opens a  shipping container containing Negan tied to a plank. What could The Walking Dead possibly do to top this? Absolutely nothing. As if by prophecy, the rest of the episode is downhill from here.

A trend the series tends to follow is making a generally unlikable  character likable out of the blue as a cheap way to make their death  more impactful. It seems like this may just be the case for Henry. Henry  sucks. No matter how hard the series attempts to make Henry a likable  character, he is too far gone. This is a character who ruined plenty of  people’s lives and has been shown to be an angsty, no good, baby-child  of a character who has no purpose but to be a cheap way to further other  characters’ plots—in this case Morgan and Carol. Now that Henry has  nearly fatally goofed, he has reverted to the “lovable child” stereotype  and I, personally, am just not having it. I call he will die soon as a  way to teach Carol and Morgan an important life lesson. He is a  detriment to the show and the series as a whole is worse off having him  in it. On a side note, the same goes for Tara who is now Mrs.  Trusting-and-Kind despite being an evil troll monster who lies and kills  because it makes her happy.

Image from AMC

Remember that scene I praised so highly just a little ago? Because at  this point in the episode it’s awful again. The potential was so high  and that’s why it hurt so much when it didn’t go anywhere. All Negan really has to do to escape his crazy situation is shoot a weird  cart-monster (which looks plain dumb) and make an empty threat before  being let free. While his story about Lucille was neat the first time,  telling it again doesn’t have any impact and slows the scene down. The  best part of this scene by far is the helicopter. Whose is it? Why is it  there? What does this mean in terms of transportation? We will have to  be patient as an audience so we can be disappointed by each of these  questions in a later season, unfortunately. The last interesting thing  that happens in this segment is Negan opening a door for a mystery  person. POTENTIAL SPOILERS: it’s probably Gregory and nothing important  will happen with it.

Finally: the Rick and Morgan power hour! Besides the opening, this is  the best part of the episode. Morgan is delightfully deranged and Rick  is just a major dingus. Rick travels to finish off the Savior prisoner  survivors as part of some insane power fantasy and finds Morgan with the  same plan. Things go down and Rick is at his best (a.k.a. his worst).  In a clever callback to earlier in the season, Rick talks about how his  word is all he has anymore, but this time without Daryl to pull the  trigger. In Daryl’s stead, Rick tricks and obliterates everyone before  stating a fantastic “I lied.” After a thrilling battle which shows the  darker side of Rick, Morgan has to go and ruin everything by having a  dead kid and setting another trend. Rick, Carol, and Morgan all discuss  their kids who happen to all be dead at this point and it becomes pretty  obvious the writers have no clue what to do with kids. Good luck,  Henry.

Featured image from AMC

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