‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Finale Review: Wrath, Forgiveness & Betrayal

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No matter if you’re Team Richonne or Team Maggie/Daryl, you’ve got to give The Walking Dead major props for building a civil war that is going to break hearts and change this family of survivors forever. There’s still love there, there always will be, but what we saw in “Wrath” and what comes next in Season 9 will see these communities growing apart as they get stronger to protect each other.

Let’s dive into The Walking Dead‘s “Wrath”!

This is How You Write a Civil War

From the start I knew someone was going to betray Rick. I had my money on the Saviors, I had my money on Hilltop, hell, I even had my money on that pantsuit wearing lady they met on the highway. Never did I think that it would be Daryl, Maggie, and Jesus. And that’s why this civil war is going to blow us all away.

To build an effective and worthwhile civil war that tugs at your heartstrings as a viewer, we have to be cheering for both sides. Unlike other shows on TV, you know who you are, I care about both sides. I’ve loved them from the very start and have become so invested in their journeys. More so, I understand their pain. I understand why they’re doing this and what their motivations are.

Daryl, Maggie, and Jesus don’t want to kill Rick, Michonne, and all those protecting Negan. They want to be ready. They’re going to build themselves up, depend on themselves a little bit more every step of the way, and become more independent from the way of life that Rick is building. Because they still love these people, they always will, especially Daryl and Maggie, but they can’t let things pass like Rick is doing.

So they’ll be ready for that turning moment, that precipice where Rick & Co. will be faced with a similar decision, and they’ll make it for Rick, not only because they disagree with him but because they love him and the rest of these people. It’s a future fight/war built on love that will ultimately end in tragedy, heartbreak, and facing the harsh reality that sometimes you have to disagree with your loved ones, stand up, and say, “No.”

Do We Forgive Eugene? Dwight? Negan?

Quick and dirty answer is, “No.” We don’t forgive these people for what they have done, the lives they’ve taken, or how they’ve changed this world for the worse. All we can do is move forward, protect our people, and hope that Eugene, Dwight, and Negan learn from their mistakes and take our mercy as a privilege and not something to be taken advantage of.

And I know some of you disagree with this method. Hell, I find myself thinking about how it would just be easier to kill anyone who disagrees with you, not in real life, I’m talking about on The Walking Dead. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s easy to think about cutting down every single threat that comes your way or threatens your existence. Well, not easy, but easier and simpler than trying to get back what we had before; mercy, law, and justice aka the way of the land before walkers came around.

All three of these men have done shitty things. But so have Rick, Maggie, Carol, Daryl, and a shit load of other people on this show. What makes them more deserving of our forgiveness and not others? And trust me, this isn’t me preaching to you. I constantly struggle between wanting to kill Eugene and Negan. But I took the time to learn about Rick, Maggie, Carol, Daryl, and the rest of the people that are labeled the “good guys.”

Taking the time to learn about people’s stories gave me a better understanding of who they are, where they come from, and why they’re doing the things they are doing now to survive. And if I can do that, even for a second, maybe there’s hope for something different for the future. Because killing is easy, so is punishing, but letting go and moving forward for yourself and those you love, is the hardest thing of all.

I’m going to be cautiously looking forward to what comes next. I don’t forgive them for what they’ve done, not at all. But I want to see what comes next and what they’ll do with this third, fourth, fifth chance to do things differently.

The Betrayal That Hurt the Most

Daryl, where do I even begin with you? You broke my heart when you appeared out of the dark. I remember when Rick told you that you were his brother and that tearful reunion when you saw each other on Hilltop. You’re family and I’ve loved watching you grow as men and family throughout these 8 seasons. That’s why this betrayal hurts so much.

Like Maggie, he’s not doing this out of hate. He loves Rick. But he’s going to protect him from his own “naive nature” and “sentimentality” or whatever the hell Daryl thinks has seeped into Rick’s mind that has enabled him to save Negan’s life and bring the Saviors into the fold. He’s also doing this for Maggie. He still feels responsible for Glenn’s death and he feels like he owes it to Maggie and Glenn to finish this and end Negan’s life once and for all.

Understanding all of this, doesn’t mean his betrayal hurts any less. It just means I understand that things aren’t black and white. Everything that is happening now lives in grays that all of our survivors have to and will understand in time and when all the cards are revealed. Dear Lord, I’m gonna have to prep for tissues for the moment that Rick realizes his brother has worked against him and for the following moment when Rick forgives Daryl.

After all, these people are family. If the Avengers can survive the Civil War that tore them apart, I’m pretty sure the people…no…the family on The Walking Dead can survive this too.

Favorite Moment from The Walking Dead’s “Wrath”:
http://dailytwdgifs.tumblr.com/post/172998979225

The Walking Dead returns for season 9 in Fall 2018.

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