‘The Walking Dead’ 8×02 Review: The Damned


The Walking Dead’s “The Damned” gave us action, action, also, did I forget to mention the action? On top of that, the age ol’ argument about what to do with those that we’re fighting against, popped its head up again. Do we make sure that the ones trying to hurt us don’t come back? Or do we give them a chance a la Batman style?

Let’s dive into The Walking Dead’s “The Damned”

There’s Such a Thing as Too Much Action

I know this might seem like blasphemy to some, but there is such a thing as too much action. I think I spent half of the episode just twiddling my thumbs and wondering when we were actually going to have some development in the plot.

Fighting scenes are well coordinated efforts by the cast and the teams behind the scenes and I acknowledge that compared to what we had last season the action is an improvement. But they went a little bit overboard with it. It’s as if The Walking Dead has problems balancing action and drama. And I love this show so it’s really hard to confront the fact that they’re not perfect. But they’re not.

They swing wildly between having long stretches of time where nothing happens and so much action that you’re counting down the seconds until commercials are going after the third gun fire fight. If you’re going to satisfy the different kinds of people that are invested in our survivors journeys you need to avoid this and find a better way to balance a story that has been driven for years by it’s story and and drama rather than its action scenes.

Who Are They Now as People? Jesus vs Tara?

We are all defined by our responses to the people, places, and things around us. That’s especially true at the end of the world. And it’s a battle that our survivors have been fighting against since day one, to keep their humanity in the face of a world gone wild. But never has been so pointed as it is with Tara and Jesus.

They are a representation of two different communities, made up of the same people, with the same endgame in mind. Only difference is on what they do with those standing in their way. Tara was to destroy them, cut them down before they have an opportunity to strike back. And Jesus, wants to give the workers, the innocent people that are trying to survive like all of them, a chance to do better.

Personally, I see Tara’s point. It’s a dog eat dog kind of world. But I wouldn’t want to turn into Negan or the rest of his Saviors. I would want to be better, to hold onto any last bit of my humanity, and not let others define me. Because of that, I’m all in with Jesus. (Words I never thought I’d utter in my lifetime.)

Homies don’t let homies turn into Negan or ugly versions of themselves, twisted up by the end of the world. That’s why Jesus stops Tara even though that Savior was definitely a turd. The truth is, some of the Saviors aren’t turds. They’re just people trying to survive and not turn into ugly versions of themselves, on the cusp of losing their  humanity, like Tara is right now.

Where the Hell Did Dwight Send Them?

I want to believe that Dwight didn’t send them somewhere he knew that there wouldn’t be guns. It’d be too easy and The Walking Dead isn’t about that. I think Negan doesn’t trust anyone. And to protect himself he would set up a couple traps specific to the men in his inner circle. It’s a sort of insurance to clear house when things go wrong and know who did it.

This will progress Dwight’s storyline and make things more dangerous for him in the Savior compound. He might even have to leave and leave the world he knows behind for a chance of surviving to live another day. Personally, I’m all for it. Dwight mirrors Daryl in a lot of his mannerisms and strengths. But he diverted off the path when the apocalypse hit and transformed into someone unrecognizable, even to himself.

Leaving the Savior compound and joining Hilltop or Alexandria would be a test for the man and for us as viewers. How much are we willing to forgive? And how can Dwight survive surrounded by those he tried to take down just last season? I’m looking forward to finding out.

Favorite Scene from The Walking Dead‘s “The Damned”:

Additional Notes:
  1. Morgan is spiraling out of control in a bid to gain control of his life. He needs balance. Until he finds that he’ll be lost.
  2. Carol was giving Ezekiel the “eyes.” She appreciates his strength, perseverance, and what he’s willing to do to save his people, without losing bits of himselves. I give them one more episode before they become intimate.
  3. ERIC BETTER NOT BE DEAD. The Walking Dead has always been lackluster when it comes to LGBTQ representation and I don’t know what will happen to my little queer heart if Eric and Aaron part on any terms. Again, ERIC BETTER NOT BE DEAD. Eric and Aaron are the kind of representation that shows need. They demonstrate that all kinds of people survive the apocalypse, even LGBTQ people. We don’t just fade away or become zombies because reasons. No. We fight, we hussle, and we continue to live, love, and learn! We are here. We are queer. And we are ready to survive gunshot wounds and punch the Bury Your Gays trope in the face!
Check out the trailer for next week’s episode titled “Monsters”:

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

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