‘The Walking Dead’ 8×11 Review: Dead or Alive Or

The Walking Dead‘s “Dead or Alive Or” has me putting my neck on the line for Dwight (because I believe that he’s changed), Father Gabriel going on a holy journey to only have sense knocked into him (or sense knocked into the doctor he was with), and Maggie deciding once again what kind of leader she wants to be in a world that has gone to shit.

Let’s break down The Walking Dead‘s “Dead or Alive Or”!

Will Dwight Betray Them?


Dwight has invoked a wide variety of feelings in me since the first day he appeared on The Walking Dead. I will admit that a lot of it was, “GOD, WHY IS THIS GUY STILL ALIVE?!” and “HOW DARE HE STEAL DARYL’S CROSSBOW & KILL DENISE WITH IT?!” Then…after a couple episodes…comes the development, where you see that Dwight is unfortunately a complicated character with countless layers.

That’s how I’ve ended up where I am now, confident (I know, sounds crazy, but stay with me) that he won’t tell Negan where the Alexandrians are or that he’d betray them. There’s no going back to the man he was before or the life he had before. Meeting Rick & Co. has stripped him of that and set him on the path to being a better person.

Bet you’re thinking that I’m crazy and you’re at the brink of forever turning away from me. But pause and think about the way that each and every single character on The Walking Dead has lost their way, become darker and twisted versions of themselves, and killed without remorse or restraint. They came back from it with time and guidance from the people around them. Why can’t Dwight do the same thing?

Why can’t Dwight come back from the things he’s done or change into something or someone better? If Rick can do, if Carol can do it, if Father Gabriel can do it and the rest of the lot can do it, then so can Dwight.

Father Gabriel and His Faith Being Tested, Again


Let’s be upfront, I’m not a believer. I don’t know what’s up there in great wide somewhere but from here, on this Earth and sitting at this computer typing this up, I don’t believe in any sort of god. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate what it gives people, how it guides them, or how it makes them feel less alone.

I enjoyed Father Gabriel story. Sure it ended up being kind of fucked up and the doctor that he was with used the bit of faith that he had in him because of Father Gabriel to do something disastrous. But the fact of the matter is that I enjoyed and liked that he stuck with his faith, no matter how much it was tested. It made him happy and in many ways I thought we had come full circle with Father Gabriel after his fear took over his faith during his introduction of his character.

I want to hold onto that hope and stick with Father Gabriel. I want to believe that he’s not broken and that he still holds God in his heart and as his guiding light. And that’s the only thing I can do because this is a test and of course the hour of The Walking Dead ended before we could see more than Father Gabriel looking broken and Eugene being…well, Eugene.

Shows like this, with a huge ensemble cast, allow for the writers to explore different cultures, backgrounds, faiths, lifestyles, sexual orientations, and more. And I might not be a religious person but I’m sure glad they’re experimenting with testing Father Gabriel’s faith for those who do believe in an all mighty God and are themselves tested everyday.

Maggie is a Hell of a Leader

If you’ve watched from the start you know that these characters, especially the leaders, are tested at every turn. They’re tested by their own people, the ones that want to take them down aka Negan, and the world around them that wants to nibble on their tender human flesh. Most of the time our favorite leaders crumble under the pressure. They fall, they break, and they turn into unrecognizable versions of themselves.

Then there are people like Maggie.

She’s had her share of loss, pain, and angst. No doubt about that one. But somehow she’s managed to keep going, to keep pushing. At every turn I expect for her to become this beautiful dark overlord of the apocalypse. And every single time she surprises me with her strategies, her wit, and most importantly, her compassion. The world has changed and so has she, but it hasn’t killed the parts of Maggie that were pre-apocalypse and that she probably got from Hershel and the rest of her family.

Maggie’s strength in the face of the continued shit storm that is this world is inspiring. It makes you look at your own life and gain a little perspective. Yes, we’re no in the middle of a zombie apocalypse that has wiped out our world. But we are suffering from a multitude of losses, heartbreaks, etc. We feel pain. And just like Maggie, we can survive what ever comes our way and end up being stronger in spite of it.

We can survive just like Maggie.

Favorite moment from The Walking Dead‘s “Dead or Alive Or:


Check out the trailer for next week’s The Walking Dead titled “The Key”:

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


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