Fans finally got to see the long-awaited The Walking Dead season finale (or finale for now), “A Certain Doom,” which was delayed in post-production because of COVID-19.
And the episode was kind of – lackluster.
Maybe we had built up our expectations too high after such a long wait. Or maybe COVID-19 has changed us so much that things hit us differently. But for the hype and wait – this episode did not deliver.
Maybe it’s because we have learned that it wasn’t really a finale, and that there will be six more episodes to air sometime in 2020 before the final season in 2021. Regardless of our reasons, the episode left us wanting.
There were a few bright spots in the episodes, and there were things that we could have lived without. Let’s talk about a few:
Good: Redemption Arcs
First, we finally got the opportunity to see Lydia and Negan prove themselves to the group and show that they are not their pasts. By putting on her mother’s mask and using it to guide the herd of walkers to plunge off the cliff, she showed that she was embracing who she was, but ready to accept who she has become. She tossed that mask over the cliff and embraced Carol. Honestly, we hope we don’t see her looking to Carol as a mother figure. Not to be mean, but that usually doesn’t bode well for characters.
Lydia saved Carol from dying in the end, and Daryl saved Negan. So, does this all mean they can be one big happy family now?
Seeing Daryl and Negan fight side by side was pretty badass. He could have run, and even encouraged Lydia too, but he showed up to have that final showdown with Beta.
Bad: Time Waste
It’s not that we don’t care about Eugene’s rendezvous with his lady love, but the B team road trip was an unwelcome distraction from the high drama that was happening in the showdown with the Whisperers. With only an hour for what was supposed to be a culmination of two seasons of war – this storyline felt out of place and pulled us out of the action.
And it left us with more questions than answers, which clearly means it was just a device to lead us into the next season. Or really, the next episode since they extended the season. That could have been done with a quick scene at the end. Or they could have held it for the bonus episodes. Still, there are things we definitely need to know. Did Eugene’s date catfish him? Who are these dudes in military gear? What about Ezekiel’s cancer? Did the writers forget about it?
Good: Return of Old Favorites
The much-promised reappearance of Maggie brought on more feels than we expected. No crying at all was happening when she hugged Judith…it was just our allergies. This emotional reunion was more poignant because we know that the young Grimes is still grieving the departure of her mother and worried about something happening with Daryl. His reminder that there are plenty of people who love her in the last episode, followed by a big hug from Maggie, was a nice emotional payoff. And we really missed her. With so many long-running characters leaving the show, it’s nice to see a familiar face.
We also got to see the return of Connie – who I guess has been in the cave all this time? Or captured by The Whisperers? I guess we’ll find out next season, but it was nice to see her alive.
While we didn’t get the big Caryl makeout session that shippers wanted, there were still plenty of good moments from the pair. Carol was trying to make up for hurting him the entire episode. And whenever she was in danger, he was very worried.
At the end, his “you have me” line followed by that hug and the offer to run off to New Mexico again might be enough to keep our shipper spirits alive until Season 11, and the promise of a spinoff with the two of them.
Bad: Not Really a Certain Doom
Because this episode was set to air back in May, it’s safe to assume that it was written and produced with the notion that viewers would not know about the Carol and Daryl spinoff yet.
Whether or not Daryl would forgive her was never really in question, because we know they are going to be traveling on their own together someday.
And there are not one, but two, moments in which it seems like Carol is in peril and Daryl is worried. The viewers had no such worries because we knew she had to live for the spinoff. We wished we had been able to watch the episode before we knew that their future was set.
Meh: Whisperers showdown
While we kind of wished for a more epic battle with the Whisperers based on the many that they have had with the group in the past and this was their last one – there were some intense moments in the episode.
When some members of the group had to walk through the crowd of Walkers not knowing which were the undead and which were Whisperers – we were on the edge of our seat. The death of Beta was pretty intense as well.
But the burning question is – is this it for the Whisperers? Did some survive? If they did, will they just scatter?
What comes next
So now that we know we are getting six bonus episodes of Season 10, and hopefully we will get hints as to what happened to several characters, like Connie and Maggie, while they were away from the group. And with the final season looming – these bonus episodes could introduce the conflict that we will see before the show’s curtain call.
We just really need to know if Judith and RJ are going to be okay if Carol and Daryl ride off to New Mexico. So, fans have to hunker down and wait again, and hopefully this time our expectations will not exceed what we get.