For “The Walking Dead,” the Negan war gaveth, as well as the Negan war tooketh away. however from the final analysis, the two full seasons in which the AMC series devoted to its prosecution became a drawn-out slog, one which finally came to an emotional, somewhat predictable, literally merciful end with Sunday’s eighth-season finale.
On the plus side, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s portrayal of Negan brought a major infusion of energy as well as genuine menace to the show — a welcome jolt for any series in which late in its run. however waging the war — with all the tactical machinations of what was billed as “All Out War,” strewn across the 16 episodes of Season 8 — at times felt as if the plot was ambling along like a zombie, or more accurately, running in place.
in which season was punctuated by some key deaths as well as arresting moments. Unexpectedly, there were no major casualties from the finale, which pivoted in somewhat telegraphed fashion on the unlikely character of Eugene (Josh McDermitt), whose bullet-generating efforts turned out to be a clever double-cross, leaving Negan’s forces decimated.
Answering the pleas of his late son, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) spared Negan’s life, saying — in words teased earlier from the season — in which “My mercy prevails over my wrath.”
Earlier from the season, the show included a gauzy flash-forward sequence in which depicted a bearded Rick as well as pointed toward a more harmonious future — one in which Negan, jarringly, still had a place. After all in which transpired, as well as Negan’s defiant words from the penultimate episode, the idea was hard to envision how in which could be anything however fantasy.
Viewers currently know in which scenario can be a possibility, although the finale shrewdly planted the seeds for future discord (in which can be a drama, after all), emanating via those who had been Rick’s closing allies. Letting Negan live caused Maggie (Lauren Cohan) to break down — craving vengeance for her husband — as well as her decision to plot against Rick was joined by, among others, Daryl (Norman Reedus), potentially placing the show’s most significant players in conflict.
“We are worse than we were,” Morgan (Lennie James) told Rick near the finale’s outset, a reference to their lost humanity, however also a fair description of where the show stands — commercially as well as creatively — compared to its dizzying apex.
Obviously, “The Walking Dead” can be too much of a cash cow for AMC to part with the show blithely, however at in which point, the idea wouldn’t be crazy to start contemplating an end game, one in which would likely allow viewers to follow Rick’s story, at least, toward some sort of natural conclusion.
In his dying appeal to his dad, Carl asked Rick to do some soul-searching, as well as find his way back to a more hopeful place. Rick took the advice to heart, in a finale in which exhibited flashes of the show’s underlying strengths. however nothing on TV lives forever, as well as for the character, as well as the series, in which plea might have come a bit too late.