The Walking Dead: How It's Gotta Be
December 12, 2017 6:54 AM - Season 8, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Every story and battle from the first half of the season comes crashing together in this action-packed, emotional Mid-Season finale.
posted by LizBoBiz (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Best episode of the season in my opinion.

I really liked the fight with Neagan and Rick. Rick is a seriously skilled fighter and I'm glad they didn't just have Neagan beat him and Rick somehow get away. Rick has bitten a man's throat out for god's sake!

Carl! So when exactly was he bit? I'm still confused on the timing this season. Did this all happen in one day or was it a couple of days? Even though the kid has been pretty annoying, dumb, and not a very good actor, I'm actually pretty bummed about him becoming a zombie.

This episode showed to me how Lauren Cohen is a waaaaaay better actor than Andrew Lincoln. Seriously. Contrast her face after shooting the guy with Rick's face after seeing the bite. I actually teared up IRL seeing Maggie's face after shooting that guy. Rick has that same shocked-confused-can't-process face that he has anytime something happens.

Just noticed this episode, but they totally didn't put any armor over the tires of their car. So so so dumb, both for Rick's people and also Neagan's people. I mean obviously they have terrible aim but why not just shoot out all the tires?
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:02 AM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


This episode felt very disjointed to me with way too many moving parts involving different groups of people in different places at different times. It created the feeling that we should really know exactly where all these places are relative to one another and have a good sense of how long it takes to get from one to another. If I trusted that the writers had a big tactical map somewhere, knew all the answers, and were just struggling to communicate the right amount of information organically without literally shooting a lengthy scene of people pushing little figurines around a map... well, I could forgive them if they erred on the side of telling us too little. The problem is that at this point, I don't honestly think even the writers have any idea where Oceanside is relative to, say, the Scavenger Base.

I do think that killing Carl is a good move, since he was arguably the most plot armoured character in the entire cast, with the possible exceptions of Rick and Judith. Killing off Carl, even more than killing off Glenn, really makes it very easy to believe that even Rick might be next. And TWD really needs that tension if it's going to keep working.

I do have some misgivings about the way the Carl bite was revealed right at the end of the episode though. I'm worried that leaving Carl alive over the midseason break (rather than actually killing him in the third act of this episode) means that we'll get like two or three episodes in the second half of the season that are just anguished Rick and Carl, Michonne and Carl, everyone and Carl scenes while we all just wait for him to die already.

Even worse, it opens the door to the writers to come up with shark-jumping plot magic that saves Carl's life, at which point the show might as well just end.
posted by 256 at 8:45 AM on December 12, 2017 [4 favorites]


Yay. Carl's dead!...Hopefully. It wouldn't surprise me if he's immune or was bitten by a non-zombie.
posted by FallowKing at 8:55 AM on December 12, 2017


no, coral.... that kills people!!!

I saw this being set-up last episode when he turns away from the camera to examine himself and has a "welp, fuck" look on his face when he turns back.

This is a really big divergence from comics and has a lot of fans upset. The talk about the behind-the-scenes reasons for this happening is pretty shitty too. "Bit the Carl" may end up being the millennials' "jumped the shark."
posted by entropicamericana at 9:15 AM on December 12, 2017 [2 favorites]


Carl was bit while helping Saddiq kill walkers in the woods - he had two on top of him, and if you go back and watch, you can see that one moves towards his chest and when he stands up, he reacts as if in shock, knowing he was bit. Carl always has taken stupid risks so I guess it makes sense. I'm still kind of mad though. I don't know. I don't love that actor but it feels like a weird turn for the show. Where will they go from here? And no, they will not "save" Carl. Walker bite on torso = death. Why would anyone think he'd make it? The show is very consistent on this point.

I think Andrew Lincoln is an amazing actor and I've always not liked most of Maggie's performance. She's improved, but her steeliness seems one note to me.

I thought the Negan/Rick fight was a bit anti-climatic, but I did like that Negan finally got bashed in the face, even if it didn't end him.

Obviously in the 2nd half of the season the priest will likely die - and we know for sure that Morgan will die. Other than that, I'm not sure where they are headed.
posted by agregoli at 9:22 AM on December 12, 2017


And no, they will not "save" Carl. Walker bite on torso = death. Why would anyone think he'd make it? The show is very consistent on this point.

I don't think they will save Carl, but there a whole bunch of ways they could while technically maintaining a consistent universe:

1. It's not a zombie bite. While I think you've correctly identified when Carl got bit, we never actually saw the bite happen. Maybe that's a human bite and Carl is intentionally misleading Rick. Maybe he even made someone (Saddiq?) bite him so that he could use this ploy.

2. Carl is, by random chance, genetically immune to the zombie virus, leading to a messiah/test-subject plotline where everyone tries to figure out why he survived (and wonders if Rick and Judith are similarly immune).

3. Carl lingers around slowly dying for days or weeks until someone new shows up with a miraculous cure that has been developed elsewhere. (It's a little amusing to realize that introducing a zombie cure would change essentially nothing else about the story at this point.)

All of these ideas would be terrible narrative decisions, but they're all possible. Remember the scene with Glenn "dying" after falling off the dumpster? I'm not sure how much I trust the writers.
posted by 256 at 9:57 AM on December 12, 2017 [4 favorites]


I don't think they will save Carl, but there a whole bunch of ways they could while technically maintaining a consistent universe:

yeah, exactly. the characters don't drive the plot anymore, they're just along for the ride.

if carl isn't going to die, my guess it will be #1 because [comic book spoilers here]
posted by entropicamericana at 10:10 AM on December 12, 2017


1. It's a zombie bite. We know when he got bit (not only does that scene show us, but Carl says when it happened). He is sweaty and pale. It looks like a zombie bite.

2. No, they won't do that.

3. Miraculous cure? What?

None of these things are possible. He is a goner. Chandler Riggs is off the show and is doing a movie. I don't understand why you are even speculating about this.
posted by agregoli at 10:27 AM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


4. That's not Carl. Negan swapped him for a lookalike and no one has noticed yet.

5. Melisandre flies in on a broomstick from Westeros and cures him with magic.

6. Rick amputates Carl's torso just like he amputated Herschel's leg. Carl makes a full recovery.

I mean, I'm sure you're right. If I were to make a bet on Carl surviving at this point, I would need to be getting something like 20 to 1 odds in order to take it. But I don't put the chances at 0.00% simply because I don't have that much faith in the writers, especially given that they've already pulled this once when we saw Glenn's intestines being ripped out of his body.
posted by 256 at 10:50 AM on December 12, 2017 [6 favorites]


[COMIC BOOK SPOILERS, DO NOT CLICK UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE SPOILED]

also twd has a habit of cheap stunts and lazy writing, so a lot of people wouldn't put it past them. i dont think anyone thinks it is likely, just possible.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:52 AM on December 12, 2017 [4 favorites]


If they somehow managed to keep Carl alive, it would likely be the biggest PR stunt ever, considering all the reports and comments coming from Chandler Riggs and his family.

The only thinhs that sort of sort of hints at his remaining alive is the spoiler link posted above, and Scott Gimple's non-committal statements on The Talking Dead.

"That is a bite on his side.… It will play out as bites play out on the show," Gimple said Sunday on AMC's post-show Talking Dead. "It's very important to Carl's story and the entire story, what happens in the next episode. I'm just focused on the fact that Carl right now is alive and he has some business to attend to. That is a one-way ticket. But I'd like to think that the things we see in the next episode are so important to his life and the other characters' lives."

But he's pretty shady in general, so I don't read too much into that.
posted by 2ht at 11:32 AM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


2. Carl is, by random chance, genetically immune to the zombie virus,
My thought is he'll be able to overcome the infection since he was exposed to the zombie-virus (prion?) at a young age and has developed an immunity. He'll have a fever for an episode or two then make a complete recovery.
posted by FallowKing at 11:36 AM on December 12, 2017


I assume that short term Carl gets to play the hero on some kind of suicide mission or gambit that results in his death but ultimately saves everyone or defeats the Saviors or whatever. So I guess on on team "He's definitely gonna die".

Long term...I always felt Carl was the most important anchor for Rick. Rick goes insane and does some crazy things, but generally seems to have "protecting his family" be his primary driving force. And sure, he has Judith, and sure he has Michonne, and sure he has a large "family" now. But I always thought Carl meant the most to him because it was his remaining tie to "before." Remembering "before" seems important to a lot of characters in order to not go insane or slip into permanent depression. So I'll be interested to see how this affects Rick.

And here's a random thought: when was the last time the Walkers killed a character of any import? Not sure that it needed to be as major a character as Carl, but I think it's maybe a good thing for the show to remind us that ultimately this is about a world infested with killer zombies.
posted by jermsplan at 12:10 PM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


The writing on the show sucks sometimes, but they are not insane. Did you really think Glenn was dead when they didn't show him dying? I sure didn't. I knew it was a trick. I HATE when they do that sort of thing, but this one doesn't strike me as a trick.

I agree, jermsplan. I don't see how this won't make Rick absolutely insane (Which I totally love - I've always wanted the show to get WEIRDER. Oh sure Garbage People who speak in broken sentences and tigers (FUCK TIGERS) are weird, but I really like the surreal stuff they do when characters see things. Rick should have been having hallucinations ALL ALONG, in my opinion. It makes it dreamy and weird and authentic because people should be losing their goddamn minds all the goddamn time in this show since DEAD PEOPLE ARE WALKING AROUND AND EATING PEOPLE and it's annoying that people get so chill about that they barely even talk about it any more.
posted by agregoli at 12:26 PM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


Did you really think Glenn was dead when they didn't show him dying?

Sure I did. Watch the scene again. Unless you go in to that with the prior assumption that the show is going to pull this sort of trick, that looks like a pretty explicit death scene, and it was even a pretty good way to send off a major character (considering the big arc he just had with Nicholas).

Yes, by the time of the big reveal, I had come around to team Glenn-Survives-Somehow and wasn't shocked to see Steven Yeun again. But in the moment of first watching that scene, I was certain that we were seeing Glenn die.

All I'm saying is that the level of trickery that would be required for the writers to keep Carl alive here seems less (or certainly not much more) than the cheap camera tricks they used there to fake kill Glenn.

That doesn't mean they're going to do it. As I said, I don't think they will, and I really hope they don't. And I think they learned a lesson from the fan reaction to Glenn's fake death. But it's within their playbook.
posted by 256 at 1:26 PM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


This is a really big divergence from comics and has a lot of fans upset.

Do not get attached to the cannon fodder. Do not watch the show or read the comic book if you get attached to the characters. I have a rule: if you do not know how to watch or read TWD, do not bring your sorrow to me about how so-and-so was killed off and you were upset.

If you do not know how to watch or read TWD, you should get your privileges revoked.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 5:11 PM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


i used to hateread the comic it but now i just have the show on the background while i surf the web, am i doing it wrong?
posted by entropicamericana at 5:30 PM on December 12, 2017


i used to hateread the comic it but now i just have the show on the background while i surf the web, am i doing it wrong?

I don't know. Are you crying and ranting on Twitter about the death of a disposable character because you cannot believe that TWD killed them?

I always saw it as a "safe" cheering, like spectators in a gladiatorial arena who got all hyped and happy when one of the combatants got mauled to death.

Here, it is just throwing a character in the zombie cage and seeing what happens.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 5:46 PM on December 12, 2017


Did you really think Glenn was dead when they didn't show him dying?

On a show with any respect for its viewers, that would have been his death scene. Similarly, Carl should be dead based on the end of this episode, but since the show has no respect for its viewers, we can't draw any meaningful conclusions from the show itself. The only reason people can safely believe Carl is really dead is because of the statements from the actors/writers/etc.
posted by skewed at 6:22 PM on December 12, 2017 [3 favorites]


The only reason people can safely believe Carl is really dead is because of the statements from the actors/writers/etc.

But the Blacklist played dirty with viewers that way. Gotta build the hype any way you can...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 7:08 PM on December 12, 2017


Yeah, I'm not going to believe Carl is dead until he dies. Not that I want him to live or anything; I just don't trust the show to follow its own rules. Whatever people say outside of the show doesn't matter. Didn't we just have Sean Young pretend to be angry about not being in Blade Runner 2049?

I'm more curious about how coy they were in revealing how Eugene led the zombie herd away from Sanctuary. It became a plot point in which Daryl and Tara were concerned whether it was their fault, which I appreciated. But what exactly did he do? I remember the zombie-luring music being audible during the scene between Maggie and Simon, but did he actually mention what happened?

I was happy to see Alexandria burn, because this show stagnates when the status quo persists for too long (Herschel's farm, the prison). I like that this season has covered three eventful days, and am glad that when the war ends, it can't go back to what it was before.
posted by ejs at 9:39 PM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


Uh I've watched every episode of WD at least 3 times so I don't need to watch Glen and his fake death scene again. I never thought they killed him, that scene is unlike every real death on the show.

Carl living is NOT within their playbook. I'll eat a cake of words otherwise but thats the most preposterous thing I've heard floated about the show. No.
posted by agregoli at 5:53 AM on December 13, 2017


And now I've wasted time talking about this instead of anything I'd rather discuss about TWD. I think FanFare isn't really ideal for me for this...enjoy your hate waching, but I am actually a fan of the show.
posted by agregoli at 5:55 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


This all night-time episode was hard to watch. Needed some Hong Kong movie-style blue light.
posted by larrybob at 11:22 AM on December 13, 2017


This all night-time episode was hard to watch.
I'll say, I watched it on an iPad and had no idea what was going on half the time. Carl bitten, didn't see that.
posted by unliteral at 3:28 PM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not going to believe Carl is dead until he dies.

According to his very stagedad father, Chandler Riggs has been fired from the show. Chandler himself has confirmed that next episode is his last.
posted by scalefree at 11:45 PM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


This episode felt very disjointed to me with way too many moving parts involving different groups of people in different places at different times.

This has been a big problem for this entire season so far: the constant cutting between groups and locations and times made it very hard to follow what's going on in what should be a simple linear story.

For example here: Eugene got the Saviours out of their trap, and that seems like an important thing, but we're not going to actually see that because the show's too busy time-jumping around it.

It often feels to me like the showrunners and directors have artistic ambitions which outstretch both their abilities and their source material. Nonlinear storytelling is hard to pull off and I don't think they managed it very well, and often their attempts at flashy directorial choices -- the beardy-Rick flashforward sequences! -- don't land well because they feel gimmicky and unearned.

I really liked the fight with Neagan and Rick. Rick is a seriously skilled fighter and I'm glad they didn't just have Neagan beat him and Rick somehow get away.

Yes, this. We badly needed that; Negan's been plot-armored so heavily and for so long that he's appeared physically invincible, and Rick beating him -- or at least forcing a draw -- went some way to counteracting that.

But still: plot armor. Why didn't Carl just shoot Negan where he stood instead of having a long faltering conversation with him? HE'S RIGHT THERE. YOU COULD END THIS RIGHT NOW.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:57 AM on December 15, 2017


I'm glad I wasn't the only feeling like they forgot to tell us how Eugene led the walkers away. He pitched an idea to Negan, Negan didn't love it and said it would cost a lot of ammo, Eugene promised to make him more bullets, and then......who knows? And also, the now ammo-depleted saviors went on an all out offensive on 3 fronts? It absolutely felt like Eugene's plan for the walkers was another shoe about to drop (like he led them to Hilltop?).

Speaking of shoes still hovering somewhere in the air...why they hell did they show us that helicopter if it wasn't going to come up again before the midseason break?
posted by jermsplan at 1:09 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


The only reason people can safely believe Carl is really dead is because of the statements from the actors/writers/etc.

I've mostly stopped watching the show, but still follow the drama (don't judge me), and I think Carl is definitely dead, for this reason. There was all this stuff going around on the internet about how Chandler Riggs bought a house near the production because he expected to be on for a few more seasons, and then got screwed.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:46 PM on December 19, 2017


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