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Walking Dead Mid-Season 8 Guide

By James Bullock Feb 24, 2018 - 8:57 PM print


Since the series’ second season, the TV adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s “The Walking Dead” comic book has embraced separating an entire season perfectly in half; unusually bridging the two “parts” with a moment that changes the very course of the show’s lead characters. Following the events of season five, the group of protagonists led by a former cop were looked upon as invaders of a foreign land by taking residence in a town barricaded from the world destroyed by an unknown disease. Lets find out what occurred thus far in the eighth season of “The Walking Dead”.

All Out War (Episode 1 – “Mercy”; Episode 2 – “The Damned”; Episode 3 – “Monsters”; Episode 5 – “The Big Scary U”; Episode 6 – “The King, the Widow, and Rick”; Episode 7 – “Time for After”)


The series’ seventh season ended with a declaration of war against The Saviors – a group of supply-hording warmongers led by a cartoonish-super villain usually rocking a leather jacket and carrying his baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire known as Negan. The trident of villages – Alexandria, The Hilltop & The Kingdom – under The Saviors’ thumb had seen enough death, destruction & their supplies decreased to scraps to know either they fight now or submit to Negan for as long as they live. Approaching The Saviors’ Sanctuary, Rick Grimes of Alexandria and the man responsible to enticing everyone to pick up arms against The Saviors tried to negotiate with Negan in hopes of making this war as bloodless as possible – asking Negan to give up only himself to prove he actually cared about his underlings for a public persecution. Of course Negan didn’t agree to the idea especially when he believed Gregory of The Hilltop still commanded his people and not Maggie “The Widow” Rhee. Gregory was left to fend for himself just as Rick & crew’s plan came together: use the sound of battle to lure a massive herd of walkers to The Sanctuary to pin Negan inside and potentially hold him at bay until The Saviors had no choice but to surrender. But not everything goes as planned as good Father Gabriel made the big mistake of trying to help a hapless Gregory during the walker invasion; leading to the latter stealing Gabriel’s ride & leaving the injured & sick man of God in Negan’s clutches where the two had the opportunity to talk about times gone by, Negan’s philosophies, and even The Saviors’ leader confessing his sins without the intent of becoming a godly man no matter the outcome.

With Negan trapped alongside his lieutenants, the anti-Savior communities were able to start downing Negan’s outposts, (re)gather supplies, and have unnecessary moral complications such as Jesus trying to convince Tara & Morgan that killing everyone associated with Negan wasn’t necessary – leading to a hostage situation and a band of Saviors being captured & taken to The Hilltop. The plan of attack against The Saviors wasn’t entirely successful thanks to what happened to members of The Kingdom (more on that later) and Alexandria’s recruiting team of Eric & Aaron with the prior succumbing to his gun wound. Though Rick had crafted a pretty impressive plan & executed it well, the fact remained Negan was still alive & able to retaliate; causing distress between himself & Daryl Dixon as to how they would take their plan of attack one-step further toward victory. After saving Rick from the gun-heavy hand of former ally & current Savior Morales, Daryl found himself on the opposite end of Rick’s hopes to convince Jandis & The Scavengers – a group who turned on Rick & Alexandria during the end of season seven – to rejoin their cause & witnessing Rick’s plan of having no casualties on their side realistically not coming true; abandoning his companion.

Taking it upon himself to rejoin Tara & her group of Alexandrians, Daryl wanted to destroy Sanctuary by using a dump truck to breach the building’s perimeter and allow for a flood of walkers to enter the Sanctuary where both innocents & killers would be sorted out by the bloody hands & mouths of the undead. But before everything came crashing down in the Sanctuary not all was well between its people. When Rick started identifying Negan’s right-hand men & women it became obvious someone on the inside was helping him. With the Sanctuary no longer being a safe haven it was up to someone actually loyal and smart enough working under Negan to save The Saviors; none other than former Grimes ally Eugene who was captured during the last season and converted to the side of Negan upon feeling his talents were finally being appreciated. Before revealing to Negan about how the remaining Saviors could escape the Sanctuary, Eugene had a pleasant conversation with Dwight – Negan’s second-in-command. Not mincing words was Dwight as he asked Eugene to take a step back, see the reality of their situation, and fight for the winning side; not the side Negan was standing on – thus revealing his alliance with Rick & crew. Eugene was steadfast in his support of Negan; going as far as to potentially sacrifice the bed-ridden Father Gabriel if need be to support Negan’s cause. Though Alexandria, The Hilltop & The Kingdom brought war to The Saviors, thanks to Eugene war was actually knocking at the townships’ front doors.

King with a Broken Crown (Episode 4 – “Some Guy”)


The core cast viewers had gotten to know since the series’ beginning were slowly broken up by circumstances beyond their control. Look no further than Morgan Jones and Carol Peletier after a pair of armored horsemen saved the wounded Carol after Jones rescued her from sure death at the hands of The Saviors. These unidentified men eventually took the pair to an unknown settlement at that time known as “The Kingdom”. Headed by King Ezekiel (and his pet Bengal tiger, Shiva), The Kingdom was a fully functional town that mixed the best parts of Alexandria and Woodbury featuring running water, crops, and, most importantly, able-bodied individuals ready to defend their homestead. During Carol’s time of recovery, Morgan gained King Ezekiel’s good favor and was asked to help as best he could by training the townspeople and helping them deliver goods – deliver goods to The Saviors. In a shocking twist, as strong as The Kingdom appeared on the inside, the truth was the settlement was just another limb on growing body of Negan’s power structure. Carol soon realized the grim reality of The Kingdom and opted to sneak out when she had the opportunity (after stealing some perishables of course). Sadly and fortunately for Carol, Ezekiel caught her in mid-thievery and convinced her to hole up inside an abandoned cabin outside of the town where she would be left alone, but wouldn’t be too far from a ruler who felt he could let down his guard & royal persona around while unknowingly getting Carol away from the friends she felt she could no longer protect in Alexandria.

Eventually Carol joined The Kingdom properly, becoming something of a lieutenant to King Ezekiel while assisting the once helpless townspeople train for battle – a battle they all decided would be beneficial as they stood alongside Alexandria & The Hilltop in taking down The Saviors. With the promise of not a single person falling to The Saviors’ brutality, King Ezekiel confidently led his people into the fields of war … where they were unexpectedly gunned down. The Kingdom fighters actually out of line’s sight & fire took their chance to protect their leader; sacrificing themselves for his life. Literally buried under a pile of bodies, Ezekiel pulled himself from underneath visible tragedy having been unable to keep a promise no man, no matter the level of experience as a leader could’ve kept; let alone accomplish. Wounded & fleeing from the reanimated corpses of people who once believed in his harrowing words built on his previous career as an actor, King Ezekiel struggled to make it back home. For every potential positive moment came a crushing negative for The Kingdom’s leader as he found himself saved from sure death by a Kingdom soldier who avoided death earlier, only for that same townsman to be shot from behind by a cartoonish Savior who planned to turn Ezekiel in as a potential monetary reward to Negan. Unable to fully cooperate with his captor due to his bum leg, The Kingdom’s ruler was threatened with decapitation; only to be saved by his right-hand man Jerry and an axe that split Mr. Smiling Glasses right in two.

Not far from Ezekiel & Jerry fighting off a horde of the previously living Kingdom townspeople was Carol trying to attain guns for the big fight and having to defend herself from The Saviors until she spotted her fellow fighters and decided to help them while Rick & Daryl stopped the fleeing Saviors to attain the weaponry. But the bigger story wasn’t the big car chase or Ezekiel & Jerry fighting with their backs literally against a wall, but the fact that the sovereign leader was not the pillar of strength he presented himself as being – he was just a liar who convinced a group of hapless people to their deaths. Actually it more than just simply people who died under Ezekiel’s lead, but also his greatest companion.

Witnessing Shiva’s demise was the final straw for King Ezekiel mentally & emotionally as he is literally dragged away by Jerry & Carol back to The Kingdom where the once proud townspeople awaiting the good news of their leader’s victory discovered only three returning soldiers to greet them in distraught silence. With his confidence as a leader shattered, King Ezekiel entered his throne room without the intent of being more than just the simple zookeeper who unrightfully talked himself into a position of power – a position that ultimately convinced innocent people to die.

The Inevitable (Episode 8 – “How it’s Gotta Be”)


And like so many times in the past, Rick’s ultimate plan for victory ended in failure as the mid-season finale began. Thanks to Daryl’s attempt to flood The Sanctuary with walkers and Eugene’s – who had a slight change of heart by helping Father Gabriel & the Sanctuary doctor escape to The Hilltop – idea for Negan & his men to shoot their way through with the promise of making more ammunition for The Saviors once they were freed, Rick returned to The Sanctuary with the newly converted Scavengers by his side; only for them to abandon him once again when fired upon by patrolling Saviors making sure another round of walkers didn’t enter their territory. Being saved by Carol & Jerry, Rick is forced back home with the intent of warning everyone of their plight. The three eventually split up in hopes of alerting The Hilltop, The Kingdom & Alexandria, but distance & time was against them as Jerry got captured during his trip home. With Jerry in the clutches of Negan’s lieutenant Simon, The Saviors were able to stop a Hilltop convoy headed by Maggie & Jesus that not only ended with the latter returning home in submissive fashion without retribution against The Saviors, but also the corpse of apparent important Hilltop resident Neil.

The Kingdom was in a precarious predicament as well as The Saviors arrived before Carol could warn them and get King Ezekiel out of his slump with the order from Negan being that The Kingdom residents leave their homes to rebuild The Sanctuary while The Saviors stayed in The Kingdom. Hearing that his people were in dire straights, Ezekiel finally stood up & fought like the leader he proclaimed himself as while allowing his people to escape into the nearby woods. Arriving in The Kingdom, Carol was locked out by Ezekiel so he and only he could feel the wrath of The Saviors. Unexpectedly there were problems on the Oceanside front. Having no allegiance in this war, the all female community of Oceanside were robbed by Rick & crew of their weaponry; leaving them defenseless and scavenging. Enid alongside a grieving Aaron – whose boyfriend Eric succumbed to a gunshot wound –looked to make things partially better for Oceanside; offering a truck full of alcohol. But as night fell and Aaron couldn’t identify who was sneaking around their gift, Enid committed the act of murder in self-defense to save Aaron; killing Oceanside’s leader.

But for everything else that happened in this episode – Maggie retaliating by shooting an imprisoned Savior after returning to The Hilltop, Morgan only watching The Kingdom fall apart during a Savior invasion instead of helping, Dwight setting up a Savior convoy while unintentionally revealing himself as the Alexandria rat to fellow Savior Laura by shooting his own people when Daryl & company caught them on the road (only for Dwight to get shot himself by the escaping Laura) – nothing mattered more than the actions of Carl Grimes. Leading to the mid-season finale, Carl encountered a lone man scavenging in the woods named Shiddiq. Instead of taking the cautious humanitarian approach as he had done in the past, Rick looked to potentially kill Shiddiq if he didn’t leave the area. Carl scouted the area; eventually finding Shiddiq to offer him both food & a place to live without Rick’s knowledge. While Rick returned to Alexandria to confront and eventually fight Negan in a battle that could only be declared a draw, Carl was going about his way throughout his fire-torn home; leading his townspeople into the sewers that he had been preparing for quite some time to house Alexandrians whenever this inevitable day came that The Saviors tried to burn them down. That day came after The Saviors escaped and Negan’s first stop was Alexandria to fire bomb the town. Encountering Michonne, Rick bared witness to his son’s actions to save rather than kill even though Carl was definitively living on barrowed time.



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