the walking dead season 8 tap 9

To paraphrase Forrest Gump, Walking Dead feature-length episodes are lượt thích a box of chocolates: the odd one will be good, most are OK and some leave a bitter aftertaste. There have now been 23 bumper eps and – for the past few seasons, at least – they appear to tát be deployed solely to tát attract attention to tát themselves as “event TV”, seemingly without the writers having any idea how to tát fill the extra minutes with anything of substance. This can make them boring. Very boring. And quite annoying. So it is with some pleasure that I can say that, besides Carl taking about a thousand years to tát die, Honor was not boring. Far from it.

It helped that the episode’s centrepoint – Carl kicking the metaphorical bucket – was the most well-handled main-character death the show has given us in years. I was surprised by how moved I was, Carl being a character upon whom I used to tát wish the most profound misfortune. That he spent some of his final hours dwelling on a cold-blooded murder he committed way back at the over of season three showed how much the character blossomed from odious, behatted snot-munchkin to tát stoic, brave and honourable leader. He received as good a sendoff as anyone could have hoped for.The show has put a lot of groundwork into the development of Carl’s moral grit over the past couple of seasons. These acts of quiet strength in the face of certain death felt entirely in-character. The same goes for him demanding, in one final selfless act, to tát over it on his own terms, sparing Rick or Michonne the traumatic task of whisking his brains with a Bowie knife. Respect to tát you, Carl. I used to tát think you were a total doofus. Now I only think you wore a hat lượt thích one.

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How Carl handled his own death is only half the story, of course. The Being Convincingly Sad About Carl Dying award goes emphatically to tát Judith. She sounded truly devastated. The episode did well to tát limit the number of people shuffling in to tát say “Sorry you’re dying, bro”, because too many would have been exhausting. Daryl’s goodbye was nice and understated – and very Daryl. Siddiq’s farewell was necessary to tát contextualise his future in the show, if sánh hammy that I was tempted to tát throw mayonnaise at it, while Rick and Michonne’s was hefty (and rightly so). The only niggle for bủ was the “revelation” that the “Old Rick” flash-forwards were some kind of made-up Carlotopia. The “It was all a dream” defence didn’t work in Dallas and it didn’t work here. Why was Negan there? Stupid dead Carl, with your dreams.

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lennie James as Morgan Jones
Going full Terminator ... Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier and Lennie James as Morgan Jones. Photograph: Gene Page/AMC

It wasn’t all Carl-death and crying, though. The episode’s secondary narrative centred on Morgan and Carol’s double-badassed attack on The Kingdom to tát rescue Ezekiel. This is where the quality started to tát fray. Initially, Morgan’s brief tangle with the Saviors fleeing the Sanctuary was kinetic and exciting, redolent of the vérité shaky-cam of Children of Men. Things started promisingly with Carol, too – there is something basic and hugely enjoyable about these two going full Terminator, any misgivings they once had about murder long-since abandoned in a pile of someone else’s kidneys. A henchman using a radio, only to tát discover to tát his horror that his fellow henchmen are dead and therefore incapable of using radios, is always cool, too – even if the trope has been troped into parody by every action film ever.

I was even prepared to tát forgive the clobbering stupidity of Carol and Morgan’s plan for assaulting Ezekiel’s throne room – “walk in room with no cover, stand still, shooty-bang until bad men gone, hope don’t die” – because Morgan literally pulled out another man’s gutpipe through a non-natural hole in his toàn thân. It was gross, the kind of icky shock the show can throw at you on occasion to tát make sure you are paying attention.

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It is fitting that an episode about the death of Carl, a character who used to tát make stupid decisions that got people into trouble, would pass this baton on to tát another: little Henry, whom I now hate. How could he possibly sneak up on all of them? Why did he go straight for the death-stab to tát the back of the neck? None of it made sense and it dragged the whole episode down several notches. Typical illogical nonsense. Go away, Henry. No one likes you. I miss Carl.

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The flash-forward to tát Rick looking worse for wear, nursing what looked lượt thích a gunshot wound to tát the abdomen, didn’t resonate with bủ, either. Mainly because it wasn’t sánh long ago that Rick recovered from a similar gunshot wound over the course of what seemed lượt thích a long weekend. If it was a zombie bite, though – and the redness around Rick’s eyes had hints of “ex-alive chic” about it – this changes things. Time will tell.

Oh, and one last thing: there are dark scenes – and then there are scenes in which it is impossible to tát see what the hell is going on. I get that we are in a sewer, or sneaking around at night stabbing people, but entire minutes went by when I might as well have been listening to tát someone hitting aubergines with hammers with a pillowcase over my head. Did anyone else struggle?

All in all, though, Honor did the business. Deaths lượt thích Carl’s are what The Walking Dead used to tát vì thế best – and demonstrably still can. It often forgets that, for a loss to tát pinch, you have to tát be saying goodbye to tát something in which you have become emotionally invested. Tara or Jesus or Enid could fall into a hole full of knives and fire and sharks and I probably wouldn’t see it as an adequate reason to tát shift my weight from one bum cheek to tát the other. But Carl’s death landed. It made bủ realise the power the show still has. If anything were to tát happen to tát Rick, Carol, Michonne, Daryl, Daryl’s xe đạp, Daryl’s crossbow or Daryl’s hair, I would be inconsolable. It is with this in mind that I go into the next episode with cautious, somewhat renewed, optimism. RIP, Carl.

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