AMC’S The Walking Dead has finally returned for its eighth season and “All Out War” has officially begun. There has been much hype given to this season by both fans and AMC. Did the premiere get the audience invested for the rest of the season? Yes, it did.
There will be spoilers for previous seasons and the premiere in this review, so leave and come back to finish reading after you have watched it.
This season introduced flash forwards into the future that are set in the “post war.” These are nice scenes and it is great to see Judith, Lori’s daughter, a little more grown up. However, the downside to these scenes is that we know now that Michonne and Carl are going to make it through this war just fine. If they bring in scenes of tension with these characters in the upcoming episodes they would be pointless.
The episode did have a slow build up, which was very appreciated. There were a few lingering shots in this episode, that weren’t terrible, but got tiresome eventually, making us want whatever was going to happen be on screen. The set up for the end plan of bringing a herd of walkers to the sanctuary was very well done and establishes an interesting development for the saviors. Everyone does a well job with their performances and Jeffrey Dean Morgan continues to kill it as Negan. Even though he does not appear until halfway through the episode, the second he shows up, he is emitting swagger and bravado on an excellent level.
This episode also shows Rick going back to his darker traits, showing him to be more cold and cruel towards his enemies, particularly when he opened fire upon them not even halfway through his countdown. Though apparently his arc of stating the war is not about him, seems to blow over with this episode, I hope it continues at least through this war, because if not, then that arc was incredibly rushed.
Lastly, while I know Gabriel is still trying to redeem himself, saving Gregory was a failed attempt. If this act is only to kill Gabriel by the hands of Negan and make us hate Gregory more, then this event is a very forced on plot device. This can be forgiven later if it leads to actual development for these characters.
The episode ends setting up multiple battles across the landscape, teasing that many lives are going to be loss on both sides. Hopefully the season can hold this momentum for the remainder of this half season. Just cut down on the intercutting between time frames and a lingering shots.
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