The Walking Dead Season 8 finale recap, Season 8, Episode 16, “Wrath,” Aired April 15, 2018
The moment we have been waiting for has finally arrived – the end of the war. This conflict has been years in the making and has been slowly ramping up leading to last nights episode. So, did the season 8 finale live up to the hype and expectations that we had going into it? The short answer is, no, it most certainly did not. To say I was disappointed in the season finale would be an understatement. Here is my recap of what The Walking Dead, season 8 episode 16 did wrong and a few areas it got right.
Where it went wrong
#1 That’s it? Let’s be honest, this episode was just sort of dull. They basically ended the war with about 3 minutes of action, and the rest was just talking and speeches. What we got with this episode was a lot of emotions and looking at each other, and way too much “Crazy Morgan.” With this episode being the culmination of several seasons worth of conflict, I just expected more from this resolution.
#2 Rick’s plan was weak. Rick always seemed to have a good plan for everything, and often a good backup plan for when things went sideways. This episode was way out of character for Rick, as he just accepted his plan was good and moved forward. They were so exposed in that field, you would think instinct would make them at least a little cautious. It just didn’t seem like Rick to be so reckless.
#3 Betrayal. Now this is where the episode really lost me: the future betrayal of Rick by some of his closest friends. I completely understand it from Maggie’s perspective, she lost Glenn, and wanted to see Negan dead. Her need for vengeance makes sense, but the other two are a little fuzzy for me. Why is Daryl involved? Weren’t him and Rick talking about being brothers not too long ago? I get Negan did some bad things to him and I’m sure he wants him dead, but bad enough to turn on Rick? Jesus makes even less sense than that, considering he has been anti-violence for awhile now, including this episode with Morgan. Now he is on “Team Betrayal”? I’m sure they won’t go to the lengths of killing Rick, but he has to know this leads to some violence right? How is he just so OK with it?
#4 Where does the show go from here? Is a Civil War of our group really where this show wants to go for the next season? This show has a habit of dragging out stoylines, so I have no interest in seeing a half season arc of Maggie and Rick fighting it out. Hard pass.
Where they went right
#1 Keeping Negan alive. Keeping Negan alive was the right call for this show to make. Not only is he one of the best characters on there, but they keep it accurate to the comics. I haven’t read the source material, but Twitter made it very clear after the episode that keeping Negan alive was how it was supposed to happen. If that means I get more of JDM next season, you have my support.
#2 Eugene. I did not see that coming from Eugene at all. I really thought for awhile now that his survival instinct had turned him against the group and sided with Negan. Turns out that wasn’t really the case at all! He sabotaged the bullets and really saved the day for Rick. Had it not been for Eugene, I don’t see how they’d get out of that mess. Good job by the show for keeping us in the dark with that surprise!
Overall, I really wish the show had gone a different direction with this finale, with more focus on the final confrontation between Rick and Negan. This finale delivered such a short conclusion to something that had taken so long to build up and it was a total let down. Also, the possibility that they are setting up a sure to be drawn out arc centered on Rick’s friends betraying him? No thanks! Maybe my expectations were just too high, but I was expecting fireworks and I don’t feel we got them.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments or find us on Twitter!
The Walking Dead airs on AMC.