Review: The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 8 “How It’s Gotta Be”

It is infuriatingly difficult to write this review, as I am discussing an episode of television I could only occasionally see. For the most part, this episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ pretentiously believes in symbolically utilising literal darkness to showcase the situation Rick and company find themselves in. Ultimately, though, the result means their audience can see nearly nothing, relying on sound effects and poorly written dialogue to understand events. Yet, also why should we care? This episode is so heavily contrived, ignores past events, doesn’t explain how Negan can suddenly rally an army, makes the last 7 episodes simply pointless, doesn’t do anything valid with character nor even contain a single tense action sequence. It is flat, dire and overdue for its time in the slaughter-house. The episode uses a predictable tone and structure, beginning quiet, reflective and philosophical (in a completely irrelevant gibberish way only The Walking Dead could be) before attempting to let chaos reign. Except it forgets chaos isn’t simply gun shot noises and the occasional flicker of fire. The ending could have been a monumental moment for the show, as the performances and score excellently convey emotion, and is really a perfect cliffhanger. It is unfortunate however, that the character are the centre of it all was hidden for most of this episode. 1/10

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