No More Pudding
Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead left me with a lot of questions. Most of them weren’t about why certain things went down in the episode. No, they were primarily about why I watch the show and have loyally done so for eight seasons and whether or not I want to invest as much time in the lives of these characters anymore.
Spoilers for last night’s episode and the entire series after this photo!
Season Eight, Episode Nine, Honor, showed TWD fans the one thing that they thought they would never see happen in the series…….Carl died. Sure, anybody that has been watching this season of the show, in particular the last couple of episodes, knew that Carl’s chance of survival was pretty much zero unless the bite he received was from a Whisperer (who haven’t officially joined the series yet but may or may not have been alluded to in past episodes).
Starting in the mid-season finale, Carl started to become weak and feverish. He hid the symptoms well from his friends, but by the time episode nine arrived, he was quickly going down for the count. The episode spent most of its hour plus run time saying goodbye to Carl through his own visions and through his words of wisdom to his father, Rick.
The secondary plot of the episode featured Morgan and Carol attempting to save King Ezekiel from the Saviors. In it, we see Morgan once again spiraling into a mindset of murder and mayhem over saving precious lives. Carol attempts to counter his decent, but with very little success. By the end of the episode, though, King Ezekiel has been saved and a possible new “kid of the apocalypse” named Henry (Morgan’s protege) rises to the top of the heap when he stabs Ezekiel’s last remaining captor through the back of the neck.
The episode was okay. It definitely wasn’t my favorite episode but I’ve seen better. Questions entered my mind as the show played out. Should it bother me that I’m not bothered at all by the loss of Carl? Can Morgan just pick a mood and stick with it? Rick’s eyes have been red for the entire season. Does he need to get that looked at? Why did it take Carl so long to get sick? Will somebody please shut Eugene up?
The biggest question, though, was this one: Why am I still watching this show?
I’ve been a huge fan of The Walking Dead from the start. I loved the fact that it focused on the human aspects of a zombie apocalypse. I appreciated how the living became the real threat to our little group of survivors and that the walkers were a constant, but fairly predictable secondary threat. I enjoyed seeing characters such as Carol and Daryl change over the seasons. I loved to hate Shane and hated to see him go when he did. Yeah, Lori was a pain, but I missed her after she left as well. Beth, Dale, T-Dog, Noah, Glenn, Merle, Hershel, Sophia, and so many more characters came and went and I hated seeing most of them go. In fact, I still miss a few of them.
I defended the second season, which took place in and around Hershel’s farm. Many fans of the series considered it to be a boring and slow sophomore effort, but I appreciated the character building done over the course of the season. I have defended recent episodes that focus on one character, particularly the Tara-centric episode. I also loved and defended that crazy cliffhanger that asked the question, “Who did Negan kill?”
But these last few episodes have found me spending more time looking at my phone and getting up to check the laundry. I’ve lost interest in most of the new characters and now hate characters that I once really enjoyed (I’m looking at you, Eugene). Only a few of the newer characters (Gabriel, Simon, Ezekiel, Aaron) keep me interested in the series.
As far as the older characters go, Carol has been pushed to the background. Daryl mumbles and grunts his way through most of his scenes without really adding anything positive to the storyline anymore. Michonne is a shell of her old self. Maggie still has potential, but has been derailed in recent episodes. I’m not quite sure where they are going with Rosita and Tara. These characters just aren’t interesting anymore.
I can’t buy into the fact that Negan is this all controlling leader. No offense to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but he doesn’t have an imposing frame nor does he have the intensity of the comic version of Negan. I’ve also grown tired of Rick constantly crying and moping about the place. There were flashes of old Rick here and there, but for the most part I don’t care about what happens to him or most of the other characters in the show.
Carl was the one character that seemed to always be developing into something impressive. He was the one character that pretty much everyone hated in the early seasons of the series. In fact, most people wanted the poor kid dead. I think that it says quite a lot about the acting ability of Chandler Riggs that he was able to portray such an annoying little turd (who is responsible for the death of one of my favorite characters, Dale, no matter what Riggs says, LOL) and develop him into quite possibly the toughest and most intelligent character on the show. I SHOULD have cared that Carl died last night, but having become so detached from the series in recent months, I didn’t care at all.
I’ll continue to watch the series for a few more episodes, but if things don’t change soon, I might be walking out on The Walking Dead.
Thank you for reading my post. Let me know how you feel about the current state of The Walking Dead in the comments. My The Cloverfield Paradox review will be coming later this week.