The Walking Dead Season 8 finale: The war is over. Who won?

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Apr 15, 2018

Spoiler alert! The following recap includes all the dirt from the season finale of The Walking Dead, Episode 416: "Wrath." You can check out last week's recap here.

Well, that was kind of uneventful. There was a lot of set-up, a lot of planning, a fair amount of double-cross.

Saviors are getting ready to roll out on Rick's group. Negan had Gregory deliver the "plans" to Rick as a way of throwing them off his game. What Rick and the others found was a roadblock, complete with Saviors. Rick's group killed the Saviors at the roadblock, and found a map and plan on one of the dead Saviors. Thinking this is the real plan, the warriors change their plan of attack.

Gene Page/AMC

Of course, this was Negan's "f*** you" to all of them. Rick and his team end up on a hilltop when Negan comes on over what sounds like a PA system. He is speaking into a walkie-talkie, broadcast over a bullhorn. Negan taunts Rick and his group, then counts down to killing them. But all of the Saviors end up shot, without Rick and his crew firing a single bullet.

I am honestly not sure what happened here. I initially thought it was the Oceanside people, who Aaron finally convinced to join the team and Molotov cocktailed the Saviors, who attacked the Hilltop. (By the way, it's about time that Aaron finally got a little payoff to his story. I don't really think it was worth all the time we spent getting there, especially because they had maybe -- maybe -- ten seconds of screen time.) But by the episode's end, I finally figured out that all of the Saviors' guns backfired on them, thanks to Eugene's sabotage, which he admitted to Rosita. Either way, the living Saviors surrender, including Laura, and Maggie and Michonne and the rest take them into custody.

That leaves Rick, who chases after Negan. Negan is operating with an injured hand, after his gun blew up in it, which limits his ability to use Lucille. Anyway, he and Rick brawl down by the tree that has the stained glass windows hanging from it (see the midseason premiere). Frankly, neither of them really make much headway. They stop to catch their breaths and trash-talk each other, and Rick begs for a few seconds to plead his case. Negan actually gives it to him, and Rick invokes Carl, saying that he wanted better for them.

Then Rick slices Negan's neck with a piece of glass. Negan shouldn't have given him those few seconds.

It is very quick — and not lethal. Rick stops and turns back to his people and their prisoners. He lays out the new rules. Siddiq is to save Negan, and the Saviors who have surrendered can lower their hands. Rick tells them that they, the living, have to join together to fight against the dead, find common ground, and start the new world. Maggie is hysterical, and Michonne has to restrain her. "It's not over until he's dead!" she screams. Back at camp, Rick and Michonne inform Negan that he is going to be their prisoner. They won't kill him; instead, he will be an example for the kind of society they are building.

Gene Page/AMC

The most interesting part is what follows, and it has nothing to do with Negan. Maggie is pissed about how Negan is being treated well, and she blames Rick and Michonne for that. Maggie plans to "bide time, wait for our moment, and show him." The interesting part is that Jesus is with her and he agrees with her. This seems highly out of character for Jesus. He is the one who advocates love and living together. He is basically a modern-day hippie. I don't know why he would agree to this. What's more is that Daryl appears from the shadows, agreeing with them. This is not such a big leap; Daryl has never been a touchy-feely guy. Jesus, I question.

In general, it seems that people's loyalties change on a dime in this show. Some of them I understand. Eugene was playing the long game. But Jesus doesn't make sense. Negan is just crazy.

Elsewhere in this episode:

  • Daryl doesn't kill Dwight; he gives him a car and tells him to leave. I didn't realize that Daryl was still so furious with Dwight. Whatever. Dwight takes off and goes back to his and Sherry's house, where there is a note that just says "Honeymoon" on it. So she has been back at some point.
  • Alden seems to be angling to stay at the Hilltop, despite the fact that Maggie doesn't really want him there.
  • Tara and Rosita head out to the Sanctuary to help them rebuild. Laura is there, planting crops.
  • Ezekiel, Carol, Jerry, and Henry return to the Kingdom.
  • Morgan goes to the trash heaps and tells Jadis — who now wants to be called Anne — that she is welcome to join Alexandria. She seems eager to be around people, but Morgan has decided he is going to take her place, alone, at the trash heap. Earlier in the episode, his crazy reached full insanity, when he thought he saw the Saviors invade the Hilltop and he attacked -- and nearly jammed his stick through Henry's throat.

 

What did you think? Let's discuss it in the comments!