The Walking Dead Episode 8.3 “Monsters”
Written by Matthew Negrete & Channing Powell
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Starring Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Christian Serratos, Tom Payne, Khary Payton, Austin Amelio, Alanna Masterson, Katelyn Nacon, Steven Ogg, Pollyanna McIntosh AMC
Air Date: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Warning – SPOILERS for AMC’s The Walking Dead…
On last week’s The Walking Dead, the three groups that banded together to fight Negan and the Saviors — Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom — came up with a plan to finally best their enemy. Most of the episode featured all the groups shooting at one another in a machine-gun frenzy. There’s a purpose for it all… I guess, but honestly, it was kind of annoying. The best part of it was that the trio team cornered the Saviors at first, killing a lot of them, so that when they turned, they then attacked the living. Nice strategy.
This week’s episode, 8.3 “Monsters,” continues the annoying gunfire. Once again, we see King Ezekiel giving one of his inspirational sermons about how they have a plan and they are going to “win.” We then see them head off into the woods, where they are ambushed by some Saviors, but it turns out they have their people surrounding the area. More gunfire, those Saviors are killed, and as Ezekiel promised during his speech, not one from their own ranks is killed. Carol says that’s because they have strategy.
Meanwhile, what happens? Eric gets shot. Aaron brings him outside to a safe area and plans to take him back to Kingdom to get treated, but Eric says that the group needs Aaron. Eric insists that his boyfriend leave him and go finish the mission. Aaron is hesitant and cries at the thought of leaving, but Eric insists. Eric was the one initially who was against the idea of going to war, but once Aaron decided to go, Eric was brave and joined him in battle. Once the battle ends, Aaron returns to the tree where he had left Eric, but his love is gone, leaving behind a huge bloodstain and his gun. Aaron is devastated because there can only be one explanation for this: Eric died against the tree and then walked off after he turned into a walker. Through heavy tears, Aaron sees Walker Eric in the distance. He doesn’t want to leave him, but one of his group members leads him away – it’s time for them to leave.
After the fight, we also see the team with Tara, Morgan, and Jesus leading a group of tied-up Saviors who surrendered. Jesus says they will bring these POWs back to Hilltop to bring them before Maggie, who will then decide what to do. Morgan isn’t keen on this plan, thinking it’s too dangerous, but Jesus is pushing for peace. “No matter what they’ve done, they’re people,” Jesus says.
Right…….. one of the POWs is Jared, who is one of Negan’s lieutenants who would pick up the Tributes from The Kingdom. This guy is an evil prick who took pleasure in tormenting people — WHY in the hell should this guy live and yet all those other Saviors had to die for the “plan”? But we’ll get back to that. Jared sees Morgan and starts his antagonizing of him, because again, this guy is a prick. When their group is ambushed by Walkers, Jared leads his chain-gang on an escape into the woods. Morgan pursues them and even shoots one of the prisoners, effectively stopping them all in their tracks, since they’re tied together. But then Jesus shows up and prevents Morgan from shooting any others. Morgan wants to waste them, because he doesn’t think these people can change, but Jesus says Maggie will find a way to handle everything. Jesus says that they have to be good to the prisoners because eventually they will all have to live together. (I really want to punch Jesus at this point.) This leads to a physical confrontation between the two, during which Morgan seems to be in a trance. Eventually, Jesus disarms Morgan and asks if their fight is over. Morgan then snaps out of it, and says “I’m not right…. but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.” Tara arrives and tells Morgan he’s not wrong, and then he walks off.
Back at the Hilltop, groveling pathetic Gregory shows up and cries and begs to Maggie to be let in. When we last saw him, he had pledged his allegiance (and that of the Hilltop) to Negan and threatened to evict anyone who went against him. The Saviors didn’t treat him too kindly though, and in the end, he stole Father Gabriel’s car, leaving the holy man who had actually SAVED HIM to a swarm of walkers. Maggie notices that Gregory arrived in Gabriel’s car, but Gregory says he didn’t know whose car it was. Like an idiot (sorry, but it it’s true), Maggie falls for this guy’s bullshit and lets him in. Enid protests, but Maggie says, “He’s not worth killing.” Sorry, I disagree. This man has repeatedly betrayed his community and Maggie, and had even secretly gone to meet Negan to warn him that Rick’s team was going to attack. So WHY let this man live??? What happens next? Jesus shows up with the prisoners and Gregory freaks out saying they can’t be trusted. Tara agrees with Gregory, and listen, SO DO I, but I don’t trust Gregory either! So now you have all these Saviors at Hilltop, where dumb Jesus thinks they can eventually successfully be integrated into their community. :::facepalm:::
Back inside one of the Savior outposts, we pick up from last week with Rick being held at gunpoint by Morales — one of the characters from Season 1 who we haven’t seen since. It turns out Morales’s loved ones didn’t survive their planned trip to Birmingham and just when he was giving up on himself, the Saviors found him and felt that he was “worth a damn,” so now he’s Negan too. How frustrating! Morales has contempt for Rick and calls him a “monster,” likely because he’s heard of the things Rick has done against the Saviors. He goes on to say that they are two different men now than from when they first met back in Atlanta, and that they are both doing whatever they can to survive. Morales doesn’t think their shared past means anything now, but you can see that it still means something to Rick. Rick tries to explain how Negan killed Glenn, bashing his skull in right in front of his pregnant wife — Maggie, who the Saviors refer to as The Widow. But again, Morales doesn’t seem to care. He’s called in his Savior buddies to join him, and he plans on delivering Rick to Negan… or not, he says, meaning, Rick will be dead. Just then, Daryl arrives and shoots Morales from behind, killing him. Rick yells, “No” as he comes in, hoping to prevent the shooting, but it’s too late. Rick tries to explain that he knew Morales, but Daryl already knows who the man is and says that it doesn’t matter.
Rick and Daryl then shoot their way out the outpost compound and rejoin their group. They are putting down the dead so that they don’t rise and are covering the bodies. Rick is once again taking Polaroid photos of the bodies, and then is seen writing a note of some kind. Later, Rick comes out with a baby girl named Gracie — she’s the daughter of the guy Rick killed last episode. Aaron volunteers to take Gracie safely back to the Hilltop Colony and take responsibility for the child; you can see he wants to do this to fill the void in his heart left from Eric’s death.
As Rick plans to go back inside the compound, he and Daryl get shot at. It’s a lone Savior hiding behind a tree, and Rick tries to get the man to come out and surrender. He offers to let him live and even take a car so he can leave if he comes out and answers some questions. The Savior surrenders, hands up and everything, and answers Rick’s questions regarding weapons. He seems like he’s not a bad guy, and it seems like Rick is going to keep his word — Rick had made it a point to tell the guy that he gives him his word and how that means something in this world. But then Daryl shoots him in the head! Wow.
The episode ends on King Ezekiel’s group looking upon the bodies of the Saviors they killed. They plan to put them down so they don’t turn. “We or they,” Ezekiel says, “one or the other.” He’s saying it’s us or them, but I guess Jesus wasn’t in on this part of the plan!!!! Ezekiel also tells Carol “not one,” referring to his earlier proclamation about how they were all going to survive this battle. I guess Eric doesn’t rate. Just then, they are ambushed by gunfire coming from the outpost! They totally did not see that coming, and it’s clear that some are shot, especially those who try to protect Ezekiel. I feel bad that at this point I’m so annoyed with this group that I don’t even feel bad that they were ambushed.
Basically, from this episode, we see that some of the characters no longer give any shits — Daryl, Morgan — while others like Rick and Jesus are still trying to fight by some rules. Which is a bit confusing, because the banded group’s plan has not been revealed to us yet, and some of them keep saying that they can’t reason with the Saviors and that it’s “us or them,” so what the hell is going on?
Another issue from this season that just does not make sense and is very frustrating is that the “plan” seems to involve Rick’s group indiscriminately shooting all the Saviors they can, and that’s what we see. They are ambushing Saviors left and right with no remorse. But then a few Saviors surrender, and they actually take them prisoner instead of killing them. And of the ones they take hostage is Jared, who is one of the worst. There’s no way this guy should be spared and he should not be taken into the Hilltop Colony. He even shot young Benjamin, which led to his death, and then while he was captive in this episode mocked Morgan for wearing the deceased teen’s armor. Jesus was willing to fight Morgan to keep the prisoners from harm. WHY!?!!?!?!?
What the hell is this plan!?!?!? Everyone has been so smug about this plan and how they are totally going to succeed, but wasn’t it cockiness like this that defeated them when they first attempted a raid on a Savior compound? And when they were making this plan that relies heavily on the mass slaughter of humans, did they discuss what to do if someone surrendered? Or if there were any circumstances where a Savior should be spared? Or if they captured one of the real evil assholes like Jared, what should they do with him? Like, did anyone say, hey, do NOT bring any of those assholes back here to live with us.
So, looks like next week will be more machine-gun fire, because that’s all they got this season, and I’m really just not loving it.
‘We’ll Get You to Negan’ Sneak Peek Ep. 803
Rick faces off with a former ally from his past.
‘Get Back to the Fight’ Talked About Scene Ep. 803
A wounded Eric encourages Aaron to continuing fighting.
[Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC. Courtesy of AMC. Used with permission.]