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TV Review: The Walking Dead 8.15 “Worth”
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The Walking Dead episode 8.15 review

The Walking Dead
Episode 8.15 “Worth”
Directed by Michael Slovis
Written by David Leslie Johnson, Corey Reed
Starring Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, 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, April 8, 2018

Warning – SPOILERS for AMC’s The Walking Dead…

On last week’s The Walking Dead episode, 8.14 “Still Gotta Mean Something,” Negan and Jadis came to an understanding; Negan made his way back to the Sanctuary, but with a secret passenger along for the ride; Daryl and Rosita were going after Eugene at the Savior ammunitions factory; Carol found young Henry, while Morgan lost his mind again; and, sadly, we see that after his encounter with the former Savior captives, Rick is no longer a man of his word.

In this week’s episode, 8.15 “Worth,” Rick finally reads the letter from Carl, which talks about his vision for a peaceful future in this post-apocalyptic world; Rosita and Daryl make a move on the ammunitions factory; and Negan reconnects with his former lieutenants, especially Dwight and Simon, who are still plotting to take over the Sanctuary.

We see Rick finally sitting down to read Carl’s letter. His son reminisces about his younger years, and their pizza nights, BBQs, and his grandparents. And how walking with and holding his father’s hand always made him feel safe, and it’s that feeling that he wishes he could bestow upon his father now. The letter goes on again about Carl’s vision of peace between Rick and Negan and their respective communities, reminding Rick about how there are innocent workers at the Sanctuary who don’t deserve to die. “Every life is worth something,” Carl writes to his father, saying that he hopes Rick will one day walk with Judith, holding her hand making her feel safe, too.

Will Rick take his son’s advice?

Probably not, but perhaps Michonne will. We see her just then walking with Judith, holding the little girl’s hand. She might be the one to broker peace.

We don’t find out Rick’s decision on this episode, which is set mostly at the Sanctuary, where LOTS of stuff happens upon Negan’s return. But first, there was an incident at the ammunitions factory, where Eugene is now taking orders from Simon, who’s taken over leadership from presumed-missing Negan. Ailing Father Gabriel is on the assembly line, but he’s purposely doing a poor job because he doesn’t want any of his people — Rick’s group — to die. But Eugene is on to the holy man — he threatens Gabriel to do a good job or else. After, Eugene goes outside to test the bullets and is taken captive by Rosita and Daryl, who plan to bring him back to Hilltop. Rosita’s contempt for her former friend is clear — she hates him now and plans to put him in a dark pit, only letting him out to get information from him.

Though Eugene tries to make excuses as to why he helped Negan, he realizes that Rosita is totally done with him. She will never forgive him. So he forces himself to vomit, and does so all over her so he can make a getaway. Miraculously, he actually does! How Rosita and Daryl could possibly be thwarted so easily by Eugene, I don’t understand. Is Eugene more intelligent than them? Yes, definitely. BUT, he got away so quickly and they even said he couldn’t have gotten too far, so how is it that they didn’t look for him hiding nearby? (Which is what he did!) Ugh! Ok, the reason is because it was necessary for him to get back to the factory, which he does. More on that later.

So, Negan. That whistling bastard is back, unscathed. But Simon doesn’t know that yet. No, the former number two thinks he’s the head hancho now that Negan’s gone, and he’s throwing his weight around with Gregory, who has made his way back there after escaping captivity at the Hilltop. Simon thinks he has to off Gregory as a show of strength, but Gregory takes a stand: “I make things happen,” the former Hilltop leader states. “I’ve always made things happen.” Then he goes full Heisenberg: “Who the hell are you to tell me that I’m done?,” Gregory demands of Simon. “You think you have the juice, well, I am the juice!” This was such a great scene, which leads to Simon smashing Gregory, but only a little. He keeps the lackey alive, saying he can start by making him coffee.

Wow, Simon is really in for a surprise, as are some other people in this episode, thanks to lots of twists and turns!

Ok, so back to the whistling, which signals Negan’s return to Dwight in the yard. Dwight plays it cool, saying he followed Simon because he was Negan’s number two and they thought their old leader was dead. Negan, though, expresses his disappointment that while he was fighting Rick, none of his people came to get him. Negan goes on with his usual double-talk, where you don’t know if he totally knows what Dwight is up to or if he thinks he still has a loyal lieutenant.

And now for Simon. He also makes excuses for what he’s done, namely, attacking the Hilltop, changing Negan’s original plan of “infection” to “extermination.” He apologizes and promises to make it up to Negan, who tells the man to get on his knees, indicating that Simon is about met his doom via Lucille. I have to give it up here for Simon, because when he thinks it’s his end, he doesn’t cower, or whimper, or beg. “You gonna make a move or is that it?,” Negan asks Simon, who responds, “No move to make.” It’s then that Negan says all is forgiven.

Whoa!!!

But that’s all too easy, though, right?

Yeah.

But it’s here that Negan reveals his new plan to surround the Hilltop with sniper outposts and pick off anyone who peeks their head out until the community finally gives up.

But first – we learn in this scene that Simon was with Negan when they took over the Sanctuary and that people felt that perhaps Simon was a bit unstable. Also, more importantly, we find out that Simon was the one who killed all the men and boys at “that settlement,” meaning Oceanside!!!

Speaking of Oceanside, we finally go back there, where Aaron has risked his life to stay behind to convince the women there to join the fight against Negan. But the women have repeatedly said they won’t join in. After fighting off some walkers in the rain, Aaron tells the women that they should blame the Saviors for their plight and how they have to hide in fear. “You hide, you don’t trust, you don’t live the way you want to because of them,” Aaron declares, telling the women, “they hurt you, they’ll keep hurting you unless you do one thing – fight!” Will Oceanside finally willingly join the fight against Negan? It seems that they’ll have to if Negan will ever be defeated, because Negan is typically 1, 2, and even 3 steps ahead. And we really see that this episode.

Ok, so back to the forgiven Simon. Soon after his absolution, he runs to Dwight about continuing their plan to take over the Sanctuary, even though Negan has returned. Simon tells Dwight to meet everyone at the yard.

At this point, I’m wondering HOW anyone can trust each other at the Sanctuary anymore, and I’m thinking maybe Simon knows that Dwight is the mole and is setting him up. But, nope. It’s actually the other way around. As Simon grandstands in the yard to his co-conspirators, out comes whistling Negan and his crew, who shoot everyone there except Simon, Gregory, and Dwight. Simon is shocked, even though – why? Simon, you just had a very public, very loud meeting about your plans to “respectfully” kill Negan and take over the Sanctuary. What the hell? Is he really that stupid? It seems unlikely, but it’s necessary to move the story along. So we learn that Dwight was the one who tipped off Negan. “Why?” Simon screams to Dwight. “He’d win,” Dwight responds, which is true. There’s no way Negan wouldn’t have found out about all this anyhow. Amazingly, Negan isn’t going to kill Simon right away – he’s going to give the traitor a chance to fight him.

Next up: the fight! Who’s going to win? We already know, because Negan didn’t get where he is because he can be easily bested, even with Simon attempt to start things off with a sucker-punch. The two go at it inside in the main area as the rest of the residents watch in silence, and in the end, Negan straddles his foe, choking him to death while complaining that Simon’s unsanctioned actions at the Hilltop now mean that Negan has to kill them all, something he did not want to do.

While this is happening, Gregory backs out of the room, realizing that he’s probably next. Dwight pushes him further out, handing him the map with Negan’s plans and keys to a car outside so he can go back to the Hilltop and warn Rick, which he does. Once at Hilltop, he’s penned up again while Maggie, Rick, and Michonne go over Dwight’s message. What will they do next?

Back at the Sanctuary, Dwight is promoted to Negan’s new right-hand man in place of the recently departed Simon. “I’ll help you finish this thing with Rick,” Dwight tells his boss, who responds, “Don’t sell yourself short, you already have” as he opens up Dwight’s room to reveal Laura sitting in waiting. OH CRAP!!! More Saviors fill the area, as Laura tells them all how the night of the raid on the Hilltop, Dwight had turned on the Saviors. She escaped injured and had been making her way back to the Sanctuary to out him. So, it was Laura who was Negan’s mystery passenger who he snuck back in with him.

Damn, I was suspecting some backstabbings and twists in this episode, but I totally forgot about Laura! Dwight should have realized that her getting away meant that she could show up and reveal that he was the traitor.

Negan basically let Dwight do his dirty work all this time, leading him to give up Simon — who he could have been better off with! He also knew that Dwight would use Gregory to send the message to Rick, so now we know why Gregory wasn’t shot on sight in the yard along with the others. This was something that Dwight should have been suspicious of, too. But Negan is not going to kill Dwight right away – he has some plans for him still, especially since the new strategy he let Gregory leave with was fake, and Rick, if he goes by these new details, will be walking into a trap.

Back at the ammunitions factory, Eugene returns and gets Father Gabriel back on the line because Negan is back and he needs his ammo in the fight against Rick, and Eugene is going to give him what he needs to accomplish this.

At the Sanctuary, Negan overlooks the yard, which now includes a walker Simon tied up to the fence. This is when he gets a message over the walkie-talkie — it’s Michonne, who wants to read him his letter from Carl. So yes, she is the one to try to broker peace. Carl’s letter to Negan has the same message of peace that he’s been trying to convey this season. He reveals how he was bit while helping someone else, and says he had wanted to ask Negan if “this” — the deadly feud — is what he wanted. He hopes that Rick will offer peace and that Negan will accept it. “I hope everything can change. It did for me. Start over. You still can,” Carl wrote. You can tell that Negan, who had a lot of respect for Carl, is listening intently and is taking the young man’s words to heart. But in the end, it’s too late. “I wouldn’t accept your surrender if you came to me on our knees,” Negan tells Michonne. “Winning is about killing every last one of you – that is starting over. I never wanted this. Rick made this happen. You tell him that. No more talk.” He punctuates his last statement by throwing down the walkie and smashing it underfoot, effectively closing off their communications in every way. There will be no peace, and chances are, Rick isn’t willing to offer it up on his end either.

Wow, what an episode! I was really disappointed in the beginning half of Season 8, but after the series came back for the second half in February, it’s been amazing. I was surprised that Simon was so bold as to conspire out in the open, especially after he had gone against Negan’s orders several times (killing the Scavengers, then changing the assault on Hilltop to a deadly one). But I guess that was to throw our focus on him this episode so we wouldn’t see Dwight’s situation coming. Speaking of Dwight, I think he would have been caught betraying Negan sooner, as he’s done it several times too, and he’s actually left a trail. I’m annoyed at Laura’s return, because I didn’t like her character and I was really hoping — like most viewers, I’m sure — that Dwight would get further along in his efforts to help Rick defeat Negan. But, it’s not over yet, and I have a feeling that Dwight will die a hero.

Video

‘Worth’ Official Sneak Peek Ep. 815 | The Walking Dead


Next on The Walking Dead.

‘More Shots on the Lickety-Quick’ Ep. 815 | The Walking Dead


Eugene is falling behind on bullet production.

[Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC. Courtesy of AMC. Used with permission.]

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