HOLLYWOOD—Last week’s premiere for “The Walking Dead” was an absolute thrill-a-minute, so I only expected the madness to heighten during this week’s episode, ‘The Damned.’ Things kicked off with extreme close-ups of the faces of Rick, Daryl, Ezekiel, Carol, Jesus, Tara, Morgan and Aaron, which audiences later revisited at the end of the episode.
We soon entered a gun battle with the Alexandrians unleashing fire on unsuspecting Saviors, in the Hilltop, Alexandrians and The Kingdoms quest to take down Negan and his army. Rick and Daryl made it a mission of theirs to obtain more firepower, as Carol and Ezekiel battled walkers. Ok, I’ll repeat this yet again, this time traveling and alternating of the narrative is making it more difficult to follow exactly what is happening in each episode, especially the narrative. I’m not sure if we’re getting a tease of the past, the present or the future. It’s like we have 3 clusters of stories, all taking place at once, however, trying to synchronize things is not so easy. There is Rick and Daryl, Ezekiel and Carol, and Jesus, Tara and Morgan, all on separate missions, with a larger goal at play: dismantle the Saviors.
A bit of conflict emerged between Tara and Jesus, as they stumbled upon a Savior who surrendered, but Tara did not fully trust him, as concerns about Morgan’s survival came into play, and Tara was right people. Jesus’ moment of weakness nearly led to his demise, but Jesus got the upper hand, which Tara was not pleased with. I’ll be honest 30 minutes in and this scene might have been the most exciting moments into the episode, just before getting confirmation that Morgan was very much still alive.
Carol did her best to educate Ezekiel that lives will be lost as a result of their war against the Saviors, but he seemed to think a higher power will protect them all. Hate to say it, but Carol is indeed speaking the truth, lives will be lost, but the question remains just who won’t make it to season 9? As Rick continued his search for those weapons, he found himself ambushed, and a hell of a battle ensued leaving Rick bruised and bloody before choking the life out of his attacker.
Man I can’t believe this, Jesus has become the new Morgan, and for a guy with such fighting skills he’s not the smartest. Tara was not sold on Jesus’ nonviolent approach, and I hate to say it, I’m in agreement with her. At this point in the series, you don’t know who you can and cannot trust, which means everyone who is not solidly aligned with you is a threat. Morgan reunited with the gang, but started to question Rick’s intent and was ready to fire on a face from the past, but yet again Jesus has become the voice of unity, which has me super alarmed.
Rick was consumed with emotion as he stumbled upon a room with a baby inside, with the name Gracie. Yeah, I can without a doubt see Rick bringing that child back to Alexandria to raise as one of his own. The guy does indeed have a soft spot for kids, and considering the situation, he would be crazy not to do so. Concerned that his lover was in danger, Aaron went to extreme lengths to save Eric, but as I suspected earlier in the episode, Eric’s number might soon be up, especially with him being shot in the stomach.
Rick’s curiosity placed him in a vulnerable spot as he came face-to-face with Morales, a face from the past while he was in Atlanta. Going back to that scene that opened the episode, the viewer learns NOTHING, just before that holdup involving Rick and Morales cuts to black. I was both pleased and frustrated with this episode because it provided plenty of mystery, but at the same time I’m doing my best to continue to connect the dots to see how things unfold as the narrative progresses America! Until next Sunday “Walking Dead” die-hards!