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TV Review: The Walking Dead - Season 8, Episode 10

Season 8, Episode 10: The Lost and the Plunderers

PLOT: Simon, Michonne, and Rick all check in on the Scavengers while Aaron and Enid deal with Oceanside.

REVIEW: Rarely have I ever cared less about what was going on in an episode of The Walking Dead than I did while watching The Lost and the Plunderers, and that's even after the slog of the first half of this season.

I've only read the very first collected volume of Robert Kirkman's Walking Dead comic book, so I never got anywhere close to the All-Out War storyline. I did hear a lot of the comic's readers talking about it over the years and they seemed hyped about it, so I assume what was on the page was great. Something just doesn't work about the way it has been brought to the screen this season. All-Out War has turned out to be a tedious mess that has run the show into the ground. Who would have thought such a popular storyline could cause so much damage to the show?

Taking us further through the tedium, this latest episode was broken up into chapters, each named after a character to let us know who we're supposed to focus on during this space between commercial breaks. The Enid chapter lets us know that the Oceanside community is going to spare the lives of Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) after their laughably stupid blunder of killing the community's leader. That's good for them. The Negan chapter lets us know that the show's current villain, who is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and is gradually being softened because the show is obviously going to keep him alive beyond this war, has a serious difference of opinion with his right hand man Simon (Steven Ogg) on how they should be handling situations. While Simon is vengeful and homicidal, the man introduced bashing in the heads of Abraham and Glenn is really a good guy deep down.

The chapters dedicated to Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) mainly served to show me that Rick has really come along way and hardened his heart a great deal from the days when he was a blubbering mess after the death of his wife Lori, so distraught that he was tripping out, hallucinating, answering phone calls from ghosts... Now he has lost the most important person left in his world, his son Carl, and he's soldiering on quite well.

It wasn't until the Simon chapter about halfway into the episode that I really got some enjoyment out of what I was being shown. That's because Simon goes against Negan's wishes and decides to massacre the Scavenger community. The Garbage Pail Kids get wiped out, and I couldn't be happier to see them removed from this show. The episode earned a couple extra points just for that moment.

The trauma of losing her community is so great that Scavengers leader Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) even starts speaking in complete sentences! That's almost enough to make me consider this the best episode of the season... But it really wasn't.

They say the choice to kill off Carl was a creative decision, as the loss of his son was necessary to make Rick realize that he might be able to make peace with Negan, that he should stop crying over spilled Glenn brains and let bygones be bygones. To teach Rick that he doesn't have to kill so many people. It's a lesson that Rick hasn't quite learned yet, as he ditches Jadis so she has to handle the zombies that were her fellow Scavengers alone, a moment of "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you" reasoning, and then continues to threaten Negan's life in a terribly written dialogue scene. A dialogue scene that ends the episode and leaves me anxious to get this season over with already.

I'll be as glad to see season eight end as I was to see the Scavengers get taken out of it.

BEST ZOMBIE MOMENT: The only thing better than watching the Scavengers get killed is getting to watch them get killed twice. Left to deal with her zombified friends, Jadis finds a way to lead them into an industrial grinder. One by one, these formerly annoying characters drop into the machine and get broken down into ground beef.

GORY GLORY: The conveyor belt of ground Scavengers looks pretty gross, but the shots of the characters actually dropping into the grinder are too CG for my taste. My favorite effect in the episode was when a zombie gets its face ripped off on the broken gate of the Alexandria community.

FAVORITE SCENE: Simon makes wishes come true when he tells his Saviors to "light up" the Scavengers.

FINAL VERDICT

Extra Tidbit: What did you think of The Lost and the Plunderers?

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