[Disclaimer: This review may contain light spoilers for “The Damned”, the second episode of The Walking Dead’s eighth season]
Keeping up with the pace of The Walking Dead’s season 8 premiere, “The Damned” offers even more action, along with some interesting story developments. With scenes relying heavily on making every move count, the second episode in this season does well in setting the stakes high during the all-out war.
Even though the action was still present in “The Damned,” Rick’s crew was shown taking a more tactical approach to battle, as opposed to the extreme amount of explosions and gunfire found in “Mercy”. With tense conflicts including one which lead to Jesus being held hostage, there isn’t a moment where I wasn’t at the edge of my seat during the episode. The splitting up aspect of the show’s characters also helped in contributing to keeping the action going, as Tara, Morgan and Jesus blasted their way through corridors while Carol, Shiva, and Ezekiel did not find themselves as involved in the main fight.
While many of the stories from last week’s premiere continued into the episode, there was one aspect I wish they would have gotten deeper into. When the audience last saw Gabriel, he had wound up trapped in a room with Negan, surrounded by walkers. An extremely tense cliffhanger, nothing of this story arch made its way into “The Damned,” so fans may have to wait another week to see just what comes of that plot point.
There is a distinct moment in this week’s episode where Rick finds himself contemplating the war he created, as he realizes the consequences of his own actions. It is a particularly interesting moment, as Rick looks over a baby’s crib amidst all of the fighting, realizing just how far he has come since the show began. After spending some time alone, he then finds himself faced with the return of a character who I honestly did not expect to see in this episode. Held at gunpoint, Rick turns around and faces Morales, someone who has not been on the show since season 1. Since his first appearance seven years ago, it was interesting to see the character make his way back into the story, and it brings some familiarity to a show that has come so far since its first season.
Overall, this week’s episode of The Walking Dead keeps me excited for more. With some intense battle sequences and the character of Morales returning to the show, I can’t wait to see where the next episode leads. I also hope that we get to see more of Gabriel and Negan, as their part of the story was absent from this already jam-packed event. For more reviews, and for all your news on The Walking Dead, make sure to keep it here on NYCityGuys!