[Disclaimer: This review may contain spoilers for “Monsters”, the third episode of The Walking Dead’s eighth season]
This week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, “Monsters,” the all-out war wages forward. The stakes rise, lines are crossed, and more epic gunfights take place as we make our way further into the season. As last week’s episode saw the return of the character of Morales, “Monsters” has come around to close out that plotline. While holding Rick at gunpoint, and discussing the troubles he had faced since the audience saw him last, Morales is shot in the head with an arrow by none other than Daryl Dixon. This episode sees the rise of tension between Dixon and Rick, however, as their problem-solving methods begin to go head-to-head. Later in the third episode while interrogating a lone soldier from the enemy side about the location of the weapon surplus, Daryl decides to gun down the trooper, even after Rick gave him his word. As the season progresses, it would be interesting to see the two butt heads on top of the already ongoing conflict the episodes present us with.
On the Jesus and Morgan side of the plot for the episode, some of the prisoners break free, and the two find themselves engaged in an intense hand-to-hand combat sequence initiated by Morgan. Jesus gets to show off some of his acrobatic skills as well, and while this sequence was not entirely necessary, it worked to break up the dialogue and offered something new for this aspect of the story. Relating back to the relationship between Rick and Daryl in this episode, it was interesting to see that conflict is beginning to rise internally during the all-out war between Grimes’ crew.
Back at the home base, Maggie is faced with a conflict when Gregory arrives, seeking refuge once again. After knowing that he betrayed the group, Maggie must make the choice whether she lets him back in or not. The scene also provides the audience with some humor, and moments such as this have been few and far between in Season 8. Gregory shares some banter with one of the door guards after talking behind his back to Maggie, not realizing he was there. The moment breaks up the constant action, and is definitely welcomed in this week’s episode.
“Monsters” also offers fans more intense gunfights, as Rick and Daryl find themselves pinned down after Morales is killed. These battles keep the pacing consistent, and do a great job of reminding just how intense this war has been so far. On the Ezekiel and Carol side of things, the characters push forward alongside their troops, taking out countless enemies, and taking no casualties for the majority of the episode. However, not all is well, and it may have been an optimistic viewpoint when Ezekiel stated that they would not lose one of their ranks, when gunfire rains down on the group as the episode comes to a close. A solid cliffhanger, Ezekiel finds himself piled under the soldiers whom he worked to protect. Overall, this week’s episode was definitely a step up from the second episode, and it makes me excited for what is to come. However, I hope we do soon find out the fate of Gabriel, as he has now been off-screen for an episode or two after we saw him trapped inside a small trailer with Negan. The season is definitely heading in the right direction, and I can’t wait to check out what’s coming up next Sunday. For more reviews, and for all your news on The Walking Dead, make sure to keep it here on NYCityGuys!