Hilltop was attacked, Morgan went crazy, and Henry was an idiot (again) in episode 13 of The Walking Dead season 8, Do Not Send us Astray, so - in other words - nothing’s new for everyone’s favourite love-hate zombie show.
To be fair, the Hilltop battle was surprisingly well choreographed when the action got heavy, and there were a handful of neat character beats layered into the relatively focused story, which pose some interesting questions as we begin to near the end of the season. Spoilers below, then, as I go through five of the biggest questions I had after watching Do Not Send us Astray.
1. Is Tara really doomed?
Anyone with a working brain will have figured out that, no, it’s looking pretty clear that Tara is absolutely fine. In fact, I’m not sure why Rick and Daryl haven’t figured that out yet, especially since she was looking fit and healthy while all the other casualties from the Hilltop battle had already fallen victim to zombie fever. She’s fine, because it was Dwight who shot her, and he’s deliberately avoided tainting his arrows because he secretly wants Team Rick to win.
In fact, by shooting her, he saved Tara’s life, seeing as Simon was just about to whack the poor girl with an extremely tainted wood-axe. Hopefully she’ll have figured that out by the next episode, as that’ll let them know that Dwight is still working for their side, even if he’s currently playing his part as a Saviour officer.
2. Where’s Negan?
The short answer is that he’s probably still in that car with Jadis, but it’s been quite some time since Negan was taken hostage by the Heapster’s disgraced leader during last week’s episode. Surely, they’ve reached their destination by now, and if so, where does that leave them?
Are they at the junkyard? The Kingdom? Sanctuary? Perhaps she’s killed him, though I wouldn’t count on it. It’s more than likely we’ll find out the details of their little road trip in episode 14, but I’m curious to see what exactly Jadis wants from Negan, and what kind of state he’s in now that his Saviours have left him for dead.
3. Can Henry just go away now?
“You know what this show needs to really freshen things up?” said one AMC executive to the other as they were planning season 8, “another head bangingly annoying child.” Or, that’s how I imagine the conversation went, because I don’t know how Henry is ‘a thing’ this season other than as a result of completely misguided stupidity from the showrunners.
Not only did the little brat let The Saviour prisoners escape Hilltop, but he chose to open the gate right when the undead were ripping his own people to shreds inside. Then, after all that, he runs away to hide from all his screw ups. Real big of you Henry, especially after all your talk of “being a man” and taking responsibility for your own actions. Never has a show made me actively root for the death of a fictional child more frequently and consistently than The Walking Dead does.
4. Is it really that easy to turn people?
I’m not sure AMC has a firm grasp of how the science of zombification works in The Walking Dead. Negan’s new tainted weapon tactic clearly proves that all that’s needed for someone to turn is for some zombie blood to enter their own bloodstream, but that leaves a lot of room for questions.
Are you telling me that, after 8 seasons of chopping up walkers, covering themselves in their guts, getting wounded, and exposing themselves to zombie filled waters, that Rick or any of the other survivors have never had a drop of walker blood enter their system? Talk about a lucky break. Let’s not forget the cannibals of Terminus, either, who literally ate tainted meat and were absolutely fine. Excuse me while I go and whack my head against the desk for a couple of seconds.
5. What is up with Morgan?
“You know what it is.” These were the words Morgan kept having thrown at him by his hallucinations of Gavin throughout the episode, but I’m not sure the audience knows anything about this character at all, actually. Really Morgan? You’re having another crisis of conscience? What’s your problem this time?
Is it too much to ask AMC to give this character something else to do other than look mopey, confused, and psychologically tortured? The poor guy’s been suffering from it since season 1. Either he needs to turn a new leaf or just buzz off over to Fear the Walking Dead for his cameo, because this whole “morally conflicted“ schtick is starting to look real old hat.