REVIEW: The Walking Dead, S8 Ep11 – Dead Or Alive Or

The Walking Dead, S8 Ep11 – Dead or Alive or

This week’s installment of The Walking Dead was filler. No point beating around the bush. With a few episodes left in the season, major events have to be spaced out so that we also learn what’s going on with the minor characters.

There were a few story beats in this episode that featured background characters I don’t really care about. There was Gabriel and his doomed road trip with Doctor Carson, where he almost thought he was saved only to be thrown back into the lion’s den. Eugene, who continues to be an annoyingly compliant member of the Saviors, with no redemption in sight, now has to work on bullets for Negan, as he promised.

The Walking Dead, S8 Ep11 – Dead or Alive orThere was tension in Daryl’s group as Tara questioned Dwight’s motives and attempted to kill him in revenge for his killing Denise. Granted, Dwight has done some terrible things and made very bad decisions. But between him, a Savior who defected to Rick’s side and Eugene, a former ally turned Savior, Dwight has been way more useful to the group so far. He’s not a good man but he actually has some redeemable qualities. And, true to his word, when he accidentally bumps into some of his old Savior buddies, he continues to play the part and helps the Alexandrians escape.


The Walking Dead, S8 Ep11 – Dead or Alive orA chunk of the episode showed Gabriel losing his eyesight but somehow surviving a road trip and even managing to save Dr. Carson’s life. His faith was rekindled only to be cruelly snatched away at the last minute. Earlier in the season I thought he was a goner. So the real miracle is how he has survived this long. He ends up back at the Saviors’ headquarters, now forced to help Eugene make bullets.

Negan’s next plan seems to be to annihilate the Hilltop colony by turning them all into walkers, which contradicts his previous, more pragmatic approach to dissidents. What happened to keeping more people alive as long as they were useful? If he needed more walkers, he could have just gotten the trash people that Simon turned last week. But who knows the workings of the mind of Negan?

The Walking Dead, S8 Ep11 – Dead or Alive orOne interesting and action-packed section of this episode was the risky trek through the swamp as Daryl led the remaining Alexandrians back to the Hilltop colony. It was a very dangerous path to take and full of disgusting gore because, as another reviewer pointed out, The Walking Dead writers probably have a list of all the possible gruesome and gross scenarios to put our characters through.

Their eventual return to the Hilltop was moving, particularly Daryl’s reunion with Carol and the stories his sad eyes told her. Enid’s devastating reaction to the news of Carl’s death was also very emotional. Something in this made Maggie feel a bit more sympathetic towards the Saviors (and Gregory) she’s keeping captive. And it helps that, even with the loss of Dr. Carson, Siddiq conveniently happens to have some invaluable medical skills. For a doom-and-gloom show, The Walking Dead has its contrived conveniences. Anyway, this was just a short break to catch our breath before the action picks up again for the rest of the season.