REVIEW: The Walking Dead, S8 Ep15 – Worth

The Walking Dead, S8 Ep15 - Worth

The penultimate episode of The Walking Dead season eight saw Negan’s rise back to power just in time before the epic showdown between the Saviors and Rick’s group in the upcoming finale.

There were a few non-Negan scenes which I’ll mention and get out of the way now before I get to the meaty stuff. Aaron struggled to survive in the rain and mud and is found by the all-female group, who will probably come to the Hilltop’s rescue next week when all hell breaks loose.

The Walking Dead, S8 Ep15 - WorthThen there was Eugene, who seemed to settle himself comfortably as a bullet manufacturer for the Saviors and who was as weak and cowardly as ever. He is briefly kidnapped by Rosita and Daryl who wanted to use his knowledge to help them in the war.

But his survival instincts have always been sharp and he does one of the most disgusting things ever (even by The Walking Dead standards) and pukes on Rosita to distract her. He also hides himself in trash (but that’s where he belongs). And he makes it back, determined to support the Saviors by providing maximum ammunition. Even if the showrunners had some redemption planned for Eugene, I’m not interested and I just want him gone.

The Walking Dead, S8 Ep15 - WorthNegan came back with a vengeance and proved that he was more than just menacing talk. He brought down Simon and Dwight in one fell swoop and the Game of Thrones arc of The Walking Dead was over. Negan was the only ruler of the Saviors and after his recent experiences, he was out for blood.

He returned triumphantly and showed his cunning by pretending to let Simon and his coup proceed only to eliminate the traitors and then, in a public display of violence, crush Simon’s throat. Where he had once been against killing the people in the Hilltop, Negan now ironically reached Simon’s conclusion that they could not be trusted and so should be executed.

The Walking Dead, S8 Ep15 - WorthAnd just when we thought that Dwight had gotten away with tricking Negan again and sending the latter’s plans to Rick (via Gregory, of all people), Negan revealed that he had known about Dwight’s treachery all along and he had used it to his advantage. Now, the spy had sent erroneous intel to Rick’s group, setting them up for a fatal trap. And somehow, Negan kept Dwight alive, probably to throw him to the wolves of Rick’s rage later on.

The way Negan bounced back and effectively eliminated those who opposed him was an indication of why he had stayed in power for so long. He had spent most of his screen time in creatively cuss-filled speeches and doing very little so, for a while, we didn’t think he was all that. This episode finally illustrated why he was such a force to be reckoned with.

The episode was book-ended with Rick and Negan reading or hearing Carl’s last message to them. While Rick was genuinely changed by Carl’s pacifist vision, Negan’s bloodlust was already activated and there was no turning back. It was a quiet moment at the end of the episode when Michonne read Carl’s letter to Negan over the walkie-talkie but the latter, though moved, was not about to reform his ways.

Everything is set up for a bloody and epic confrontation as The Walking Dead concludes its eighth season next week.