REVIEW: The Walking Dead, S10 Ep8 – The World Before

The Walking Dead 10.8The midseason finale of The Walking Dead had a thrilling first half that got, sadly, bogged down by a rushed new subplot and a mediocre cliffhanger. Because midseason finales always have to end with a cliffhangers, right? But not all are as intense as they ought to be.

As it turns out, it was Dante all along. In a flashback, we see Alpha giving her loyal spy instructions on how to create as much chaos as he can in the communities. He was behind sabotaging the water supply, murdering Cheryl, and painting all the “Silence the Whispers” graffiti. And he gaslighted Siddiq. Guy sure got around and he got the job done.

Rosita gets her moment to shine in this episode, some justice finally on The Walking Dead, as she defeats Dante, protects baby Coco from walker-Siddiq, and later goes on a walker-killing rampage. Even Gabriel goes a little berserk as he murders Dante. The aftermath of Siddiq’s murder was the most compelling part of the episode.

The Walking Dead 10.8And everyone bid a sad farewell to Siddiq, the latest casualty of The Walking Dead. Granted, he has been around for a while and also made some significant connections with the main cast, but Siddiq still isn’t a top-tier loss for The Walking Dead. At this point it seems the major players like Michonne, Daryl, Carol, and Maggie are all protected by plot armor, lowering the stakes of the show significantly.

The second half was a bit more rushed and felt strangely contrived. Gamma turns on Alpha by sharing information with Aaron on the location of the horde. Aaron trusts her enough to believe this information since she also reveals her true name and the fact that the baby the community adopted is actually her nephew.

The Walking Dead 10.8A suspicious stranger appears in Oceanside just as Michonne, Judith, and Luke get there. He’s clearly an important character but introducing him this late in the game seems a bit odd. He talks of another safe haven out there, a fortified naval base. Michonne strikes a deal with him for superior weapons with which to fight Alpha. So Michonne decides to travel with this stranger to some unknown location with only the promise of superior weaponry. A strange decision and perhaps just a way to shoehorn Danai Gurira’s eventual departure from the show without actually killing her off. (We still don’t know what happened to Maggie though.)

The Walking Dead 10.8Daryl, Carol, Aaron, Jerry, Magna, Connie, and Kelly team up to find the horde. Carol catches a glimpse of Alpha in the forest and takes chase (because that obviously wasn’t a trap) and lo and behold, the whole group is trapped in a dark cave. And surrounded by a horde of walkers. And that’s the cliffhanger.

Again, not one of the best cliffhangers on The Walking Dead and, as mentioned before, most of the major characters like Daryl and Carol (maybe even Aaron) are pretty much protected by plot armor. We may fear for the lives of Magna, Connie, and Kelly but we’re not all that invested. If anything happens to Jerry though, that’s another story. But for now, we have to wait until The Walking Dead returns next year.