The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 11 Review: ‘Dead or Alive or’

Moving around in the latest episode of The Walking Dead

walking dead season 8 episode 11
Image source: AMC

Following last week’s disappointing episode The Walking Dead needed to come back strong. With most of the loose ends tied up we weren’t sure where they would go in this episode so let’s find out.

Enter at your peril, Spoilers ahead.

Gabrielle and Carson

A large portion of this week’s episode would focus on Father Gabrielle who had escaped the Saviours with the help of Eugene and Dr Carson. He and Dr Carson are trying to get back to The Hilltop but are held up by Gabrielle’s decreasing health and the slight inconvenience of constantly running into groups of saviours and walkers.

Gabrielle has an infection and his eyesight is failing him, despite this he insists that God is guiding everything and that he will be shown the right path. Dr Carson challenges him on this but can’t hide his amazement when miraculous things keep happening to them. They discover an abandoned house with a vehicle, inside they accidentally break a vase containing the keys to the vehicle and a map of the area, not only that but the medication that can help Gabrielle and would be useful in the future too.

These segments are quite entertaining and show us a return to the evangelical Gabrielle of old. Their interactions keep the episode ticking along and they provide some excitement in places too, especially when Carson gets his leg caught in a bear trap as walkers and the saviours close in.

Unfortunately, things don’t pan out so well in the end though as Carson is accidentally killed by one of the saviours and Gabrielle is captured and returned to Negan. This leads Gabrielle to question his faith once more so perhaps this return to the old character was pointlessly temporary in the end, we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

Negan and Eugene

As far as Negan is concerned he spends much of this episode putting the chills into Eugene who he suspects of helping them escape. Eugene plays it surprisingly cool, for Eugene, and is promoted to captain his own settlement. He’s tasked with making bullets for the Saviours, something he takes seriously.

Negan taunts Eugene by telling him that Gabrielle will be found and he’ll find out what happened. Eugene goes about his business and starts to set up a break room for his “staff”. He looks like he’s in deep trouble when Gabrielle is marched back in but is relieved when a menacing looking Negan tells him that Carson helped him escape.

It’s clear that Negan knows Eugene was involved and is just letting him sweat, this is compounded when Negan tells him that production isn’t anywhere near fast enough. Eugene reacts poorly, saying he can’t do anymore, bad move, then panics saying he could build some catapults to fire body parts over the walls to begin “psyche warfare”. Damn Eugene what is wrong with you? This gives Negan an idea and at the end of the episode, this is revealed.

He plans to infect anyone at the Hilltop who fights with walker blood, coating Lucille as he speaks. One hit from a sharp object with that blood on will turn them eventually. Negan is back baby!

Alexandria to Hilltop

The final storyline followed Daryl, Carol, Tara, Rosita, Dwight and the remaining members from Alexandria making their way to The Hilltop. This was largely annoying, in no small part because of Tara’s idiotic whining the whole time about Dwight still being alive. We’re supposed to sympathise with her but honestly after so long we barely remember why she hates him and frankly he’s saved their skin more than once now.

Daryl tells her he’ll deal with Dwight when the time comes but they need him right now. Dwight proves his worth by leading them through a route he knows the Saviours won’t use which involves going through Walker infested swamp. This is a return to the classic Walking Dead feel as they wade through the murky water as corpses rise out of it. Dwight does his fair share and gets them through.

Despite Daryl’s previous warning and Rosita’s similar warnings Tara eventually loses her cool and shoots at him. He runs off and she gives chase. Eventually, they run into some Saviours who were drawn to them by her gunfire.

Dwight saves them again by luring the Saviours away and Tara is given a dressing down by everyone else. If there was a character whose time has surely come, its Tara.

Something else worth mentioning in this segment harks back to Episode 9 and Carl’s death. Several members of the group didn’t really say goodbye or just walked off.

This seemed like a quick fix for the writers at the time but yet again his death was referenced by Tara and Rosita in this episode who simply said: “now that the kid’s dead”. Are we supposed to believe that after all of the time they’ve been together in a relatively small group that they never formed any bond with him? This really seems unbelievable and makes little sense, especially as Daryl and Carol were both a part of the conversation and barely batted an eyelid.

Final moments

Finally, there were a few scenes in The Hilltop as Maggie tried to deal with their food shortage and the increasing issue of their prisoners.

There was some movement as she agreed to let some out in shifts to work the crops and get some exercise.

Eventually, Daryl and Co make it back to The Hilltop and tell them what happened with Alexandria and to Carl with the obvious reactions.

All in all, this episode was mainly about getting the key players in the war to their necessary locations, with the obvious exceptions of Michonne and Rick who were nowhere to be seen. There were very few events that peaked your interest in this episode and it felt a little flat, that said there were some standout moments as explained above and these boosted the episode no end.

What might happen in Season 8 Episode 12 of The Walking Dead?

Next week will no doubt see Rick and Michonne make their way to The Hilltop in preparation for the coming assault by Negan and The Saviours. Eugene and Dwight appear to still have key roles to play in the coming episodes so it’ll be interesting to see which way they both swing in the end. We are also yet to see what will become of Enid and Aaron so we assume there will be more to that story next week as well. Let’s just hope that they can pick up the pace soon as we could use some real action.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Why not let us know in the comments?

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