The Walking Dead aired its eighth season finale tonight and aggressively wrapped up All Out War and most of the storylines it contained. The jam-packed episode finally saw the cessation of hostilities between the Saviors and the other united communities, bringing to a close one of its more controversial seasons. Here are some of the biggest moments from “Wrath” that already have us excited for Season 9.
Eugene’s trajectory during Season 8 has been problematic to say the least. The normally endearing eccentric genius wrestled with his convictions ad nauseam as he tried to justify enjoying the safety of being a member of Team Savior at the expense of betraying his friends. This week it seemed like he fully embraced the post-apocalyptic middle management nightmare he’d been threatening to become, only for the show to reveal that he’d sabotaged every bullet he’d so doggedly forced his underlings to produce. His treachery disabled the Saviors at a crucial moment and won him his friendship with Rosita back. #nowshipping?
DWIGHT GETS A HAPPY ENDING
Austin Amelio’s turn as conflicted Savior Dwight has been one of the bright spots in an otherwise dull season. He managed to turn Denise’s murderer into a conflicted human who represented a crucial plight in the new world: how do you maintain your humanity when your survival requires you to abandon it? Dwight’s brave turn as a double-agent finally won him Darryl’s approval, and after the Savior defeat, the latter granted Dwight his freedom. He didn’t waste any time getting on the road and on the hunt for his lost wife Sherry, and his story came to a close on the hopeful note of him finding a message from her. As of now there’s no word on whether Dwight and consequently Amelio’s departure will be permanent.
JADIS FINALLY BECOMES A JOINER
Despite the fact that many fans were salivating to see Jadis blossom into comic villain Alpha, the former Scavenger leader perhaps anticlimactically shed her former persona and joined Rick. She and Morgan shared one of the finale’s more touching scenes when the latter visits her in the heaps and tells her she’s welcome to join Rick and the other communities. Touched by Morgan’s earnest advice to not be alone in this world, Jadis is moved to tell him her real name: Ann. She leaves Morgan behind in the Heaps and it looks like we’ll have to wait until next season to find out who’s flying that damn helo.
Perhaps the most surprising (and frustrating) moment from “Wrath” was Negan’s sudden death… and then survival. At the end of their final head-to-head confrontation, Rick tricked Negan into letting his guard down and slit the Savior’s throat. For a minute it looked like the show had departed from the comics in a major way by killing off Negan, but then Rick finally decided to honor Carl’s dying wishes and ordered Negan be saved. Maggie desperately protested, surely echoing some audience sentiment from those still ticked about Glenn and Abraham, but in the end, Negan is spared. We don’t know what we can expect from in Season 9, but at least it looks like he’s going to be around.
The Walking Dead concluded its eighth season tonight and Fear the Walking Dead returned for its fourth season; the sister series will continue to air Sunday nights on AMC.
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