02nd Nov2017

‘The Walking Dead 8×02: The Damned’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


When The Walking Dead focuses on action, it can feel strange. We’re somewhat used to an episode full of talking, then some action at the end. In The Damned though we are shown the repercussions of going to war with a view of taking no prisoners. With the plans of the Alexandrians, Kingdommers, and Hilltoppers unfolding they make good ground on The Saviours. The violence takes its toll on some though, and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) encounters a face from the past.

There is plenty of violence in The Damned, and the point is to show the desensitisation of the characters to the violence they are perpetrating. This is why when Jesus (Tom Payne) shows pity on the enemy it feels so jarring, and of course at one point it is the wrong decision. It is telling though how disgusted Tara (Alanna Masterson) is in his decision not to kill straight away, and how cold she is becoming.

In a further look at the effect of the killing we also see Morgan (Lennie James) become confused with the situation. Killing with no mercy, again it is Jesus who wakes him up from his frenzy. The middle ground in this war is a confusing place though, and it is likely that they will come back to make people pay the price.

Rick probably goes through more of an emotional turmoil in this episode when he comes face-to-face with the repercussions of his actions. In killing indiscriminately there is always a price to pay, and rather confusingly, when he finds out the consequences of what he has done, we are left hanging. I won’t spoil it, but when he enters the room you’ll know what I mean. That scene needs an answer, though I doubt we’ll see one.

When it comes to the face from the past, I felt a little lost with what they were trying to achieve there. A character that felt unimportant, but now worked with the Saviours had little impact on me, but maybe I don’t remember the character enough. The fact he was from way back in Atlanta highlights the fact that people take different paths and they may not be on the same side. Maybe we’ll learn more next episode, after he called reinforcements back to the base.

For those looking for some Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) action in this week’s The Walking Dead, you’ll be disappointed, but in truth he was not needed. This episode is about Rick’s forces making an impact on the Saviours and having to pay the emotional impact of doing so. The fact that some didn’t feel that impact is telling of how far they have gone. Again, Tara showed little caring, and became a much less likable character in the process.

While this may not have been the strongest episode of The Walking Dead, it is fast paced and exciting, especially with the level of killing taking place. The Damned pushes the focus on the fact that the survivors are now in a full-scale war, and the price that is paid by all sides is high. The way the episode ended hints that next week, it is the turn of the Saviours to have their revenge.

****½  4.5/5

The Walking Dead airs at 9pm on Fox in the UK on Mondays.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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