27th Feb2018

‘The Walking Dead 8×09: Honour’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


Now that The Walking Dead is back for the second part of season two, we all knew it would be an emotional episode. Focusing on not only death, but also life, there is a strange hope that comes out of one of the darkest episodes the show has given us. Honour not only gives a possible future to the show, but also says goodbye to one of its most important characters.

After the events at Alexandria, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) has to deal with Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) revelation. While a goodbye is said, Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James) move to save Ezekiel (Khary Payton) from the Saviours, leading to Morgan showing just how inhuman he has become.

When looking at the outcome of Carl’s story, it is interesting to see that one of the most annoying characters has ended up having such an important effect on The Walking Dead. It almost makes you feel sad that this is the outcome for him. What he brings to the show though, even in his darkest episode is hope, and most importantly the impetus for Rick to not totally lose his humanity.

On the subject of humanity, Morgan is a character that is on the edge of losing his. Near the end of the episode as he stalks his prey, it is almost paced like a horror film as he casually follows his rushing opponent. In fact, one of this kills is so shocking, even to the characters in The Walking Dead, that it is clear that Morgan is heading too far away from who he used to be.

In many ways, I think this is what will lead him to leave The Walking Dead, and move to Fear the Walking Dead. He’ll leave to find his humanity again, and find hope. The consequences of his actions are the tipping point that hopefully make him wake up to what he has become, and bring back the Morgan we love. Lennie James shows just how good an actor he is in these scenes, perfectly conveying the conflict within himself as he tries to save himself from what he is becoming.

It is interesting that while the Carl storyline should have been the main focus of this episode, Morgan’s continued fall from grace has just as much impact, and it is fitting. It is an important storyline, which is probably leading him up to him moving from this show to Fear the Walking Dead, where he’ll find his true self again (hopefully).

With the conclusion to Carl’s story we also get an explanation as to the Old Man Rick scenes. Wait for the kicker at the end of the episode, which raises many questions around the Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) character, and what will happen to him. Will this be the future we see? Or will we see something much darker.

While reactions to The Walking Dead season 8 have been mixed, hopefully this episode pulled a few fans back. Even if one story ended, it felt like this is the start of a new one where hope may play a big part. It also teases that the ending we are given may include people that we don’t expect.

***** 5/5

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

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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