03rd Apr2018

‘The Walking Dead 8×14: Still Gotta Mean Something’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


The big question of The Walking Dead’s eighth season has been just who are the real bad guys of the show? In this week’s episode the answer is very clear. When the episode is called ‘Still Gotta Mean Something’ what will it mean after the actions of some?

With the escaped prisoners from Hilltop on the loose Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Morgan (Lennie James) hunt them down. Reluctant to take part at first, Carol (Melissa McBride) and saves somebody she thought was gone, while Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) fight it out.

What this week’s The Walking Dead proves is that the show is at its best when it focuses on heart. This means that Carol, Negan and Jadis are the key characters. While Negan may be a strange one to bring up when it comes to heart, the key is that he has one, and has a past that actually tugs on the heart-strings.

This week we get the confirmation as to why his bat is called Lucille, though most of us will already know the story. What we see though is just what the bat means to him and why he is so connected to it. We also get a glimpse into the heart of Jadis when her photographs of what she has also lost are put in danger. The scenes between McIntosh and Morgan are easily some of the highlights of this episode, and the reappearance of the helicopter raises quite a few questions. Jadis obviously knows what it is and was ready to leave with it.

Carol’s reluctance to hunt down the prisoners brings up memories for her, and the audience. It is in this episode that we realise that her fear of searching for Henry is that she will relive that moment when she found her daughter. What this shows is that although Carol may seem cold at times, she is one of the characters who shows much of the heart of the show. Much more than somebody like Rick.

When it comes to Rick and Morgan hunting down the prisoners, Rick shows just how much of a monster he has become. We’ve seen his selfishness in the past where he acted to protect his own group at the cost of any other survivor, but his actions this week show how evil he can be. Negan may be waved around as the Big Bad of this season, but I would also argue that Rick also does things just as barbaric, especially in this episode.

While Morgan is a part of it, at least we know that this is a man who is losing grip on reality. Not only is he seeing people that aren’t there, but he is allowing people to die in the belief that everybody is dead already, that everybody turns. Rick’s actions are just out of a need for vengeance on anybody he deems as worthy of his malice. In the end is he any better than Negan?

With Rick seemingly finally reading his letter from Carl at the end of this episode, will he suddenly grow a heart again? This doesn’t save him from the actions he has been a part of, just as it doesn’t save somebody like Negan, and Dwight (Austin Amelio). What you could say though is that if we are to forgive Rick for the atrocities he does, maybe Carl’s hope for Negan to be a part of their group one day may not actually be that far off from being believable?

This week’s episode of The Walking Dead wasn’t really about action and war, it was more about heart. In an episode that actually felt the best of the season we got to focus on the pain and hope that is felt within the hearts of the characters and got to spend time with the ones that don’t just want to see the world burn. This is where the best of The Walking Dead is shown, and even though I do like the episodes with plenty of action, I’d be happy to see more like this one if they can keep to this high standard.

***** 5/5

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

Review originaly posted on PissedOffGeek

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