Plot Lines of The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 2 “The Damned”

By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)

WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead.

A Plot: All-Out War

As with last week’s premiere, this week was singularly focused on the main plot of the series and the episode was better before it. Unlike most episodes of any television series, this one didn’t really have a B- or C-plot. Everything this week simply served to drive the plot of Rick and his crew making their strikes against the Saviors. For a series that tends to get distracted by side stories that don’t always drive the plot forward, this episode was exactly what this show needed. For anyone, including me, who was wondering if there would be the usual drop in quality after last week’s incredible season premiere, this episode was refreshing.

This episode picked up where last week’s left off with Rick’s army moving on the Savior’s compounds. The message this week was one of hope and humanity. We focused in on Morgan, Jesus and Tara, and Ezekial and Carol. Each of these characters was in their own stages of hope and humanity with some ready to fight the good fight for a better tomorrow while others were wondering what it was all for. Jesus and Ezekial took on the roles of the hopeful this week with the former refusing to kill any of the surrendering Saviors while Ezekial did everything he could to put up a confident front for the people he was leading. Only Ezekial’s attitude really worked for this from a story standpoint. He showed good leadership qualities by refusing to let his people see him as hopeless. Jesus’ arc didn’t really work for me from a logical standpoint. What is he planning on doing with these people? You can’t trust them in Alexandria, the Kingdom, or the Hilltop, and you certainly can’t let them go. I feel like this was a poorly written subplot designed to show us that Jesus has kept his humanity while Tara is losing her’s. How this will possibly play out in future episodes is beyond me.

I also liked the focus on Aaron’s group and their attack on another separate compound. For the second week in a row, we’ve seen the group weaponize walkers. In this case, they killed a bunch of Saviors and simply waited for them come back to “life” and turn on their own. This was some more great action writing. Say what you will about the lackluster character development, these writers can still write an intense action sequence.

Finally, we checked in on Rick as he and Daryl stormed a third compound looking for weapons. This part featured the surprise return of Morales, a character from season one that you probably forgot about unless you recently re-watched that season. Towards the end of the season, after the group left their first encampment, Morales and his family went their separate ways from the rest of the group. Again, you’re forgiven if you don’t remember this because he didn’t have a big part and no one has ever mentioned him again. Still, it’s cool that he’s back. I mean, I don’t know why he’s back or if this will have some sort of deeper meaning for Rick’s storyline, but I’m a sucker for nostalgic callbacks.

Thanks for reading!