Top 5 Major Moments From The Walking Dead: Monsters
Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead was so boring and uneventful that I cancelled our usual “Top X Moments” feature for it, but thankfully that isn’t the case with the show’s third episode of its eighth season. “Monsters” is easily the best episode of The Walking Dead to air this season, because it actually had some tension in it, as well as a few solid character interactions. The episode also offered up the first significant character death of the show, and depending on how long you’ve been a fan, it also put to rest one of the show’s first ever Atlanta survivors. Of course there were some oddities in this episode as well, but overall it was a solid entry in this young season.
“Monsters” didn’t do too much for pushing the events of this season much further ahead, but it did offer up five key moments that will shape how the heroes and the rest of the season will play out. They aren’t ranked per se, they’re just numbered in the order as they aired in the episode.
1. Hi Morales, Bye Morales
Last week saw the return of Morales, who was part of the original cast that banded together in Atlanta during the show’s first season. It was revealed that he has since joined the Saviors, which is why he is at the compound that Rick, Daryl, and a bunch of other Alexandrians are attacking. In last week’s episode Morales got the jump on Rick and was holding him at gunpoint, which is where it ended, so coming into this episode Rick’s fate was unknown.
For a while, Morales seemed to have Rick in a pickle and even started monologuing about how bad Rick has become and how screwed he is now that Morales has caught him, but like most dummies who talk too much when they have the upper hand, Morales gets an arrow to the face courtesy of Daryl. What makes this scene so great is Daryl’s reaction to Rick trying to stop him from killing Morales. He pretty much says, “Who gives a shit who this guy was, it doesn’t matter.” You have to dig Daryl’s no-nonsense attitude, which quite frankly is a direct result of his torture at the hands of the Saviors and Negan, so he’s over trying to give people a chance. If you’re with Negan’s team you’re dead in the eyes of Daryl, and I can’t blame him.
2. Jesus vs. Morgan
Jesus’ and Morgan’s disagreement on how to deal with Savior prisoners came to a head in this episode, and it resulted in a bit of fisticuffs. The fight was pretty cool, and it resulted in Morgan heading off on his own while also admitting that he’s not right in the head. Although, he still believes that keeping the Saviors alive is a dumb move that will bite them in the ass in the end, and he’s probably right.
This fight and the ideals of the two fighters will have a lasting impact on this season and the good guys. The show has spent too much time on this thread and these two characters to not have some sort of big payoff planned for it, so be prepared for Jesus’ Saviors to screw the good guys at some point this season.
3. Maggie Throws Gregory a Bone
The Hilltop’s Gregory is comically bad at being a good guy. The dude will turn on anyone if he thinks it can benefit him, which he showcased during this season’s opening episode when he played puppet for Negan. After ditching Gabriel and stealing his car he has the balls to return to the Hilltop, and at first they don’t let him in. He begs, pleads, and whines until Maggie shows him mercy — one of this season’s major themes — and lets him in.
I’m not sure how to take her decision. You can either look at it as Maggie having the mercy Rick doesn’t seem to have at this point and that saving Gregory may help them all in the end. Or you could look at it as a major mistake based on Gregory’s past and how quickly he will flip sides if he feels he’s on the losing team. For all we know he could still be working with the Saviors, and he could possibly free the captured soldiers that Jesus brought back. That scenario would show that providing mercy may not be the way to approach groups like the Saviors, or if the opposite happens it could show the benefits of mercy in a zombie apocalypse.
Either way by letting Gregory back into the Hilltop Maggie showed that she’s more in line with Jesus than Rick and Daryl, but that kindness could also smack her in the face. Which is similar in what could happen to those like Rick, Daryl, and Morgan who believe that vengeance is the right way to go when handling Negan’s band of assholes. We’ve seen hints of Rick’s regret and he even mentions mercy as he reflects over the two graves we saw in the season opener, so when this season is all said an done we will probably see why Rick is regretting his vengeful approach over a merciful one.
4. Eric Goes Walker
Eric got wounded last week while in a firefight with the Saviors, and this week we found out his fate. Even though the bullet went straight through his gut, he still succumbed to his wound and because a Walker. Eric wasn’t a major character, so his passing wasn’t that impactful, but his final scene with his lover Aaron did provide for some solid emotions. Eric got a thoughtful sendoff by showing his growth as a character and realizing that Aaron was better off helping the attack than watching him pass. He became a much stronger person by the time he died, and showed that no matter how people may feel about certain things in the world of The Walking Dead, they can always change based on the insane circumstances a human faces in this world.
I also found it cool that Aaron took on the charge of taking care of the baby Rick found at the compound, as it completed a circle-of-life moment for Aaron who lost his companion but gained a new life to care for.
5. Oh! There’s the .50 Cal!
Throughout this episode King Zeke was shown giving passionate speeches about how he and his followers will overcome the Saviors without losing a life, and for most of the episode it looked like his promise would pay off. That all changed during the episode’s final moments when King Zeke spots a Savior encampment overlooking a killing field they just used to ambush a group of saviors. As soon as he realizes that his position has been marked the Savior’s open up with a deadly .50 cal machine gun attack that looks like it took out a large number of King Zeke’s followers.
So his plan of losing no life went horrifically bad fast, and his followers paid a heavy price for possibly getting too arrogant in their fight against the Saviors. This scene also showed us where the .50 cals were moved to, and that they’re possibly being moved again, so this may mean we see Rick and Daryl show up at this location, and based on previews for next week’s episode, I’m betting they’ll show up in time to help out Carol, who is on her own after going to scout out the compound before the .50 cal attack.
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