The Walking Dead: Time for After Review
AMC‘s The Walking Dead, season 8, episodes 7, ‘Time for After,’ took another step, in the bottle ep parsing of the Commune Conflict’s in-between-phase. Some action finally came up, from behind a lot of what-comes-next talk; but there was still something of a drag in effect.
In the case of Rick (Andrew Lincoln), it was more of a confine, as Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) continued to share as little as possible, regarding her plans. Somehow, I wasn’t mad at her, just yet. As for the whole sculpting after thing, was I the only one wondering if Jadis had a trophy/ monument in mind, or something more… personal?
In Rick’s absence, and with Murder Machine Morgan (Lennie James) on board, the Revengers seemed sure to rogue resolve the conflict, at the expense of no-one-any-of-them-really-cared-about, inside Sanctuary. Then talk of concern came up – from Rosita (Christian Serratos), of all people – but a part of me hoped that the Braids had inceptioned the Scar, some.
If the whole reason Mischonne (Danai Gurira) went along was to slyly inject some consideration into an otherwise done deal, then bravo to Braids. Otherwise, Rosita took the moral high-ground all-of-sudden-like, and got to guilt on Mischonne for staying with the Revengers. Kinduva meh development, to me; but: meh….
Even after Mischonne (eventually) called out the plan (no masterminding, there, sadly), and things seemed to go the Revengers’ way (I won’t get into the perceived turbo-dynamic issues I had with that), I really had to wonder – watching the Sanctuary castes clambering upwards – where viewers actually meant to forget about the helicopter?
The Revenger gambit wasn’t a done deal; leaving divergent opportunities for one potentially redeemable Savior prospect to shine – only with a question of on whose parade.
The episode was unevenly split, between the Revengers scheme, and the intrigues of the besieged Saviors’ Inside Man thread – with the bulk going to the latter, and where Eugene (Josh McDermitt) stood, on the chess board.
I never liked Eugene’s tendency to speak his genius mind before fully comprehending the consequences; but at least he has been consistent about it. The Dwight (Austin Amelio) confrontation was stupidity of clichéd proportions. Even if Dwight was reformed enough to try to reason his way out of the ultimatum, the fact that he could just as easily killed the threat should’ve occurred to Eugene.
Full disclosure: I really didn’t want to giggle at the phrase “Giggle Juice,” but I did.
Still, Eugene had a pin coming to his rationalization bubble; I just wish there were more pricks coming at him, other than bed-ridden Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) – playing to his sense of conscience & morality – or one of the wanabe-widows – who actually might’ve made the first dent. She was right about Eugene’s character flaw; but wrong about what a successful assassination would’ve meant for Sanctuary. Hell, we already saw what a day without Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) meant.
Well, Negan went & blew a mighty wind into that bubble, clearly reinforcing it some; so we were meant to consider Eugene… on the bubble, I guess.
As such, I guess we were meant to hold our breath for the second Eugene-Dwight confrontation – this one over a bit of MacGyvery, that seemed to confirm Eugene’s ultimate decision. Frankly, all Dwight had to do was just stomp the thing; but maybe we were meant to consider that Eugene’s got more resolve, between the two. Whatever. With Gloria Gaynor as his witness, Eugene has waived the right to a redemption arc. I don’t know about you, but I’m good with him having an evil scientist henchman role, and good guys not enabling the mullet.
Didn’t grow him a pair, though; so I was left with the sickening sense for ‘watch this space.’ The Inside Man subplot rolls on. You might want to grab yourself some Giggle Juice.
Speaking of giggles, we did get to see what came before the ‘after,’ regarding Rick’s posthumous immortalization. What bothered me was that Jadis had less muscle on hand for the before action, than she did for the after announcement. Well, the resolution needed enough room to swing a Walker on a stick; so plot armor beat Walker armor, and the Tin-can Cult had a proper re-negotiation brought to them.
That, and maybe more insight on how Jadis wanted to remember Rick. I still prefer the idea of the Scavengers as bogeymen to AKH (Alexandra, Kingdom, Hilltop – Eugene did me a solid, with that one), but I just really like Jadis.
If the pretty ones tend to be insane, does it follow that the insane ones can seem pretty? Don’t answer that – nobody needs that can-of-worms opened in a junkyard.
As for the twist, at the end… I think I touched on that one, already. Wait for it.
Cramming the in-between-phases with bottles seems like a momentum killer to me; but at least ‘Time for After’ gave encouraging signs that some momentum can still be had. Having the All Out War break during a break would be a real let down; but if the time-line of in-between events has been as tricky as I hope, season 8.1 could go out with a banger of an answer, to a question I had alluded to before.
Not the one about ‘is it really going to be that easy, for the AKH alliance,’ but the ‘how it’s not, by a long-shot’ one.
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