I don't think I've ever watched a more self-satisfied, obnoxious episode of television in my life. But what's even more obnoxious is that the season eight finale of The Walking Dead was still gratifying to me, too, if only because it looks like it finally got the AMC show back on the right track (...maybe).
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No, seriously. I know it may sound impossible after this deeply troubled second-half of season eight, but The Walking Dead pulled off an episode that had no major issues and was pretty compelling because it actually advanced a lot of storylines while also setting up some major stakes for the season finale. See, Walking Dead makers? It isn't that hard!
After last week's episode of silent zombies and fences that couldn't be shot through, I was determined to go into this week's episode of The Walking Dead with an open mind. I wanted to look for the good, I really did. Instead, I got a brutal, nihilistic reminder of the show's most fundamental problem: Rick Grimes.
Now that we've been reminded yet again that Rick is the worst, it's time for The Walking Dead to start moving its game pieces in preparation for Protagonists vs. the Saviors round… oh, let's say four. So "Dead or Alive or" is a bit of a check-in, a bit of re-arranging, and even a bit of housecleaning, all tied together by a very special appearance from the Judeo-Christian deity.
The world's pre-eminent source of zombie entertainment has never exactly been afraid of shooting itself in the foot now and again. It's like the show has some sort of crippling self-esteem issues, and can't help sabotaging itself. But this episode in particular felt like The Walking Dead wanted to offer us a delicious cookie, but couldn't help licking it first.