REVIEW: The Walking Dead S8E2 ‘The Damned’ is a whole lot of nothing happening
This week’s The Walking Dead marks the first time the show has named an episode after the audience watching it. ‘The Damned’ was a whole lot of needless action and minimal dialogue, progressing an already-dragging war plotline absolutely nowhere.
There are lots of things wrong with ‘The Damned’, but its biggest flaw is simply that nothing happens. The Alexandrians and their allies are surrounding and infiltrating Saviour-owned compounds, using information from Dwight. This leads to a number of overdrawn shootouts and scenes of characters wandering around seemingly empty corridors, only for Saviours to appear from nowhere in jump-scare sequences. This horror tactic is excellent from creating a tense atmosphere when used sparingly. However, this is far from sparingly.
There are a couple of noteworthy interactions this episode. Tara and Jesus argue over whether Saviours who have surrendered should be killed regardless. King Ezekiel questions Carol’s doubt over their success and declares that they must remain positive. Rick discovers a familiar face from the past hidden amongst the Saviours. All in all though, this episode is mainly just a lot of nothing.
The Walking Dead‘s biggest draw has never been the zombies or action. Instead, it has been the clever examination of mankind at its weakest and its continued will to survive against all odds. The series has done this time and time again, mostly through introducing and developing characters the audience cares about and excellent dialogue. It is a shame that ‘The Damned’ and indeed many more recent episodes, has chosen to ignore what made the series what it is in favour of fight scenes and gunshots.