The Walking Dead season 8 episode 14 review: Still Gotta Mean Something


Rick and Morgan go on a Savior hunting spree. Negan and Jadis spend some quality time together at The Heap. Oh, and there’s a freaking helicopter twirlin’ around?

Warning: Spoilers below. 

Yes, there is an actual helicopter that just seems to be hangin’ out on The Walking Dead. But tonight’s episode spent barely any time on that fact, giving us instead a Rick/Morgan-sponsored massacre and some very odd bonding between Negan and Jadis.

Morgan is still suffering from his hallucinations that repeat “You know what it is.” This time, they come in the form of Henry, bloodied and injured. Still not satisfied with all the Saviors he took out at Hilltop, Morgan decides to go after the prisoners who escaped. Carol follows, maybe to stop Morgan’s crazed bloodlust but also in hopes she’ll find Sophia-er-Henry.

As Morgan tracks the Saviors, Carol tries to reason with him. We think this has more to do with her realizing he is going down a destructive, PTSD-like path instead of actually wanting to help Hilltop.

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lennie James as Morgan Jones – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

She reminds Morgan how he was the one who guided her away from that same path and maybe he should take his own advice. Morgan redirects, telling Carol that Henry is probably dead and she needs to move on. They find Henry’s stick in a walker and part ways — Morgan off to kill, Carol off to save.

Rick eventually meets up with Morgan, but we’ll rewind a bit to before he gets there. At Hilltop, Rick still has not read Carl’s letter. Michonne begs him to do it, hoping it will bring Rick some clarity and calm him down a bit. Because seriously, the guy has no chill. Ever.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Rick refuses to read the letter, which by the way was sitting atop Carl’s letter for Negan. Instead, Rick puts on what the Internet has dubbed his murder jacket and preps to go find some Savior escapees. He comes across sexy Savior Alden who pleads, “Don’t kill any more of them than you have to.”

Rick gives a look of “sure kid, right after Negan and I grab a beer and reminisce about Glenn.”

What happens next isn’t surprising in the least, but still pretty upsetting for Rick’s storyline. He meets up with Morgan only to get whacked in the head and caught by the Saviors. (Totally believable that these stealthy, revenge-focused killers not once heard a Savior coming up to capture them.)

As captives, Rick and Morgan learn Jared and the other escapees are in bad shape. Some are close to turning, and a few (as Alden mentioned earlier) likely regret their decisions to leave Hilltop. Rick half-sells a pitch that if they let him and Morgan go, they can all go back to Hilltop happily-ever-after style. Jared doesn’t buy it, especially with Morgan talking about killing them all the second he’s loose.

The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

When a herd shows up, it looks for a moment as if they’re all going to team up to take the walkers out and walk out alive. Like I said, for a moment. As soon as the walkers are wiped out, Rick and Morgan kill all the Saviors (despite one of them even saving Rick.) Morgan finds Jared and makes sure he becomes walker lunch. Rick finds a dying Savior, who with his last breaths says they all could have lived together.

At this point, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for Rick turning himself around and becoming the good ol’ Sheriff we knew at the start of this show. What seals this is for us is when Rick asks Morgan why he saved him at the start of all of this. Morgan admits it was only because his kid was there. In this moment, we can almost see Rick’s soul just crumble. He’s been hanging on by a thread, and Morgan for so long was the guy who saved him and gave him a chance to find his son, his wife, and a chance to survive in this chaos. That man is gone. Rick, we fear, could become like Morgan very soon — full of anger, but completely empty at the same time.

When Rick and Morgan return to Hilltop, they see Henry is alive, having been saved by Carol. Morgan is relieved (big question mark?) and tells Henry his brother’s killer is certainly dead now. I think the entire town could figure that out by how much blood was on him. As for Rick, we hope that somehow, sometime soon Carl’s message sinks in. Otherwise, we’ll have a Morgan 2.0.

While the whole Sunday Bloody Sunday scene was so interesting (Rick wanting revenge? Killing people? Shocker), what we were truly pumped to see was Negan as Jadis’ prisoner. Bonus points for Lucille still being around! It had looked as if she’d been burned or left behind during Rick and Negan’s last fight, but she’s doing fine.

We first see a flashback to Simon’s massacre, where we learn Jadis played dead and that’s the sole reason she survived. We also see that the Scavengers actually had clean clothes and even clean rooms (well, more like closets) to go to.

Jadis drags Negan out to what we can only imagine was some well-devised plot to kill him once and for all. She’s wearing a watch that beeps, as if to remind her of something important coming (aka that helicopter). When Jadis leaves Negan alone for a bit, he’s able to get a gun, light a flare and snatch some beloved photos of her dearly departed Scavenger family. How he did this, we have no idea. At some point with this show, we just have to stop asking sensible questions and say sure, Negan can do that.

He begs to be released, explaining he had nothing to do with the death of her community. He also pleads for Jadis to not destroy Lucille, his most prized possession named after his dead wife. In return, he’ll leave her photos alone. What comes next is still massively confusing.

The two tussle. Jadis tries to nab the flare before Negan burns her photos. The flare goes out, and that is when… a helicopter appears. A helicopter. A flying, functioning helicopter. Negan’s face was all of us, as he stared in disbelief while Jadis gets another flare and tries to get the helicopter’s attention.

We never get an explanation, of course, as to how and why Jadis had flares or had an alarm set for when a helicopter would be flying around. Instead, she lets Negan go. It seems the two have come to a mutual agreement that life in this new world is horrible all around and everyone has made bad decisions. Granted, Negan has made the worst, but Jadis still lets him go.

He offers her a place at the Sanctuary, which she shrugs off. As he leaves, Negan promises he’ll be back to either talk more with Jadis or learn more about that helicopter. For the audience, this is beyond rattling as the appearance of a helicopter would seem like the most important thing ever to learn about. But sure a war between Hilltop and the Sanctuary is… more… important.

In the final moments of tonight’s episode, Rosita and Daryl reappear to remind us Eugene is making bullets and he must be stopped. Got it. Sure. Maybe just tell Rick and Morgan and they’ll go handle it. No really, we’re sure if you gave them enough time, they’d take out Eugene’s armory themselves. Granted, none of this looks good for Eugene.

Negan drives back to the Sanctuary, picking up a mystery person along the way.

Could it be Jadis, already deciding to team back up with the Saviors? Or perhaps Gregory? He did escape Hilltop but Rick and Morgan didn’t find him amongst the Savior escapees, and he wasn’t with Henry. Or maybe Heath? Remember Heath? Last we saw him, he got separated from Tara during a supply run gone bad. (According to Scott Gimple, there’s a small chance we may see him but maybe not in season 8.)

We’re interested to find that out, plus what Negan is going to do with Simon, and even Dwight, on next week’s episode of The Walking Dead.

Related Story: Lennie James talks Morgan’s crossover to Fear the Walking Dead

Undead Afterthoughts

  • The Heap is a dump on the outside, but filled with Ikea closets on the inside?
  • Best quote thus far on The Walking Dead? “I swear on my sack.”
  • Carl’s letter to Rick, in full: “Dad, I should have never left the house. xo Carl”
  • Tara is honestly following the Internet threads about her: She brought up the Governor, this round she brought up Dwight’s clean arrow. Thanks, Tara, we appreciate you listening to us.