by Phil Akin
Warning: This review may contain spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of The Walking Dead.
“Honor” is emotionally heavy and unfortunate. Does that make it a good episode? Not really. Not much happens, apart from a couple insane moments. The show lost a couple of its more interesting characters this week. Carl and Gavin both died, which just continues AMC’s string of bad decisions (killing Morales, keeping Daryl alive, etc). This episode focuses primarily on Carl dying, which was expected, and – to a slightly lesser extent – on the Kingdom.
To kick this off, we finally get to see what this whole “Old Man Rick” thing was about. Carl was imagining Rick building a better civilization where everyone lived peacefully. Michonne, Judith, Jerry, Siddiq, Eugene, and even Negan were all there in this perfect dream. The thing is, this is exactly what happens in the comics, give or take a couple characters. See, in the comics Rick does shave his head and lets his beard grow out. And Negan does begin to live at Alexandria. Don’t be surprised if what happened in these “dream” sequences actually comes to reality.
Speaking of Carl, perhaps the biggest tragedy this episode is that he dies. Carl was divisive amongst fans. Some liked him, and others found him annoying. But I think most can agree that he didn’t need to go out the way he does in this episode. Sure, it’s sentimental having him recount previous seasons and all that fun stuff. But it’s boring. It’s reminiscent of issue 167 when Andrea dies in the comics. She is dying in a bed, saying goodbye to loved ones. It takes up the entire issue just like Carl’s death took up this entire episode. It was nice that most of the cast was able to say their goodbyes to Carl. It’s just a shame that Daryl wasn’t in Carl’s spot this week. Oh well, there’s always next week for that.
It remains to be seen how other characters not present in this episode will handle losing Carl. Characters like Maggie and Carol were very close to Carl, and Negan seemed to have a special bond to him (despite trying to kill him). This death should definitely shake up the rest of the season. Maybe Rick will honor Carl and spare Negan, perhaps locking him up in that jail cell Morgan built.
Gavin unfortunately dies as well this episode. Like it was mentioned earlier, AMC has made some bad decisions lately by killing off characters who could potentially become good like Morales and Gavin. Out of all the Saviors (excluding Dwight), Gavin seemed like the nicest one who could turn on Negan and ally with Rick and the other survivors. But no, AMC can’t let us have nice things and interesting subplots, and as a result they made little Henry kill Gavin. It would have made some sense if Morgan was the one to kill Gavin, but no it was deus ex Henry who came out of nowhere. Did neither Ezekiel nor Carol see this kid sneak up? They easily could have prevented Gavin’s death, but they just stood there. Fingers crossed that Simon isn’t next.
Speaking of Morgan, he has maybe the most gruesome kill this week since Negan bashed in Abraham and Glenn’s skulls. During a firefight between Morgan, Carol, and some Saviors, a Savior is shot in the stomach but not killed. This unnamed Savior then begins to fistfight Morgan, where Morgan drives his hand into the Savior’s wound, and rips out his intestines. That makes this otherwise-boring episode interesting. No doubt Negan won’t be happy to find out both Gavin and Carl have passed away. Will these deaths put things into perspective for Negan? Or will he continue until Rick & co. are dead? Hopefully we’ll find out next week.
Featured image from AMC
The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 9: "Honor"
Not much happens in “Honor” besides the unfortunate loss of a couple interesting characters. How these deaths will affect the rest of the season remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, nothing will be the same moving forward. This episode has some gory moments but does little to make up for the largely slow and boring mid-season premiere.
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