'The Walking Dead' S08E15 Recap: "Worth"

The sands of the hourglass are running thin. We are at the end of the All-Out War…even if we can’t really classify most of what we’ve seen as war. We come off two great episodes and sadly, take a downturn before the finale. Negan has returned to the Sanctuary where Simon is enlisting Dwight and a group of Saviors to overthrow Negan. Meanwhile Rosita and Daryl are staking out the bullet-making factory for a way to stop production and Aaron is on hunger strike outside the Riverside community hoping to change their minds on joining the fight.

The thing is, 80% of this episode was not necessary. That is the #1 issue with TWD in the last few seasons; I really do not see what the positive side of treading water like this could be. Let’s look at the Eugues story arc in this ep, my obvious disdain for the walking mullet with verbal diarehha aside, the fact is almost nothing is accomplished by his 20 minutes of screen time. Daryl and Rosita kidnap him, they walk him back to the Hilltop but on the way there, some walkers confront them. For some reason Eugene sees his best escape route is to make himself throw up on Rosita. He runs, hides in a horrible pile of burnt bodies and sneaks his way back to the warehouse at which point Daryl and Rosita head back to hilltop….what was the point? I suppose there could be something popping up in the finale where he has a change of heart based on seeing his old friends but really, there are other ways to accomplish this. Aaron at the Riverside was not any better. We see the group come upon him in the woods where he’s basically starving while waiting for them to come around and join the fight. They say no and leave. Later in the episode, he’s attacked and almost killed by walkers. The group finds him again and appears to want to help him now…not only is there no clear reason why they would change their mind it was just not an effective way to show this. There has to be more thought put into these mini-arcs. Bringing our way to the only worthwhile storyline of the episode, Negan’s return. While this had it’s merit and brought along circumstances that will reverberate through the season finale even it was drawn out for no apparent reason. Instead of confronting Simon on his return Negan plays an elaborate game culminating in him hiding behind a trash can while Simon let’s his whole plan be known like some balding Bond villain. There was a GREAT scene earlier in the episode that would have been perfect to dispatch Simon, yes, it was obvious but it would have been worth it for the homage to Al Capone in The Untouchables alone. As Negan walks around the table, bat in hand, he ends up behind Simon…instead of bashing his skull in, he forgives him….only to set him up for admission later. The result is the same, Simon is toast. The twist comes in at the very end when Dwight, who is still in double…or maybe even triple agent mode at this point, is lead back to his room by Negan. Upon walking in he is surrounded then confronted by one of the Saviors he turned on earlier in the season. Dwight is found out and captured, with the promise of a fate worse than death from Negan. Why was this glossed over in 3 minutes? Wouldn’t that have been more interesting to follow?

The Good:
  • Sadly, not much this episode. I will give credit where it is due, to the continued growth of Negan’s character. Michonne travels to the Sanctuary to read Negan Carl’s letter over Walkie Talkie’s. While he tries to be Mr. Badass he is visibly shaken and you can tell the words of peace delivered posthumously by Carl do have an effect on him, and will ultimately play a part in how this thing ends.

The Bad:

  • So much time wasted. Seriously, there needs to be an efficiency review in the writer’s room of TWD. This war could have been over at the mid-season finale, there is literally no good reason to stretch out your material, and they just do not seem to be getting that point.
  • More Eugene = more annoyed viewers. The only redeeming quality of his arc this episode was Daryl threatening to cut his tongue out. Oh happy day.
  • The Riverside community as a whole. They just haven’t developed that location and it’s members enough for me to care or understand why they are important. The only thing I can imagine they’d be useful for is cannon fodder.

The Dead:

  • Something we have all wanted to see for quite some time. Zombie Simon. Even after 8 seasons there is still something unsettling about seeing a series regular change to undead mode. This one was one of the most disturbing, Chained to the fence outside of the Sanctuary, Zombie Simon thrashes around and gnarls at nothing…something about his movement was off, kind of like how Samara moves in The Ring. Whatever it was, I’m just glad he can't talk anymore...dude was getting to Eugene levels of annoyance.