'The Walking Dead' Will Be Like " A New Show" After Season 8's Finale

This has been a tough season for The Walking Dead ratings-wise, as fans have largely rejected the "All Out War" storyline that has pit Rick's crew against Negan's army. I think there was a huge "jumping off" point that came with the death of Rick's son, Carl, while the series' continued use of a fractured narrative has worn out its welcome. This weekend's season 8 finale could be the end of more than just this particular storyline, it could be the end of everything that came before.

Exiting showrunner Scott Gimple tells EW that the impact of the season 8 finale will be to launch a whole new narrative when season 9 starts under new showrunner Angela Kang...

"Also, this episode isn’t just like these 15 episodes coming to a conclusion, but Angela and myself and the writers had always talked about this in many ways being sort of the conclusion of the first eight seasons. This show will be very much a new show next year and with a bigger, new narrative. It was something I was really excited about getting into even before season 8. And so there was just a certain weight in the air of the kind of conclusion that we were getting closer to. It was a weird graduation for everybody."

Gimple says the finale, titled "Wrath", will be a big battle but probably not what fans are expecting. Rather than a sprawling, chaotic fight it will be a very character-focused story, which is probably smart considering nearly every major character appears in the episode...

“I guess with so many people, so many characters reaching the conclusion of the story that we’ve been laying out for them over the past few years in some regards, there’s just a lot going on, and a lot of perspectives that we’re shifting between and some very, very big emotional and philosophical movement between just some unbelievably insane things happening,”

While it's John who handles our recaps of The Walking Dead, I've been keeping up with it this season and have largely enjoyed it. That's despite what I think was a terrible misstep in getting rid of Carl, and the mischaracterization of Carol, by far my favorite character. It sounds like we may see a lot of the original cast get killed off, and I'm just hoping Carol makes it through. If not...well, I may have a free hour on Sundays.

The Walking Dead season 8 finale airs on AMC this Sunday.