'The Walking Dead' recap: Monsters, season 8, episode 3

Posted Sunday, November 5, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV talk blog

War is ugly, with or without zombies. Do you kill a person  who gives you intel after promising him freedom? Do you off people who surrender? Do you just kill someone you used to be friendly with, no questions asked? And if your loved one is a zombie, should you just leave him behind? (Okay, that last one is very specific to this show but you get the gyst.)

This episode shows that Rick's group is not in clear consensus about the rules of battle.

And yes, the amount of firepower expended on "The Walking Dead" continues to boggle the mind.

But despite that quibble, it was an  engaging episode with a reasonable mix of humor, violence, pathos and ethical quandaries.

Let's see where everyone stands:

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Juan Gabriel Pareja as Morales- The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Daryl vs. Rick

Morales has a gun to Rick's head at the start of the episode. But good news: Negan doesn't want him, Maggie or King Ezekiel dead. So Morales gabs away while Rick tries to get him on his side with sentimentality.

"We're not the same guys we used to be," Morales said. "You're a monster... What's left of my people. They're coming. We'll get you to Negan. Or we won't. Either way, we'll settle your s***, peaches."

Rick says many of his folks are gone, including Andrea, Lori, Shane and Glenn. (What? How about T-Dog???)  "Are you Negan, too?"

Morales said he lost his family and his mind. The Saviors saved him and made him feel like he was "worth a damn... Yah, I'm Negan. To make it this far, this long, I had to be. I had to be somethin'. Just like you."

And he keeps going: "I'm the one holding the gun. That doesn't make me any worse than you Rick. That just makes me luckier. Let's face it. If it wasn't me, if it was you holding the gun, I'd be brains on the floor."

Plus: "Somewhere along the way, Officer Friendly died along with them. Just like I did. With them."

In a few seconds, Daryl comes along and kills Morales with not a whit of sentimentality. "I know who it was," Daryl says. "It don't matter. One bit."

Later, a Savior shoots at them. Rick promises to let him go if he provides intelligence because he provides his word, he keeps it. The young man does, telling them that the guns used to be at this house but was moved to a different location. Daryl then shoots him dead, much to Rick's surprise. But Rick does not protest. He isn't going to fight Daryl, who is in total kill mode.

Tom Payne as Paul 'Jesus' Rovia - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Lennie James as Morgan Jones - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Jesus vs. Morgan

The debate over what to do with the Savior prisoners of war continues between Jesus and Morgan.

"You know how dangerous this is and who these people are," Morgan says to Jesus.

"No matter what they've done, they're people," Jesus said. "We'll find another way. Maggie will find another way."

"You really think she won't want them dead?" Morgan says. "We're here now to do the same thing they do. But we go on... We're the same... Everybody turns." (Yes, he implies that although they are alive, they "turn" into war monsters as opposed to zombies.)

In an interesting twist, Morgan goes crazy and starts attacking Jesus.  Jesus fends him off. “I know I’m not right but it doesn’t make me wrong," Morgan says.

Then Morgan leaves. He's gone. Will we ever see him again? Again?

Gregory vs. Maggie

Gregory drives to the Hilltop after abandoning Gabriel, who is now in a trailer with Negan. (Yes, remember those s***in' pants? Worst line ever?)

But Maggie won't let him into the compound. He begs. He pleads. He apologizes. He's really pathetic, as usual.

Maggie eventually relents, saying killing Gregory isn't even worth it. "Not yet anyway,<" she mutters to Enid But it is! It is!

Then Jesus shows up, minus Morgan, with the POWs. She is not pleased. Jesus yet again pleads for their lives. What to do? What to do?

Khary Payton as Ezekiel - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

King Ezekiel's crew vs. the Saviors

King Ezekiel's uber confidence appears to be rewarded throughout the episode as they seem to kill off huge hordes of Saviors without a single death. But in the waning seconds of the episode, that is not the case. They are in an open field and survivors at the outpost start mowing them down. His underlings pile on top of him like Secret Service agents and we are on to episode four...

Ross Marquand as Aaron, Jordan Woods-Robinson as Eric Raleigh - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Aaron and Eric

Poor Aaron. His boyfriend Eric suffers the first real casualty of this season of anybody folks might care about. Eric was never a big player on the show but he was sweet and clearly caring about Aaron, who is heartbroken. To fill the void, Aaron voluntarily takes the baby of the father Rick had killed named Gracie to the Hilltop. Oddly, nobody chooses to knife Zombie Eric and give his body a proper burial.

A walker attacks- The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Cool walker scene

It has become increasingly difficult for the producers to come up with new ways to bring on walkers. This time, we have a horde rolling down a hill yet still dexterous enough to get up once they hit bottom. It was more amusing than frightening but good imagery. Too bad more of the walkers didn't just chew up the Saviors.

Grade: B

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.