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The Walking Dead – S8E8 – How It’s Gotta Be

Sweet Lord Jesus. This show makes no damn sense and Gimple needs to be fired.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Rick and the Junkyardigans

Rick and the Junkyardigans arrive at the Sanctuary to find what he already knew when he looked through the scope of that rifle last week: someone lured the herd away and the Saviors got out. Some are still inside though, and they take shots at Rick and company, forcing him to find cover. He barks orders to Jadis and her people, but they’re already halfway up the road and on their way home. So, all that time we spent watching Rick try to convince them to join was for nothing. Rick is rescued by Carol and Jerry, and they eventually split up to warn the others.

There’s a flashback to the moments after Rick sent Siddiq running with his warning shots. Carl explains to his father that hoping people make it won’t be enough. They have to be fighting for something. They can’t kill everyone. At some point, they’re going to have to figure out a way to live with some of the Saviors because they all can’t be bad. This is a great conversation and Carl has valid points. These are the kinds of things they should be discussing in moments other than quick flashbacks to set up a character’s upcoming death. Why this show is so afraid to slow the fuck down and let these characters have meaningful conversations is beyond me. This and the debates between Jesus, Tara, Morgan, and Maggie are things that should have been discussed when they were making this plan. Instead, they’re forced to question each other while bullets are literally flying and it inevitably leads to several members of the team doing their own thing, and usually to the detriment of the group as a whole.

I hope they all die.

Enid and Aaron

Enid and Aaron are headed to Oceanside for reasons. This was not part of the plan. They’re just going because Aaron is sad. They’re going to drop in on a community of women who were very much about shooting first and asking questions never; a community of women they strong-armed into giving up all of their weapons – weapons they won’t be returning as promised. Almost immediately, Enid is forced to shoot and kill Meemaw so something tells me the rest of Oceanside won’t be too receptive to whatever the hell it is that brought Aaron and Enid there to begin with.

But at least they brought a truck of liquor so Oceanside will have plenty to pour out in honor of their dear, departed Meemaw. I guess.

Daryl, Michonne, Tara, and Rosita

Negan shows up at Alexandria and gives them three minutes to open up the gates before he goes scorched earth. Carl ushers almost everyone into the sewers (where he’s been letting Siddiq stay) and heads to the gates to offer himself up to Negan.

Meanwhile, Daryl, Rosita, Michonne, and Tara lead a caravan out the back way, barreling through a Savior barricade that’s purposely made flimsy because Dwight is in charge. Dwight then leads his Saviors into an ambush where Daryl and the others open fire. Dwight eventually has to shoot some of his own, and his cover as a mole is effectively blown. The one Savior who gets away will make sure of that. Daryl asks if it was his stupid actions that led to the Savior’s escape. Nope. It was Eugene. Dwight is spared and promises that he and Daryl can settle up once Negan is defeated for good.

The most offensive part of this? Rosita decides that even if Daryl and Tara’s plan was the cause of the Savior’s escape, it doesn’t matter because sometimes they all need to fuck up to learn a lesson. And that’s why the writing on this show has been trash; they keep giving themselves permission to recycle the same storylines and giving their characters permission to repeat the same stupid moves without ever learning a lesson.

I hope they all die.


Eugene can’t sleep. One and a half ounces of wine doesn’t help. Imagine that. He finally decides to facilitate Gabriel’s escape with the good doctor so he can return to the Hilltop and deliver Maggie’s baby three seasons from now or whenever.

So, let me get this straight: Eugene is wracked with guilt and thinks that sending Gabe and the doc into the night will assuage it, but he also came up with the plan that allowed Negan and the others to leave and rain down holy hellfire on the communities they belong to? How the fuck does that make any sense?

I hope Eugene dies soon, slowly, and violently.

Maggie and That Raggedy-Ass Jesus

Jerry’s car is t-boned by the Saviors.

Simon and a group of Saviors stop Maggie, Jesus, and their Hilltop caravan in the middle of the road and threaten to kill Jerry if they don’t hand over their weapons. Maggie learns that Eugene helped them escape and that the other communities are being obliterated as they speak. Hilltop will be spared because they’re the farmers, but she and the others will be made an example of if she doesn’t go along. To show he means business, Simon kills a man in the backseat of Maggie’s car. Maggie has no choice.

When she returns to Hilltop, she puts a hot one in one of the Savior prisoners as retribution for the man Simon killed. She instructs Jesus to leave a message where the Saviors will find it: they got more hostages and she’s not afraid to kill them all. Hilltop prepares to be a place the others can rally to if they make it out of Alexandria and the Kingdom alive. Jesus tsk-tsks the whole time cause he’s the fucking feds.


Gavin is in charge of gathering the Kingdom. When he can’t find Ezekiel, Gavin warns the people of the Kingdom that they’ll all be sorry if they don’t turn him in. Gavin really is just middle management who doesn’t want to do this shit, but here we are.

Ezekiel creates a diversion and provides his people with weapons and a way to escape, but he locks himself in with the Saviors as Carol helplessly watches. Ezekiel may not be out completely, because Morgan is on the other side of the wall listening as Gavin tells of Negan’s plan to string Ezekiel up on the Saviors’ gate.

Poor Carl

Once Daryl’s crew crashes through Dwight’s barricade, Negan realizes Carl’s offer was really about being a distraction. As the Saviors fire over the walls, Carl limps around the subdivision making damn sure the Saviors aren’t able to set down roots in any of their fine houses before finally heading into the sewers.

When Rick arrives, he finds Negan in his house and the two fight briefly before Rick runs off to find his family. He finds Michonne and the two eventually make their way into the sewers. Judith is fine. Carl, though, was bitten when he and Siddiq tussled with walkers a few episodes ago.

Carl deserved better than this bullshit.

Bits and Bites

I’ve committed to riding this till the wheels fall off, but… can they just pull the plug already? Killing Carl feels like an attempt to do something shocking for the sake of diverting from the comic books. And to have it happen because he went out to save a character we don’t yet give a shit about (and might not ever give a shit about) feels wrong. The way the news was sprung on Chandler Riggs is simply gross. I hope this is a blessing in disguise and he goes on to work with material worthy of his talents.

Eugene needs to be shot on sight. On.fucking.sight. Unfortunately, I bet Gabriel will be integral to Eugene’s redemption even though freeing him and doctor Carson was a tad too little too late.

Tara, Rosita, Michonne, and Daryl all live to make stupid decisions another day.

What, exactly, was the fucking plan? Even after Daryl sent the truck through the wall, why weren’t the snipers there to stop whatever the hell Eugene did? Why the hell do they refuse to tell us things that actually matter? Even on Talking Dead (which I watched about two minutes of before wanting to stab myself in the temples), Gimple couldn’t articulate how Eugene got them out. I swear to God, they better not treat us to flashbacks in February.

After Rick hit Negan in the face with Lucille, what the hell did Negan say? I’m going with sufferin’ succotash.

Leave your thoughts on the episode below and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast. 

The Walking Dead S8E8 Review Score
  • 6/10
    Plot – 6/10
  • 7/10
    Dialogue – 7/10
  • 7.5/10
    Action – 7.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Performances – 8.5/10

"How It's Gotta Be"

Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Norman Reedus, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Khary Payton

User Review
3.5 (4 votes)
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, “The Twin Prophecies,” and a collection of essays titled, “Blog It Out, B*tch.” Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she’s totally fine with that.

16 Comments on The Walking Dead – S8E8 – How It’s Gotta Be

  1. For the podcast: i’m officially done w/TWD. The writing has been pretty bad for a while now & i saw no reason for the show to air for 90mins last night. My time w/the Zpoc is officially over. I’ll still listen to the podcast reviews as they are very enjoyable but it’s officially a wrap for me in the Zpoc. Thanks for all that you do Nina, Donald & John!!

  2. I just read the review. No wonder Chandler was asking Stranger Things to hire him! This is a mess.

  3. I think it was incredible, but I’m reading to much into it. 1. Eugene makes up a story about a cure. 2. Father Gabe is a useless sack. Add these two together and you have a conspiracy. Padre is sick from what we assume is walker blood. Eugene’s conscious has kicked in and he sends Father G to Hilltop. During all this Carl has been bitten. Father G can likely save him…I mean as long as Rick is pro-vax (no I don’t care if I offend). Sooo in an odd way Eugene finds the cure and G is redeemed (all he really wants). BUT to make this work, we need to believe that Carl is going to die. We need his dad to write angry letters and Gimple saying that the bite is a normal bite. We need to be put off the this path. I mean if there is a cure…isn’t it a way out for the series? Last point, so what if Carl wasn’t seen in set for season 9…if I’m anywhere close…all his acting is from an infirmary bed for quite some time. I’m not reaching because I care anything about Riggs. I just think they need an exit strategy…

    PS…Rick is hot but I’m over it.

  4. For the podcast!Hey JDN! The pile of dino doo-doo in Jurassic Park doesn’t compare to the pile of shit this show has become. There were a few pieces of the episode I liked. Carl’s conversation with Negan may have been a diversion but he was genuine in everything he was saying and trying to get Negan to see. Maggie putting a hot one in that mofo Savior’s head was awesome and overdue. I hate that Michonne is written with no depth, insight or passion and believe that’s a result of Gimple’s jealousy of Danai because she’s a black, Tony nominated female playwright who is now also part of the Marvel Universe. Quadruple pile of dino shit for the way AMC/TWD/Gimple played Carl’s character and more importantly, Chandler Riggs. WTH, WTF, what the fuckitty fuck hell? My hope is that they end this show gracefully with a short season 9, like one or two 2-hour episodes. I can hope but really don’t expect that Gimple/AMC have the sense to do that

  5. For the Podcast

    Carl deserved better! Apparently they fired him 2 week’s before his 18th birthday so they wouldn’t have to pay him more money or some bullshit. I’m still pissed.

    Only things I enjoyed was the Michonne/Judith scene & Maggie becoming the cold hearted bitch we knew she could be.

    I guess I’m still watching but I’m even more apathetic about this show now. FUCK THIS SHOW!

    Thank you so much for podcasting this bullshit. Y’all are the real MVPs taking one for the team. Happy Holidays!

  6. FOR THE PODCAST: What up, peeps. Y’all know I didn’t watch this bullshit, but when I heard what happened and saw that people were upset about it the power of the Dark Side warmed my spirit. So, with that said, I’m just here to say… JUMP IN THEIR ASSES, NINA!!!!! TALK YO SHIT!

  7. For the podcast
    I know we basically knew who would die but I couldn’t help but laugh at Rick’s first flashback with Coral. TWD and Project Runway really love a Death Reel before they “surprise” you. Never mind the Shondaland advertising “Just wait him to the
    I always want to scream “Did you think I would cut off the show just for kicks!?”
    Coral and Chandler deserved better.

  8. For the podcast

    Fuck this show!!!

    Everything about this episode and the rest of 8a sucked ass and none of it had to happen. They spent the first 4 episodes this season attacking the sanctuary and the outposts yet somehow Negan has just as many people and weapons as he had before. They could’ve sent Rick to Oceanside with those pictures he took because at least those women would have a reason to want to fight Negan, but no he had to waste 3 episodes with the garbage people so Scott Gimple could get off on the supposed sexual tension between Rick and Jadis. Instead of killing Carl why didn’t they kill Daryl and Tara? Both of those dumbasses couldn’t stop talking about how they wanted to kill Dwight, yet when he’s right in front of them the only thing Daryl does is take back his dusty ass vest and Tara stands there looking stupid. Then the show had to let us know that we shouldn’t blame Daryl for being stupid so they had no less than 3 people say that what Daryl and Tara did wasn’t really a problem. This whole show started with Rick trying find Carl and it’s a damn shame the character had to go out this way he deserved so much better than getting bit helping some random guy free the souls of walkers. I’m going to keep watching until this is over, and I hope it’s over soon because this is terrible.

  9. For the podcast:
    I found the mid-season finale underwhelming.
    Carl: We all figured out that he would be the major death. He had some great & touching moments: writing the letter to his dad, his leadership in saving the Alexandrians from Negan’s attack, the scenes with Rick& Michonne in the sewer……I wasn’t a huge Carl fan but I’ll probably have misty moments when he dies (hopefully the writers won’t screw that up). I’m glad the writers aren’t going to pull the okey-doke by having him survive the walker bite due to some unknown gene etc. in his DNA.
    Carl and Negan discussion-it seems Carl got under Negan’s skin.
    Maggie vs Simon-Simon so delightfully yet irritatingly evil! I’m waiting for Maggie 2 go ham on his a$$, I also liked her take no prisoners attitude in shooting that savior.
    This all-out war has gone on too long-it should should’ve been over with by now.
    Most of the scenery was so dark it was hard to distinguish what was happening & who was doing what to whom
    So much for Rick & Co. great plan 2 conquer the Savior’s-not only did the Saviors manage to escape/regroup, they were able to take out both the kingdom & Alexandria.
    Rick/Negan fight-wack!
    I’m so tired of the group gong back & forth on what they should do/not do & then doing their own thing-no wonder the plan blew up in their collective faces!
    Oceanside makes an appearance-hello! why bring them back now?
    Junkyardigans are punk a$$e$ -turned tail & ran at the start of the battle.
    As for the second half of Season 8, I can wait-other than Carl’s eventually passing; I think we get the same old – same old……
    That’s all I have-thanks for the great podcasts which were so much better than the show!

  10. I had to edit my feedback like 6 times. I started writing and by the time I was done I had written two pages worth of everything I hated about this episode, this season and TWD overall. Fair warning, this still might be too long, so I’m sorry. I read your review and Negan told Rick, “Don’t you touch her”, meaning Lucille.
    I won’t go into a lot of details about my feelings on the carl/chandler riggs thing. It happened, I hated it and apparently so did the actor who played him. I will say that I don’t trust the writers to give the proper care to the characters left behind due to this. I feel like they’ll do a time jump like with Carl’s eye injury and Rick and Michonne will either be fine, or one of them will be dealing with it while the other, most likely Rick cause they refuse to actually bring up the fact Michonne had a son who died, goes crazy. again. Yay.

    I think Carol is officially in love with The King. She called him, your majesty, unironically.

    Can someone explain to me how time works on the walking dead? I’m assuming Carol and Jerry showed up at the sanctuary to meet rick to carry out the rest of the plan right? So why was it daylight when they got there, but nighttime when Michonne told carl they were almost ready to go and when maggie and jesus where on the road? Where they behind schedule? oh well, We’ll never know, cause they didn’t even bother to explain the damn plan to begin with.

    Was Maggie killing the savior supposed to be a turning point for her? cause she only killed one and if she had killed all of them instead, with no fucks given, right in front of Jesus that would have been 1,000 times more impressive.

    Boy, are Aaron and Enid fucking useless. I hope Cyndie kills them both. Leave it to our people to fuck up as badly as they did. Aaron’s stupid ass talking about social graces, y’all have none asshole, you stole their shit.and you’ve just murdered their leader and enid, this insensitive bitch, “I’m a better driver than carl”, no shit he only has the one eye. I hate them.

    Question: all jokes aside about Michonne not aging in Rick’s dream, do you think it’s because she still might die? The ending scene with Rick, Michonne and Carl broke me, i don’t think I could continue to watch the show if Michonne died too. Who are the two graves for in the season premiere? Carl and Gabriel?

    That’s it for me. Can’t wait to hear the podcast. Hope you guys have a great holiday.

  11. Hey guys..we all know this wasn’t good so rather than reiterate it like the walking dead LOVES to do cause they think we’re dumb., I’m just gonna recommend a short lived ABC sitcom staring Damon Wayne’s jr called “Happy endings”. It’s 3 seasons so it’s not a commitment but it’s great and hilarious . Give it about 3 episodes and you’ll know if it’s for you or not That’s all.

  12. For the podcast:
    It’s a train wreck and at this point I only watch bc I can’t turn away! ?
    It’s okay to have characters do dumb things bc it’s who they are but to do it bc the writing is just THAT BAD is annoying.
    Why on earth would Enid and Aaron go wait for the gals of Oceanside and then when they show up go out with guns? Put your hands up and say you’re there with an offering blah blah blah. But now Enid’s shot chick’s grandma and she probably gonna die.
    Same thing with Jesus. Did he really think the tree just randomly fell on the road? Really Jesus? REALLY??
    Finally, when was Carl meant to have been bitten?? He has time to write a letter to his dad (why is his handwriting worse than my 6 year old’s??) and take food to dude in the sewer that he snuck in (since when have they had a sewer?) and he has time to direct everybody out by his plan and talk to Negan. A bite like that and he’d be taken over by the virus or whatever quickly. But we are supposed to suspend our belief for a plot device. ?
    Negan was the only good part. So now I am #TeamNegan and I am rooting all the original people to die (maybe Carol and Daryl and Michone just go off like Morgan will be doing) and it becomes the Negan show. Ugh.

  13. For The Podcast:

    Hey Yall! Fuck New Zach and Fuck Scott Gimple!

    We’ve got one group in the trash heap, and one group in the sewer. This show is literally shit. Everyone should watch Mr Robot instead.

    Also, Gavin still looks and sounds like a disappointed dad and Tobin was wearing mom jeans at 1 in the morning.

    When Dwight has gone from the worst character to literally the only one making good decisions, you’ve fucked up as a writer.

    Finally, they should have killed Judith instead and not completely fucked themselves for the next few comic arcs.

  14. Gimple just ruined the future of the walking dead

  15. The only hope for this show ever getting better is Gimple being fired. Hopefully, he takes the writing staff with him.

  16. It was a great ep I just wish it was Carroll r Darryl that got bit. Or Michonne

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