There will be spoilers in this review, turn back now if you haven’t watched the season eight finale.
The conclusion of ALL OUT WAR was built to be epic. Instead, fans of The Walking Dead were treated to a conversation. ‘Wrath’ had no weight and or a cinematic quality to it. Yes, there was a plot twist, but the build-up to the final battle between Rick and Negan was straight up tedious. There was no crisis of conscious for Rick, if there were the dialogue and direction didn’t help the cause.
The point of ALL OUT WAR is for Rick to realize there is a better way than killing your enemy if society is to survive the zombie apocalypse. ON top of that, the purpose of ALL OUT WAR is to be anti-climactic because Rick doesn’t kill Negan, but showrunner Scott M. Gimple could have given fans an epic battle as his final act as showrunner. Instead, ‘Wrath’ gives you a little bit of this and a little bit of that with no substance.
The episode predictably starts and closes on the same narrative. Maggie ends the season on an evil note. Rick and Michonne gloat in front of Negan, which seemed entirely out of character for both of them. The only saving grace of the first 15-minutes was Jerry; Cooper Andrews has a comedic timing that works so well opposite of Khary Payton’s Ezekiel. Josh McDermitt never varied Eugene’s performance as the plot twist unfolded and it added to generic nature of the episode. The Morgan storyline, while compelling does nothing to move the needle for Rick’s crew and Morgan, becomes more of a distraction than an addition.
‘Wrath’ is the most disappointed I been with The Walking Dead ever in the eight season on the air. The new showrunner for season nine, Angela Kang will need to come out strong to course correct for a weak season eight.