Review: The Walking Dead 811 – Dead or Alive Or

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Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead 811 – Dead or Alive Or

Dead or Alive Or is a slightly curious episode that drags along the War on Negan like a legless walker with a ball and chain around its waist. Absent are the gore, heart wrenching demises or curious plot twists that would otherwise elevate the episode above the middle of the pack from this season. Still there are a few developments that pique one’s interest.

Daryl and his group head towards the Hilltop but tensions arise when Tara wants Dwight put six feet under. Dwight’s intel may be useful to the group but there are serious trust issues surrounding the former Savior. This storyline also leads to the episode’s “moment of walker mayhem’. While it pales in comparison to last week’s ginderfest of the Scavengers, the trek through the swamp does add some tension to what would otherwise be a pedestrian scene.

Negan needs bullets and the recent shootouts have his supply of artillery on a low ebb. To replenish the armory, Negan enlists Eugene to put his bullet making expertise into overdrive. The recent setbacks forces Negan to reassess things and he even takes a swing at Eugene’s loyalty to the cause.

Gabriel’s infection begins to affect his eyesight. Slowly becoming blind to the world around him the preacher leans on God for guidance but ends up getting his faith tested. Gabriel and Dr. Carson find an abandoned cabin just off the road and stumble upon a cache of antibiotics. Is it coincidence or convenient plotting? Either way it’s not all sunshine and good fortune for Gabriel and the doctor.

Things on the Hilltop appear to be a tad grimmer as rations are running out. Maggie has some difficult decisions ahead. Her people are about to go hungry and there’s some unrest among the prisoners. Carl’s death still hangs over the group like a storm cloud that won’t go away. When news of his passing reaches the Hilltop it’s too much to bear for those who were close to him.

Dead or Alive Or is short on memorable moments and full of coincidences and matters of convenience. Sometimes that’s how life works but it can make for underwhelming TV. Characters come and go on shows all of the time but when they’re replaced before the next commercial break it tends to negate any potential void their absence creates. Even the wisdom of Negan’s next plan of attack, courtesy of a Eugene brainchild, doesn’t seem like it has any merit. We’ll have to see how this next development plays out but for some reason I can imagine Nick Clark shaking his head and muttering that walker guts just don’t work that way.

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