Review: The Walking Dead: Ep. 808 – How It’s Gotta Be

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Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead: Ep. 808 – How It’s Gotta Be

Where does the time go? A quick look at the calendar and the guide on the T.V. induces a bewildered shake of the head. Why you ask? Well it’s hard to believe that we’ve reached the midway point of The Walking Dead’s 8th season. The War on Negan is half over with no real movement towards a satisfactory outcome for Rick and his shaky coalition. How It’s Gotta Be changes that and delivers some emotional slaps not only to the cast of characters but also to viewers and fans of the show.

Rick’s got walker egg on his face after showing up with the Scavengers at Negan’s compound. Instead of being greeted by a hoard of walkers at the Sanctuary’s door a hail of bullets sends everyone scattering in all directions. The Saviors are on the attack and are headed towards the coalition’s forces. Daryl and Tara’s tactical miscue leads Negan to Alexandria’s gates, a Savior siege on the Kingdom and any plans for the enemy’s surrender into disarray.

Flashbacks feature Carl and Rick at odds over several topics including how to deal with Negan and the Saviors. Disillusion clouds Carl’s commitment to the cause. Seeing that their attack on Negan may indeed be futile the son begins to diverge from the father as it often does in families. Carl grabs the reigns of leadership in How It’s Gotta Be. With everything coming apart at the seams he confronts Negan and gives him an unexpected offer to stop the carnage. Carl however, has learned a thing or two over the years and gives the Alexandrians a chance to get past Negan’s forces.

Looking for more reinforcements Aaron and Enid make their way towards the Oceanside community. Hoping to enlist some more bodies who are sympathetic to the cause goes tragically wrong when Enid tries to defend Aaron when they are ambushed late one night.

There’s no going back for several characters in How It’s Gotta Be. Decisions are made that alter not only the course of an individual’s moral trajectory but that of the war itself. Betrayal, revenge and sacrifice have equal billing in an emotionally raw episode that elicits more questions than it answers. Uncertainty is the order if the day as The Walking Dead heads into its mid-season hiatus. The somber ending capped by an unexpected revelation is a definite game changer. It makes some of the time shifting scenes in the season premiere come into focus a little more and sets up the second half of the season for a heart wrenching end to the war.

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