The Walking Dead: Walking in Circles

The eighth season of The Walking Dead kicked off in October with viewers ready for the all out war between Rick and the Saviors.

So far, season eight has not held back on the fighting with a multiple episode arch filled with battles between the two groups. At this point in the series other humans are more dangerous than Walkers.

It’s safe to assume that Rick and his crew will eventually come out on top in the war and Negan will be killed. But then what?

Do they all just live happily ever after? Probably not. A new threat will most likely appear to terrorize Rick and his group once again. And this is the problem The Walking Dead has been facing since its start. Stuck in the same plot cycle while making no actually progress.

Let’s look back on the shows history. The first major threat for the group was the Governor. The Governor killed some of Rick’s men but in the end The Governor was killed and that was that.

Next was Terminus, a false safe haven filled with cannibals. Some more people died, but in the end Rick and his group blew them all up and that was the end of Terminus.

There have been other threats like the Wolves and the Grady hospital. And even though these groups always manage to kill some people, Rick always comes out on top.

And when there isn’t a human threat the group just walk around looking for new places to live until those places are destroyed or overrun by Walkers, like the Farm from season two, the Prison from seasons three and four, and Gabriel’s church from season five.

Back to season eight. Negan and the Saviors are the biggest threat Rick’s group has ever come across. This story arch is now in its third season and it has definitely changed the pace and feel of the show.

Since the introduction of the Saviors, the world of The Walking Dead has gotten a whole lot bigger. Along with the Saviors there’s also the Alexandrians, the Kingdom, the Hilltop, Oceanside, and the Scavengers.

In my opinion, there are too many characters to care about. As I said, Walkers are no longer the main threat of the show. Other humans and other groups of people are a greater threat. This has changed the dynamic of the show, but still no real progress is made.

The only progress the show ever made was in season one when Rick’s original group traveled to the CDC to look for safety and learn about a cure. It would be nice to see the group once again work towards finding a cure. Or just end the series by having the group rebuild and thrive in a new society.

Season eight has actually hinted at this future with a few flash-forwards that show Rick living peacefully with his family. It’s difficult to tell how far into the future this is, or if it’s even a true reality.

An executive producer of The Walking Dead says the writers have enough material to go up to season eleven or twelve. As long as the author of The Walking Dead comic, Robert Kirkman, keeps producing new issues and as long as The Walking Dead TV show ratings stay high, there’s no reason to believe the show will end anytime soon. And we’ll just keep seeing variations of the same old recycled plots.


 

Samuel Edelstein