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TV review: The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 8 (For Blood)

Written by Arthur

At Alexandria, the group is divided to try and repair damage caused by the storm and stop the torrents of walkers being washed in. Aside from Rosita (Christian Serratos) reminding us just how much of a zombie-slayer she is, the scenes inside the camp are really to showcase the dire situation and those starving individuals who are relying on Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and her party to bring them back vital supplies. It is unfortunate that Rosita’s scene is mostly off camera, but it ends with a beautiful visual of her silhouetted and framed by the door, rain pouring down behind her, like something out of Halloween. The Walking Dead knows how to make things look good.

There is a touching moment between Judith (Cailey Fleming) and Virgil (Kevin Carroll) who admires the way Judith takes control; she reminds him of Michonne. This is another nod to what these survivors are fighting for: family, even if they aren’t there. Unfortunately for Judith, her and Gracie end up separated from the others and have a difficult decision to make if they’re going to survive this barrage against their home.

Judith, an ever-shining light in this series, needs to take this opportunity to become the hero she truly is and show the rest of the group she is not an innocent lamb in constant need of protection. Earlier in the episode, Carol (Melissa McBride) talks down to Judith like she hasn’t seen danger before. It’s out of character for Carol and Judith just accepts it, hopefully stoking her fire to prove everybody wrong. She wasn’t named “Lil’ Asskicker” for nothing.

The bulk of the episode takes place at the Reapers compound, as Maggie and her group employ Whisperer tactics and lead the dead towards the gate. Pope (Ritchie Coster) continues his bizarre leadership – a mix of verbal assaults and biblical self-righteousness, believing God to be speaking and acting through him. Leah (Lynn Collins) finally sees that Pope is no longer the father figure she admired and Daryl (Norman Reedus) sees his opportunity to escape with her.\

With literal explosions going off around them, the tension created with the heroes in danger is just as explosive. Daryl continues to do his best to aid his friends from the inside that leaves your heart pounding with expectations. When his moment comes to confess to Leah, he gets a response he was not expecting, which leaves everybody he cares about in even more danger. The two of them share the same belief that it is family they fight for, yet the two groups continue the conflict with one another instead of trying to work together.

As the episode ends, there is a slight cause for concern for our heroes, but they have faced worse. It may be a cliffhanger but there isn’t a very large drop to worry about. There is now only one direction that the series can take with the Reapers and it is the same path that we have seen time and time again. The dynamic and relationship between Leah and Daryl could have led to something different, but they aren’t given time to process things, which leads their circumstances to feel no different from any other encounter. The Reapers have no trust, are full of paranoia and now they’re lacking anything that makes them stand out. What could have been must wait for another day; all hope of something grander now relies on the Commonwealth when The Walking Dead returns.

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