The Walking Dead 8×03 ‘Monsters’ recap – “[Redacted] dies”

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Of course, in The Walking Dead world, redacted can be ANYONE. Well,  anyone except Rick, Carl, Michonne, Daryl, and Carol. But, we thought it was a catchy title.

The Walking Dead’s cinematography has been really artistic lately with their cuts between scenes. It could symbolize the seriousness of war, but also it is their eighth season, they can afford to be a little fancy with their video work. It works, especially for the dramatic Ezekiel and his idealistic vision of battle. In the end, it got real.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Let’s recap:

Picking up from the last episode, the Saviors are tracking Ezekiel and his Kingdom of warriors. He gives an inspirational speech where they figure out how to get the Saviors, even if the Saviors outnumber them. The Kingdom slowly defeat the Saviors they run into as they advance towards the compound. Turn by turn, the Kingdom is able to ambush the Saviors.

Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Back at the compound where Rick is being held up by Morales, we hear what happened to Morales and his family. He lost them and his mind. He eventually found the Saviors. They are now his family and he has a shared hatred of Rick. A lot has happened to both of them, but, unfortunately, we do not see the redemption of Morales. Daryl kills Morales with an arrow to his head. Daryl knows who he was but didn’t care.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Back to the Hilltop/Alexandria gunfight outside the compound, the Saviors stop shooting at them to shoot another enemy to make way inside of their compound, where Rick and Daryl are. As for Eric, who we last saw shot in the gut, Aaron wants to take him to the Kingdom’s doctor, but Eric tells Aaron to go back to fight. Eric assures Aaron that he loves him and he’ll be okay. Aaron goes back to the fight.

While driving back to the Hilltop with the prisoners, Tara is still angry with Jesus for taking prisoners instead of killing them. Morgan is mad at Jesus taking prisoners and warns him that it’s dangerous to take these people. Jesus explains that they do not execute people. Jared taunts Morgan about wearing Benjamin’s armor, which causes more tension between parties.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

All of the sudden, walkers come upon them and start eating some of the bounded prisoners. Jared has some of his tied up buddies run away. Morgan chases after them and shoots one of them. He plans on shooting Jared until Jesus takes his gun away. Morgan tells them they will never change. Jesus said they (mainly, Maggie) will find another way. Morgan attacks Jesus. They begin this really well-choreographed fight. Jesus is able to take Morgan’s stick and asks him if it’s over. Morgan takes control of the stick and points it under Jesus’ head. Morgan realizes something is wrong with him and decides to leave the team. Tara confirms to Morgan that he is right as he leaves the team.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Rick and Daryl are bombarded by Saviors, called by Morales before his death, and start a gunfight. Rick causes a distraction, which has him taking down several of the saviors. Aaron calls out to Rick. The Alexandrians/Hilltop gang begin killing the walkers/potential and take photos of the dead. Aaron goes back to the tree he left Eric at and finds his gun in a pool of blood. He screams for Eric. Slowly, it is revealed Eric has turned into a walker and is walking towards the other walkers. Aaron breaks down and is held back from going to him.

Rick comes out with baby Gracie and asks if the baby could go back with one of his men. Aaron volunteers to take the baby to the Hilltop.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

As Rick and Daryl prepare to leave, a bullet is shot towards Rick. Rick calls to the lone shooter telling him to drop his weapon and they will let him live if he tells them where the guns are. The shooter comes towards them with his hands up and reveals the guns have been moved with Gavin. Daryl then shoots the guy in the head.

Back at Hilltop, Enid sees Gregory has returned to the Hilltop. He calls out to the Hilltop and asks for help. They partially open the gate for Gregory to see Maggie. She asks where Gabriel is, but he denies he knows who he is. Maggie yells at him for selling the Hilltop out. Gregory tries to save himself to try to save the Hilltop. He apologizes to Maggie his behavior and asks for mercy. Maggie lets him in because he’s not worth killing. Just then, we see Jesus has returned with the prisoners. Maggie and Jesus discuss what to do with the prisoners. He is adamant about not killing them.

Back with the Kingdom crew, they are at a different compound and notice they have not lost any of their men during the final battle. That is until they are ambushed by machine guns from the top of the compound. They retreat with Ezekiel’s men piling over him to save him.

Some side notes:

  • We are seeing the regression of Morgan back to the man who lost all faith in humanity and just wanted to murder people. I feel so bad for Morgan because he has been up and down as a character, but it’s understandable because he’s been so broken so many times.
  • It’s nice to see Carol having a positive outlook again, especially with Ezekiel. In all honesty, it looks like Carol has drunk the Kool-Aid and become part of his spiritual posse. I like it. I know people miss the hardcore, dark Carol, but I feel like she’s still a badass, but just added happiness.
  • Please don’t kill Jerry. He’s my comedy relief.
  • I’m really sad to see Eric go. Of course, I’m worried that they killed another gay character to enrich the story arc for another character. For example, the death of Denise has caused Tara to become so hardened. Now, they’ve done it to Aaron. But, hopefully, with Gracie now under his care, he won’t become like Tara. Instead, maybe he could find all his hopes and dreams into this baby and not become heartless. Yes, I’m describing you, Tara.
  • I do appreciate Kal getting more lines. Yay to another Asian character!
  • [Redacted] is Eric and Morales. I mean, tons of people died, but we don’t remember their names or they were never given one.
  • I really like the title of the episode ‘Monsters.’ It reflects back to what Morales said about how Rick and his people have exactly become that – monsters. Daryl killed Morales and the other guy, when Rick hesitated because maybe Carl was right, they have no hope.
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Laura Sirikul
Laura Sirikul 1849 posts

Trekkie. Jedi. Whovian. Sherlockian. Hobbit. Sanrio. Comics. I am Spartacus. Warrior Princess. Superhero. Nerd. Follow me @lsirikul