Recap | The Walking Dead S8E5: “The Big Scary U”

November 20, 2017
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV, TV Recaps
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What happened?

After last week’s surprisingly decent episode, this week, The Walking Dead endeavoured to remind us quite how s**t it is. It’s impressive, really. It takes a conscious effort to be this badly written, nonsensically plotted, and poorly acted. You need a whole team of creative personnel who’re just as dopey and incompetent as each other. Where do you find them? How do they all get through a day without burning down the set? These are mysteries I don’t have the answers to.

In “The Big Scary U”, we finally caught back up with Negan and Gabriel. We got to see behind-the-scenes of the Saviour’s middle management. Rick and Daryl had a wrestling match. We had flashbacks. A good time was had by all. Except me, obviously. And all the people whose apathy has contributed to the show’s gradually declining ratings this season.

What were we flashing back to in The Big Scary U?

First, Father Gabriel praying in his church. Probably feeling sorry for himself. Then we got to see Gregory being woken up by Simon, and were subjected to some extraordinarily bad dialogue. It’s the kind of conversation you only hear in TV shows. It fills the audience in on details they weren’t privy to. But nobody talks like this in real life. And we didn’t even need to know these details.

It’s all to let us know what Negan and his people were up to just before Rick’s group attacked them at the start of the season. This episode was largely about the Saviours. They sat around and threw fatuous drivel at each other and nothing really happened. I could on for a thousand more words about how appallingly written all this was. Instead, allow me to quote Negan, and share this little limerick he regaled his near-rioting followers with towards the end of the episode.

“I wear a leather jacket, I have Lucille, and my nutsack is made of steel.”

Yes, indeed.

Speaking of Negan

Yes, we were finally reunited with The Walking Dead’s very own Scooby Doo villain. He spent a lot of time talking about his dick. He also got – would you believe it? – a sliver of character development. See, Gabriel thought he was there to hear Negan’s “confession”. I don’t know why. I don’t think Negan did, either. But a confession he got. And a confession he “forgave”.

I can’t say I particularly understood any of this. It took up most of the episode, but nothing was gained from it. There was a brief allusion to Gabriel being complicit in Negan’s plans, but it was quickly abandoned. The point, it seems, really was just to have Negan be “forgiven” by Father Gabriel. Why? What does that mean to either character? To us?


What were Rick and Daryl up to in The Big Scary U?

Combing through the wreckage of last week’s car chase. What should have happened here is that the pair loaded up the guns they’d spent two episodes chasing and went about their business. No such luck. What actually happened was that Daryl found a sack of dynamite, and decided he was going to use it to blow open the Sanctuary. And Rick decided that was unacceptable, so they both had a fight.

Since when does Rick care so much about the loss of civilian life? Since when is Daryl so callous about it? During the fight, the dynamite got tossed into the upturned truck, detonating both it and all the guns. Which means that a sub-plot that has been stretched across three episodes turned out not to matter in the slightest. The rift between Daryl and Rick doesn’t seem to be amounting to anything beyond childish disagreements. Nothing matters.

Did you like anything in episode 5?

Nope. Not a thing. In fact, there’s a case to be made that this was the worst episode of the season. Considering this season has been abysmal, that’s quite an achievement.

Oh, I tell a lie, actually. I liked when Negan and Gabriel escaped the horde of zombies at the end of the episode, and one of Negan’s kneeling workers said, “Thank God for you, Negan.” Unbelievable. This show is either the smartest genre parody currently on television, or it really is as bad as I think it is.

Any stray observations of The Walking Dead?

  • Is Michonne still a part of this show?
  • How long has Maggie been pregnant, again?
  • Nobody takes Negan seriously as a villain, do they?
  • I don’t know what I hate more: Ezekiel’s florid Shakespearean nonsense or whatever it is they’ve got Eugene doing.

Keep watching The Walking Dead?

No. Just no. Do yourself a favour and enjoy the real world before the inevitable apocalypse actually does catch up with us. Do you really want to sit there in the wreckage, your entire world in ruins, and think back to how many hours you wasted watching this utter, utter garbage?

I didn’t think so.

(Enjoyed reading this recap? Then you will probably like listening to us too, so check out our podcast below.)

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