TV Recap | The Walking Dead S8E13
This week’s episode of the The Walking Dead, Do Not Lead Us Astray, perfectly encapsulated the ludicrous stupidity this show has come to embody as the Saviours attacked Hilltop, and a whole bunch of extras we’ve never seen before got violently killed.
Well, s**t. Here I am, back in the country after a well-earned holiday in Paris, where I discovered that the French are indeed as despicable as I remember. And what do I come back home to? The Walking Dead. Not just any episode of The Walking Dead either, no, no, no. Do Not Lead Us Astray, the thirteenth episode of the already-abominable eighth season – that’s what was waiting for me. And the twelfth episode, I guess, but I won’t bother mentioning that too much, as it was mostly just Rick shooting at the underside of Negan’s car.
Do Not Lead Us Astray was, and I mean this genuinely, one of the dumbest episodes of television I’ve ever seen. Every terrible decision opened up an infinite number of equally terrible decisions, and the idiotic cast made them gleefully. The stupidity was fractal. By the time it had finished I wholeheartedly wanted to return to France, where at least the people are honest about their utter contempt for humanity.
We opened with Simon’s attack on Hilltop, with the Saviours brandishing their tainted weaponry in lieu of having any kind of sensible strategy or a single, solitary brain cell between them. One of the highlights included Simon’s entire force emerging from behind a single bus like they were getting out of a clown car. Another was when Dwight shot Tara in the shoulder with an arrow and Daryl got embarrassingly furious about it, because I guess this town is only big enough for one bedraggled arrow-shooting man.
Nothing about this plan made any sense to me. Simon’s men had so little ammunition that they were using bows and melee weapons, and most of the good guys at Hilltop had assault rifles, but it didn’t matter because everyone in this show shoots like Stevie Wonder. Our heroes knew the attack was coming, but they still didn’t think to post anyone on the outskirts to cut off the Saviours’ inevitable retreat, so we got to see Maggie and Rick grimacing when Simon and a few others just decided to jump in their cars and leave.
As though assaulting a fortified position with bows and arrows wasn’t daft enough, it was only the initial retching that preceded the frothing torrent of idiocy that Do Not Lead Us Astray vomited forth in its latter half. After their encounter with the Saviours and their zombified weaponry, the residents of Hilltop quickly started to turn. Lots of them died, although almost all of them were people we’ve never seen before. A couple of the new faces were briefly introduced out of the nowhere during the build-up, such as a hatchet-faced chubby doctor woman who was quite funny and who I’d have liked to see again, although logistically that might been an issue considering she was almost certainly scoffing all the rations.
It’s surprising how quickly this community of hardened apocalypse survivors was overrun by zombies. Don’t they post guards? Don’t they have precautions in place? Haven’t they learned that a pool of blood on the floor probably warrants some caution? I expect these kinds of calamities in season one; we’re in the eighth season now, and zombies in this show have spent so long being set dressing that the idea of them being a significant threat these days is just preposterous. You can’t have it both ways, writers. The zombies either matter or they don’t.
Not that I gave a fluttering f**k about any of the nameless extras that got chomped anyway, and especially not about Carol’s old fling, who was the first to succumb, and whose name I had to look up at the start of this recap – a name I immediately forgot, I might add, which just goes to show how little I care at this point. My brain is actively trying to purge any information related to this show from my already-overstuffed memory.
I’ll tell you what I won’t forget, though – Henry. Man, that little prick. I don’t recall the last time I was so profoundly irritated by another human, and as I say, I’ve been to France recently. After spending a considerable amount of time begging to get involved in the fight against the Saviours, he then decided to go and interrogate the prisoners at gunpoint, in the hopes of finding out who killed his brother. What he should have done was stand outside the cage and demand answers. Nobody would have given him any, of course, because he’s a pouty little s**t that can barely hold the assault rifle he’s threatening people with. But it would have been more sensible than what he ended up doing, which was to unlock the cage and go and stand inside.
I’m sorry, but why does he have the key? I’m not one for nitpicking in a show like this, especially when such minor issues are frankly the least of its problems, but this is pretty egregious. They gave the key to a 12-year-old. And they did it to facilitate one of the most moronic sequences in the history of a show that, if you think about it, has been moronic more often than it has been anything else.
In case it wasn’t obvious, I hated Do Not Lead Us Astray. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it’s still a bit of a shame after the second half of this season has been an improvement over the first half by a fairly significant margin. Then again, that’s like getting a more realistic-looking wig between chemotherapy appointments. At the end of the day, you’re still not having any fun.