In the most recent episode of The Walking Dead, Worth, Negan cleaned house at the Sanctuary while setting in motion a plan to finish off Team Rick once and for all. Meanwhile, Carl wrote some letters and Eugene threw up. Worth aired on April 8, 2018 and was the penultimate episode of the show’s eighth season.
It occurs to me after watching Worth, the latest episode of The Walking Dead, that the show is unpredictable and compelling again for the first time in years. Is it good? No, absolutely not. It’s a mess, and it’ll likely remain a mess for as long as it continues to exist. But at the very least it’s giving me a reason to keep watching, beyond the obvious fact that I need to recap each episode for the site, and the slightly less obvious fact that I absolutely hate myself.
Anyway, following on from last week, Negan whistled his way back to the Sanctuary for some much-needed housekeeping. If you recall, Simon went against his orders by slaughtering the Trash People, and Dwight has been stabbing his erstwhile leader in the back for a good while now. In Worth he took his betrayal to a whole new level, ratting out Simon for planning a coup and sending that weasel Gregory back to Hilltop with annotated maps of Negan’s new scheme.
This was all, for once, handled in a way that actually maximised the tension, as it wasn’t made immediately clear exactly how much Negan knew or what he was planning to do with the information he had. There were a couple of sneaky scenes in which Negan “forgave” Simon when it looked like he would kill him, and “promoted” Dwight for exposing Simon’s usurpation plot. He even gave Simon the opportunity to fight for his leadership spot, which struck me as oddly fair. He lost, of course, but by the time he was zombified and strapped to the fence, he’d at least been given a chance, which is more than Rick would have offered.
Turns out, though, that I was right about Negan’s mystery passenger from last week. Laura, privy to Dwight’s shenanigans, had snitched on him to Negan. Those maps that Dwight had Gregory spirit away? Negan’s ballsy plan to establish caches around Hilltop? All a ploy! An ambush! Dwight became Negan’s right-hand man after all, unwittingly leading Team Rick into certain death next week, which will hopefully be a glorious finale in which a significant portion of the cast get violently slaughtered. A man can dream, can’t he?
Meanwhile, Dwight and Rosita made themselves temporarily useful by kidnapping Eugene and… promptly losing him again. It’s impossible to overstate how much I hate Eugene. That verbose prick is symptomatic of all this show’s idiotic excesses, and in Worth, he was given so many lines that when he eventually made himself puke all over Rosita to facilitate an escape, I actually felt some solidarity with him. He makes me sick too.
Gabriel is arguably even worse, as at least Eugene has a function in the plot, whereas the snivelling preacher does nothing but snivel, for no identifiable purpose. Hopefully they’ll both die next week – bonus points if they kill each other, but I’m sure Eugene will wriggle free of his fate by, I dunno, ralphing sardines everywhere and waddling off to hide. That sounds about right.
In the woods, Aaron is (I think) trying to recruit the Oceanside women and doing a comically terrible job of it. He’s falling asleep in the mud and struggling to fight off a handful of walkers like he’s still in season one. Aaron’s one of those characters that I often forget even exists, but his hilarious choked-up monologue in Worth reminded me that not only does he exist, he’s almost as worthy of death as Eugene, Gabriel and Henry, who luckily wasn’t around this episode. Something else to hope for in the finale.
Worth was bookended by Carl’s deathbed letters, one to Rick and the other to Negan. The former he read himself (albeit in Rick’s head) and the latter Michonne read to Negan through a walkie-talkie. You know what? I’m not buying this bullshit. Carl was an idiot, made terrible decisions almost every week, and not so long since set out to kill Negan on his own. Now we’re supposed to accept that he somehow became a pacifistic noble warrior-monk and his posthumous word will resolve all the show’s conflict? **** you. Let them slaughter each other. I want every current arc to end in copious bloodshed. That’ll be just reward for suffering through eight seasons of this ********* nonsense.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.