Rick and Negan's War Finally Reaches Its Climax in The Walking Dead Season 8 Finale

Morgan makes his exit in "Wrath" to cross over into the world of Fear the Walking Dead.

by | April 15, 2018 | Comments

Cooper Andrews as Jerry, Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The season 8 finale of The Walking Dead put Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) on a collision course as The Hilltop and Saviors finally went to war. Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) death may have paved the way for some epic action-packed episodes this season, but his wish for peace and prosperity fueled both men as they went to battle. When the dust settled, Morgan’s (Lennie James) time with Rick, Carol (Melissa McBride), and the rest of The Hilltop had ended, leading him on a new path: a trip to the equally dismal world of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. While it seems a new world is on the horizon for The Walking Dead crew, the battle between mercy and wrath is only just beginning for the stick-wielding hero.


Lennie James as Morgan Jones - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

As with any war, the one on display in “Wrath” featured a lot of moving parts. In the end, though, most lingering loose ends were tied up rather nicely: Daryl (Norman Reedus) gave Dwight (Austin Amelio) closure and freedom, Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) tapped into a surprising semblance of bravery and attempted a futile escape from Negan and Eugene (Josh McDermitt), and Aaron (Ross Marquand) finally came through with the fiery assistance of The Oceanside crew. And since it’s The Walking Dead, Sunday’s episode once again showed just how quickly an audience’s perspective of a character can shift. Seriously, Eugene, you had us all fooled!

Fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the biggest moments from Sunday’s big finale episode.


Eugene proved himself to be quite the loathsome traitor. And yet, Sunday’s episode revealed he had a plan of his own. Either he was working long con at The Sanctuary this entire time, or his run-in with Rosita (Christian Serratos) sparked a change of heart in the man. Whatever the case, Negan’s bullet-maker did the unexpected by making each and every bullet in the Saviors’ artillery backfire. It was a glorious move straight out of the Wile E. Coyote playbook. As the man explained to Rosita after it all went down, “I created a modicum of phooey for a full kablooey.” It’s good to have you back, ya weirdo.


Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Tom Payne as Paul 'Jesus' Rovia, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Since season 6, The Walking Dead has been steadily building to this moment. Rick and Negan, both wounded and battle worn, were finally fighting it out. If Negan’s death match with Simon (Steven Ogg) was any hint, this scene was sure to be as visceral as it was cathartic — for Rick, Maggie (Lauren Cohan), The Hilltop, and fans everywhere. Using Carl’s memory as a tool to take Negan off-guard, Rick swooped in for the kill and slashed the man’s throat. As harsh as it was, it was a move pulled straight out of Robert Kirkman’s comics.


Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Negan has been the best and worst thing to happen to The Walking Dead. The hype behind the big bad not only drowned the series in expectations, but the scenery-chewing villain overshadowed every character. That said, it looks like the leather-clad baddie will be hanging around a while. Viewers may not have been pleased with this choice, but Rick’s move to pick mercy over wrath was something straight out of the comics, as well. And while it’s hard not to wonder just how he knew such a throat injury wouldn’t be life threatening, keeping Negan alive will surely inspire the conflict the gang will face when The Walking Dead returns next season.


Fans everywhere cringed and screamed at Rick’s decision to spare Negan’s life. But no one was as furious about the whole fiasco than Maggie. This whole time, it looked like she and Rick were on the same path: to kill Negan at any cost. But as Rick found redemption, with Carl’s letter bringing back a welcome sense of clarity, Maggie’s vision had only been further clouded with rage. The memory of Glenn (Steve Yeun) may live on with her unborn baby, but that’s not enough. With Daryl and Jesus (Tom Payne) on her side, it looks like a civil war is brewing. Are Rick and Michonne about to meet their match?


Morgan is the spirit animal The Walking Dead deserves. His PTSD ultimately informs who he is: a man who loses himself when he loses those he loves. The Walking Dead — and Fear the Walking Dead for that matter — exist in a world steeped in loss and grief, with reminders of everyone’s mortality around every corner. As much as Rick touted a “New World” to the united community at the end of the episode, it seems that a fix isn’t within reach for Morgan. At least, not yet. He has demons he needs to deal with — and he’ll deal with them on Fear the Walking Dead.

Did you watch the crossover? What did you think? Will you watch Fear the Walking Dead to find out how Morgan’s story unfolds from here? Tell us in the comments.

The Walking Dead returns for season 9 later this year; Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 10/9C on AMC.

Tag Cloud

supernatural Teen hist Tomatazos PaleyFest Adult Swim RT History Opinion SDCC Reality Competition blaxploitation Ellie Kemper Nickelodeon Grammys cinemax Quiz dramedy Black Mirror facebook TCM technology Song of Ice and Fire robots Cartoon Network USA Network AMC Masterpiece transformers TV Land Mary Tyler Moore BBC America TV TCA Acorn TV Winter TV IFC golden globes Best and Worst zombies 2018 Lionsgate Comics on TV Year in Review Star Wars Universal Sony Pictures Extras sitcom Lifetime Polls and Games VICE Super Bowl festivals Warner Bros. justice league President miniseries Paramount Red Carpet travel First Look E3 Ovation Awards Tour Musicals Reality Musical Rocky X-Men spider-man DC streaming service Emmys Holidays TLC Comedy dceu cults discovery cooking FOX BET Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Christmas 2017 2019 romance thriller Valentine's Day 2016 television Rom-Com dc New York Comic Con IFC Films politics TruTV zombie Premiere Dates Interview Thanksgiving unscripted award winner Syfy Cosplay Disney Trophy Talk binge Spike 45 docudrama singing competition Pixar diversity VH1 The Arrangement Nominations Country composers aliens Starz Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt serial killer Election Marathons GIFs Tumblr Mystery Sundance cats Writers Guild of America Comic Book crossover comiccon DC Comics psycho science fiction Box Office Mary poppins TIFF FXX Comedy Central YA CBS Rock Drama Logo Fall TV ratings Showtime NYCC adventure Countdown Photos historical drama CNN Mindy Kaling mutant YouTube Premium Superheroes TBS streaming HBO Kids & Family El Rey what to watch Apple TNT Nat Geo Fox News Podcast ITV LGBTQ A&E jamie lee curtis WGN DirecTV SundanceTV MSNBC Bravo Pirates Creative Arts Emmys Lucasfilm 2015 20th Century Fox Amazon Trailer Crackle American Society of Cinematographers USA Sneak Peek 21st Century Fox social media Oscars E! Animation Esquire The CW crime thriller Disney Channel MTV Epix crime Paramount Network National Geographic See It Skip It Pop Shudder spy thriller Western APB NBC CBS All Access cops sports based on movie Netflix GLAAD GoT period drama 24 frames green book Star Trek police drama PBS Video Games Schedule Summer Shondaland SXSW boxoffice TCA 2017 Freeform Fantasy 007 Britbox San Diego Comic-Con Calendar Sci-Fi Ghostbusters Infographic Superheroe YouTube Red harry potter Mary Poppins Returns vampires ABC Martial Arts Sundance Now talk show finale Music Biopics Winners OWN ESPN ABC Family Spring TV Dark Horse Comics Horror biography Character Guide BBC Action Watching Series medical drama anime Hulu doctor who History DC Universe FX Awards Food Network Trivia Set visit political drama Toys CW Seed comic Marvel Columbia Pictures CMT war Walt Disney Pictures crime drama Certified Fresh