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

trophy Lifetime debate Oscar 4/20 italian SXSW Pixar Film Festival scary movies best DC streaming service Disney streaming service DGA Starz Sundance TV marvel comics transformers GIFs true crime Photos harry potter what to watch VICE Video Games documentary Logo streaming movies Focus Features biography mockumentary witnail summer TV Pet Sematary disaster comics dceu unscripted Warner Bros. Rocketman japan Pirates Writers Guild of America Martial Arts Action Women's History Month finale 73rd Emmy Awards space Country Masterpiece dc twilight ratings stop motion Hulu Holiday Marvel Studios Exclusive Video Lucasfilm women cats Animation football RT History action-comedy hispanic strong female leads Esquire movie Funimation Song of Ice and Fire satire 24 frames HBO Go VH1 Comic-Con@Home 2021 The CW Cartoon Network period drama Star Trek boxoffice Turner godzilla 2018 TV Land Certified Fresh Premiere Dates Ghostbusters Reality Competition lord of the rings dreamworks nfl dark Opinion Epix sitcom universal monsters The Purge Pride Month superman know your critic TV One Year in Review Ellie Kemper A24 Instagram Live jamie lee curtis 45 Disney Channel Food Network scary Binge Guide king arthur leaderboard 2021 revenge aliens Calendar Podcast biopic Image Comics halloween Spectrum Originals sag awards zombie 71st Emmy Awards Nominations Tarantino Election Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic book movie DirecTV Cosplay Comics on TV SundanceTV vampires 90s mission: impossible king kong emmy awards golden globe awards Universal Pictures YouTube Red sequels christmas movies Pacific Islander Paramount Pictures Mary Tyler Moore obi wan Baby Yoda Fox News fast and furious Endgame First Look Tomatazos Mindy Kaling nature children's TV Rom-Com cults psycho game of thrones james bond singing competition halloween tv Travel Channel Trailer based on movie Grammys GLAAD parents spinoff richard e. Grant FX ViacomCBS talk show TLC Shudder rt archives sports CW Seed cancelled television blockbuster golden globes Paramount Network See It Skip It Sundance diversity Hallmark telelvision independent TIFF Netflix Christmas movies international australia child's play Fox Searchlight stoner YouTube ABC Family The Witch Best Actress Super Bowl Vudu TV renewals Marathons Biopics spider-man Showtime all-time miniseries justice league canceled Fall TV fresh Lionsgate joker rt labs critics edition cancelled TV shows nbcuniversal E! Countdown Comic Book streamig summer TV preview asian-american Paramount South by Southwest Film Festival zombies Tokyo Olympics Superheroes ITV dexter mcc 1990s tv talk rt labs Teen indiana jones saw Apple Reality BBC One sopranos Alien BET Awards 007 Trophy Talk APB venice Amazon Studios Turner Classic Movies romantic comedy hidden camera historical drama Awards Tour game show Quiz Legendary Apple TV Plus hispanic heritage month CBS All Access Red Carpet dramedy prank obituary Syfy doctor who legend Interview TCA hollywood Columbia Pictures a nightmare on elm street 94th Oscars TCA Winter 2020 documentaries kong werewolf new york theme song discovery Kids & Family Avengers cops Best Picture psychological thriller scene in color posters natural history ABC Universal Western feel good Crunchyroll war Extras book adaptation criterion Cannes scorecard cars toy story chucky Spike PaleyFest Academy Awards rom-coms Summer Broadway spy thriller Elton John popular versus NBC politics Brie Larson Mudbound travel 93rd Oscars zero dark thirty slasher Film live action SXSW 2022 Captain marvel Superheroe Sneak Peek Mary poppins free movies PBS canceled TV shows 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Best Actor indie television Amazon Prime 72 Emmy Awards National Geographic adenture green book basketball Horror El Rey police drama TCM franchise Trivia Hear Us Out Awards wonder woman Drama black comedy Character Guide Mary Poppins Returns renewed TV shows spanish crime drama Valentine's Day WarnerMedia Peacock animated USA Heroines docuseries binge monster movies video target aapi Marvel Winners dragons kids Mystery Spring TV Stephen King Christmas ABC Signature cinemax OWN ESPN FOX dogs DC Universe movies RT21 vs. Prime Video video on demand suspense Rock Infographic Crackle HBO AMC Plus Shondaland casting supernatural 20th Century Fox Holidays screen actors guild Nat Geo award winner technology Tubi FX on Hulu First Reviews IMDb TV IFC Films Toys Bravo Apple TV+ Music The Walt Disney Company series laika kaiju GoT Hallmark Christmas movies teaser WGN Nickelodeon heist movie TV movies slashers HBO Max Fantasy Discovery Channel 99% royal family CNN Ovation foreign VOD concert worst movies BBC America worst art house Wes Anderson Family south america crime thriller Best Director Neflix Pop SDCC Tags: Comedy genre New York Comic Con elevated horror stand-up comedy HFPA spanish language E3 Disney+ Disney Plus reviews book Rocky crossover romance Lifetime Christmas movies new zealand live event summer preview MGM TV rotten movies we love Sci-Fi critics medical drama archives Dark Horse Comics marvel cinematic universe Television Critics Association ID spider-verse Walt Disney Pictures comic books LGBTQ Acorn TV batman CMT new star wars movies Netflix Amazon Fargo crime Disney Plus USA Network 2020 Black History Month anime pirates of the caribbean directors Television Academy 79th Golden Globes Awards Emmys toronto mutant Musical FXX adaptation comiccon comic Paramount Plus anthology Chernobyl Set visit gangster Watching Series serial killer The Walking Dead critic resources Emmy Nominations french Anna Paquin Star Wars Box Office social media PlayStation Oscars President hist broadcast sequel BBC TCA 2017 BET science fiction name the review screenings spain 2017 remakes rotten cancelled TV series Amazon Prime Video cancelled blockbusters olympics comedies japanese superhero mob Thanksgiving CBS adventure The Academy Comedy Central LGBT 21st Century Fox Sony Pictures comic book movies NYCC TBS deadpool high school ghosts news political drama 2016 docudrama YA cartoon young adult NBA razzies Schedule breaking bad BAFTA Polls and Games robots films Best and Worst DC Comics Musicals reboot TCA Awards jurassic park festival festivals 2015 blaxploitation American Society of Cinematographers Sundance Now MTV Classic Film History Marvel Television Britbox Comedy OneApp quibi trailers latino cooking Creative Arts Emmys composers facebook Black Mirror streaming AMC classics thriller black TNT Winter TV Hollywood Foreign Press Association IFC The Arrangement TruTV MSNBC Arrowverse MCU X-Men Freeform boxing Tumblr San Diego Comic-Con Pop TV Disney Adult Swim YouTube Premium Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt die hard 2019 A&E