Oh how quickly the tides of a battle can turn.
After taking the fight to Negan at the Sanctuary on the Season Premiere and continuing the four-team assault on the follow-up episode, things were actually looking up for Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom.
The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 3 tossed us right back into the action, with Ezekial proclaiming that they will not have a single casualty on their side in the coming battle with the Saviors.
With all those trees nearby, Ezekial probably should have knocked on some serious wood after his declaration of zero casualties.
I can't blame the King for feeling overly confident in that moment and inspiring his people. Why shouldn't he be? Up until that point, everything seemed to be going according to plan.
That is, until the closing moments of the episode.
They probably have the numbers, but we have strategy.Carol
The one thing that grinds my gears was the blatant foreshadowing. Ezekial continually reiterating those words throughout the episode couldn't have made it any more obvious that something was going to go awry.
After Ezekial led his group to spring their trap upon the Saviors, they ended up walking into a trap of their own. It put the group on the defensive, who seemingly had the upper hand up until that point, and brought their well coordinated and thought out plan to a screeching halt.
Where's Admiral Ackbar when you need him?
Carol's remark about sweeping the nearby buildings for Saviors arrived a tad too late. Perhaps it would have been a good idea to scope it out before their victory dance and leaving themselves wide open?
Instinctively once the saviors opened fire, the Kingdommers rushed their King to protect him. It all happened so quickly, I couldn't tell who exactly pounced on Ezekial, but I do know they took some hits.
Hopefully, Jerry wasn't one of them.
Jesus, Tara, and Morgan led the captive Saviors back to the Hilltop, but they did hit a few snags along the way.
Along the way, Jared continued to push Morgan's buttons. For a guy who is as fragile as Morgan is at this stage, he showed way more restraint than I could have. When the walkers began rolling down the hill, I sincerely hoped Jared's face would get caught up in some gnawing teeth.
We know Jared is going to get what's coming to him, but like Morgan, I want that smug look wiped off his face already.
I'm not right. I know that I'm not right. But that doesn't make me wrong. I can't be a part of this.Morgan
Morgan's blackouts are becoming more frequent, and I think it's only a matter of time before Morgan loses himself completely.
We got to witness a pretty badass throwdown between Jesus and Morgan in the woods. Each had their skills on full display, and it was awesome.
They were both able to get a few licks in at each other, but I think Jesus takes round 1. Their little quarrel may have ended for now, but I do not think that will be the last time we'll see these two trade blows with each other.
At the Hilltop, that sniveling weasel Gregory made his return to a less than welcoming Maggie. I'm glad she wasn't so trusting of him and that she second-guessed everything that came out of Gregory's mouth.
As much as I can't stand Gregory, he did provide some humor while talking with Maggie about Cal, a fellow Hilltop member, only for him to be within earshot of the conversation.
It just goes to show how naturally unaware and oblivious that guy really is.
Gregory: Kal is delusional.
Kal: What the hell!
Gregory [surprised]: Kal!
Maggie allowing Gregory back into the Hilltop was a bit disappointing. According to Maggie, he's not worth killing, but the man is a serious liability.
Gregory can plead and put on that little facade that he's "seen the light" all he wants, but he isn't fooling anyone. At least Maggie is aware of it, and you can be sure everyone will be keeping a close eye on that snake going forward.
Just as suspected, Maggie was less than thrilled when Jesus brought the captive Saviors back to the Hilltop. Keeping the Saviors alive was a dumb move in and of itself, but allowing them within the walls of their community where their women and children sleep would be ludicrous.
Suffice to say, I'm very glad that Maggie held her ground on the issue. Although, keeping them outside the gates may not be the best option either, and sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
Aaron helped Eric away from the war zone, but then just left him by a tree out in the open? Was there no other place that was a bit less ... out in the open?
It came as no shock to later find the blood-soaked tree with Eric's weapon on the ground.
Was that actually Eric as a walker shambling away? There was no close up of him to be 100% positive. All we saw was Aaron's perspective, but I still don't think that was Eric.
The Walking Dead has become an expert at misleading its audience, so until I see a dead body or the character unquestionably as a walker, I'll leave open the possibility that Eric is still alive.
But if he is alive, where did he go? Could someone have taken him?
Morales: You can say all the words: Lori, Shane, Andrea, Glenn. They're all dead, and somewhere along the way ... Officer Friendly died right along with them. Just like I did, with them.
The whole Rick and Morales face-off was resolved rather quickly, which I found a bit disappointing. Obviously, only one of them was going to get out of that situation alive, but I felt there could have been more explored between those two.
We did learn though that his family got killed and Morales was subsequently taken in by the Saviors.
It was interesting how Morales referred to Rick as a "monster," but it all goes back to differing views. Morales only knew Rick for a few days when they originally met in Atlanta. However, the Saviors ended up "saving" him and giving him a reason to go on.
So in Morales' eyes, Rick is the bad guy here, and he's just trying to protect the people that have become his family.
Now, I'm not saying that I would be on Negan's side had we been following his journey from the beginning instead of Rick, but it does bring to light the matter of having a different perspective.
Daryl was very quick to take out Morales with absolutely no hesitation. It didn't make any difference that he knew who he was, but it did leave Rick a bit disturbed. Maybe Rick thought he could talk some sense into Morales, but based on the direction that conversation was heading, killing him seemed like the only option.
Like Daryl said, "it doesn't matter." They're all Negan, and Daryl is dead set on showing zero remorse and mercy in taking them all out.
Don't forget that Glenn's death weighs the most on Daryl's shoulders, as his actions on The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 1 ended up getting his friend killed. It's Daryl's way of making things right, or at the very least, ease that weight a bit.
I know who it was, didn't matter. Not one bit.Daryl
I'm glad Rick went back for baby Gracie in the compound. I was concerned that Rick stumbling into the nursery on The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 2 would be forgotten about, but I'm glad it followed through.
So far, I'm enjoying the format of The Walking Dead Season 8 with the continuous flow of events. Instead of using constantly extended episodes that plagued The Walking Dead Season 7, The Walking Dead appears to be learning from its mistakes.
Sure the extended episodes sounded like a great idea, but when they're used so frequently, and the episodes don't have much substance, they leave us feeling cheated.
It's like getting coal in your stocking on Christmas morning, yet knowing you deserved much better.
I'm glad that the attack on the Saviors that spanned three episodes has seemingly come to an end, and now we can focus on the aftermath and fallout.
One thing is for sure: Negan is going to be super pissed.
- Aaron offering to take the baby to Hilltop will give him something to focus on and a good distraction from presumably losing Eric.
- When the string of Saviors escaped running into the woods, I almost expected them to wrap themselves around a tree in a comedic fashion.
- I love the fact that Rick has been taking photos of the destruction they're leaving behind, just like the Saviors had done to Glenn and Abraham's battered brains and countless others. I guess Polaroid can withstand the test of time and the apocalypse.
- Morales was in disbelief that Glenn found love during the apocalypse. One of the running themes of this series has been "hope." Even when all seems lost, its the one thing that keeps everyone going.
- Carol's character has taken a significant backseat through the first three episodes of the season. My hope is that she'll take on a more predominant role as the season progresses.
Now it's your turn TV Fanatics!
What did you think of "Monsters"? Sound off below and let me know!
You can always watch The Walking Dead online right here at TV Fanatic.
The Walking Dead returns with a new episode on Sunday, November 12 at 9/8C.
Steven Ford is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.