Things are changing as The Walking Dead gets the wheels in motion for its last-ever episodes.
The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 8 was one of the most dramatic finales to date, thanks largely to the stakes.
The hour was all about survival, following two different groups as they struggled to live another day.
AMC could have easily added 20 minutes on to this installment and focused a bit on Aaron, Carol, Connie, and the others as they were also on a high-stakes mission.
Rosita's hero moment was fantastic, but can we please give her something else to do than be a plot device when a horde of zombies or a super-strength villain needs to be handled?
Her reaction when she returned said it all. She was exhausted from carrying these people, but there seemed to be a glimmer of uncertainty there, making me think she was bitten along the way.
She's a long-serving character, so I doubt the writers would get rid of her without a fight, but damn, give her some material that switches things up.
Everyone in the house in Alexandria made for a good setting because it put so many people against the undead.
In hindsight, it probably wasn't the best place to hole up in, but when you consider that Alexandria is literally on its knees, it makes some sense, I guess.
The desperation on all of these characters' faces as they tried to keep themselves, and the kids safe, was heartbreaking.
Hopefully, everyone else returns in time to save them because it's not looking good. Judith and Gracie being downstairs, to begin with, was absurd.
I know everyone was pushed to the limit, but no walker could get upstairs if the doors and windows were not breached. Surely that should have crossed everyone's minds the moment the undead showed up to crash the party.
Judith continues to impress. Far too often, kids on TV shows are written woefully, but Judith gets a lot of decent material.
You can tell she's going to be a natural leader when she grows up, and if she can lead her and Gracie to safety, well, that will look good for her resume the next time she begs Carol to go out on a mission with her.
Connie wanting to go on a mission with Carol was something, but it showed that Connie understood Carol's machinations for blowing up the cave.
Any other person would probably want to kill Carol because she put their life on the line, but Connie has got to be the most understanding person out there.
On the other hand, Aaron is getting too much screentime and emphasis, which makes me think he'll be one of the characters dispatched when the show returns.
He's decent, but some of the other characters deserve their time to shine, too, you know!
Maggie, Negan, Elijah, and Gabriel leading the walkers with pyrotechnics to Meridian successfully showed the lengths the quarter would go to in order to get those resources back.
It's tragic to think that while all of this was playing, Alexandria was being ravaged by horrible weather and the walkers.
If anyone dies, there will probably be a lot of discourse about whether these people should have returned to the place and ditched the food.
Leah went from being one of the blandest of characters to one of the most dramatic when she made me think she was siding with Daryl.
Killing Pope and then blaming it on Daryl was cold as ice. There are a few issues with this development, and the biggest is how the show plans to balance the Reapers in the second-third of The Walking Dead Season 11.
If you watch The Walking Dead online, you're probably wondering why these villains are living another day when there's The Commonwealth to deal with.
The Reapers arc has been meandering, and It should have been wrapped up during "For Blood." The only thing that might salvage this storyline is if it is handled on the first or second episode back.
After the cliffhanger, fans will riot if we don't get any resolution soon. The Vikings-era weapon was a nice surprise, but the cliffhanger was unnecessary.
Daryl, Maggie, and Negan will not die ... not this soon. Either of Gabriel or Elijah could die, and it wouldn't be a shock.
Gabriel hasn't been given a decent storyline in years, and Elijah is newer, so the show would probably wipe out the more periphery characters before the ones that are driving the story forward.
A more brutal cliffhanger would have been Leah revealing she had Alden all along and knew there was something amiss with Daryl.
Could you imagine the look on their faces if they looked up and saw Leah murdering him? It would have been way more believable than this "Alden is sitting on a bench in a church for five episodes."
While the action and stakes were definitely present throughout this midseason finale, there should have been more resolution.
We already know the show is ending and are invested, no matter how these episodes end. You don't watch a show for 11 years and give up during the final season.
If the show can scale back the cheap cliffhangers and give us more progression, it would feel like these episodes are more worthwhile.
The scope of these storylines is huge, but the episodes don't feel as nuanced as they once did. It feels like the characters are going from A to B to C without considering the consequences.
For a show about survival, there should be an emphasis on how these people are holding up mentally.
What are your thoughts on the big cliffhanger?
Was it cheap?
Do you think Rosita could have been bitten?
Hit the comments below.
The Walking Dead returns in 2022!
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.