MORAL DILEMMAS TAKE #764
This show loves having its characters undergo moral dilemmas. This show especially loves having these characters undergo the exact same moral dilemma over and over and over and over again. What moral dilemma is that, you ask? Excellent question! The moral dilemma I am talking about and that this show loves to regurgitate on pretty much every character is the moral dilemma of when to be merciful and not kill an enemy. This has been a well worn crutch for the writers of THE WALKING DEAD since the start but it has lost all nuance and stopped being compelling for probably the past 5 or so seasons. In this episode we had Carl, as he lay dying in a sewer while The Saviors were bombing his home, prattle on endlessly to his father about forgiveness and how the killing needs to stop in order to build a happy future for humanity. Did I mention that Carl and almost everyone he knows and loves were hiding in a sewer while the people he wants to show forgiveness to and build a new society with were carpet bombing his home and looking to kill anyone who they came across? Because in that context Carl came off like a fucking moron. I am willing to give Carl the benefit of the doubt though because he was running a very high fever as he was slowly dying before our eyes.
Carol has no such excuse. I am having trouble keeping up but I think this is the 9th time that Carol has decided being Stone Cold Carol was not in her best interests and decided that a more compassionate and caring philosophy was the way to go. At the same time we have Morgan who is also in his umpteenth flip-flop from Zen Morgan to CLear Morgan. With these two characters never syncing up their moral philosophies to match at the same time, we are treated to yet another round of “[INSERT NAME HERE], killing is wrong and I, [INSERT NAME HERE], who was once a cold-blooded killer, have seen the light of mercy and can help you see the light too.” and I am honestly sick of it. Morgan wants to kill all of The Saviors who have taken over The Kingdom and who are holding Ezekiel captive while the only executing Carol wants to do is executing a non-lethal plan to rescue Zeke with as little bloodshed as possible. Toss in a bloodthirsty little kid in the form of young Henry who is caught between the more merciful influence of Ezekiel and Carol and the more murderous influence of Morgan and the moralizing in this episode was reaching obnoxious levels. Watching Zeke and Carol pleading with Morgan about not killing milquetoast Savior lieutenant Gavin was ridiculous. It is like none of these people seem to want to accept that they are currently at war with an enemy that wants to kill and/or subjugate them. So if faced with the choice of killing one of Negan’s top lieutenants or showing him mercy, the choice is super easy: you kill that asshole dead. Now if you happen to come across the guy who does Negan’s laundry and it is perfectly fine to argue the point that maybe this guy was just going along to get along and killing him would be wrong. This all-encompassing mercy rule they keep trying to push is dumb and just shows how weak the writers of this show have become as they keep resorting to the same tired bit to create conflict with the core characters on the show.