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Few surprises and far too many dumb decisions -- is this really "How It's Gotta Be?"
The stakes in the finale didn't feel nearly as high as they needed to. It's hard to invest emotionally in characters when they seem to be running around toting assault rifles / bin lorries etc to no clear purpose.
This is all just characters acting dumb for no reason, and it's all too much for this episode to bear, especially when it plays out so slowly over 90 minutes.
I've gotta say, tonight's episode was pretty good. It felt like retribution for a severely lackluster season.
But, at the same time, it felt like an imitation of the pathos and tragedy The Walking Dead used to produce so effectively. We think Carl deserved a little better.
I had some reservations about "How It's Gotta Be" going in, mainly because I've enjoyed season eight so far, and I was seriously worried the show wouldn't be able to stick the landing.
It's Sad This Is "How It's Gotta Be" On 'The Walking Dead'. This mid-season finale was an insult, a joke and heartbreaking.
On Sunday, The Walking Dead demonstrated that it can still surprise us, if only because it's conditioned us to set our sights so low. Maybe this wasn't the last welcome development up Season 8's sleeve.
Oh joy, a 90 minute long mid-season finale. You know what that means...more waiting around for a plot to arrive.
While this has been one the more energetic episodes this year, it's the small preview of the back half of season 8 that looks far more exciting and enticing than what we've seen so far this season.
It's difficult to tell a story when it's difficult to see just what is going on. Not helping the confusion is the fact that How It's Gotta Be jumps between any one of two dozen characters at any point.
"How It's Gotta Be" is an episode that is very much concerned with exploring the significance of children, their relationship to their parents, and what they mean to society in general.
However, while the reveal at the end was indeed shocking, it didn't end so abruptly that it was frustrating and it gave us time to process what just happened.