The eighth season of The Walking Dead, an American post-apocalyptic horror television series on AMC, premiered on October 22, 2017, and concluded on April 15, 2018, consisting of 16 episodes. Developed for television by Frank Darabont, the series is based on the eponymous series of comic books by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The executive producers are Kirkman, David Alpert, Scott M. Gimple, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse, and Gale Anne Hurd, with Gimple as showrunner for his fifth and final season. The eighth season received positive reviews from critics. It was nominated for multiple awards and won two, including Best Horror Television Series for the third consecutive year, at the 44th Saturn Awards.
This season adapts material from issues #115–126 of the comic book series and focuses on Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), his group of survivors and everyone at the Alexandria Safe-Zone, the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and later the Scavengers going to war with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors.
|The Walking Dead (season 8)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Original release||October 22, 2017 – April 15, 2018|
The eighth season features twenty series regulars overall. For this season, Katelyn Nacon, Khary Payton, Steven Ogg, and Pollyanna McIntosh were promoted to series regular status, after previously having recurring roles, while Seth Gilliam and Ross Marquand were added to the opening credits.
The Walking Dead was renewed by AMC for a 16-episode eighth season on October 16, 2016. Production began on April 25, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia. On July 12, 2017, production was shut down after stuntman John Bernecker was killed, after falling more than 20 feet onto a concrete floor. Production resumed on July 17.
In November 2017, it was announced that Lennie James who portrays Morgan Jones, would be leaving The Walking Dead after the conclusion of this season, and he will join the cast of the spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|100||1||"Mercy"||Greg Nicotero||Scott M. Gimple||October 22, 2017||11.44|
|Rick, Maggie, and Ezekiel rally their communities together to take down Negan. Gregory attempts to have the Hilltop residents side with Negan, but they all firmly stand behind Maggie. The group attacks the Sanctuary, taking down its fences and flooding the compound with walkers. With the Sanctuary defaced, everyone leaves except Gabriel, who reluctantly stays to save Gregory, but is left behind when Gregory abandons him. Surrounded by walkers, Gabriel hides in a trailer, where he is trapped inside with Negan.|
|101||2||"The Damned"||Rosemary Rodriguez||Matthew Negrete & Channing Powell||October 29, 2017||8.92|
|Rick's forces split into separate parties to attack several of the Saviors' outposts, during which many members of the group are killed; Eric is critically injured and rushed away by Aaron. Jesus stops Tara and Morgan from executing a group of surrendered Saviors. While clearing an outpost with Daryl, Rick is confronted and held at gunpoint by Morales, a survivor he met in the initial Atlanta camp, who is now with the Saviors.|
|102||3||"Monsters"||Greg Nicotero||Matthew Negrete & Channing Powell||November 5, 2017||8.52|
|Daryl finds Morales threatening Rick and kills him; the duo then pursue a group of Saviors who are transporting weapons to another outpost. Gregory returns to Hilltop, and after a heated argument, Maggie ultimately allows him back in the community. Eric dies from his injuries, leaving Aaron distraught. Despite Tara and Morgan's objections, Jesus leads the group of surrendered Saviors to Hilltop. Ezekiel's group attacks another Savior compound, during which Kingdom fighters are annihilated while protecting Ezekiel.|
|103||4||"Some Guy"||Dan Liu||David Leslie Johnson||November 12, 2017||8.69|
|Ezekiel's group is overwhelmed by the Saviors, who kill all of them except for Ezekiel himself and Jerry. Carol clears the inside of the compound, killing all but two Saviors, who almost escape but are eventually caught by Rick and Daryl. En route to the Kingdom, Ezekiel, Jerry, and Carol are surrounded by walkers, but Shiva sacrifices herself to save them. The trio returns to the Kingdom, where Ezekiel's confidence in himself as a leader has diminished.|
|104||5||"The Big Scary U"||Michael E. Satrazemis||Story by : Scott M. Gimple & David Leslie Johnson & Angela Kang |
Teleplay by : David Leslie Johnson & Angela Kang
|November 19, 2017||7.85|
|After confessing their sins to each other, Gabriel and Negan manage to escape from the trailer. Simon and the other lieutenants grow suspicious of each other, knowing that Rick’s forces must have inside information. The workers in the Sanctuary become increasingly frustrated with their living conditions, and a riot nearly ensues, until Negan returns and restores order. Gabriel is locked in a cell, where Eugene discovers him sick and suffering. Meanwhile, Rick and Daryl argue over how to take out the Saviors, leading Daryl to abandon Rick.|
|105||6||"The King, the Widow, and Rick"||John Polson||Angela Kang & Corey Reed||November 26, 2017||8.28|
|Rick visits Jadis in hopes of convincing her to turn against Negan; Jadis refuses, and locks Rick in a shipping container. Carl encounters Siddiq in the woods and recruits him to Alexandria. Daryl and Tara plot to deviate from Rick’s plans by destroying the Sanctuary. Ezekiel isolates himself at the Kingdom, where Carol tries to encourage him to be the leader his people need. Maggie has the group of captured Saviors placed in a holding area and forces Gregory to join them as punishment for betraying Hilltop.|
|106||7||"Time for After"||Larry Teng||Matthew Negrete & Corey Reed||December 3, 2017||7.47|
|After learning of Dwight's association with Rick's group, Eugene affirms his loyalty to Negan and outlines a plan to get rid of the walkers surrounding the Sanctuary. With help from Morgan and Tara, Daryl drives a truck through the Sanctuary’s walls, flooding its interior with walkers, killing many Saviors. Rick finally convinces Jadis and the Scavengers to align with him, and they plan to force the Saviors to surrender. However, when they arrive at the Sanctuary, Rick is horrified to see the breached walls and no sign of the walker herd.|
|107||8||"How It's Gotta Be"||Michael E. Satrazemis||David Leslie Johnson & Angela Kang||December 10, 2017||7.89|
|Eugene's plan allows the Saviors to escape the Sanctuary, and separately, the Saviors waylay the Alexandria, Hilltop, and Kingdom forces. The Scavengers abandon Rick, after which he returns to Alexandria. Aaron and Enid are ambushed by Oceanside soldiers, leading Enid to kill Natania. Ezekiel ensures that the Kingdom residents are able to escape before locking himself in the community with the Saviors. Eugene aids Gabriel and Doctor Carson in escaping the Sanctuary in order to ease his conscience. Negan attacks Alexandria, but Carl devises a plan to allow the Alexandria residents to escape into the sewers. Carl reveals he was bitten by a walker while escorting Siddiq to Alexandria.|
|108||9||"Honor"||Greg Nicotero||Matthew Negrete & Channing Powell||February 25, 2018||8.28|
|Realizing his time alive is limited, Carl writes several letters to his loved ones. After the Saviors leave Alexandria, the survivors make for the Hilltop while Rick and Michonne stay behind to say their final goodbyes to a dying Carl, who pleads with Rick to build a better future alongside the Saviors. Morgan and Carol launch a rescue mission for Ezekiel and successfully retake the Kingdom from the invading Saviors; their lieutenant, Gavin, is killed by Benjamin's vengeful younger brother, Henry.|
|109||10||"The Lost and the Plunderers"||David Boyd||Angela Kang & Channing Powell & Corey Reed||March 4, 2018||6.82|
|Aaron and Enid try to convince Oceanside to join the fight against the Saviors, but they refuse; Enid returns to Hilltop while Aaron opts to stay at Oceanside until he can convince them to join. Upon learning of the Scavenger’s siding with Rick, Negan orders Simon to kill only one of Jadis’ people. Rick and Michonne travel to the junkyard to warn Jadis of the Saviors’ impending attack, but they are too late; Simon had ordered the Saviors to slaughter the entire group; Jadis, who managed to escape lures her reanimated comrades into a waste shredder to protect herself.|
|110||11||"Dead or Alive Or"||Michael E. Satrazemis||Eddie Guzelian||March 11, 2018||6.60|
|The Saviors hunt the surviving Alexandrians as they make their way to the Hilltop; Dwight affirms his loyalty to Rick's group as he distracts the Saviors and helps lead the group to safety. Eugene leads a crew of Saviors in crafting bullets at a new outpost while Negan plans to taint the Saviors' weapons with walker blood, in order to make the others "turn" instead of killing them. Doctor Carson tries to help a feverish and nearly blind Gabriel to safety, but the Saviors eventually catch up, killing Carson and recapturing Gabriel.|
|111||12||"The Key"||Greg Nicotero||Corey Reed & Channing Powell||March 18, 2018||6.66|
|Maggie, Enid, Michonne and Rosita encounter a seemingly benevolent woman named Georgie, who gives them food and documents in exchange for phonograph records; Georgie claims the documents to be "a key to the future". Negan leads the Saviors to the Hilltop to send a warning via their newly tainted weapons; Rick pursues the Saviors and chases Negan into a building. Negan eventually escapes, only to be captured at gunpoint by Jadis. Unable to find Negan, Simon instructs the Saviors to attack the Hilltop and "expunge" the community for good.|
|112||13||"Do Not Send Us Astray"||Jeffrey F. January||Angela Kang & Matthew Negrete||March 25, 2018||6.77|
|The Saviors attack the Hilltop with their tainted weapons, leading to a battle in which both sides suffer heavy casualties. Tara is non-fatally shot by Dwight in an effort to prevent Simon from killing her. Overnight, the injured die from their tainted wounds and attack the sleeping survivors after reanimating. Henry tries to take revenge for the murder of his brother, leading to the breakout of the Savior prisoners and the disappearance of Henry. Having seen the Saviors' callous attitude for themselves, Alden and several other Saviors choose to remain at the Hilltop rather than return to the Saviors.|
|113||14||"Still Gotta Mean Something"||Michael E. Satrazemis||Eddie Guzelian||April 1, 2018||6.30|
|Carol and Morgan search for Henry while Rick hunts the escaped Savior prisoners; Morgan abandons Carol and joins Rick, and together, they find and kill the prisoners. Jadis tortures Negan until he informs her that he had nothing to do with Simon massacring her people; a helicopter flies nearby, but Jadis fails to catch its attention. Daryl and Rosita plot to stop Eugene from crafting ammunition for the Saviors. Carol finds Henry alive in the woods and they return to Hilltop. Upon Rick and Morgan's return, Michonne encourages Rick to read Carl's letter to him.|
|114||15||"Worth"||Michael Slovis||David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick & Corey Reed||April 8, 2018||6.67|
|Negan returns to the Sanctuary and regains control of the Saviors. Dwight secretly prepares notes to Rick about Negan's plans, and later sends Gregory to deliver the notes. Daryl and Rosita capture Eugene from his outpost, but he manages to escape and continues pushing his workers to craft bullets. Dwight lures Simon into a meeting where Negan accosts him for going against his orders with the Scavengers, and kills him in a fist fight. Negan then reveals that Laura informed him of Dwight's siding with Rick, and that his planning was a ruse upon knowing of Dwight's disloyalty. Negan is contacted by Michonne - who reads Carl's letter to him at the request of making peace; Negan remains intent on killing Rick and his allies once and for all.|
|115||16||"Wrath"||Greg Nicotero||Scott M. Gimple & Angela Kang & Matthew Negrete||April 15, 2018||7.92|
|Rick's group follows the false plans given to them by Gregory, leading them into a trap. As the Saviors fire, their weapons backfire due to their ammo being sabotaged by Eugene. The surviving Saviors surrender, while Rick chases down Negan; the two brawl and Rick manages to slice Negan's neck, but immediately has Siddiq tend to the wound, knowing that Carl wanted Negan to survive. Meanwhile, an attack at Hilltop is stopped with help from Aaron and the Oceanside soldiers. The survivors regroup and rebuild their communities, but Rick's decision to spare Negan angers Maggie and she vows to take action against Rick in the future.|
On March 15, 2018, it was announced that the season finale and the fourth season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead would be screened at AMC, Regal, and Cinemark theaters across the United States on April 15, the same day as the TV airing, for "Survival Sunday: The Walking Dead & Fear the Walking Dead". The episodes marked the first crossover between the two series. The cinema screening also included an extra half-hour of exclusive bonus content.
The eighth season of The Walking Dead has received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season holds a score of 67% with an average rating of 6.68 out of 10, based on 15 reviews, and an average episode score 72%. The site's critical consensus reads: "The Walking Dead's eighth season energizes its characters with some much-needed angst and action, though it's still occasionally choppy and lacking forward-moving plot progression."
For the 44th Saturn Awards, the eight season of The Walking Dead received seven nominations, winning two. It won Best Horror Television Series and Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series (Chandler Riggs). The nominations were for Best Actor on Television (Andrew Lincoln), Best Supporting Actor on Television (Khary Payton), Best Supporting Actress on Television (Danai Gurira and Melissa McBride), and Best Guest Starring Role on Television (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
The first half of the season was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series at the 24th Screen Actors Guild Awards.
|1||"Mercy"||October 22, 2017||5.0||11.44||2.2||4.28||7.2||15.74|
|2||"The Damned"||October 29, 2017||4.0||8.92||2.0||4.16||6.0||13.10|
|3||"Monsters"||November 5, 2017||3.8||8.52||2.2||4.47||6.0||13.01|
|4||"Some Guy"||November 12, 2017||3.9||8.69||1.8||3.66||5.7||12.361|
|5||"The Big Scary U"||November 19, 2017||3.4||7.85||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|6||"The King, the Widow, and Rick"||November 26, 2017||3.6||8.28||2.1||4.44||5.7||12.73|
|7||"Time for After"||December 3, 2017||3.3||7.47||1.9||4.15||5.2||11.63|
|8||"How It's Gotta Be"||December 10, 2017||3.4||7.89||2.0||4.23||5.4||12.13|
|9||"Honor"||February 25, 2018||3.6||8.28||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|10||"The Lost and the Plunderers"||March 4, 2018||2.9||6.82||1.7||3.80||4.6||10.63|
|11||"Dead or Alive Or"||March 11, 2018||2.8||6.60||1.6||3.44||4.4||10.06|
|12||"The Key"||March 18, 2018||2.8||6.66||1.7||3.76||4.5||10.44|
|13||"Do Not Send Us Astray"||March 25, 2018||3.0||6.77||1.7||3.82||4.7||10.62|
|14||"Still Gotta Mean Something"||April 1, 2018||2.6||6.30||1.8||3.68||4.4||9.99|
|15||"Worth"||April 8, 2018||2.8||6.67||1.7||3.64||4.5||10.32|
|16||"Wrath"||April 15, 2018||3.4||7.92||1.6||3.30||5.0||11.24|
^1 Live +7 ratings were not available, so Live +3 ratings have been used instead.
The eighth season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 21, 2018. The set includes three audio commentaries and three featurettes.