The penultimate episode of the first half of Season 8 seems to bring us no closer to the conclusion that we all want to see in the mid-season finale. Time for After is a continuation – and exacerbation – of its predecessor’s disappointment.
After Rick’s capture in the previous episode, we are forced to endure a tedious sub-plot (yes, the main character features only in the sub-plot) focused on a group of characters who are despised by the majority of the audience. Speaking in broken English and limited sentences, the Scavengers are exhausting to watch and entertaining on no level whatsoever. What’s even more frustrating in this sub-plot is that the inclusion of these vapid characters within the show is completely unnecessary. After betraying the Alexandrians last season, instead of storming in with all his might and destroying them – the logical solution- Rick opts to parley with them once again. Not only is this farcically out of character, but it also suggests that the Scavengers’ time on our screen is no closer to ending (much to the chagrin of many – surely, it’s time for the trash people to be shown the bin).
” Speaking in broken English and limited sentences, the Scavengers are exhausting to watch and entertaining on no level whatsoever.”
The previous episode saw Daryl’s progression to becoming a villain, which came to full fruition during this episode as he almost single-handedly undid all of Rick’s rigorous planning and execution. Daryl’s actions were – like many characters this season – hugely uncharacteristic. Once Rick’s right-hand-man, he now seems to be treading a darker path after his time at the Compound – an idea which has the potential to actually be interesting. However, it is unlikely that there will be any lasting or major repercussions of his actions (I’ll eat my words -and my hat- if I’m wrong), making it just another empty attempt at creating fleeting tension- an unforgivably lazy writer’s trick.
Where the last episode had at least some shining qualities, Time for After was barren. Supporting characters were once again given the spotlight with underwhelming results, as they attempted to carry an already flawed script. Evidenced perhaps by a “stand-off” style scene- the outcome of which was staggeringly anticlimactic. The character holding the gun should have, could have, and bloody well would have pulled the trigger. But lo and behold, that didn’t happen. It’s almost as if the writers of the Walking Dead don’t know their characters. Or, in fact, their audience.
There’s not a whole lot that can be said about this episode other than the fact that it is devoid of plot, intrigue, and development, and ultimately, begs to be ignored.