How Will ‘The Walking Dead’ Manage to Actually End the War Next Week?



(Spoilers ahead for the April 8 episode of “The Walking Dead” on AMC)
If you didn’t know that season 8 of “The Walking Dead” was coming to a close next week, you probably wouldn’t think the war between the Saviors and everyone else was reaching its conclusion based on what happened this week. No, you’d probably view Negan’s declaration that he has to wipe out everyone at the Hilltop, and Oceanside’s decision to finally join up, as just another escalation in this war that’s gone on for more than two full seasons at this point.
But we know this war has to end — we’re actually already beyond the point in the comics version of the story, in which the battle at the Hilltop was the climax, where the Saviors lost! Since it seems incredibly unlikely that AMC would want to drag this out for another season given the series’ ratings slide this year, we can only assume that, finally, All Out War will come to a close next week.
The question, though, is how it will happen given the way the conflict is going right now. Logically, we could guess there will be one more big battle in next week’s finale and that the Saviors will lose. But a huge battle in which a bunch of characters get killed wouldn’t really be in keeping with the themes of the latter half of this season — which has been all about figuring out a way to end the war that will allow for reconciliation afterward. The way everybody’s been acting this year, another bloody battle wouldn’t fit that bill.
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And yet it feels like another bloody battle is the only possible next step for this story.
However,  there is one character who is in a position to prevent that inevitable final battle from occurring, and it just so happens to be someone that fans have been wishing death upon for a while now. I’m talking about Eugene (Josh McDermitt), who may have subtly signaled his intent to betray the Saviors near the end of the episode.
At the end of the episode he gives a grand speech to his bullet-making workers about how they’re going to more than deliver on all the bullets Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is demanding they make. And while his tyrannical tone is the same as it was at the beginning of the episode when he was all over Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) for being sick and messing up a bullet, his change in rhetoric from “we’ll do the best we can” to “we’re going to make a billion bullets tonight for sure” is quite a shift.
As we all know, Eugene has been struggling this season to deliver on his promises to the Saviors, as his bullet-making enterprise has not quite gone as smoothly as he would have hoped. His bullet factory has turned out to be less a “factory” and more an “assembly line,” which is obviously not the quickest way to make enough bullets to supply an army carrying automatic rifles. Expecting them to be able to effectively turn out working bullets on a time crunch is kind of a ridiculous prospect with the setup they have.
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And my guess is Eugene isn’t actually going to try to.
Eugene’s key scene this week comes when Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) kidnap him from the factory. They say all sorts of terrible things to him — all of which he deserves, honestly — and he’s very clearly emotionally crushed by it. Then he escapes, and makes it back to the factory, and suddenly he’s extremely gung ho about how great they’re going to be at making bullets.
I think the intent here by the show is for the audience to think that being kidnapped hardened him, making him now fully devoted to the Saviors’ cause because he doesn’t want to end up at the mercy of Rosita and Daryl again. But given the reality of the situation, I interpreted that differently.
I don’t think that Eugene believes that they can deliver all the bullet Negan ordered in the 12 hours or so that they have to do it. Eugene may be dumb in a lot of ways, but he’s certainly not dumb in the sort of way that he would incorrectly estimate how many bullets they could make in that timeframe.
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No, how I saw that scene is that his encounter with Rosita and Daryl made him decide to finally take a stand for something more than just his own survival. I think he’s going to deliver buckets of unusable bullets to the Saviors next week, and this is how the final bloody fight will be avoided.
Eugene’s bullets will fail, and the Saviors will have to surrender, and that will be all she wrote about All Out War.
Or maybe it will be something else. I am, after all, just speculating. But I feel pretty good about this guess. We’ll find out next week.

“The Walking Dead” generally follows the path of the graphic novel series on which it’s based, but the AMC hit has often changed things up. Here are 24 times the show took a meaningful diversion from the story that “Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman laid out on paper, including the big death in the season 8 mid-season premiere.

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta didn’t even figure in the comics, but the season 1 finale of the show featured a pit stop there. The last remaining staffer, Dr. Edwin Jenner, explained to our “heroes” that everyone living is infected with the virus to some degree, so that no matter how they die they’ll resurrect as a walker.

Daryl (Norman Reedus) and his brother Merle (Michael Rooker) aren’t even in the comics. Merle died in seasom 3, but Daryl has remained a main character and fan favorite since the start of the show.

On the show, Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) died giving birth to her daughter, Judith, during season 3, but in the comics Lori survived Judith’s birth — though she and Judith end up being killed when the Governor raids the prison.

RV owner Dale Horvath (Jeffrey DeMunn) dies during season 2 on the show but survived much longer in the comics, eventually being bitten by walker and then partially eaten by cannibals (infecting them with his “tainted meat”).

On the show, Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) lasts longer than he does in the comics — he ends up being the “tainted meat” the cannibals ate instead of the long-deceased Dale.

The comic version of Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) was killed by sheriff’s son Carl (Chandler Riggs) very early on, before the group even makes it out of Atlanta. But on the show, Shane made it to the end of season 2, and Carl’s dad Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is the one who takes him out.

The Governor (David Morrissey) chopped off one of Rick’s hands in the comic, but our hero remains stubbornly two-handed on the show.

Lizzie and Mika were actually gender-swapped versions of their comic book characters, Ben (in place of Lizzie) and Billy (Mika). In the comics after Ben kills Billy, Carl is the one who kills Ben. On the show it’s Carol who puts down the psychopathic Lizzie.

In the comic, Tyreese (Chad Coleman) had a daughter who entered into a suicide pact with her boyfriend, Chris. The pact didn’t go as planned, though — the two were planning to shoot each other at the same time but Chris fired early and came away unharmed. Until Tyreese dismembered him, anyway. On the show his only family is Sasha, who was created for the show.

The TV version of Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) is middle-aged and timid, the victim of prolonged domestic abuse — before coming out of her shell and developing into a powerful character. But in the graphic novels, Carol is much younger and her husband never abused her. And she tries to have a threesome with Rick and Lori.

On the show, Shane injures ranch hand Otis (Pruitt Taylor Vince) and leaves him to be eaten by walkers. In the comic, though, Otis isn’t killed until walkers invade the prison later on in the story.

Tomas (Nick Gomez) only appears on the TV series, but he serves the same function as Dexter from the comics, letting walkers into the prison enclave before being killed by Rick for doing so.

Andrea (Laurie Holden) is killed in the season 3 finale of the show after the Governor arranges for her to be bitten by a walker, though Andrea shoots herself before she can turn. In the comic, Andrea only just recently died, at a point in the story that is well past where the show has gotten.

Hershel had many children in the comics, but Beth was not one of them. None of the Greene kids in the comics directly correlates to Beth — though the closest would be Billy Greene, a teenager who is killed when Woodbury folks attack the prison.

Beth’s entire time at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, likewise, is completely original to the show.

In the comics, Jessie Anderson only had one son, Ron, but in the show she had two: Ron and Sam.

The circumstances under which Jessie and her family died were different in the show as well. In both versions they, along with Rick and Carl, were navigating a walker horde while smeared in walker blood. In the comics this gambit simply failed, but on the show their deaths occurred because Sam had a nervous breakdown when he spotted a child walker.

The circumstances under which Sherry left Dwight to become one of  Negan’s wives was changed on the show. In the comics she married Negan in hopes of making life easier for the two of them. On the show, she agreed to marry Negan when he was about to kill Dwight for going AWOL.

The reason Negan burned Dwight’s face was also different in the comics than the show. In the book, Negan burned Dwight for sleeping with Sherry after the left him for Negan. On the show, Sherry agreed to marry Negan so he’d spare Dwight, but Negan burned him with the hot iron anyway.

Negan killed Glenn in the season 7 premiere, as he also did in the comics. But the show faked us out first by having Negan also kill Abraham. In the comics, Abraham was killed by another of the Saviors, Dwight, before the confrontation with Negan happened.

In season 7 of the show, Richard was killed by Morgan as revenge — Richard had carried out a plan to start a war between the Kingdom and the Saviors, but all it accomplished was getting the teenager Benjamin killed. In the comics, however, Benjamin was shot and killed by one of the Saviors during a big battle in the war that the show hadn’t gotten to yet.

In season 7, Eugene has become a turncoat against Rick and Alexandria, becoming a willing collaborator with the Saviors after being captured. In the books, however, Eugene was captured by the Saviors only after Alexandria went to war with them — and he refused to help them at all while in captivity.

After the attack on the Sanctuary, a different person is left behind on the show and the comics. In the Season 8 premiere of the show, after the battle ends and the walkers invade, Father Gabriel is the only one of Rick’s party who gets trapped there — in the comics, it was Holly who ends up trapped in Sanctuary after the battle.

In the Season 8 mid-season finale, we discovered that Carl has been bitten by a walker, and then he died in the next episode. In the comics to date, which the show is not close to catching up to, Carl remains alive, making this one of the biggest departures from the comics the show has ever done.

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The show doesn’t always stick with the story as told in the comics it’s adapting (SPOILERS)

“The Walking Dead” generally follows the path of the graphic novel series on which it’s based, but the AMC hit has often changed things up. Here are 24 times the show took a meaningful diversion from the story that “Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman laid out on paper, including the big death in the season 8 mid-season premiere.

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