While it seems the general consensus that The Walking Dead has stumbled a lot over the past couple of seasons, I think it’s really picked up over the course of its eighth. We’ve been treated to some pretty grim zombie gore, as well as a partial return to the genuine tension and gut-wrenching emotion of the show’s peak period.
The season 8 finale was mostly pretty great, although clearly, there was a lot to pack into that final episode, which really hurtled towards its conclusion. Talking to EW this last week, episode director/FX maestro Greg Nicotero and showrunner Scott Gimple explained the difficulties in telling so much story in under an hour, and revealed some of what was cut.
“There was a lot of story to tell, and for me the biggest challenge was really sort of wrapping everything up in terms of Dwight, in terms of Alden, in terms of Morgan, in terms of Jadis,” Nicotero said. “So it was a big, big episode. And we didn’t have a tremendous amount of time to prep, so I would have liked a little more time with the actual final cut, because there were some things that were left on the cutting room floor that I think would have benefited the episode.”
“There was some really cool stuff with Negan at the Sanctuary sort of addressing the troops and seeing some of his own conflicts about what they’re facing,” Gimple added. “There was a lovely exchange between Rick, Michonne, and Maggie that was about the future. There was some great stuff but I would say [it was cut] not only for time but also for flow. I’d like to show some of those scenes on, like, a DVD, but for the flow of the story, it just benefited from [cutting] it.
“It can be really heartbreaking sometimes,” Gimple continued, “but I think the flow of stories is important and it’s a worthy challenge in commercial television to have to deal with that. Keeping a tight experience for the audience is also good.”
Here’s hoping the scenes do indeed end up on a home video release, and that the show continues to engage us in season 9 and beyond.
Words: Kevan Farrow (@KevanX)