Warning: Contains slight spoilers for The Walking Dead.
Early reviews for The Walking Dead’s return have started to emerge, and the verdicts are a worryingly mixed bag.
The show’s upcoming midseason eight premiere is set to be a landmark episode, witnessing the death of Carl Grimes after revealing his walker bite to Rick and Michonne.
It’s a controversial move which has sparked petitions and even prompted actor Chandler Riggs’ father to speak out, with a lot riding on whether the next episode, titled Honor, will prove a satisfying send-off for one of the show’s original characters.
Despite being a couple of weeks ahead of its air date, a number of US sites have already seen the episode, and it seems the verdict is quite mixed.
It starts out incredibly positive, with Comicbook.com saying it’s an ’emotionally devastating’ installment which will bring around doubters to the decision.
‘The Walking Dead fans might come around to Carl’s death after all, considering his send-off episode is a masterfully paced and emotionally devastating instalment, setting the stage for Negan and Rick’s feud to finally reach a conclusion.’
Den Of Geek however gave the episode 4 stars but were slightly more restrained, applauding the episodes’ efficiency and stated it was the best midseason return since season six’s No Way Out.
Den Of Geek verdict
‘Honor is emotional, packed with action and some particularly gory bits, and a few interesting twists that will undoubtedly keep fans talking until the season finale.
‘I will not say that Honor feels like a fresh new start for The Walking Dead. Because it isn’t. If anything, it feels like the beginning of the end of the Gimple era.’
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The folks over at Insider however gave the most negative review, giving the episode a C+ rating.
While they said the scenes between Carl, Rick and Michonne were ‘top notch’, viewers will apparently be left ‘disappointed’ by answers to the big questions.
‘The Walking Dead mid-season premiere is neither one of the strongest nor one of the weakest premiere episodes. It’s a fine episode of the series. And that may not be good enough for a show that is eight seasons deep if it plans to keep powering on for years as AMC’s flagship show. It makes this fan a little hesitant of the show’s future direction without Riggs, whose character is still alive and a driving force in the comics.’
While there’s an air of positivity in comparison to previous episodes from season eight, it doesn’t exactly sound like the home-run many fans are hoping for.
The show was recently renewed for a ninth season, which will see current showrunner Scott Gimple moved to Chief Content Officer for The Walking Dead universe.
Writer Angela Kang however will take over the showrunner reins when season 9 debuts later this year.
The Walking Dead returns on February 25 in the US, and airs on Fox February 26 in the UK at 9pm.