We are currently in the Fear the Walking Dead lead-up time to the return of The Walking Dead proper in October, as season 8 looms and brings the Negan war with it.
Season 7 was an odd year for AMC’s monster hit, another year of declining ratings, but more pressingly, it brought with it a few heavily despised episodes in the first half of the season. Speaking to TVLine, showrunner Scott Gimple laid out exactly what’s different with season 8, namely one big change from season 7:
“Because of the narrative that we’re following … the story this season is really spread out among all of the characters. And the story shifts quite a bit in single episodes between lots of different characters on a consistent basis, which is a little more unusual for the show.”
In other words, the cast will be sticking together more, and we’ll have less episodes focused on individual characters or pairs of characters like we saw all the time in season 7.
While Gimple doesn’t say that this is a direct response to criticism of last season, it’s pretty clear that it had to be a consideration. When looking at the IMDB/fan-rated worst episodes in Walking Dead history, a good chunk of season 7 is on the list, including many of the initial episodes when the cast was split up into tiny groups for at least the first 6-7 episodes in a row.
There’s The Cell, which even being a Daryl-centric episode, was dull as we watched him be psychologically tortured in Negan’s base. There’s The Well, which focused only on The Kingdom. There’s Go-Getters, which was only The Hilltop. And finally, the worst-rated episode by far was Tara’s “Swear” which was about her misadventures at the Seaside community.