(Note: This post contains spoilers of the Season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead.”)
“The Walking Dead” hit fans hard with its Season 8 finale, bringing the “All-Out War” arc to a close in the most dramatic way possible.
The episode found Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew finally coming up against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors in a final showdown, a setup that left plenty of fans anxious. In the penultimate episode of the season, Negan revealed that he’d found that his lieutenant, Dwight (Austin Amelio), was actually a double agent who was aiding Rick. Negan used Dwight to deliver false intelligence to Rick, with the plan of luring him into a trap and wiping him and his people out.
Of course, things on “The Walking Dead” never quite shake out the way everyone expects. At first, just about everyone was ready for something awful to befall Eugene (Josh McDermitt):
Ugh. Eugene. Go away. #TheWalkingDead
— #StellarideIsRising/#teamjamko (@calhoun_monique) April 16, 2018
Hopefully Eugene bites the dust tonight #TheWalkingDead
— Ah Bee ???? (@itsAbhi_Raval) April 16, 2018
— Anjali B. ???? (@abenawra) April 16, 2018
— Kendra Sisneros (@KennyLeeSissy) April 16, 2018
There was more freaking out when Negan successfully executed his trap, starting with the whistling.
— Katie It'sPronouncedBitner (@kathrynbuettner) April 16, 2018
— ¤¤Bulletproof Cora¤¤ (@CD_Jinx) April 16, 2018
— ????????♀️Ebony????????♀️ (@_Yongni_) April 16, 2018
But just when it looked like Negan was about to take out everyone and win the war once and for all, those bullets Eugene made for them backfired. Fans, understandably, flipped, and a few forgave.
— ❄️????Mike????❄️ (@MjolnirMK86) April 16, 2018
— Thrillmonger (@CitizenGrime) April 16, 2018
Finally Eugene!! #TheWalkingDead
— Miguel Morales (@The_Basesquad) April 16, 2018
Eugene wins the war. #TheWalkingDead
— Rod Bias (@TheRodfather95) April 16, 2018
Eugene baby… forget whatever we said about you #TheWalkingDead
— scab (@atunatx) April 16, 2018
— Taylor (@DarylDixonSwag) April 16, 2018
I just peed myself a little!! Thank you Eugene!!!! #TheWalkingDead
— Stephanie???????? (@ReedusFan2) April 16, 2018
But nothing was quite as hard-hitting as Rick and Negan’s final showdown, and how it played out. “The Walking Dead” pulled a fast one on viewers even as they watched it unfold, and it didn’t sit well with many watching.
Maggie my heart is breaking with you ????#TheWalkingDead
— Kelly Floriani (@kellyfloriani) April 16, 2018
— Brynn (@BeyondandAbove1) April 16, 2018
Tsk tsk Rick, Maggie deserved her revenge. #TheWalkingDead
— Susan Graham (@sloanepete310) April 16, 2018
Wait, what? Why is he saving Negan?!!!! Wth?!!!! #TheWalkingDead
— Lecia – Gaye Taylor (@Leciagaye) April 16, 2018
— Troublemaker (@tzulu1914) April 16, 2018
— Mayci☀️✌???????? (@Bl0nd3Bombshell) April 16, 2018
Things weren’t all hunky-dory, though. Even though Rick won the war, Negan survived, and the survivors chose peace over war. Not everyone on the show was happy with the decisions of Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira). More conflicts are coming and, this time, they’re from within Rick and his group — with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Jesus (Tom Payne) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) plotting, in some way, against their leader. Not everyone was into it.
— Stefany M (@stefany_gleek) April 16, 2018
— Destiny (@fightmenegan) April 16, 2018
— Dave The Rave (@moonman9419) April 16, 2018
— Dakota J. Hill (@BigApe93) April 16, 2018
— Blair S (@oryomai) April 16, 2018
The season wrapped with one last heart-wrencher: a callback to the death of Carl (Chandler Riggs). Rick finally came around to what his son was trying to tell him about peace.
— Daryl Dixon (@BAMFDarylDixon_) April 16, 2018