The Walking Dead mid-season 8 finale shook up the show but when can audiences expect to see the next episode air? AMC has yet to unveil a confirmed return date for their hit zombie series; however, if past seasons are any indication, fans should be able to catch up with the series around Valentine's Day 2018. Previous seasons have aired the Sunday before or after February 14th - meaning that The Walking Dead mid-season 8 premier should occur on February 11th (or possibly the 18th), depending on what other shows might provide competition.
Check out the evidence:
- Season 7, episode 9: Rock in the Road - February 12, 2017
- Season 6, episode 9: No Way Out - February 14, 2016
- Season 5, episode 9: What's Happened and What's Going On - February 8, 2015
- Season 4, episode 9: After - February 9, 2014
- Season 3, episode 9: The Suicide King - February 10, 2013
- Season 2, episode 8: Nebraska - February 12, 2012
- Season 1: six episodes that aired without a break.
Each year, the show returns the week before Valentine's Day (or on the day itself) but, of course, that only matters if AMC continues that trend in 2018.
The rest of this post contains SPOILERS for The Walking Dead mid-season 8 finale.
As for what fans can expect from the series, The Walking Dead mid-season 8 finale was a rough one for Rick and his crew - as their plan to wipe out the saviors was thwarted. Comrades were lost - and, worst of all, Rick's own son sacrificed his own safety and life to protect Alexandria's people from the Negan. In the closing moments of the episode, it's revealed that Carl suffered a zombie bite at some point during his efforts to distract the saviors - and, as producer Scott Gimple has confirmed, the bite isn't going to be treated differently from other bites. Carl is going to die; though, he's got a few final tasks to address before he leaves the show. According to Gimple, the mid-season 8 premiere will follow that arc - and will see a full conclusion to Carl's story.
As for the rest of Rick's crew, several characters are left in dire straights - whether in physical danger (King Ezekiel) or emotionally changed (Maggie). No doubt, the show will need to unpack all of these plot threads but, considering this season has been a slow burn exploration of the war with Negan on multiple fronts, and from multiple perspectives, it's unlikely the series is going to jump into all of them when it return - especially considering how important it will be to conclude Carl's story in a meaningful way.
It's been a rough season for The Walking Dead, as season 8 saw the show drop to a six-year low in ratings. Enthusiasm has been relatively flat compared to last year's controversial but much-talked about premiere. Instead, this season has seen the same characters tracing familiar circumstances that have left many fans underwhelmed. For that reason, while the mid-season 8 finale was more of the same, the fallout from the episode suggests that Rick's world has been upended in a way that cannot be undone - and will force the series to refresh a bit.
The Walking Dead will return in 2018 on AMC