Something smells rotten over on AMC, and for once, it isn't the decomposing flesh of The Walking Dead's zombie masses. With Season 8 airing its third episode, "Monsters" hit a new series low on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.
Amidst controversy that Season 8 of Robert Kirkman's zombie romp has lost its spark, it seems that even die-hard Dead Heads are struggling to keep their passion during this uneven run of episodes. Even with big deaths and the promise of "All Out War," the show seems dogged by two-dimensional characters, slow pacing, and yet more lazy CGI. Unfortunately, Season 8's third episode contained all of the above and more!
Red flags were already flying when "Episode 2" managed a five-year low for ratings, but things seem to be going from bad to worse for Season 8 of The Walking Dead. Noted by Forbes, "Monsters" wins the award for being the lowest-rated third episode of any season in the show's eight-year run. Season 3's "Walk With Me" enjoyed a rare 100%, while the previous lowest performer for a third episode was Season 7's "The Cell," and even that had an impressive 76%. Currently languishing at 52% - and continuing a lackluster start to the season - it looks like "Monsters" is about as average as The Walking Dead can get.
The episode saw the end of Morales' pointless return to the show, Morgan in full berserker mode, and King Ezekiel fall under his own bravado, but it failed to strike a chord with fans of the show. "Monsters" started out with a still "Fresh" 64%, but seems to have dropped lower and lower over the past few days. Thankfully, it is nothing compared to Season 6's "Start to Finish," which is TWD's lowest-rated episode ever at just 35%. No one knows why the midseason finale about the fall of Alexandria fared so poorly in 2015, but at least "Monsters" can rest assured that it could always be worse.
Despite AMC CEO Josh Sapan confident that The Walking Dead could run for decades, the odds aren't exactly in the network's favor in recent weeks. That being said, as still one of the most-viewed shows on network television, this is one corpse that will surely keep on shuffling for the foreseeable future.
Only time will tell whether Season 8 can shed its run of bad luck, but with the Rick vs. Negan war claiming more casualties by the day, showrunner Scott Gimple is keeping his promise to up the action. Let's just hope that as we head toward a surely showstopping midseason finale, The Walking Dead can shed the ugly memories of how it started the season and rise from the grave to claim its TV crown once again.