|The Walking Dead episode|
|Directed by||Michael Slovis|
David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick|
|Original air date||April 8, 2018|
|Running time||52 minutes|
"Worth" is the fifteenth and penultimate episode of the eighth season of the post-apocalyptic horror television series The Walking Dead, which aired on AMC on April 8, 2018. It was written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Corey Reed, and directed by Michael Slovis.
At the Hilltop, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) rereads his letter from his deceased son, Carl (Chandler Riggs in voiceover), urging Rick to end the war with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), start over and help to rebuild a peaceful society. In the woods, outside the Oceanside community, Cyndie (Sydney Park) and the other residents shun Aaron's (Ross Marquand) attempts to protect their community, despite him starving and dehydrating himself. After barely surviving a walker attack, Cyndie and the others find an exhausted Aaron begging them to join the fight against the Saviors as they would otherwise continue to be fearful of the outside world.
Inside the Sanctuary, Gregory (Xander Berkeley) tries to make amends with Simon (Steven Ogg), who had taken over the Saviors claiming Negan is dead. Gregory insists he can help resecure the other communities, but Simon puts him to work instead. Eugene (Josh McDermitt) oversees the workers making ammunition for the Saviors, and is forced to dismiss an ill Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) who has purposely tampered with the bullets to make them ineffectual. As Eugene heads out with guards, the guards are quickly dispatched by Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Rosita (Christian Serratos). They take Eugene captive, planning to keep him locked up to be able to use his intellect. While Daryl dispatches approaching walkers, Eugene is able to induce himself to vomit over Rosita and escape. He returns to the ammunition factory, more resolved to make sure to meet Negan's requirements for bullets.
Outside the Sanctuary, Dwight (Austin Amelio), still hiding his support for Rick's group, is surprised to see Negan, who had quietly returned the night before. Dwight tries to explain what happened, but Negan is unconcerned and only reminds him about his loyalty to the Saviors. Later, Negan gathers his lieutenants for a meeting where Simon apologizes for his actions against the Hilltop. Negan makes Simon get on his knees, threatening to kill him, but then considers Simon forgiven. He then instructs his lieutenants to set up sniper nests all around the Hilltop to contain the residents and win a war of attrition. Shortly after the meeting, Negan again commends Dwight for staying true to the goal of the Saviors. Dwight prepares a copy of Negan's plan for Rick. Simon, anxious from the meeting, encourages Dwight to summon Gregory and a few other Saviors that would like to see Negan displaced.
When they meet up, Simon suggests that Dwight should have the first chance to kill Negan. Just then, Negan reveals himself - having been tipped off by Dwight - and all of the other men that came are killed. Negan rebukes Simon for going against his orders by wiping out the Scavengers, reminding him that he also orchestrated the massacre of all the men within the Oceanside community - something that Negan needed to keep in check. Negan then challenges Simon to a fistfight, offering to grant him leadership of the Saviors should he beat him. With all the Saviors and the workers gathered, Simon engages Negan in a one-on-one brawl upon launching at him. Dwight uses the distraction to grab Gregory, pass him the notes about Negan's new plan to give to Rick, and directs him to a vehicle he previously prepared for a quick escape. Negan eventually overpowers Simon and crushes his windpipe, killing him. Gregory makes it to Hilltop and is re-imprisoned, while Rick and his allies study Dwight's notes.
Afterwards, Negan promotes Dwight to be his right-hand man. However, inside Dwight's room, Negan reveals who he found on his way back to the Sanctuary: Laura (Lindsley Register), a Savior that witnessed Dwight's betrayal during the attack on Alexandria. Negan makes it clear that he knew Dwight would let Rick know of the plan, which was purposely made up to lead Rick and his allies into a trap. He keeps Dwight alive, knowing he might be useful in the future. Later, after having the reanimated body of Simon chained to their fence, Negan is contacted by Michonne (Danai Gurira) over walkie-talkie; she reads Carl's letter to him, again reiterating his same request to end the war peacefully and starting over. However, Negan states that Rick pushed him too far and now resolves to kill him and every one of his allies to end the war once and for all. He finishes by saying "no more talk" before destroying the walkie-talkie.
Chandler Riggs returns as Carl Grimes in this episode in a voice-over performance. His character had been killed off in the ninth episode of the season, "Honor", which was his last on-screen appearance.
Steven Ogg, who portrayed Simon, had been told by showrunner Scott M. Gimple that Simon was going to be killed off at the live season eight premiere event on October 22, 2017. Ogg asked Gimple to have Simon to go down in a "big cannonball". Both he and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Negan's portrayer, acted out their roles in the final fight, despite neither having fight training.
"Worth" received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds an 85% with an average rating of 6.66 out of 10, based on 26 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Worth" briskly cleans house to varying degrees of satisfaction, setting the stage for what could be one of the series' most explosive finales -- assuming the show finally follows through on its promise of All Out War.
Most critics commented positively on Steven Ogg's performance, with Joe Otterson of Variety saying “Once again, Steven Ogg proves himself to be one of the best villains in the game in this week’s episode of “The Walking Dead”. Ogg’s Simon makes his move to take over the Sanctuary, but his timing proves to be a little off.”
Noel Murray of Rolling Stone commented the episode "All signs right now point to next week's finale being especially violent and deadly...Which is good. Because frankly, it's starting to seem like The Walking Dead's writers are as eager for this storyline to be over as so many of the rest of us have been." Nick Romano of Entertainment Weekly gave the episode an original score of "B+" and said "Last week left us with a few lingering questions, and now we have some answers." Luke Holland of The Guardian said of the episode “It was a dialogue-heavy episode, but because there was so much going on it felt brisk, tense and urgent, and left behind the promise of a finale with all the extraneous gristle removed.” Matt Fowler of IGN gave the episode a score of 7.3 out of 10 and commented ""Worth," Season 8's penultimate episode, wrapped up the current Savior game o' thrones storyline involving Simon's attempt to take over as the lead Negan of the Negans, but it seemed like a lot (and a lot of time spent with some uninteresting Saviors) just to get Negan to a place where he could line up with Rick's bloodlust." Alex McLevy of The A.V. Club gave the episode a "B" score, saying "It's easy to admire the show's willingness to take out one of the Saviors' most compelling characters in one go...but it's also another example of the show no longer willing to put anyone from the main credits in peril unless it's a season finale." Erik Kain of Forbes commented the episode, "Once again, this was a better episode than most of the episodes this season, with just a few incredibly annoying moments." Clara Mae of Nerdist commented the episode, "With so many elements in play, it's exciting to think about how the finale will shake out."
The episode received a total viewership of 6.67 million with a 2.8 rating in adults aged 18–49, which was an increase from the previous week's season low of 6.30 million.
- Wigler, Josh (April 8, 2018). "'Walking Dead': Here's What Carl Wrote in His Letters to Rick and Negan". The Hollywood Reporter. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-what-did-carl-write-his-letters-rick-negan-1100134. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Ross, Dalton (April 8, 2018). "The Walking Dead: The latest victim tells all". Entertainment Weekly. http://ew.com/tv/2018/04/08/walking-dead-worth-steven-ogg/. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- "Worth". Rotten Tomatoes. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/the_walking_dead/s08/e15. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Otterson, Joe (April 8, 2018). "‘Walking Dead’ Recap: Negan’s Homecoming Is Anything but Happy (SPOILERS)". Variety. https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/walking-dead-recap-season-8-episode-15-1202745815/. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Murray, Noel (April 8, 2018). "'The Walking Dead' Recap: Simon Says". Rolling Stone. https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/recaps/the-walking-dead-recap-simon-says-w518754. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Romano, Nick (April 8, 2018). "The Walking Dead recap: 'Worth'". Entertainment Weekly. http://ew.com/recap/the-walking-dead-season-8-episode-15/. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Holland, Luke (April 9, 2018). "The Walking Dead: season 8, episode 15 recap – Worth". The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/apr/09/walking-dead-review-season-eight-8-episode-fifteen-15-recap-worth. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Fowler, Matt (April 8, 2018). "The Walking Dead: "Worth" Review". IGN. http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/04/09/the-walking-dead-worth-review. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- McLevy, Alex (April 8, 2018). "It's the time of the villains as The Walking Dead explores Savior treachery". The A.V. Club. https://tv.avclub.com/its-the-time-of-the-villains-as-the-walking-dead-explor-1825026971. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Kain, Erik (April 8, 2018). "'The Walking Dead' Season 8, Episode 15 Review: The Return Of The Negan". Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2018/04/08/the-walking-dead-season-8-episode-15-review-worth/#7d41434a22ed. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Mae, Clara (April 8, 2018). "THE WALKING DEAD’s "Worth" Gives Us Theories About the Season Eight Finale". Nerdist. https://nerdist.com/the-walking-dead-worth-season-eight-finale/. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Porter, Rick (April 10, 2018). "Sunday cable ratings: ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ improve". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/daily-ratings/sunday-cable-ratings-april-8-2018/. Retrieved April 10, 2018.