The Walking Dead is midway through what might be its most disappointing season to date. Seasons 2 and 7 take some topping for that honour, but All-Out War was much higher on promise than either of those, yet equally lacking in payoff so far.
While steadily declining ratings reflect the zombie show's slow decay, all is not lost. With some course correction, there's no reason why Rick Grimes and his motley band of survivors can't recapture their former glory.
AMC is well aware that The Walking Dead can be relevant once again, having renewed it for season 9 and appointed Angela Kang as the new showrunner, but Season 8B has groundwork to do to ensure it continues beyond that.
Some of the show's strongest characters haven't been put to the best use in the current series, and that needs to change pronto. Moreover, there are plot threads that have been left to dangle for too long, and they must be nipped in the bud.
All-Out War has fired mostly blanks so far, but with these fixes in place, it can still provide the incendiary conflict it promised when Season 8B kicks off next month.