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TV/Film

The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere: Recap & Discussion

“Mercy”


It’s the calm before the storm. Rick, Maggie, and Ezekiel deliver an inspiring speech reminding their people they have a right to the world. As we see the communities prepare for battle, Rick experiences a trippy dream-like sequence where he’s an old man – it’s still not clear if it’s real or not. Carl tries to help a hungry stranger at a gas station, but Rick scares him away. Carl’s upset but Rick warns him he could have been a Savior. Meanwhile, Dwight sends a secret message to Daryl that reads “Tomorrow” while Tara and Carol wait out a walker horde on a bridge. Rick experiences another flash forward of him as an old man, this time waking up in a bed.

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Greg Nicotero/AMC

Back in Alexandria Rick laments the upcoming battle with Father Gabriel, who’s surprisingly prepared for it. He bids farewell to Michonne and Carl while he and a fleet of armored cars depart Alexandria. A bit later Rick robs a Savior who threatens him and his family. Rick lets him get eaten by a walker and now with the lookout clear. he signals the rest of his team to move through.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Rick and his crew meet up with Ezekiel, Maggie, Jesus, Gabriel, and others. Ezekiel promises victory and Rick reminds Maggie how proud he is of her for leading The Hilltop. Elsewhere, Tara, Morgan, Carol, and Daryl blow up a car to lure a horde of walkers down the road. Rick’s group arrives at The Sanctuary and fires collective warning shots meant to draw out Negan. Rick experiences more of his dream, where he now walks around his kitchen and greets an older looking Michonne and Carl.

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Tom Payne as Paul 'Jesus' Rovia, Khary Payton as Ezekiel - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Negan emerges from his home amused and tells Rick and his group there’s no need to open fire over an ego-measuring contest. Rick offers peace in exchange for surrender. Negan questions if Rick has the numbers to pull this off and then brings out Gregory, who asks The Hilltop to join the Saviors or risk getting kicked out of the colony. Not one person comes forward and Jesus yells, “The Hilltop stands with Maggie!” Shocked and disgusted that Gregory tricked them, Negan tells Simon to kick him off the balcony.

Ross Marquand as Aaron, Austin Amelio as Dwight, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Xander Berkeley as Gregory, Steven Ogg as Simon, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

While all this is playing out Daryl, Carol, Morgan, and Tara tripwire traveling Saviors nearby, blowing up their cars. Negan hears the commotion while Rick and his group open fire at The Sanctuary, causing Negan and The Saviors to retreat inside. Some of Rick’s group blare the car horns while Daryl blazes an explosive path for the walkers toward The Sanctuary. The allied group ignites the RV by the fence. Rick almost kills Negan but Gabriel takes him as the walkers close in. Gregory runs out and steals Gabriel’s ride and leaves. Elsewhere, Carl returns to the gas station to give food to the survivor he found earlier.

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene, Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

In the aftermath of The Sanctuary attack, Rick reunites with Daryl while Carol and Ezekiel embark on their own mission. Walkers infiltrate The Sanctuary while Gabriel tries to find a way out. He holes up in a trailer and finds Negan, who delivers the infamous shitting pants line from the trailer. We get one final Rick vision, where we see Judith as a six-year-old. Michonne tells him his people are gearing up for a festival. We cut back to Rick giving another speech, where he promises his people they’ve already won.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC


What did YOU think of the Season 8 Premiere of The Walking Dead? Tell us in the comments!

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COMMENTS

  1. CosminAgafitei October 23, 2017 at 2:29 am - Reply

    Well, was a good start. Impressive. Not like the premiere of season 7, but was good. I wait to see what happen next. The scenes with Rick old are creepy :)).

  2. Hard Case October 23, 2017 at 9:50 am - Reply

    Gotta be honest…I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I still look forward to watching the show each week, but I just feel like we’ve been on a downward spiral since the season 6 finale and this episode didn’t do enough to correct that course. I remain hopeful for the remainder of the season, but this episode was just really off to me. It had it’s moments, but there were a lot of weird elements that bugged me. The total disregard for bullet conservation, Daryl’s unerring marksmanship from the back of a moving motorcycle, Gabriel’s ridiculously stupid decision to help Gregory, the forced camaraderie between the different groups, and the completely unnecessary timeline jumping just didn’t do it for me. I’m also getting tired of Negan already, which is sad considering the same cannot be said for his role in the comic. Like I said, I remain hopeful for now, but I’m definitely disappointed.

  3. gshegedus October 23, 2017 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    After dealing with the Governor and the Termites, why do we fall into the same cliche – let the villain give a speech? Bullets should have been flying from every weapon the second Negan stepped out the door. And yeah – what Hard Case said – no bullet conservation? Shooting out high story windows with no value? Really?

    However, it was a fun episode overall. Love it when Rick said – “Don’t make me count.”

  4. garylancastersr October 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    I’ve been a fan since the beginning. I purchase a season pass each season on my XBox console. I recently binged 1/1 thru season 7 in anticipation of season 8. But TWD has been on a downward spiral for me. And episode 100 was a major flop.

  5. Nogle October 24, 2017 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I don’t think it was a flash forward. I think it was Rick day dreaming of what comes after the war is finally over.

  6. NegansDaddy October 24, 2017 at 11:36 am - Reply
  7. BASTET. October 25, 2017 at 6:58 am - Reply

    My take:
    Show’s been on a somewhat downward slope since the start of Season 6. Leveled out with Negan tho.
    Unacceptable that Negan wasn’t popped off at first site. The only thing that would’ve made that scene a little easier to bear is if he would’ve walked out behind someone. Confident as he is, I don’t think he’d be stupid enough to walk out first & without a human shield… could’ve EASILY used Eugene. Also still trying to wrap my mind around Maggie using a revolver during this heavy shootout. I know there’s the lesser chance of jamming & whatnot, but damn… not for that plan. Other than that, it was good.

    My theory:
    comic spoilers
    Thinking the guy Carl is taking pity on may be Siddiq. He quoted from the Koran (I’m believing Siddiq is Muslim). It’s his quote that Rick is mumbling when we see Red-eyed Rick (a glimpse of the future… probably the end of the season) as he is daydreaming (the happy family gearing for a party). As he is lying there, injured, he is considering “My mercy prevails over my wrath” (we’ll see how this comes to affect him) and decides at that moment that he is not gonna kill Negan.
    Thus this ep named “Mercy” gives us the 1st appearance & influence behind Rick’s decision .
    Just my thoughts.

  8. LOLWUTAREYOUDOIN October 25, 2017 at 10:19 am - Reply

    I hate to jump on the negativity bandwagon, I really do, but after watching that episode it truly feels like they aren’t even trying anymore. After seven seasons I know they can do better than that. I hope my opinion will change as the season goes on, but I won’t hold my breath because the show continues to repeat the same tired tropisms and engaging in the same kind of lame storytelling that has caused the show to go downhill.

    I’m fine with more dialogue, less killing, etc. But the shows pacing and writing just doesn’t hold my interest at this rate. They’ve been repeating the same goddamn axioms since season three. Rick and others have to talk about how the world is theirs, how the new world is big and scary, how people are just like the dead, how we have to look forward to tomorrow, etc. Ffs, can any of these characters speak in a way that resembles an actual conversation? Rather than ham fisted monologues containing the same message that we’ve heard a million times already? And why do so many episodes waste precious time by focusing so heavily on visual montages of people standing around or staring off into nothing? Stop wasting time and just tell a good story.


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