Check out our review of the season finale episode “Mercy” of The Walking Dead on AMC. The Walking Dead: S801 Our Review.
The Walking Dead – Season 8 episodes 1 Season Premiere “Mercy”
Warning: There will be spoilers.
The Walking Dead: S801 Our Review
Some quick recapping then we’re just diving right into it…
Well here we are, 100 episodes of The Walking Dead. Now I’m not gonna sugar coat this season opener like they do on Talking Dead. It’s not horrible but overall the single viewing of the episode has some pacing issues. Lots of misleading scenes, more misdirection, more teases and FINALLY it bring BACK The Walking Dead into this War between Rick & Negan. Between Alexandria, The Kingdom & Hilltop vs the Saviors of Sanctuary.
Now let’s get to it. If you need a recap, here 3 seasons of The Walking Dead reviews that we’ve done here:
Robert: Okay. Lots of playing with this episode. We get teased various scenes yet to be played out (if they ever will) and other more tragic scenes we likely won’t want to have played out. We go from leading up to Old Man Rick waking up to his family & a growing new life in a peaceful Alexandria, we also get scenes of Rick in the brink of major injuries, torture and perhaps death / turning to a Walker with perhaps the Old Man Rick scenes are all a big dream. Also Rick mourns 2 dead, more tease of what’s to come (Carol & Morgan?).
Robert: During the opening, we also get to see others in play and setup. Hilltop is helping. Alexandria is gearing up. Those of the Kingdom working with everyone. More discussions, more rallying of troops and lastly a small crew of Morgan, Carol, Daryl and Tara adventuring.
Robert: Mixed with such adventures, we follow Carl, now driving and scavenging for gas and food until he comes across someone who’s alive yet starving. Of course, before Carl can say “hands in the air”, daddy Rick comes shooting into the air to scare off this survivor. Carl & Rick argue about hope. Carl obviously wants to help others, wants to believe in hope while Rick is now on the alert, no trusting anyone. “He could be one of THEM!” Rick says with such passion that either this is before or just AFTER whatever happens in the episode. Guessing this has to do with fallout, perhaps some of those of Sanctuary are now out and trying to survive on their own. Perhaps it’s from the Heapsters (although those ones are kinda messed up, this survivor was VERY talkative. Kinda Jesus style upon first meeting Rick & Daryl).
Robert: Next to come back to more of the buildup of both the big move on Negan & Sanctuary plus more of Rick on the verge of death and visions of a perfect new world as Old Man Rick.
Robert: I’m gonna stop right here and say that ALL the Old Man Rick scenes from here until the end of the episode – my guess, is all bullshit and a vision while Rick is on the verge of death.
Robert: Here’s where parts of this episode seem broken in it’s pacing, the Rick scenes, the build up w the showdown with Negan, the Carol, Morgan, Daryl & Tara crew scenes have more weight because their interacting with more of the world around them. The Daryl Crew are leading a herd of walkers. Obviously leading the herd of walkers to Sanctuary. Certain Savior lookouts are eliminated that leads Rick to rally everyone one on finally attack on Negan. For a better tomorrow.
Robert: So while the plan goes into action, bombs go off, Negan sends some of his forces out to check, Daryl’s Crew makes them go boom while also leading the walker herd to Sanctuary. Next up, Rick drives on into Sanctuary and has a face off with Negan and those inside Sanctuary. Rick offers them a peaceful way to end things, those inside can leave and no harm done. Of course things don’t go well. Gregory shows his face and tries to use what power he no longer has on those from Hilltop, to get those from Hilltop to stand down. That goes for shit. Simon throws Gregory down just before Rick starts to count then decides, Fuck it and starts shooting. Now this is where it gets a bit confusing for a bit, for some viewers. Rick & his army shootout the windows of Sanctuary. Why? I believe it’s for a few reasons but mainly – noise. See Daryl’s Crew take out the Saviors who left and help lead the walker herd to Sanctuary. The gunfire on the windows makes a TON of noise. Also it’s a great distraction, hard to keep shooting at Ricks army when glass is falling on you and lastly, they’re making Sanctuary less hospitable. Imagine if a storm came and Sanctuary has no windows?
Robert: All in all it worked. Add in some explosions care of the classic RV and both Sanctuary & Negan were on the verge of some major collapse. Rick has to get torn away from gunning down Negan by Father Gabriel who reminds Rick that – all of this isn’t about Rick. It’s not about any one person although one person started all of this – Negan.
Robert: Now what really bothered me and I didn’t mind. Father Gabriel has been on a quest for redemption for many seasons now and he sacrificed himself again for cowardly Gregory who takes off on Gabriel and drive away. Leaving Father Gabriel to find his only Sanctuary, sadly and unfortunately right into the arms of a very pissed off Negan while the herd of walkers have take Sanctuary.
Robert: Before the end of the episode, we get some stories started wrapped up. We see Carl went back to the gas station where he briefly encountered the hungry survivor and leaves him some food. Carl with the hope. Also we get to see the big rally, the words from Rick before they go to Sanctuary. The talk of a better tomorrow and how it’s their world to take.
Robert: One scene that didn’t make any scene was Carol, King Ezekiel & those of the Kingdom taking out another outpost where they had quietly killed one of the Saviors. I didn’t understand that scenes relevance and why other Saviors would want to blow that door as obviously their own walker trap if they got attacked. Seemed very out of place.
Robert: Overall, not a terrible episode but the constant teases of Old Man Rick, dying Rick, Rally Rick seemed to distract from the concrete moments of Daryl’s Crew leading the walkers to the final moments of the grand showdown in Sanctuary. Note, I’m Not saying grand showdown with Negan. I’m sure that’s to come and will play directly into the dying Rick scenes.
Robert: Oh and lastly, did ANYONE else get the feeling and vibe that The Walking Dead is building Maggie up to become the future lead of the show? I do. Too many important leadership scenes, moments and dialogue to believe otherwise.
Robert: I think – Dying Rick will happen this season or at the start next (if they prolong his final scene until then) season.
Bits & Pieces
- Quote of the week: “I hope you got your shitting pants on.” Another Neganism.
- Carol seeing the flowers graffiti was touching.
- The scene on the highway and a car on fire & a herd of walkers, I’m sure that’s a call back to various times Rick & crew dealt with that before. Last season was one call back.
- Rick taking moments to look off to various outposts. Rick looking off from the prison. From the farm. From the camp.
- Daryl & Dwight communicating with each other. It builds on Dwight leaving / turning on Negan after the clue he left for Daryl at the end of last season but does that mean they have trust or will Daryl still kill him?
- Is Michonne & Carl the two that are buried side by side. Big tease tonight with those two staying behind to protect Alexandria. Also leads to Rick Grimes story to end and Maggie’s story to continue. Perhaps training a teenage Judith how to survive?
- Where are the Heapsters? Will this lead to them becoming The Whispers?
- Lots of callbacks to the first episode since it’s been 100 already, here’s a side by side (credit: Cam Jobson)
Next Week… on AMC’s The Walking Dead 8×02 Super Trailer Season 8 Episode 2 Promo/Preview HD “The Dammed”
Promo for next week pushes the ALL OUT WAR further. Guns, supplies, outposts are on the line and Rick & his various armies are determined to beat Negan to them! Also includes a short teaser from the episode about another outpost & the Kingdom planning on taking it out.
Also check out the following…
The Walking Dead 360 Experience: Negan Under Attack
It’s a 360 degree YouTube experience of Negan and how he made his way to the shelter where he meets up with Father Gabriel.