‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 8 Premiere, Episode 1: “Mercy”

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 8 premiere, Episode 1, Mercy, Rick Grimes, Andrew Lincoln

[Image via Jackson Lee Davis/AMC]

After a shitty Season 7, The Walking Dead has returned to AMC with Episode 1 of Season 8. So, was it any good? Let’s break it down for you…

CF: And I’m finally back as well to offer a bit of insight–and snark.

RT: *Does the happy dance*

Rick Has A Plan

Now, I’m putting it out there right now that everyone around Rick (Andrew Lincoln) needs to stop enabling him. Seriously guys, I know he used to be a cop and all, but he has proven time and time again that his decision making skills are shittier than some of those low-waisted walker pants we get to see in this episode of The Walking Dead.

And, speaking of walkers, I’d just like to put it out there that the horde in Episode 1 were pretty sprightly considering the previous level of decomposition in Season 7 of The Walking Dead.

But, I digress.

So, Rick has this plan. And, to be honest, it is actually one of his better ones. Rick wants to take out Negan. He gets Carol (Melissa McBride) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) to find a herd and lead it towards Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) Sanctuary. Tara, who suddenly has amazeballs mathematical skills, develops an equation for the herd and work out nearly to the second how long it will take that herd to get to the Sanctuary. Everything else in in this episode of The Walking Dead is calculated using this equation.

And absolutely everything goes according to plan. Who knew zombie equations would be so reliable? It is also a perfect excuse for Daryl to blow shit up.

CF:  As I mentioned to Rachel before she watched this episode, I think Rick let The Four Zombieteers–Carol, Daryl, Morgan, and Tara–develop this plan on their own and set it up as they saw fit, which is why the damn thing worked so well.  They stuck with something simple and didn’t try to complicated it any more than necessary.  As for Tara’s math skills–we know she, too, was a cop, though we don’t know much about what she did on the force.  Perhaps she was great with organizing, which means Rick should listen to her.  Maybe that would cut down on his crazy ass schemes.

RT: I seriously love Tara right now. Her licorice eating, crazy glasses, fuck you attitude is awesome! Please can her and Maggie rule the world?

CF:  I know.  I thought the same:  “Here’s a woman with no more fucks to give.”  Which means she’ll probably die soon

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 8 premiere, Episode 1, Mercy, Daryl, Norman Reedus

[Image via Greg Nicotero/AMC]

Dwight (Austin Amelio) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) exchange arrow notes and, as a result, Rick has a long list of scouts to take out easily because of the group’s mad sniper skills. Rick then turns up at the Sanctuary in some wicked zompoc cars and sets up a barricade.

CF:  I did love the sequence where Rick was checking the list of Sanctuary lookouts and scratching them off as the people there were eliminated.  Again, I wonder if this was something that Rick developed, or if he worked off of ideas from Daryl.  ‘Cause it doesn’t seem like something Rick could do and not fuck up.

RT: Haha! I love how we all assume stuff works because Rick didn’t have a hand in it 😀

CF: It seems like it’s become our theme for a while now, because we’ve seen so many of Rick’s plans go straight to hell, after which he suffers no blowback whatsoever.

Then the dick comparisons begin.

And this is where it all gets rather stupid.

Because. Monologue.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 8 premiere, Episode 1, Mercy, monologing

[Image via AMC/Cassidy Frazee]

But that’s not the worst of it. In between all that monologuing between Negan and Rick, it seems everyone has forgotten how to snipe.

Rick offers Negan’s group sanctuary. But not Negan.

Still, no one shoots Negan.

Instead, it gives Negan a chance to pull out his wildcard: Gregory (Xander Berkeley).

Except it’s not really a wildcard because, as Jesus (Tom Payne) points out, everyone is following Maggie (Lauren Cohan) now and not Gregory McWeasel. So Simon (Steven Ogg) pushes Gregory down the stairs.

And still no one kills Negan.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 8 premiere, Episode 1, Mercy, The Sanctuary is attacked

[Image via Gene Page/AMC]

Instead, Rick’s group shoot out all the windows at the Sanctuary and not a single shot takes out Negan.

Seriously, AMC??? Just kill the fucker!

CF:  Let’s see where this part of the show is coming from and see if it makes sense…

This episode was taking nearly verbatim from Issues #115 and #116 of the comic, which was released in October and November of 2013, four years ago.  Rick’s plan was to drive up to The Sanctuary and give Negan the chance to surrender.  If he didn’t, they’s start shoot so they’d draw a horde of zombies and then drive a truck through the fence so they’d get inside and surround the building.  (You find out in a later issue that Rick takes that idea from The Governor’s attack on the prison.  Good planning there, Rick.) 

RT: This kind of disturbs me, Rick taking ideas from the bad guys. It’s almost like he’s one of them now. Oh, wait a minute…

CF:  And remember: that’s something Kirkman wrote into the comic, so he was ahead of the curve on this for some time.

CF: Negan brings out Gregory who says Hilltop stands with The Sanctuary and eight people from there leave Rick’s group, but that’s it.  Gergory is kicked off the roof where everyone is standing and the shooting starts.  As soon as the zombies gather Rick and Holly–she was Abraham’s last girlfriend in the comic–get into an argument over who is going to run the truck through the fence.  Rick admits at this point that he’s not killing Negan because to him this is all a joke and Rick wants him to see it’s serious.  Holly kicks Rick in the balls and drives the truck, taking down the fence.  Negan tells Dwight he’s about to shit his pant, then rescues Holly from the zombies before she’s killed.

RT: Okay, knowing Rick wants Negan to lose his smirk, that makes sense! They just needed a little conversation thrown into Episode 1 to show this and things would have worked better I think.

CF: The tone in the comic is different.  There, Rick is trying to teach Negan a lesson: in the TV show he plans to kill him but doesn’t because he fucking can’t due to the plot.  And now the setup with Gabriel is strange ’cause at he’s taking the place of Comic Holly, who was kept alive for a while, then killed and used to allow Negan access to the inside of Alexandra to–well, I’m sure you’ll see.  Now, TV Holly died back when The Wolves attacked Alexandra, and her death was taken by Sasha.  Also, Holly is famous for having attacked Denise and killing her, but that can’t happen because Denise is also dead.  So… does this mean we kill off Gabriel and he gets to bite someone else and kill them?  I guess we’ll see.

I should also point out that in the comic Rick knew this wouldn’t be the last battle, where as TV Rick seems to think they’ve fucked up Negan’s shit pretty good.  Which is another indication I wouldn’t let TV Rick plan a trip to the store.

The Horde Arrives

After not killing Negan, the horde finally arrives, led by Daryl’s group. The herd is released on the Sanctuary. Rick and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) are the last to leave on account of the fact Rick has finally remembered he wanted to kill Negan and is trying to shoot him now. Gabriel convinces him to leave and Rick does.

Unfortunately for Gabriel though, he sees Gregory trying to escape and goes to help him. And, who would have guessed it but Gregory McWeasel takes this opportunity to make a run for Gabriel’s car and escape, leaving Gabriel to defend himself against the herd.

Which means Gabriel ends up stuck in a shipping container with Negan who, cocky as all shit, asks him if he has his “shitting pants” on.

CF:  This part really mystified me.  First, you blow up your RV–and we must add them to the “Little girls and horses” list of shit that simply won’t survive long in TWD world.  If you’re going to use it to take down a fence great: do so and back the fuck out of there.  If you really want to blow shit up you could have found a SUV that you could pack full of C-4 that you could afford to lose more than the RV.  But, no:  you blacksmith a huge-ass ramming plate on to the front, take down the fence, and then blow it up.  Which could have been done with an SUV, but fuck it, what do I know?  I mean, if you’re using the RV to get through the fence, why not drive it the fuck up next to the building and then blow it the fuck up?  You know, put a big-ass hole in the side?  Again, never let Rick plan shit.

Then, once the front is off and lying on the ground and being used by Negan for cover–THAT’S when you decide it’s time to kill him!  Yeah, rock and roll, motherfucker!  Only… you can’t shoot through that shit.  You know what you could have shot through?  The leather jacket Negan wears when he’s standing in the open fucking monologuing!  But again you can’t ’cause plot.

Seriously, if you can’t emulated the comic perfectly, why put in this other convoluted bullshit?  Oh, right:  you need to draw all this shit out for eight episodes

RT: ^^This! Every last little bit of this!!!!

CF:  Seriously, when Negan was behind that huge-ass ram from the front of the RV and Rick is just pouring rounds down on him, I’m like, “What are you doing, you fuckwit?  You can’t shoot him through that!”  God, so much stupid in this moment.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 8 premiere, Episode 1, Mercy, Gabriel and Negan

[Image via Gene Page/AMC]

Time-Hopping Rick

Now, can we just talk about time-hopping Rick for a moment? Not only do we see Rick in the present attack on Negan and the Sanctuary, there also seems to be a few other versions of him. Along with the very obvious “Old Man Rick” AMC gave us a sneak peek of prior to the Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead, there also appears to be “Weepy Rick.”

So, what does this all mean? Who knows at the moment but, if you want my opinion, I think Weepy Rick and Old Man Rick are intertwined. To be perfectly honest, I think Weepy Rick is imagining himself as Old Rick before he dies. After all, Old Man Rick seems to live in some sort of happy Utopia and, let’s face it, AMC are never going to let that happen, are they?

CF: Normally I love TWD’s cold openings like this, but all the time hoping wasn’t confusing as much as it was a trifle annoying.  The “Future Rick” stuff could be a vision he has before dying, because we know Andrew Lincoln is near the end of his contract and Rick may not be with us much longer.  And I will say it now:  the graves Rick is weeping over are Gabriel and whomever he’s killed, maybe Carol, maybe Daryl.  And it’s happening at Hilltop because… reasons.  Which cause big spoilers at this point–

Again, stop letting Rick plan anything.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 8 premiere, Episode 1, Mercy, Carl Grimes, Chandler Riggs

[Image via Greg Nicotero/AMC]

Carl Vs. Rick

In a pretty cool shot for shot remake of the original scene from the very first episode ever of The Walking Dead, Carl goes to find some petrol at a servo. Instead of Bunny Slippers Walker Girl, Carl finds a human man who is starving and just looking for food. Carl wants to help but Rick scares the man off because he could have been one of “them.” If you didn’t think Rick was an arsehole before, now is your chance to join me on the bandwagon. Carl, however, returns to the service station at the end of the episode and leaves some canned food there in case the guy comes back. Perhaps Carl won’t turn out to be the little serial killer Negan thinks he will become.

CF:  One little touch I liked here was when Carl looked under the cars to see if he could spot someone: when he lay down and removed his hat, he did it exactly the same way Rick did in Days Gone Bye when he first spotted Teddy Bear Girl.  And at the end, after Carl leaves, Rick sees a zombie that, to me, looked like an older version of Teddy Bear girl.  Nice shout outs.

RT: Oh, I missed the older Teddy Bear Girl. Will have to watch it again, thanks Cassidy 🙂

Where In The Walking Dead World Is Heath?

Just putting it out there to AMC that Heath hasn’t been seen in quite some time. Here’s hoping he is that “familiar face” Rick will run into in Episode 2 of Season 8 of The Walking Dead according to the below synopsis.

CF: IMDB also indicates that Jadis, that junkyard Eno bitch we all hate, which appear as well.  So don’t get too many hopes up that it’s Heath.

RT: Dammit! Yeah, after researching my latest article for The Inquisitr, I had also come to the conclusion Heath wouldn’t show up next week. But, I had no idea who it would be , so thanks for that Cassidy 😀

CF:  Yeah, we can’t get enough Jadis, can we?  I’m sure she and Rick won’t have too much of a pissing contest if they meet.


What did you think of Episode 1 of AMC’s Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead? Let us know by commenting below!

The Walking Dead will return to AMC with on Sunday, October 29, with Episode 2, titled “The Damned.” You can view the official synopsis and trailers for Episode 2 below.

“The plan involving Alexandrians, Kingdommers and Hilltoppers unfolds. As Rick continues to fight, he encounters a familiar face.”

[Featured image via Jackson Lee Davis/AMC]

One thought on “‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 8 Premiere, Episode 1: “Mercy”

  1. An explosive first episode with some weirdness too.
    When Nasty Negan strutted onto the balcony I thought it was curtains for Rick and the gang and really expected to see a snivelling Rick once again, apologising like before.
    Can’t these people shoot ffs? In one fell swoop and knowing they had already set the traps, they could have taken Negan and his cronies out, bang, bang, bang. That was just dumb.
    Oh and the speeches at the beginning and end? Ripped straight from Henry V (well, almost) and a tad over the top. I think we get that the gang are our heroes, but that was just a bit cringey.
    The Weepy Rick thing is him imagining life after the battles (Henry V again) and those two people he buried are Father Gabriel and Maggie at a guess.
    Oh and old man Rick has probably got a whole lot scenes filmed if Rick indeed is leaving the series, which i hope he doesn’t, so they can slot them into further episodes. That’s my guess anyway.
    We haven’t seen the last of naughty Negan though. he’ll probably rise up with another army and do it all to us yest again, especially if rick keeps on being so twattish.
    Yes, I got that scene from the very first episode too, but I wish they’d give Carl something solid to get his teeth into.
    Enjoyed it.

Leave a Reply