The Walking Dead is back and promises all-out war in its 8th season. Mercy, the shows 100th episode, picks up where season 7’s finale left off with Rick and his merry band of survivors full of renewed vigor. No longer fearing Negan and his saviors, Rick is ready to bring the fight to them.
Season 8 opens up with Rick with help of Maggie and Ezekiel rallying the troops. Preparations for Ricks well thought out plan is underway. We also learn that our favorite version is Rick Grimes is back, the no-nonsense Rick, he’s vicious, brutal in dispatching Saviors he comes across and definitely more militarized. It’s evident as ever when Rick kills one of Negan’s goons by stabbing him in the gut and letting a walker free on him after he says something about his son dying.
Throughout the episode, we also get glimpses of Rick at different stages in what possible could be foreshadowing of Rick’s plan not succeeding. In one flashback there’s a tight shot on Rick’s face his eyes are red from possibly crying. Then there’s the appearance of old man Rick, he looks as if he’s gone through one hell of a battle and walks with a noticeable limp. Again we can’t really tell when this all takes place, and everyone else in the vision, Michonne, Carl and even older Judith look perfectly fine.
The Walking Dead executive producer Scott M.Gimple promises we ill learn more about old man Rick later on in the season.
When we flash back to the what we believe to be the present, we see Carl pulling up to a gas station in search of fuel. It’s kind of funny that Carl basically learned how to use a gun before driving, sounds like middle America honestly.
For those who have been fans of the show since the beginning the gas station scene with Carl is meant to be a shot-by-shot remake of the very first scene from the show. Instead of a little girl in slippers, Carl finds a Middle Eastern man in search of some food. Before Carl can approach the guy, he is scared off by Rick shooting shots in the air. Rick is taking no chances as he thinks the guy could possibly be a spy for Negan.
Before they embark on the Sanctuary, they take out a bunch of lookout points first and we see that Morgan no longer has issues taking a life. Daryl meets up with Carol, Tara, and Morgan who are waiting for an approaching walker herd. The herd will be integral in Rick’s plan to take out Negan and the Saviors. With everything coming together Rick and the team minus Michonne and Carl leave in a bunch of armored vehicles embark on the Sanctuary. Once there, they set the vehicles to use them as cover and begin firing rounds into the air to Negan’s attention.
Negan comes out cocky as ever flanked by his lieutenants and to no one’s surprise Gregory the former leader of the Hilltop. Gregory believing he stills in charge tells his former Hilltop to give this fight or be banished. Jesus lets Gregory know that it’s Maggie calling the shots now. Since Gregory seems to be of no use, The Saviors push him down a flight of steps.
Rick offers Negan’s men a chance to escape and begins to countdown. Before he reaches one, Rick opens fire and sends Negan and his crew running for cover. While everyone shoots out all the windows in the Sanctuary, Rick spots Negan hiding and goes for the kill. Father Gabriel eventually talks Rick out of trying to get his revenge at the moment. They roll in an armored RV, Rick sets off the bomb inside it clearing the walkers and fences that blocked the way.
With that out the way, Rick and the gang leave as the herd of walkers that Daryl, Tara, Morgan and Carol were leading finally arrive at the Sanctuary. While trying to leave Father Gabriel spots Gregory dazed and confused and being a man of the cloth decides to help him.
Gregory pulls a fast one on Gabriel, leaves him and takes his car leaving him stranded. With nowhere else to go Gabriel runs to a trailer to seek refuge from all of the walkers. Gabriel thinks he is safe until he hears Negan say behind him. Looks like things are going to get really bad for poor Father Gabriel now, cause the walkers are now the least of his worries.
Rick has won the first battle with Negan but will he win the war? We can’t wait to see how this plays out this season on The Walking Dead.
Photo: Gene Page/AMC