‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Premiere: Mercy Review

The cast and crew celebrated their 100th episode with AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere! This episode started off strong and continued for the duration. Just to recap, the show picks up where season 7 ended. One key point to remember is when Dwight pleaded with Rick and Daryl to trust him. He claimed to want Negan dead as much as they do. He offered an inside narrative of how the Sanctuary is run and, in addition, offered help with their next move. Spoiler Warning: The following contains a complete recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere episode: Mercy.

The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere
Rick, King Ezekiel, and Maggie address their people.

The Hilltop, the Kingdom, and Alexandria have banded together to fight against Negan and the Saviors.  The collective group worked strategically to plan their next move. We follow Carol, Tara, Daryl, and Morgan as they round up a massive horde of walkers; leading them in the direction of the Sanctuary. In the meantime, Rick takes a stand to prove that he is a stronger leader than what Negan believed. He and a large group of fighters drove shielded cars to the front gates of the Sanctuary and called out for Negan with synchronizing gunshots.

The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere
Will Father Gabriel make it to safety?

Negan is accompanied by his top Lieutenants out on the overlooking deck as they find a small army at their doorsteps. After Negan fails to accept Rick’s offer to settle everything with surrender, the joined communities open fire on the Sanctuary. Consequently, Negan and his elite scatter to shelter. As a result this leaves Negan within range for Rick to shoot and kill.

The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere
Make My Day…

The horde makes way to the entrance of the Sanctuary and, with the barriers destroyed, they roam just footsteps away from the Saviors’ safety. Members of the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and Alexandria retreat to their vehicles and escape the dangers of the large horde of walkers. While Rick refuses to give up until his mission is complete, Father Gabriel pulls Rick back to safety from the fast approaching walkers. Father Gabriel’s morals leave him in a situation where he needs to focus on staying alive.  With the Saviors’ main headquarters jeopardized, Rick and others attempt to take over their smaller outposts. This task leaves Carol and King Ezekiel’s group in distress as an explosion is set off and walkers are released on them.

The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere
Carl checking cars, much like Rick in episode 1.

The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere featured homages to the first episode. There were other small elements that factor into character storyline. Greg Nicotero directed the season opener and played on different timelines throughout the episode. With the time jumps we know for certain that this war is going to change Rick in more ways than one. During a future scene, we see an emotional Rick with great sadness in his eyes. He whispers, “My mercy prevails over my wrath.” This ties together an overall theme of the episode, “this isn’t about you.” This translates into working towards what is the greater good of the group; instead of having a personal vendetta against Negan. Comic readers may consider this as what will seam the events in future episodes with those in the comics.

Another scene from the comics that transitioned to screen, perfectly.

Final Thoughts

The remainder of the season looks promising as things quickly escalate in this fight for survival. There is a chance of new characters and branching storylines that can spark during the season. Maybe we will see the crossover this season. Click here to read more about the Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead crossover episode. There are numerous ‘what ifs.’ Where is Heath? Will the community of female survivors decide to join in Rick’s fight against the Saviors? Will we see more of Jadis and her followers?

What did you think of The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere? Any predictions on what’s to come? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and get the discussion going. Thank you for reading. Tune in for all new episodes of The Walking Dead, Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on AMC.

About Anna

Hello readers, I was born and raised in Southern California. Throughout my upbringing I grew fond of the horror movie genre thanks to my mother. With my interest in true crime, I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in forensic investigation. I enjoy art of all kind and appreciate subject matter outside the social norm. I like to engage in conversation involving my passions, so lets talk.

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