The Walking Dead – Season 8 Episode 1 : “Mercy” Review

We are at Season 8 folks and not just that it is the 100th episode of The Walking Dead. It has been 7 long years since the show originally started, but it still feels like yesterday. And how can we not start a Season Premiere episode of The Walking Dead without Rick delivering one of his fancy speeches? Season 7 of TWD was all about setting up the comic book plot-line All Out War, that is Team Rick vs. Team Negan. Season 8 is going to be The War itself and Episode 1 kick-started this in some grand fashion.

The Super Herd

Most of the episode was about Rick and his group taking the fight back to Negan. Like Negan says in the episode Rick doesn’t have the numbers on his side. So he has to find a way to even out the numbers which is where the super herd comes in. Rick and his group manage to lure down a huge herd of zombies straight down to Negan’s headquarters. This is where the episode leaves us at with the herd marching down at Negan and the Saviors.

The Hit List

Rick knows that taking out Negan is not a one day job.  With Dwight acting as their inside man, Rick and crew get the entire list of Negan’s bases and goes around taking them down, one at a time. This will remind you of Season 1 of Arrow where Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow run around taking out people from his father’s list.

Gabriel and Greggory 

Two of the most hated characters on the show. Even though Gabriel managed to turn his character around, he doesn’t have a huge fan base around him. Greggory was supposed to be Negan’s trump card when Rick confronted him. But things didn’t quite work out for him because the Hill Top has a new leader – Maggie. The twist came at the end of the episode where Gabriel tries to save Greggory from the herd but Greggory outsmarts him and escapes with his car. Gabriel, on the other hand, is now stuck with Negan inside an RV and it doesn’t look good for him.

The New Leader

The first episode of The Walking Dead teased some major plot-points going forward. Rick said “After this, I’m following you” to Maggie implying that after Negan is taken out,  he wants Maggie to take over.

The Time Jumps

This episode was shot with multiple time jumps. We start the episode with Rick, Maggie, and Ezekiel delivering their speeches, then we cut forward to their attack on Negans base, we got multiple shots at Old man Rick waking up showing us a future that Rick imagines. We even got to see a grown-up baby Judith. It all comes to back to Rick uttering the theme of the season – “My Mercy prevailed over my Wrath

My Mercy prevailed over my Wrath

Mercy is not just the name of the episode, it is going to be the theme of the whole season. We even saw this being a factor as Carl leaves some food for a random guy they find at the street. If you have read the comics you’ll already have an idea about what I’m talking.   Without spoiling rest of the season for you guys, let’s just say that this war is not all about killing.

Comic Book Easter Eggs and Other Facts

  • They kept things mostly similar to the comics with Rick launching a super herd on Negan. But in the comics he did it Governor style, stacking up a whole van of zombies and unleashing it on Negan’s base.
  • The scenes with Greggory were mostly similar but it was Negan who pushed Greggory down, on the show it was Simon. Also, we got that twist where Greggory backstabs Gabriel and runs away with his car. This did not take place in the comics.
  • The scene with Michonne and Carl, where Michonne says “it’s his show.”  to Carl was between Andrea and Carl in the comics. Yes! she is still alive in the comics.
  • It’s hard to believe Maggie is pregnant with no baby bump after all this time.
  • The 100th episode had striking parallels to the 1rst episode.

 


Summary
The Walking Dead delivered a very strong 100th episode compared to all episodes of Season 7. The tone is better and there is little to no unnecessary scenes. Let's just hope the show keeps this pace up.
Good
  • Better pacing compared to Season 7
  • Gabriel Twist
  • Hopeful Rick
Bad
  • CGI of the Super Herd could have been done better
8
Great

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