Jungle

The Walking Dead: Season 8

Season: 8, Episode: 1
Mercy
Tagline: 
All Out War
Air Date: 
Sunday, October 22, 2017

S8-01 MERCY

SPOILERS!!!!

If you have not watched the season premiere of The Walking Dead then you might want to avoid reading this. I’m going almost scene by scene with what happened in the show for a breakdown and thoughts so there is nothing but spoilers here.

You have been warned. SPOILERS!!!

FINALLY!

Ok, maybe I should wait to hold my excitement for this new season of The Walking Dead. Yes, this seasons premiere was intense and good but for the most part all the season premieres are that way. So far I haven’t been disappointed with the season premiere, or even with the first 3 episodes of the new season of The Waking Dead. The show makers usually have the first few episodes being intense with lots of action, showing the different groups doing all sorts of things that get you pulled into the show, and then they start bringing out the episodes that are slow in pace, have to deal with character development, and take out the action.

When the show left off last season, Rick’s group had teamed up with the Hilltop and the Kingdom to fight back against Negan. It ended with Negan’s group running with groups chasing after them and some staying behind to deal with the aftermath from what just happened. We lost Sasha in the mix, found out that there’s a traitor in Negan’s group, and Eugene is now feeling like he’s really siding with Negan.

Then season 8’s premiere episode, “Mercy” opens in a mix of images that had me confused as to what was going on. We see Rick looking all sad and like he’s praying, then a cane, some flowers, hear some music, see a clock, then a shot of badass Rick in the sun, then a thoughtful Rick at some graves, and then we go into montage of everyone doing some metal work. Oh, then there’s the arrow with Dwight looking confused, the twizzler eating, and Rick giving his Rick speech.

I like how this episode was edited, well as far as the build up from the beginning of calm, the growing importance of Rick’s speech about only one person who has to die (which turns out that Rick’s math must be around the kindergarten) and then the supporting speech from King Ezekiel and Maggie before we start getting into the show proper. By which I mean we get to see Rick looking over the graves again and that horde of zombies walking, the cane again, more flowers, more music, the clock, and what almost looked like a dead Rick before we see old man Rick waking up, and more praying Rick when he opens his eyes and bam the opening theme.

That opening, wow, I don’t know what to really make of it. Was it good? Yes. Was it in line with how last season ended? Yes, kind of for the most part. Did it make sense? Some did but all those short flash scenes didn’t. Who are the 2 that are dead? Are those past ones like Sasha and Glen or will there be 2 major deaths coming this season? What points in time are the Rick’s? Is praying Rick right before going off to fight or after? Old man Rick is future Rick but is that a real future Rick, a what if Rick, or worse yet, dream Rick has of future Rick? Too many questions but also this works for the show. If they give the answers right away then the show wouldn’t be interesting. It’s also just the opening before the theme, it’s supposed to be this way. Where it grabs your attention and then goes to commercial break.

When the show does reopen, it’s to see Carl looking for gas at a gas station only to find some dirty guy doing this weird and creepy speech about not knowing who he was and wanting food. Carl seems like he would have given him food but Rick wants nothing of it and scares they guy off by shooting above his head. What to take note of here is what is said between Rick and Carl. Rick seems to be confused as to Carl’s reaction to how Rick handled the situation. Rick tells him he shot above his head in a way that’s like what, I could have killed him but I was being nice and only shot above his head. Then Carl tells him it’s not enough and not enough for hope. Is Carl now going to be more on the side of helping the strangers instead of just killing them? Maybe. Also, who is that guy? Is he a stranger looking for food, a stranger who is going to trick and kill someone, or a spy for Negan?

Next up we get to see Morgan killing. I guess his whole not killing thing is now over for him. Though I got to say I’d be worried and keeping an eye on Morgan. I say this because he’s not like Rick or Negan, or even the typical stranger they meet on the road where they will kill you to get your stuff or because they just want to kill because they can kill. Nope. Morgan is unstable. He could just as easily flip out and start killing his friends because he goes into crazy mode. He seems to be trying to cope with his killing. Seeing him sit on the bridge staring at the stick covered in blood, you can see his mind going what have I become.

And when did Judith get so big so quickly?

It takes nearly a half hour of getting set up before the action starts. The little talk between Father Gabriel and Rick, then seeing Rick killing the guard posts, Tara, Carol, Morgan, and Daryl leading the horde, and ends with the cars parked outside of Negan’s HQ.

What I liked the most about this scene is how the camera moves through the group when they are parked in the field. As the camera moves we get little bits of conversations between the people. How they just met but will watch each other’s backs, Jerry calling Enid “dude”, the closeness of Aaron and Eric, to finally Rick talking to Maggie telling her he will follow her after all this.

But now we get into the attack. We see that they are starting early morning, 7:50:36am to be exact. This is Tara, Carol, Morgan, and Daryl on the bridge getting the horde to follow them. The explosion is the trigger to let everyone know the war is starting. Dwight sends out a group of people to “investigate” the explosion telling the female on the other end that it’s probably just left over stuff on a body and to take heavy guns to be prepared just in case. This is a good tatic for Dwight as a spy to get some of the big guns out of the compound.

I got to say Dwight is doing a good job as a traitor spy. He has informed Rick of every little detail, got some people with big guns out of the mix, and let Rick get in with his group to the front of the compound.

But now we get to the point of going, why. The whole point of this “All out war”, is to kill Negan. From the start with the speeches, Rick says it’s all about 1 guy, that’s Negan. That no others need to die, just Negan. So, tell me why, when Negan comes sauntering out with that crotch leaning walk he does, why no one shot him right then and there? Every single one of Rick’s people had a clear shot of Negan and no one took it. They want him dead and when they had a chance to do it, where Negan was unprepared for what was happening, he had no guns on Rick while Rick had at least 15 guns pointed at Negan, no one shoots him.

Not only that, after Negan’s little speech acting like he’s tough and knows that Rick can kill him, after Rick lets the lieutenants know he knows their names, how he gives them the option of surrendering to him, and then finally does the challenge of the countdown, which by the way was not a full count, Rick shoots. But guess what, he shoots worse than a Stormtrooper.

Oh wait, before I get to that, I almost forgot about Gregory being a stooge for Negan saying anyone who stands with Rick will be kicked out of the Hilltop. This wasn’t suprising in the least. We all knew Gregory has no spine and he just wants to have some power and can’t stand Maggie, so yeah no shocker he would be standing with Negan. Though I got to say I enjoyed seeing Simon kick him down the stairs. Regardless of how much of an ass Simon is, Steven Ogg plays this guy perfectly and I like him.

But back to the shooting and how Rick counts from 10 to 7 before shooting and missing everyone. I’ve seen some bad shooting but really, come on, why wasn’t Negan killed? Also, what’s very annoying is how they shoot out the windows. That’s such a huge waste of bullets that are supposed to be rare and hard to get. I know that Eugene showed them how to make them but still, that was easily thousands of rounds used just to shoot out windows.

Also annoying, is how once again Rick had a chance to kill Negan and be the beginning of the end of this whole thing, Father Gabriel stops him. WHY? Let Rick walk up to Negan and kill him. They can sort out the rest later but at least the head will be gone. But nope, he’s still around to cause trouble.

Another stupid moment for Father Gabriel is trying to save Gregory. Let that ass stay and die with the rest. Now Gabriel is going to get what he deserves for helping such a person. It’s said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and this really shows the truth in that. Also, hey Gabriel, you knew what Gregory was about to do, you even said, “wait”, yet, why didn’t you go running after him?

Now let me say, Daryl riding his bike and blowing up that one zombie was really cool. That’s the kind of stuff I like to see Daryl doing.

Ugh, I still can’t over Gabriel stopping Rick from killing Negan with that, “It’s not about you” crap and how Rick’s aim is so bad that he literally couldn’t hit the side of a barn.

After all the shooting (and missing), we get to the calmness of the end of the episode. Carl leaves some food and a sorry note for the stranger, Rick telling Daryl that Gabriel is not back yet, Morgan asking about taking out the guards, Rick and Daryl going through a gate, then King Ezekiel and Carol’s group getting caught in an explosion, then that awesome wide shot of all those walkers going into Negan’s compound was awesome. But that ending, the “shitten pants” statement Negan gives Gabriel. Yep, he’s going to get it.

Do I think he will die? Yes I do. How will Negan get out of that little cabin with all those walkers is going to be near impossible but I’m sure he will.

Finally, the end of the episode we see the future with Judith being a little kid, Rick and Michonne having a nice normal life moment and how there is a festival going on. Uh, what? I do like the comment Rick makes about the big owl. But then we see crying Rick saying “have mercy over my wrath”, wow, emotional warrior Rick. And then it ends with the end of the speech that gets you pumped for more but bam it ends.

Overall a good opening for the season. I think they should have drawn out the first confrontation between Rick and Negan instead of how they did it here. They could have and should have left Negan out when they first walked outside. He could have had a representative at that point and that would have been a good reason as to why Negan is still alive instead of no one shooting him when they had the chance to and why Rick couldn’t hit him even with a million rounds of bullets while having clear shots and no one shooting at him.