‘The Walking Dead’: 5 Shocking Moments from the Season 8 Premiere

Lawrence Yee
The Walking Dead TV
The Walking Dead TV

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from the Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead, entitled “Mercy.” Proceed with caution.

The Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead served as the kick-off to the showdown between Rick and Negan. And it started it out with a bang. Make that many loud bangs.

Fortunately, viewers weren’t subject to the brutal head-bashings that were the hallmark of the Season 7 premiere. Instead, they were treated to an episode that set the stage for an exciting “All Out War.” Without further ado, here are the 5 most shocking moments from “Mercy.”

Ruthless Rick

It wasn’t so long ago that Rick said no one was “too far gone.”

We know he isn’t beyond killing people, especially the Saviors. But now, he appears to savor it. Rick stabs and taunts a Savior lookout (one of several on his hit list), before freeing a tied-up walker to finish what he started.

The Savior did bring up Rick’s weak spot, boasting that his son Carl will eventually be killed. Perhaps that’s what led Rick to do what he did.

Meanwhile, Carl continues to show compassion that his father doesn’t, leaving food for a stranger a note that reads “Sorry.” Random strangers have a way of reappearing on the show, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Negan Survives

Rick, with his allies from The Kingdom and Hilltop, bring the fight to Negan’s front door. The survivors drive up in a caravan of armored vehicles and draw the Saviors out.

Rick orders Negan to turn over his closest circle, including Dwight (whose loyalties shift every episode). After Negan stalls, Rick starts counting down, but begins firing halfway through.

His group riddles the Sanctuary with bullets, but Negas survives thanks to some strategically placed armored walkers and debris. There’s no way Negan would be taken out in the first episode of the new season, but he’s surely now scared.

No Love for Eugene

While parlaying, Rick orders that Negan turn over his lieutenants. Eugene interrupts, but Rick isn’t having it … or hearing it … from his former friend.

“I know who you are,” Rick says coldly, showing that he considers Eugene one of the enemy.

Gabriel’s Mercy

Gabriel has an oh s--t moment when he realizes he's stuck with Negan.

Father Gabriel’s altruism landed him in deep s–t. During the firefight, he stops to rescue the cowardly Gregory (who seems to have more lives than Negan). However, Gregory drives away in Gabriel’s escape vehicle, leaving the priest to fend against the walkers that were drawn by all the noise (which was part of Rick’s initial plan). Gabriel’s instincts have always been to flee instead of fight, and luckily he finds his way into a trailer. Unfortunately, Negan is already in there. “Hope you have your s–ting pants on,” Negan tell his new neighbor as the undead surrounded their hideout.

Old Man Rick

Rick's future is looking bright.

Viewers got a glimpse of “old” Rick, sporting a flat-top and bushy grey beard. In the future, he’s still with Michonne (who hasn’t aged a day) and Judith, who is a now young girl. We see the back of an older Carl (thankfully the producers didn’t use that weird aging technology) and a prosperous, thriving community. But it’s unclear if this is the future, or just a dream, as time jumps between the future and a crying Rick in the present. Perhaps it’s a future he envisioned having, but something horrible has happened in the present.

Get a glimpse of the rest of Season 8 below and be sure to come back to FANDOM every Sunday for The Walking Dead recaps and analysis.

Lawrence Yee
Lawrence is Editor in Chief of FANDOM. He grew up loving X-Men, Transformers, and Japanese-style role playing games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. First-person shooters make him incredibly nauseous.
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