The Walking Dead returns for its eight season with a bang (multiple actually) and the promise of war, death, and a whole lot of scheming and lying in “Mercy.”
No matter what it looks like or how much ground Rick thinks they’ve gained in the upcoming war, they’re still poor unfortunate souls in pain, in need. Negan has been tormenting others longer than Rick has and is willing to play the long con to get what he wants.
If Rick, Maggie, Ezekiel, and the rest of the survivors hope to destroy their enemy, they’ve got to get their hands a little dirty, something they’ve never liked but that is a reality of this world. Some like Rick will fully immerse themselves while assuring others that they are still the same men. And some like Carl will keep hope alive in them while it withers away in others.
But the only way that they’re going to survive all of this *signals at all of season eight* is if they do this together.
Negan’s Strategy vs Rick’s
At first glance it seems that everything is in Rick’s favor. He’s meticulously planned how he’s going to destroy Negan and what his people need to do to ensure that with the help of Maggie and Ezekiel. He looks capable and ready to take on any threat that comes his way. Rick is no longer a victim but an aggressor ready to fight for his people and his family’s survival.
Then why is it that I think Negan came out on top of this all?
He let Rick come to him and attack his home. He let Rick survive and live another day. He let Gregory go so he could capture one of Rick’s own. And he let Rick make himself out to be the villainous character attacking a group of survivors who are cared for by the Savior’s.
Whatever ground Rick thinks he gained against the savior’s is ground that Negan was a willing and eager to give up to make it look plausible and good. People like Negan don’t survive this long without losing a little bit as a means of gaining a lot. This is only the beginning and even then I can see Negan’s long con making sure he ends up on top.
Suck it Gregory, Hilltop is With Maggie
It’s so satisfying to watch Gregory make a play and see it crash all around him. He’s no longer the leader of Hilltop and when he returns back to the community he’ll be turned away or allowed to come back because Maggie is a gracious but watchful leader with Jesus by her side.
Personally I hope that this lying scumbag gets his ass kicked out of Hilltop and set out on his own like he threatened the other families. He’s a little weasel who’s always looking out for himself and doesn’t care who suffers in his place. These are the kind of people you never want to survive the apocalypse but rest assured he’ll continue to do so.
Gregory is a cockroach who continues to selfishly survive while knocking down others to take his place. It’s a marvelous technique for survival that will only last you for so long before karma comes to bite you in the ass or a walker.
I can’t wait.
Those Flashbacks/Flashforwards and What They Mean
I’m trying to stay positive and hopeful that the small scenes we saw with old man Rick were flash-forwards. I’m trying not to panic or question why it’s interlaced with scenes of Rick talking about “Mercy” while sporting red-rimmed eyes. I’m trying to think it’s a glimpse of what’s to come.
But then I remember that this is The Walking Dead and that the unexpected and painful is closer to the truth than anything else. These flash-forwards can’t be real. They’re hallucinations and dreams that Rick only hopes will come true. He knows the reality of possibly not surviving to see his kid grow up or to grow old with Michonne.
The world is no longer built in such a way where old age is possible without major sacrifices. So the only way that this is a reality and not a dream then Rick must have made some sort of deal with Negan and Co. to survive. Because let’s be honest that’s the way that these things always go.
Rick thinks he’s got the upper hand over Negan and Negan thinks that he’s the biggest and meanest dog in town. We both know he isn’t and that their are bigger threats out there. And when the big Boogeyman rears his / her head, could this be the reason for Rick’s flash forwards and the scenes with the red rimmed eyes.
The Kind of Man Carl Wants to Be
I bet you didn’t think that you would have to see Lori again but here she is and for a good reason. This season premiere saw Carl fighting back against his father in subtle ways that reminded me of what Lori said before she died.
She told him not to let the world spoil him. She assured him with her dying words that he was going to beat this world, that he was strong, and to do the right thing. Carl leaving that food for that mystery man is him choosing to not let this world spoil him and turn him into a man his mother wouldn’t be proud of.
Sure he still has his dad’s back, he always will, but he doesn’t want to let hope wither away and die inside of him like he’s seen others lose around him. He’s the new generation and the one that will be fighting long after Rick and Michonne can’t and before Judith can. And if that is so, he’s going to make sure that there’s still a little bit of hope and kindness in this world.
After all, hope distinguishes them from The Walking Dead and the Negan’s of this world. They are the ones who survive despite the insurmountable odds working against them. They are the ones who thrive.
Favorite Scene from The Walking Dead‘s “Mercy”:
Even in the midst of an upcoming war The Walking Dead still finds some time for Rick and Michonne. It’s a sweet and tender moment that shows you can have a steady AF OTP whose got each other’s back no matter what while fighting something bigger than both of them.
Check out the trailer for what’s to come in this season of The Walking Dead:
The Walking Dead airs on Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.