The Walking Dead returned tonight with an action-packed season premiere, and we’re here to walk you through the essential moments of the episode. Be sure to let us know what you thought of Mercy in the comments and on social media!

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1The Optimism Continues

There’s no denying that much of The Walking Dead‘s seventh season was just depressing as all hell. From the opening episode in which we saw the deaths of Abraham and Glenn, to the proceeding episodes that feature Negan with his boot all over Rick Grimes and Alexandria, it just wasn’t a pleasant viewing experience. The back half of the season worked to establish a long-removed hopefulness, and that optimism was especially present in the finale. Fortunately, this tone has carried over to season eight. Alexandria, Hilltop, and The Kingdom are all fighting with and for each other, and each of their respective leaders have a brighter future in mind.

2Rick Grimes is Trigger-Happy

Okay, maybe “blade-happy” is more accurate. In the early moments of the episode, Rick, Maggie, and King Ezekiel give a powerful speech about owning the world and how wonderful the future can be if everyone takes a stand with them. During the talk, Rick acknowledges that only one person has to die (Negan) and that everyone else can live. When the plan is set in motion, however, Rick stabs literally the first Savior he comes across and leaves him for dead. So much for that “one” person, aye Rick?

3A Great Plan

Listen, this is The Walking Dead, so there’s almost no chance that things go according to plan for Rick Grimes and company. With that being said, this seems like an incredible plan, doesn’t it? Luring everyone at the sanctuary into a fight and leading a monstrous horde of walkers to their compound was great, and even though it’ll take at least one more episode to see exactly how the plan plays out, we couldn’t be more excited to see it in action.

4But why Didn’t They Shoot him?!

As much as I love The Walking Dead, there have always been infuriating things to happen each season- be it poor character choices or just flaws in logic. Tonight’s infuriating moment comes from the “calm before the storm” moment between our heroes and the Saviors. The characters have already arrived at the sanctuary, and through the metal barricades in which they’ve protected themselves, there is a gap that’s plenty big for a gun to fit (evidenced by the shootout that follows). Rather than utilizing this asset while an unarmed Negan shoots off at the mouth about dick sizes though, the group remains still and goes with the flow of the conversation. If you have a shot, take it.

5Appropriate Pants

Though none of our heroes die in the premiere, Father Gabriel certainly finds himself in a terrible predicament. After the horde of walkers arrives and starts tearing through the sanctuary, Gabriel takes it upon himself to do the right thing and try to save Gregory (who would be better left for dead, to be honest), and in doing so, he finds himself trapped in a room with Negan, who promises our redeemed priest that he’s about to “shit his pants.” Whether or not this means death for Father Gabriel remains to be seen, but we can’t imagine he makes it out without some sort of consequence.

6Does Future Rick Spell Trouble?

Like the last several seasons of The Walking Dead, the season premiere is practiced in time-jumping. As promised by the trailer, we see Rick Grimes as an old man, mostly interacting with Judith. These moments are cut together with a visibly shaken, red-eyed Rick who appears to be devastated by something. In the future visions, only Rick and Judith appear to be older, as Michonne and Carl don’t seem to have aged a single day. This is purely speculation, but could these future sequences be Rick imagining a life with Judith that has been stripped from him? Judith is long-dead in the comic series, so her potential death, though it’d be shocking to see televised, would come as no real surprise for those familiar with the source material. These moments, of course, could signify something entirely different. I’m no expert, but it’s certainly worth being concerned about.

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I love writing and I'm an avid film watcher, dating back to my horror-filled childhood. I'm a lover of cheese, both in cinema and edible form. Connect with me on Facebook & Twitter and let's talk horror!

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