Tonight is “Mercy,” the premiere episode for Season 8 of The Walking Dead. This will definitely be a huge episode, as it’s kicking off an “all out war” focus for the season. Negan and Rick are going to face off, and it won’t be pretty.
When we left off at the end of Season 7, Sasha had died — she sacrificed her life to give Rick’s group a chance against Negan. With the help of Maggie and The Hilltop crew, and Ezekiel and The Kingdom crew, they were able to drive Negan and The Saviors away — despite The Junkyard group’s betrayal. Now they’re ready to end it all, once and for all.
This post will have spoilers through the Season 8 premiere. We will be updating this post with a recap and review of the show live as it airs. So keep coming back for more details about what happens tonight.
The 100th episode begins with a montage of Rick. He’s standing in present day, but we also see a cane leaning against a wall, and flowers, with music playing in the background. The scene cuts back and forth.
Now we’re at The Hilltop community, as residents build and prepare for the next clash.
We see Dwight, and an arrow lands near him.
We see Tara and Carol, on watch.
We go back to Rick. “When I first met him, Jesus said that my world was going to get a whole lot bigger. Well we found that world. We found each other. That bigger world is ours by right. We’ve come together for it, all of us. … It’s ours by right.” He’s addressing a large group.
Dwight reads a note.
Carol and Tara are still on watch.
“Those who use and take and kill to carve out a world and make it theirs alone, we end them. We don’t celebrate it. We don’t have shame about it either. There’s only one person who has to die, and I will kill him myself. I will. I will.”
Dwight leaves a note in an arrow. It looks like he’s still spying for Rick’s team while being at The Sanctuary. He shoots the note to Daryl, who’s waiting.
Rick’s speech continues.
It’s 10:28, Tara notes, while she and Carol are waiting. Carol sees a drawing of a flower near where she’s seated, on watch.
Ezekiel: “He today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother. Or she today, my sister.” Shiva roars as he waits in Ezekiel’s truck.
Maggie: “We’ve practiced… We all know the plan doesn’t end this morning. … We have to keep our faith in each other. If we can hold on to that with everything we have, the future is ours. The world is ours.”
Ezekiel, Rick, and Maggie are addressing the crowd.
The scene goes back to Carol and Tara, who are seated on an overpass as a huge horde of zombies move underneath.
We next see Rick, outside at a graveside, waiting, thinking.
And we’re back at the cane. The flowers. The watch (8:21). The flowers. And we see an older Rick with a long grey beard waking up in bed. The scene shifts to young Rick opening bloodshot eyes.
And we’re at the opening. The familiar intro music playing. This will be a great season.
After the commercial break, we see a van driving down the highway, slowing to a stop. Carl steps out. He’s carrying a gas can to a run down gas station. Someone is talking to him that we can’t see. “My mom said that helping the traveler, the person without a home, that’s everything… You don’t trust people, I get it. I don’t either. I’ve been through things too… My mom also said may my mercy prevail over my wrath… That’s from the Koran. I don’t even know you, but I haven’t eaten in a few days, and you might not even be real.”
Carl finds him and holds a gun on him.
“I just wanted some… even some food.”
Someone else shoots at the man. It’s Rick.
“We’re supposed to meet at the intersection,” Rick says, explaining that he shot over his head. “He could have been one of them.”
Carl: “There’s not going to be enough Dad… Enough hope.”
We see someone crossing off a list of lookouts, the first one a platform. It’s Daryl. Next he crosses off “Neighborhood.” Now Morgan takes someone out, and someone crosses out another location on the lookouts list.
Rick is looking over the list. He looks very nervous, shaken up.
Gabriel to Rick: “30 minutes. Everybody’s ready. Are you?”
Rick insists what they’re doing isn’t about him. Gabriel: “Yes, it isn’t you made it like that.”
Tara’s watch reads 7:49. She’s on lookout with Carol. Daryl arrives on his motorcycle.
We see Rick kissing a much older Judith, with short blonde hair. He kisses Michonne and hugs Carl. “This is the end of it,” he promises Carl. We don’t know what the plan is, but it’s about to go down in a big way He drives off with a group of armored vehicles behind him, leaving Carl and Rosita and Michonne behind in Alexandria. Michonne tells Carl: “I’ll help you defend this place… This is your show.”
Rick takes out a Savior. While he lays dying, he struggles to tell Rick it won’t work. “Your boy’s gonna die.”
“Overgrown Road House” is marked off the list of lookouts that are being cleared, by Rick, as he lets a zombie eat the Savior.
Rick gives the all clear sign to his convoy.
All these stealth kills are leading to something…something that Rick is hoping will bring an end to the war with Negan.