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The Walking Dead premieres with 100th episode


The 100th episode of The Walking Dead premiered Sunday, October 22nd on it’s eighth season with “Mercy.” It did not disappoint. The season seven finale left fans with a brewing war between Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) gang and the show’s primary antagonists, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors.

The highly anticipated season premiere brought fans explosions, cliffhangers, and the constant threat of the iconic yet terrifying zombies the show is known for. The show often uses  small, character driven episodes to transition to larger narrative arcs in the storyline, but this episode went straight into action and dropped fans into the beginnings of the war.

In this unifying episode, Rick united villagers from the Hilltop, Alexandria, and The Kingdom to go into war in an attempt to remove Negan and his Saviors—who have exerted control over all of the communities—from their world. They did this in order to create a community in their post-apocalyptic world free from anyone who might threaten their lives.  

This was reinforced throughout the episode with Rick imagining himself growing old and living to see his family and community grow in their sanctified Alexandria. The episode ends with everyone fleeing from what’s left of the Sanctuary compound. However, Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) gets left behind and takes shelter in a what he thought was an abandoned RV until he finds out the fate of his life falls in the hands of Negan who is also harboring in the RV. Although Rick might have won the battle in this episode, the war isn’t over.

Over the past seven seasons, fans have seen how their favorite characters challenged their enemies and overcame their internal issues. Viewers have seen just how far Rick and his gang have come; their world has expanded, as they have been introduced to new communities and people.

Now that Rick’s group is at war with their biggest and most hated villain yet, viewers see a powerful unity and connection among the villagers from the Hilltop, Alexandria, and The Kingdom. They have grown, matured, and are strong-willed, ultimately contributing to the overall passionate, unforeseen, and unforgiving tone of this war.

The Walking Dead is no stranger to deviating from the comic book that started it all. But surprisingly, the events that have occurred in the book and the events that happened in the show aligned. At this point in the comic, Rick and Negan’s groups are at war. However, certain characters have stayed true to their storylines as well.

Maggie (Lauren Cohan) has assumed the role of leader of the Hilltop community. Dwight (Austin Amelio) has started to redeem himself by helping Rick and his forces, despite his association and history with the Saviors. However, viewers shouldn’t get their hopes too high, as TWD writers are always full of surprises.

Throughout season eight, viewers can expect a lot of action scenes as Rick’s gang and Negan’s Saviors plot to defeat each other until their ultimate demise: more zombies, blood, and gore—and possibly some deaths of our favorite characters, considering they are amidst an all-out war. There is also a possibility that development in the plot towards the end of the season as the war might come to an end, or potentially continue into season nine.

Either way, TWD stays true to keeping viewers on the edge of their seat. Viewers should be prepared for  their anxiety and stress levels to be at an all-time high, because this season of The Walking Dead is going to be a wild ride.

The Walking Dead premieres every Sunday night on AMC

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