The Walking Dead season seven finale ended in a battle. The Alexandria, Hilltop and Kingdom communities joined forces against the Saviors and the Scavengers. The Saviors have made life really hard for Team Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and they are ready to stand against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his people.  Season eight is literally going to be “All Out War.” This is the 100th episode of The Walking Dead. So let’s go…

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In Mercy, we see Rick in three different timeframes.  Wartime Rick – he waits to address Alexandria, Hilltop and The Kingdom.  Old Man Rick, indicated by the cane and flowers in what really looks like a dream.  And the third Rick, sweaty, red eyes, exhausted…not in good shape at all.

Wartime Rick visited Glenn and Abraham’s graves while everyone at Hilltop gathers scrap metal.

Dwight (Austin Amelio), back with the Saviors, is outside and someone shoots an arrow into his tire.

Tara (Alanna Masterson) is with Carol (Melissa McBride) on an overpass. She checks her watch and writes down the time

Wartime Rick addresses the communities as he stands on a truck with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Ezekiel (Khary Peyton).  He talks about the world and how big it is. It’s their world. Anyone who lives in peace and fairness deserves to live in this world. But those who take and kill to make this world fit them…they will end them. He says there’s no shame in that, but they won’t celebrate. Rick says there’s only one person who needs to die and he will be the one to kill him.

Carol and Tara are still on the overpass and hide while a horde walks past.

There is a note on the arrow in Dwight’s tire. It says ‘Tomorrow.’ Dwight replies and shoots the arrow back to Daryl (Norman Reedus).

Tara notes the time again and writes it down.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Ezekiel talks about how they will stand with Rick and Maggie…Shiva growls in agreement. They will come together and make the world bigger. Maggie tells everyone that they may have to live in uncertainty for a few days, but if they keep the faith in each other, the future…and the world is theirs.

Rick stands at the grave again in Hilltop.

We see the cane again. Weird Al Yankovic’s Another One Rides a Bus is playing in the background.   Through the flowers, we can see Old Man Rick waking up.

Bad-shape Rick opens his eyes.

A van drives down a road and stops by some overturned cars. Carl (Chandler Riggs) gets out of the car with a gas can in hand. He walks to the gas station and someone says hi. Carl drops the gas can, grabs his gun and turns around. The stranger knows that Carl has a gun and tries to talk him down. He says he hasn’t eaten in days. He tells him a quote, “may my mercy prevail over my wrath.” The stranger is trying to say his need is greater than his desire to harm Carl.  The quote is from the Quran, and then he regrets saying that.  Carl looks under the cars and sees someone’s legs. He runs towards him and tells him to put up his hands. The guy asks for food.

Someone starts shooting at the guy and he runs away. Rick runs up shooting his gun. Rick says Carl was supposed to meet him at the intersection. Carl is annoyed that Rick chased the guy off. Rick says the guy could have been a Savior. And if he’s not, Rick hopes he makes it. Carl tells his father,  it’s not going to be enough. Enough what? Hope.

Dwight gave Daryl a list of lookouts. One by one, Rick and his guys take out these lookouts.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Back at Alexandria, Rick looks over the list and takes a deep breath. Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) tells him that everyone is ready. He asks if Rick is okay. Rick is annoyed that one person has brought them to this point. But it’s not about Rick. Gabriel says it’s not because that’s how Rick made it.

Tara, Carol, and Morgan (Lennie James) meet Daryl on the overpass and wait.

Rick kisses Judith and Michonne (Danai Gurira) goodbye. He hugs Carl and says this is the end. Rick gets in a truck and leaves with a caravan of cars, shielded by sheet metal.

Rosita (Christian Serratos) watches them leave. She is still recovering from a gunshot wound.

Carl says he knows that Michonne wanted to go. He did too. She is recovering too. Michonne says she will help Carl defend Alexandria. He laughs, but Michonne says this is his show now.

The Alexandrian caravan meets up with Hilltop and Kingdom. Each community has a color armband to indicate where they are from: Hilltop-Green, The Kingdom-Orange, and Alexandria-White.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

They all talk and get to know each other. Rick makes sure Maggie is okay to fight considering she’s pregnant.   She says she’s fine. They have a good group of people and everyone is fully on board to follow Rick. Rick says when it’s all over he will follow Maggie.

Tara, Carol, Morgan and Daryl are waiting for the walker horde. They blow up an SUV to get the horde’s attention. The Saviors see the explosion and send out a team to investigate.

In a nearby town, Daryl sets up a tripwire connected to explosives.

Someone shoots two lookouts on top of the Sanctuary, signaling to Dwight that it’s time. Dwight goes inside.

Rick’s caravan arrives at the Sanctuary. They park the cars so they can use the sheet metal to protect themselves. Maggie gives the signal to shoot. They all shoot three shots and wait. Negan comes out with his generals, Dwight, Simon (Steven Ogg), Gavin (Jayson Warner Smith), Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and a woman.

Bad shape Rick looks around…he sees a stained glass above him.

Old Man Rick wakes up and looks at the clock. He gets out of bed and meets Michonne in the kitchen. Carl is up too. He says they are playing hooky. Rick asks about the music and Carl says they didn’t put it on.

Austin Amelio as Dwight – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Back to the sanctuary

Negan tells Rick that he really doesn’t want a gunfight right now. He says there’s no reason for his people to die. Rick turns to the generals and tells them if they walk away now, they are guaranteed safety. No one moves. 

Carol spots a walker headed for the tripwire. Morgan runs to stop it.

Negan is really amused now. None of his generals budged. He asks Rick if he really has the guts to attack them? Do they have the numbers?

Gregory (Xander Berkley) comes out of the Sanctuary and tells the Hilltop members, if they fight with Rick, they no longer have a home at Hilltop.   Jesus (Tom Payne) replies that Hilltop stands with Maggie now. Simon is annoyed with Gregory and throws him off the platform.

The Saviors hit the tripwire and their cars explode.

Negan and his generals see the explosion. Rick tells Negan that his lieutenants are gone. Gavin says they need a time out, but Rick shoots that down. He starts counting down for the generals to surrender. He gets to seven and starts shooting. Negan falls off the platform as his generals run inside. Team Rick start shooting out the windows of the Sanctuary.

Morgan and Tara leave the town. Carol tells Daryl to be careful and hugs him before she leaves. Daryl waits for the horde to get closer and he starts shooting boxes of explosives.

Team Rick gets in their cars and leave. Rick sees Negan cowering in a corner. He starts shooting in his direction, trying to kill him.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Daryl drives through the town, shooting boxes of explosives to lead the horde.

Gabriel puts the RV in drive and it head to the doors of the Sanctuary. Rick blows up the RV and starts shooting at Negan again. Gabriel has to stop him from shooting so they can get away. He tell Rick, it’s not about him. Rick takes a polaroid before leaving.

Gabriel gets in his car and sees Gregory come out of the debris and yell as Rick drives by. Gabriel gets out of his car and heads toward Gregory. He tells Gregory that he’s going to get him out of there, but they have to wait for the right moment. Gregory doesn’t wait. He runs for Gabriel’s car and drives away, leaving Gabriel among walkers.

Carl returns to the gas station and leaves food with a note that says ‘sorry.’ The stranger watches Carl from the woods.

The three communities meet at the rendezvous point waiting for Gabriel. Rick is worried. He tells Daryl how Gabriel helped him. They can’t wait any longer and leave.

The Kingdom hit the Paze Industrial Research next. A savior throws a grenade at the door and there are walkers trapped inside.

The horde arrives at the Sanctuary as Gabriel is trying to find a way inside the Sanctuary. He goes to a construction trailer and the door is open. Negan is also in the trailer.

Judith…at age 5, maybe 6, runs into the house. He tells Old Man Rick that there was a huge owl outside for the party. Rick goes with Judith to check it out. They are having some kind of festival in Alexandria

Bad shape Rick is thinking and crying. He says, “My mercy prevails over my wrath.” The stranger at the gas station said that same quote to Carl.

Wartime Rick speaks to the communities. He says he doesn’t want to wait for their victory. If they start right now, no matter what comes next, they’ve already won!

Thoughts…

Wow!

First of all, I’m really worried. The Bad Shape Rick has been shedding some serious tears. That only means that something went horribly wrong. The last time he looked that bad, Glenn died.

I know there is a lot of story in between the attack on the Sanctuary and whatever bad thing Bad Shape Rick is crying about. We knew going into this season there would be a lot of deaths. I just hoped there wouldn’t be any major deaths.   I have to prepare myself now.

Old Man Rick gives me hope though. IF that is really the future, then we know that Rick, Carl, Michonne and Judith make it out of the war alive. And that community looked a lot like Hilltop.

I’m still excited about this season, especially after the last season was so frustrating. I’m ready to see my favorite people have some good things happen to them. No matter how short lived it is, I just want to see them smile.

It’s just the beginning of the war. Get ready for a roller coaster of emotions!

Noetta Harjo
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