The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1: Regains its pride with heart-stopping poise

The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1 (Spoiler-free guarantee!)

The Walking Dead marks its returns on AMC October 22 with its 100th episode. We got an early peek at the season eight premiere episode, “Mercy,” and longtime fans of the famous zombie series hoping for the glory days of the show will definitely be very pleased with what they see.

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As teased from the trailers, this season will likely focus on its adaptation of the comic’s “All Out War” plot. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Alexandria, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and the Hilltop, and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and his Kingdom have joined forces to take out Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors. Little does Negan know, one of his top men Dwight (Austin Amelio) is working as a double agent for Rick and the gang.

The Walking Dead Season 8 doesn’t waste much time getting into the thick of it. And if you think you know what will happen by basing on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels, you might want to change your mind. The show is taking some liberties from the popular comics and so far, it’s all the better for it.

What’s Hot in The Walking Dead Season 8 :

If you’re tired of seeing only one group at a time per episode, the premiere remedies that quickly. While some of the show’s standalone episodes are actually great (Morgan’s flashback episode on season six is one prime example), one of the biggest missteps of the series in later seasons was separating the crew to focus on a few characters’ story at a time.

There were two aspects that made the early seasons great. Everyone was together up until the Governor came around on season three. This allowed you to see the group dynamic play out on screen between the cast. As well, a lot of ground was covered on each episode. If you rewatch season one’s six episodes, it’s like watching a bunch of mini movies.

The first episode of season 8 feels very much like an earlier episode of the franchise. The group is united, reunions are made, your onscreen favorite characters are seen ganging up and interacting, and a few characters from different communities get to meet for the first time ever. At the same time, the episode moves at a fast pace and is action-packed with, what Norman Reedus told the press at New York Comic Con, Rick’s best (and perhaps only?) good plan to date.

This shouldn’t be a one-episode thing either. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple told TVLine that the eighth season will rely less on character-based episodes and will focus more on keeping many members of the group intact. In other words, it sounds like the show is listening to the fandom after upsetting many with the violent introduction of Negan.

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What else can we say without giving much away?

You’ll see a lot of what was in the trailers for the new season in the premiere. There no doubt will be a few intense moments halfway through the episode where you won’t be able to get a hold of yourself. Longtime viewers should be on the lookout for several nods and references to earlier seasons. And if you’re waiting to see more of Old Man Rick, you’ll get that too!

What’s Not in The Walking Dead Season 8 :

Our biggest complaint was that the episode wasn’t longer (even though it’s 47 minutes). If we’re nit-picking, there are some strange, confusing scenes that mess around with time, but we’re definitely a re-watch later in the season will have it all make more sense.

The Walking Dead Season 8 first episode probably could have ended a few minutes earlier on a pivotal moment, but overall, the fans will be very pleased with the start of season eight. Rick hits his stride and isn’t taking prisoners in the war for humanity.

The bottom line:

After a season that ended on its lowest finale ratings since 2012, apparently the crew took a few steps back to reevaluate what fans love about the show. And so far, it’s all the better for it.

If you’ve been longing for Rick to get it together and come down hard on the Saviors, you definitely won’t be disappointed. You’ll be cheering alongside him. The Ricktatorship is most definitely back, but it has evolved to be smarter, more collected, and let other leaders’ voices to be heard.

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The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1: Regains its pride with heart-stopping poise
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