The Walking Dead – Season 8 ~ Episode 1: Mercy Review

The Walking Dead Season 8 Kicked Off Last Night With A Fresh Episode Titled Mercy, And Yet The Writers Spared Us No Mercy From Bad Writing


Note: This Article Contains Spoilers


After around a four month wait The Walking Dead (TWD) is back for an eighth season. The first episode titled Mercy aired last night, and many fans including myself felt that is was written very poorly. Though the story-line was filled with action as I hoped, there were just to many flaws. Overall the episode wasn’t bad.


Season 7 left off primed for action. The citizens of Alexandria, The Hilltop,  and the new trash people had all united to take a stand against the Saviors. During the confrontation the trash people who look like their strait out of a Mad Max movie turned on Team Rick. The Saviors had them dead to rights, and Negan was preparing to kill Carl when King Ezekiel’s fierce tiger Shiva comes out of nowhere and mauls a guy.


After the shootout the two factions regrouped and both started preparing for war. Though the Trash Queen shot Rick in the belly towards the end of the season finally, he seemed to walk it off before the conclusion, and was completely fine for the premier of the next season.


“Merely A Flesh Wound”
~ Quote Monty Python


Video Source – FilmSelect Trailer


Lord Have “Mercy”

In the earlier seasons of TWD one of the first things that grabbed my attention was the consistent excellent writing and production value. While I think the production value has increased as the series has evolved, I feel like the story-lines and scripts are devolving as they progress.


Before putting my digital pen to ink this morning I decided to check out a few reviews from other sources to see if I was alone on my feelings about the premier. It seems that most of my feelings are pretty common. I think I should note that I didn’t think it was a bad episode. For the most part I liked it, and was very happy they tried to kept the action rolling.


The episode starts with Rick, Maggie, and King Ezekiel standing on a truck each giving a very inspirational speech before they put their terrible plan into action. In Forbes contributor


While preparing to set the plan in action, Carl comes across a young guy who appears to be scavenging for food. Carl seems to be foolishly going in for a chat when Rick shews him away by shooting over his head. Not long ago it was looking like Carl was becoming the most ruthless of them all. Hes still one of the last of the originals that I would expect to fall for a trap during a time of war.


So the brilliant plan was to take the fight to The Saviors doorstep. After killing several outpost guards, Team Rick rolls up in a caravan of vehicles armored with slabs of sheet metal. As you would expect, chatty Mr. Negan comes right out into the open followed by his Lieutenants. While only the distance of a parking lot away, for some reason they didn’t all start firing. Nor was a sniper in position to take the end game shot. Only one guy had to die, and you missed your opportunity once again dumb-asses.


Negan brings out Gregory to try to talk the rebels down, which he probably knew wasn’t going to work anyway. Jesus comments that The Hilltop stands behind Maggie. Then the Trevor Phillips looking lieutenant throws Gregory down the steps. Good riddance to bad rubbish.


'The Walking Dead' Season 8 Premier | Mercy Recap & Review - #UD 2


So instead of devising a plan that made sense they spent all of their time making inspirational speeches and welding sheet metal. The armored cars were actually a pretty cool idea. Instead of wasting everyone on that platform easily, Rick gives them a countdown. Half way through the count he takes one of the worse shots in cinematic history. Come on Rick! You freaking had them all lined up like ducks in a row.


Before Eugene became a Savior he gifted Alexandria the knowledge of how to make bullets. Though they have the ability to re-manufacture their own ammo, its still a zombie apocalypse with a finite limit to most resources. After Rick takes the shot of an elderly man with glaucoma the crew begins pumping hundreds of bullets into the building. None of the leader class was taking out, but maybe they killed a few of the innocent Saviors inside or their children.


The rest of the plan includes taking out the other remote Savior outposts, leading a horde of zombo’s to the Saviors fortress, and blowing open the gate with explosives. Now at least this part of the plan makes sense, even though it could already be over.


Though Negan was not killed, it appeared that he was grazed by a bullet. Somehow in the hail of gunfire directed mostly at him he was able to crawl to a trailer. I’d expect that one of these bullets from these magical guns would have honed in on him. Everyone involved seemed to fire off over 100 rounds each, but yet there was little reloading going on.


Father Gabriel is another character that we witnessed grow cold and ruthless like Carl. He stayed to talk Rick down as he was shooting at Negan. Instead of rolling out, he showed mercy and compassion by getting out of the armored vehicle to help Gregory. Gregory being the coward he is jacks Gabriel’s ride and leaves him stranded.


Gabriel escapes the zombie horde by joining Negan in the trailer. Its a good thing Gabriel prepared for the day by putting on his shitting pants.


Video Source – Make A Path Presents


The final thing I’d like to touch on is Rick’s confusing old man hallucinations that didn’t make much sense. Sometimes adding odd things like flashbacks or hallucinations can enhance the story. I feel like TWD is getting out of hand with it. They just ended the last season with Sasha tripping out in a coffin. The show is at a great point where there at full blown war. Its like the writers feel the need to be artistic in their story telling even when they don’t need to be.


While the writing was full of flaws, overall I was still content with the episode. Its awesome for TWD to be back with fresh episodes either way. I’m also a fan of the comic series. Honestly I can’t wait for The Saviors story to pass so they hopefully will get to the Whisperer War. The Queen of The Trash People ain’t got nothing on Alpha.


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