TV Rant: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Premiere

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Spoiler Warning for The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 1 – “Mercy.” WATCH the Episode here.

I’ve been a long time fan of The Walking Dead. However, the quality of the show fell significantly in recent years. In my opinion, the show even fell behind its spin-off series, Fear the Walking Dead. Despite everything, I watched the season premiere in hopes that the writers had worked out the kinks from previous seasons; they did not.

  • Where did the crew get all those guns and bullets? Didn’t they give up most of their guns to the “Garbage Pail Kids” and Negan’s Saviors? Why shoot your guns into the air randomly? If it was to draw walkers, surely there was a better way to do that than everyone firing in sync. Also, what a waste it was spraying bullets into Negan’s windows. They seriously emptied entire clips by shooting at nothing. The small skirmish toward the end of the episode showed a second ammo dump, when 15 or so members of the main group emptied their clips at two random henchmen hiding behind a car.
The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 1 Mercy
Image: AMC
  • Monologuing! I can suspend my disbelief for a lot of stuff, especially in a television show about zombies; but when the whole crew goes in for the sole purpose of killing Negan, why let him monologue? He was out in the open, just standing there. Surely out of 100 automatic weapons, one of the bullets could have hit Negan. It’s not Negan surviving that annoyed me. Obviously, the show needs him to survive at least the season to have a story. However, at least make it more plausible or give a better reason for why the crew didn’t open fire rather than plot shielding.


  • A fan made this comment below on The Walking Dead subreddit. Whenever there is discussion of anything in pop culture, fanboys have a tendency to blindly defend their show or movie.reddit comment the walking dead
    • Here’s my issue with this sort of defense. It’s not that Hollywood should follow the rules of life. But there’s something called consistency in terms of writing. If we’re watching The Walking Dead and the Flash runs in out of nowhere and throws Negan into the future…yea it’s all under the realm of fiction but it would absolutely make no sense for this show. Also the “don’t watch” if you don’t like it concept doesn’t make much sense. You’re allowed to critique flaws in things you like. If fans never pointed out flaws, writers would just keep doing whatever the hell they want with no hesitation or second thought. People who critique the show do it because they actually care and want the show to be better. Clearly, we need more criticism if we want The Walking Dead to be good again.


  • The multiple timelines thing didn’t really do it for me. I understand using different timelines as a narrative device, but it felt really out of place in this 46 minute season premiere. The hazy timeline with “Future Rick” was likely a fake, positive view of what life could be like if they won, like Rick says during his speech.


  • This was an episode about fan service. Daryl riding on his bike shooting explosives was a cool shot, but nothing more than appeasing Daryl fans and people who just watch the show for explosions. Why was he on a motorcycle if he wanted to lead the herd toward him? It felt like he was going way too fast for the herd to keep up in any beneficial manner.


  • Even the blocking felt sort of off. Toward the end, when Gabriel tries to save Gregory…he gets out of his car and runs toward Gregory instead of just driving up to the same place, or yelling at him to get inside. The two then clumsily hide by a divider. Then Gregory runs off and just takes his car and drives away. The whole scene was extremely clumsy, and didn’t convey well enough why Gabriel couldn’t just get in the car too.
The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 1 Mercy
Image: AMC
  • Why was Negan outside of the complex alone, hiding behind random barriers instead of staying inside with his other lietenants? With important characters like Eugene and Dwight obviously alive, why wouldn’t he wait inside with them?


  • Negan’s last line, “I hope you got your shitting pants on” was just awful.


  • At this point, they just have Negan here for the comic book readers. He’s too much of a cartoon character. Too exaggerated and difficult to see as a regular human, instead of some cross-genre super-villain. As someone who’s also read the comics, being able to go “oh I saw that in the comics” just isn’t a good enough reason for a lot of this stuff to be happening.


  • Showrunners need to stop playing with viewers. No more gimmicks. Season 6 was entirely dedicated to teasing the existence of Negan, but not really showing him until the end. Then fans were left with the cheapest of cliffhangers. And because of this forced cliffhanger, Season 7 opened with another nearly full episode of teasing who was killed by Negan before actually showing it. Because how else would they have justified cutting Season 6 where they did, if they were just going to show the next scene right away on Season 7. This artificially and sloppily constructed drama is doing nothing for the show, other than making it only slightly better than a soap opera.

Watch or buy the episode here for $2.99.

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