#TheWalkingDead Season 8 Ep 1 "Mercy" Recap Plus Questions

Sunday, October 22nd

Oh my goodness, it has finally arrived! The season 8, 100th episode premiere is finally in the history books! And boy did it deliver. From start to finish, fans were on the edge of their seats, breathless, screaming and cheering. It was heard nationwide.

*WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS EXPLICIT DETAIL FR SUNDAY NIGHT'S EPISODE "MERCY." IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT, TURN BACK NOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!*

The 100th episode opened up with Rick's eyes shut, showing a foggy vision of a cane and flowers. Then, it comes back to the present. It shows Rick at a watchpoint then Glenn and Abe's graves at The Hilltop. Daryl sends Dwight a message the note says 'TOMORROW.' Tara keeps the time while eating licorice and wearing sunglasses like a boss!

TWD 801 15.jpg

Rick is with the three groups brought into one next to each of their leaders. He gives a speech: "When I first met him, Jesus said my world was gonna get a whole lot bigger. We found that world, we found each other. That bigger world is ours by right. If we come together for it, all of us, it's that much truer. It's ours by right! Any person who would live in peace and fairness, who would find common ground, they're right too. Those who use and steal and carve out the world who make it theirs alone...we end them! We don't celebrate it. We don't have shame about it, either. There's only one person meant to die. And I'll kill him myself. I will. I will." Dwight sends a note back to Daryl. Rick continues. "Then, we keep making the world bigger, together." Ezekiel adds, "Together, bound forever to hold the bar. For He, today that shall shed his blood with me shall be my brother. For She today, my sister." He says as he grabs Maggie's shoulder. Maggie tells them that they've practiced and that they're ready. They just need to keep faith in each other. The world is theirs if they can do that. Carol and Tara lead the walker march, leading them towards the Sanctuary. It shows the cane, the watch, the flowers then Santa Rick waking up. Then, it comes back to the present, Rick opening his red puffy eyes. 

twd 401.jpg

 Carl drives up in Rick and Michonne's lovebird van with a gas can. A throwback to the pilot episode when Rick was wondering around Atlanta was seen as Carl glanced in a car with a dead walker inside. He keeps walking to an abandoned convenience store when he hears a voice. Carl tracks him down, finds his feet and then Rick fires, injuring the man. Rick kills a walker then begins to mark off the checkpoints one by one. Rick looks over their playbook. Gabriel informs Rick sometime later that everyone's ready. Then, he asks Rick if he is. One person, Rick says. Rick says it always starts with one person. Tara, Daryl, Carol, and Morgan meet up at a rendezvous spot. Rick says his goodbye's to Judith, Michonne, and Carl. Rick tells Carl, "This is the end of it," He gets into a truck, and the forces roll out. Carl tells Michonne, "I know you wanted to go with them. I did, too." She tells him that everything hurts but she's helping him defend The Safe Zone. But, it's his show. 

TWD 801 13.jpg

Rick takes down a Savior at another point and raids his things. The Savior continued to tall trash, so Rick released the tied walker and signaled for his people to come forth. The line of shielded vehicles spread out in an open field. Everyone meets everyone. The three group leaders along with Jesus converse. Maggie gives her word that Hilltop Colony will fight with Rick and co. Maggie says she's been fighting since the farm and there's no going back. Rick asks about 'tomorrow.' She says just one more fight and tells Rick she'll be there for at least the first part. Ezekiel mentions the loss of their doctor and offers The Kingdom's doctor for use. He says that today is the day they begin to reshape the world for her child and the children to come. Rick tells her that Hilltop is lucky to have her and that after this fight, he's following her. 

TWD 801 5.jpg

Tara counts down to something but... nothing happens. They watch for a moment before Daryl spots them; the oncoming horde of walkers. They all ride out. About thirty seconds after they've gone, an SUV blows up. The incident is radioed back to Saviors headquarters (The Sanctuary), and they dismiss the possibility of it being"them." Dwight listens to the female who desires blood and tells her that she may just get what she asks for. Daryl, Tara, Morgan, and Carol rig the bomb that's close to the compound. As Dwight moves away from his spot, the two Saviors above him suddenly drop dead. The shielded vehicles begin to move into formation. Then, the forces pile out. Maggie and Rick are first behind the wall. Maggie raises her hand and guns are raised. Rick fired four shots. They wait. Then, Negan and the forces come out. "Well, shit! I'm sorry, I was in a meeting." Negan says. 

TWD 801 6.jpg

When the commercials end, it shows Santa Rick again. He's waking up and looking at the flowers on the nightstand than the clock. He gets up and meets with Michonne.   Carl says that everyone's playing hooky today. Then, it shoots back to the barricade scene. Negan makes a snide comment then says he's isn't feeling a need to fire shots at one another because he's not selfish like Rick and he cares for his people. Rick begins to name off the Saviors that standby Negan currently. He offers them safety if the surrender. Negan laughs. A walker wonders near the trip wire, and Morgan kills it. Negan says its a good deal Rick offered. Then, he asks about himself. Rick tells him he's already shown him. Twice. Negan says he knows the outcome. Then, Negan calls out Simon's name, and he brings out Gregory. Like the coward he is, Gregory tells the people of Hilltop Colony to surrender, that they stand with Negan and if they don't, they won't have a home. Jesus shouts out that they stand with Maggie. Simon tells Gregory that he's disappointed in him and shoves him off the platform. Morgan ducks behind a dumpster as a group of Savior cars come. They get blown up. Rick tells Negan to decide quick. Then, he starts to countdown. He gets from ten to seven then fires, making the Savior compound look like metal Swiss cheese. 

TWD 801 3.jpg

Carol, Morgan, Tara, and Daryl meet up. They wait for the walkers. Daryl leads the walkers closer to the Sanctuary while the others head back to safety. Daryl checks the rounds in his revolver then heads out, blowing up bombs along the way. The crew fires endlessly at the compound. Father Gabriel sends in the RV and Rick blows it up. Negan is seen by himself. Rick is shooting at him. Gabriel gets him to stop. Rick drives out. Gabriel was about to, but he saw Gregory and WS going to help. Bad decision. Gregory abandons the Father and leaves him stranded. 

TWD 801 14.jpg

Carl leaves the stranger his father wounded two cans of food with a note that says "Sorry." Some of the group meets back up in one area. Then, Rickis seem with Daryl. Daryl wants to do more damage, but Rick says no. He tells Daryl he tried to kill Negan but Gabriel stopped him. Daryl asks if Rick's okay. Rick says its not about him. They head out. Rick and Daryl head out to another Savior compound while  Carol and a group hit another compound themselves. Walkers move into the compound as Gabriel runs for his life. He ducks into a building only to find Negan in there, too.

In the foggy vision, it shows an older Judith running up to Santa Rick. Michonne tells him that the people are thrilled for the festival. Judith walks him outside, and we see a thriving community. A red-eyed Rick is seen smiling. He whispers "Mercy prevails over my rath."
 

The last scene shoots back to Rick's speech before the fight. He's telling the troops that he doesn't want to wait any longer, either. He says "If we start tomorrow, everything they've beaten, everything they've endured, everything they've overcome, we've already won. We've already won!

TWD 801 7.jpg

Wow! What way to welcome episode 100 into the books! What were your thoughts on this episode? Were the group proactive enough? Could they've done more? What's going to happen to Father Gabriel? Tune back Sunday to find out!

New episodes air every Sunday at 9 p.m. only on AMC.

Editor: Joeleen Gatlin