Who’s ready to go to war?! Happy season eight of The Walking Dead eve, Geeklings! How are you spending this newly christened holiday? Are you cramming in episodes with AMC’s marathon or maybe you’re re-reading your favorite issues of the comic? Or perhaps you’re enjoying a little bit of quiet before the storm hits tomorrow. Either way, there is no escaping the fact that tomorrow’s season premiere, the 100th episode of the series, is going to set up what is sure to be an exciting eighth season and I’ll be with you every step of the way to break this baby down.
If you recall from last year, I thought the second half of the Walking Dead was doing a lot of set-up work for this season here and maybe didn’t do a whole lot of story progression. A war between Rick and Company and Negan and his Saviors was something that was inevitable. It was hard to believe that Rick could be pushed any lower. Watching as Glenn and Abraham were brutally murdered in front of him powerless to stop. Watching as Negan safely returned a renegade Carl back from the Saviors compound like a triumphant uncle. Allowing the Saviors to take half of Alexandria’s resources. The kidnapping of Daryl. The burning of the mattresses. The neutering of Rick effin’ Grimes. You get the point. It’s hard-pressed to envision a season where Rick was more at his lowest, and he went briefly crazy answering ghost phones after his wife died, but Negan found a way to strip Rick of all his Rickness (sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Rick and Morty).
Yet, here we are on the eve of season eight and Rick has found his swagger back. Some would say that his powers were restored after his ultra emotional bro hug with Daryl.
But the truth of the matter is Rick had reached a breaking point. Enough was enough. Throughout our seven seasons of watching The Walking Dead we’ve been promised a better tomorrow. A world built up to improve on the mistakes of the last, but all we see is more death and more chaos. A world that won’t allow itself to heal or move on. And yes, this new zombie-infested world is kill or be killed, but there has to be hope. Without it, what do we have? Rick understands this and by uniting the other communities (The Hilltop and the Kingdom) he is promising a future through war. Seems a bit of an oxymoron but in order to make an omelet you’ve got to break some eggs. I think that’s how that saying goes.
Which begs the questions, what is in store for this season? “All Out War” is one of my favorite arcs in Robert Kirkman’s comic series and puts me at a bit of an advantage when it comes to what to expect from season eight. I will try my hardest to not spoil or hint at things to come. If you read my reviews last year then you know I did pretty good with that. But it doesn’t mean I’m going to stay completely quiet. Hell, where’s the fun in that?
Here are some quick bullet point questions to be asking ourselves going into the premier tomorrow.
- How much should we trust Dwight? The fact that he would betray Negan seems pretty obvious considering he loathes the man, but what is Dwight’s end game? Does he actually believe that Rick and Company can bring about a better future or is his beef too personal? Does Dwight even care about the future or does he just want Negan dead?
- I want to answer your questions about Old Man Rick from the trailer buuuuuuut I can’t because of comic knowledge. I’m sure they’ll tease us with these images all season but I have a feeling you’ll be very interested in the outcome here.
- Is it possible for the audience to hate Negan all season? I mean, the dude is super charismatic and steals every scene he’s in. I know he’s a bad dude and I know what he did to Glenn and Abraham but I can’t help but enjoy the show more whenever he’s on screen. Negan could very well be the most engaging character we’ve encountered in this universe. Will some of us find ourselves torn between Team Rick and Team Negan?
- It seems that Michonne has kind of morphed into the Andrea story arc from the comics while it seems that Carol could be morphing into the Michonne story arcs from the comics. Things to keep an eye on, but after a season of limited baking and limited ass kickery it seems that we have Carol back. She could very well be the secret weapon here. Also, what up King Ezekiel/possible romance. Sorry, you Daryl shippers but keep an eye on that too.
- Daryl is free and with his loved ones but there is still a great deal of anger there. Will he be able to keep his emotions in check or are we looking at a season where Daryl could go off the rails? I’m all for a more rabid dog Daryl but could he be blinded by revenge to the point where he costs the group?
- Is it possible that Maggie could become the best leader on the show? Seems like there is a great deal of potential there, don’t you think? And for god’s sake can we some sort of acknowledgment that she’s pregnant?! I think she’s got to turn down the Rambo urges this season and lead.
- Jadis and the Trash People. If you recall these weirdos betrayed Rick pretty hard and almost cost them their first victory against the Saviors. Luckily the Kingdom showed up in order to save the day, yay tigers, but what does season eight have in store for this group? I said it a lot last year but does anyone else get the vibe that the Trash People will evolve into the Whisperers from the comics? Food for thought.
- Eugene. Oh, Eugene. I refuse to believe that his heel turn is legit. I know that Eugene is scared and thinks he’s a coward but Abraham believed in him. The siding with Negan… I just don’t see this being our Eugene. There has to be something more here otherwise any progress the character made is for nothing. Unless he’s always going to revert back to the same old Eugene. I hope not.
- Is Morgan really all clear or is it possible that we’re going to see him revert back to crazy town banana pants Morgan?
There you have it Geeklings. We are one sleep away from a new season of The Walking Dead! October doesn’t really feel like October until The Walking Dead comes back to our television screens. So, I’ve talked a lot, I’m going to turn it over to you guys. What do you expect from season eight? Are you Team Rick or Team Negan? What do you think of the Old Man Rick stuff? Are you ready to see Carol kick some ass? Sound off in the comments below. If you’d like to talk more Walking Dead with me then, by all means, contact me on Twitter @iamgeek32 and let’s chat. In the meantime, enjoy your marathon or comic readings and let’s get ready for an awesome season. Can’t wait to spend another season with you guys. Many huzzahs!
Images from AMC