We get to kick off season 8 with Episode 100 called “Mercy”. Did it live up to our own personal hype or did it fall flat like Judith’s character learning to walk? I am joined by a plethora of people who all have very different opinions, and any comments that you see in bold are from me because apparently some people like to read my awful opinions or insults. I truly appreciate everybody’s dedication to keeping this thing going. Thank you.
- Who gave the best opening war speech: Rick, Maggie, or Ezekiel?
Briana: Ezekiel is always entertaining but I think Rick was the one who really inspired everyone (and then failed to follow through with anything he said… but that’s another question I’m sure lol) (Yeah, the follow through was incredibly questionable, if not entirely disappointing in it’s own way.)
Bob: Ezekiel. That’s the kind of war speech I would want to hear and the kind of energy I would want to hear. Rick’s was arrogant and prideful. No one truly goes into a battle to die under the cause of we have already won. People go into battle to be victorious and to actually win. That was Ezekiel’s outlook. (You almost convinced me. I feel that passionate stories of Rick Grimes has spread at this point so people know what he did to Claimer Joe, so I would hope that people would just be roused by that alone. I mean, guy with tiger is inspirational, but guy who has survived gun shots, stabbings, biting off people’s flesh, and putting down little barn girls would still win me over.)
Bitty: Ezekiel. In the premier and the after show!! (OK, he stole the after show. Andy and Jeffrey were good, but Khary stole that show, no doubt.)
Raylene: I would say it has to be Ezekiel. Although this would have worked fantastic. (If we can get him doing that shit to Negan, he would become everybody’s favorite character.)
Eric: Rick. It’s full of anger and revenge towards Neegan. (Yeah, I really enjoyed the softer spoken speech, reminded me of some Jake the Snake Roberts stuff.)
Kent: Maggie!!! Ha, I’m just playing. I asked this question to illustrate something. Ezekiel is everybody’s new play thing that seems funky fresh and so I assumed he would get some love. I did not anticipate that 4 out of 6 people would choose him, but point illustrated. Nobody wants to answer with the old tired play thing in Rick, but he is the right answer. Ezekiel just had more charisma, but Rick’s felt more passionate to me, and he has more on the line. Also, had Ezekiel given us a speech along these lines, he would have been my choice by default.
- Who’s grave is Rick looking at throughout the episode? Is Rick crying because of a death or something else perhaps?
Briana: I assumed it was Glenn and Abe. This would only be like the second time he’s been able to visit their graves. And let’s face it, they are a big reason they’re doing this.
Bob: I will say Maggie’s grave and the one next to her is the baby’s grave. I think she dies during childbirth. (I still say that she should have gotten Lucille instead of Abe. I feel that Carol is such a better leader and would have been better in the comic role that Maggie has. If you’re right, I will absolutely give you props.)
Bitty: I thought those were the graves of Glenn and Abraham. He is crying out of remorse.
Chris: I’m going to say Maggie. Obviously there’s no way to know yet. It could have been a character who had died previously. (Two of you going with Maggie. Man, both of you guys have got me thinking, and i am totally digging it is that’s the case.)
Raylene: I’m going with the obvious one and saying Father Gabe
Eric: Those are the graves for Glen and Abraham.
Kent: I think it is Father Gabriel’s grave. While I see a lot of you have said Glenn and Abe, that appeared to be in Alexandria, which is not where Abe is buried, and I don’t remember about Glen. Secondly, the stained glass above Rick I felt was indicative of church perhaps. Thirdly, we have Gabe’s impending “Shitting his pants” doom. Finally, we don’t know the time frame of those shots, so I am passing on the Glen and Abe grave train. I felt this summed up my responses to Bri, Bitty, and Eric, and if you’re right, well you get to make sure to remind me that I am an idiot.
- When the group assaulted the Sanctuary, was it smart to use all of that ammunition to prove a point? Also, how did they not bring a sniper to take out Negan?
Briana: Ugh! The entire point was supposed to be “only one person has to die” instead it was only one person has to talk our way out of killing that one person who has to die! Rick had so many chances to take him out and end it all. I mean I don’t necessarily hate that they shot the whole building out, but I do hate that they didn’t just kill Negan right then and there. (It felt like the whole point of the journey was forgotten fairly quickly. I guess that doesn’t make for great TV.)
Bob: Killing the person Negan does not destroy the idea of Negan. A thought is more influential and persistent than a person. They might just start calling themselves Simon. (I giggled at the Simon line. While I agree with you that the idea of Negan and the Saviors is more than one person’s life, I do wonder who would take over if Negan had gotten taken out in that moment. Let’s face it, Simon is smart but not tough, while Gavin may be slightly tougher, or at least have youth, but seems like a dumbass. Arat was nowhere to be found, and Dwight is questionable. Would there be too much in house fighting to determine the next leader that would enable the group to dismantle the Saviors?)
Bitty: I was so mad they used all the ammunition!!! As soon as Negan came out i yelled at the TV “shoot him!!”. (This made my husband mad cause he’s on the Negan train) Back to bullets, if they were trying to attract walkers with the glass breaking they should’ve just lit more fires. So stupid. Why prove a point now- shoot to kill. (Because points make for better TV. It was incomprehensibly stupid, but I am glad that Negan lives because without him, this show would be struggling. He is the perfect counterpoint to Rick. Also, Brian is right to be on that train.)
Chris: I think Rick wanted to show that’s is in control now. Plus attracting the walkers could drive the saviors from their home, giving Rick and co. an advantage. As far as bringing a sniper, if they killed Negan in episode 1, what fun would that be? (The lack of sniper thing drove me nuts. I don’t want Negan to die, but if I’m Rick, I’m bringing one. What a terrible beginning to the season that would be!)
Raylene: All Rick seemed to do this was trying to show that he has access to bullets and they didn’t bring one because Rick is insistent on killing Negan himself. (There you go. Rick wants that glory kill. He wants to be the knight in shining armor. He wanted it with The Governor, and he didn’t get it. He did get it with Gareth. In his mind, he needs this to cement himself, or to do what’s right as a former sheriff. It’s in his DNA.)
Eric: It was a GIANT waste of ammo. But it was meant as a show of force towards Negan and his group. They had no intention of killing anyone because they didn’t assault the building. (Isn’t it a tad baffling to want to show force when you could just have taken out 2-4 of those people up on that platform? What scares you more: a group of 20-30 people wasting ammo and shooting windows, or that same group gunning 4 of your most influential members of your group? It’s a weird logical fallacy that I need to stop over thinking.)
Kent: It was simply a “who’s dick is bigger” moment. RIck popped some viagra prior to his trip, maybe had a penis pump in the RV, I don’t know. I hated how this scene went down. I hate to be that guy, but the comic did it so much better. This was absolutely frustrating. At the very least, I was hoping that Negan had snipers. No snipers!! This whole thing annoyed me.
- Are you mad at Father Gabriel for stopping to get Gregory? Can Gregory show his face at the Hilltop ever again?
Briana: I’m not mad at Gabriel bc that’s who he is. He’s the father and the friend to all. He’s selfless and assumes the rest of the world will show the same compassion he does. It’s never ever true for the poor guy but he’s consistent! I’m assuming at the moment no one will know it’s his fault Gabriel didn’t make it out so unfortunately no one has a reason to not have him show his face around.
Bob: No, that is who Gabriel is. I can’t imagine Gregory failing to show up at the Hilltop again. I think Gregory will assume Gabriel dies, which he might. It could end up an interesting scenario. I wonder if the show will “forget” about Gabriel for an end of season reveal. (Midseason finale sounds about right.)
Bitty: Season 8 and I still can’t stand Father Gabriel. He’s a liability. Has been, is now and will be again. Gregory will get killed before he makes it back to Hilltop.
Chris: Not mad at Father Gabriel, it’s in his nature to help. I think he’s still wanting to atone for what he did to his parishioners at his church. Gregory can probably still go back to hilltop. No one will know that he betrayed Gabriel and he is arrogant enough.
Raylene: I’m not mad that’s just who Father is I think he still carries around the guilt of locking his congregation out of the church. So when he hears a cry for help he just can’t leave them behind. Gregory can try to show his face at Hilltop but I believe he’ll get the boot
Eric: Gregory is a coward Father Gabriel should have known that.
Kent: I question how Gabriel’s character has been done. A lot of you are saying that it’s in his nature, but there have been plenty of times that isn’t necessarily true. He’s an incredibly complicated character. He’s got the guilt thing going, but he also tried to get Rick thrown out of Alexandria, he was a sniveling coward. He did eventually man up and decide to stop being a little bitch. Last season, Gabe was one of the best done characters who would do work. I am mad at him. I love Gregory and you all know this, but he didn’t deserve Gabe’s kindness. Gabe is Judith’s official babysitter, so not happy, and I’m going to sit here with my arms crossed and pout.
- Out of every character in the show, who do you feel has the biggest axe to grind with Negan?
Briana: Either Maggie or Daryl. They took Maggie’s remaining family from her and Daryl still blames himself for Glenn plus all the torture stuff they put him through. (Daryl is an interesting choice because he’s gotta deal with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life. So he’s a really good candidate because although he will blame himself, if it wasn’t for the lineup, none of that happens.)
Bob: Maggie. Dwight is absolutely the wrong answer. Dwight chose to go back most likely knowing full well what would occur. He made that choice and that is on him. Maggie’s husband and father of her child was murdered by Negan. That’s plenty of axe.
Bitty: Tough question!! I’d like to say Maggie however my mind goes to Dwight. We haven’t known him long enough but he has a huge axe to to grind with Negan. Dwight has been mentally and physically abused by Negan for all we know, years. Negan abused his wife, raped her in the sense of the deal. Banished him, humiliated him and just keeps him around for a working dog. Dwight has a similar character story now to that of Carol in Season 1. Battered, abused and ready for revenge. (Woah woah woah, let’s not throw around the word rape. A deal’s a deal, even if it’s with a dirty dealer. She chose to be Negan’s wife rather than work. That is on her. The same applies to Dwight. He’s had opportunities, even more so than Sherry, and continues to back the wrong horse, or at least did, and he allowed it. He’s a fucking Lifetime movie. The only axe Dwight should grind is with Sherry and himself.)
Raylene: I would say Rick he has lost many of his people, his supplies, his dignity(but not his hair) (Ernie Tetrault approves this message.)
Eric: It’s a toss up between Rick and Maggie. Maggie because of the death of Glenn. Rick because of the mental trauma Negan put him through when he almost made him cut Carl’s hand off.
Kent: I must admit, I didn’t anticipate or consider anybody choosing Maggie, and I am baffled by all of you. I expected some Rick and Dwight, maybe a Daryl, but no Maggie. Obviously, I choose Carl. Carl has been used as this pawn, or bargaining chip, in this war in some ways. Negan wanted his hand cut, then he was a second away from bashing in his skull. Negan has humiliated his father at times. I’d also say that Ezekiel got no love despite him basically taking on the role of Benjamin’s father. Where’s his love?
- Why were Carol and Tara hiding from the walkers early in the episode on the overpass?
Briana: So they wouldn’t distract them and set them off course and then also get themselves eaten.
Bob: They didn’t want to walkers to stop walking.
Bitty: They were timing the herd. Also to look at the flowers.
Chris: They didn’t want to create a distraction.
Raylene: Perhaps they didn’t want them to stop or turn back around I really don’t know
Eric: They were timing how long it took the walkers to move as a group.
Kent: It still doesn’t make sense to me. I get the timing aspect, but hiding from them when they can’t just magically get up there, it just struck me as weird. The walkers are more likely to sense them via scent or sound, not sight.
- Did you enjoy old man Rick’s look? Save the spoilers for a different blog, please.
Briana: Ew no! Haha! That hair cut and beard were not doing it for me! Being old doesn’t mean you automatically have to have a flat top and curled under beard lol! (The flat top was an interesting…..and borderline awful choice, but comedic too.)
Bob: I guess it was interesting. His face looked the same, Michonne had no changes… (Black don’t crack, so no surprise there.)
Bitty: I hated how his beard got so fluffy. Poor choice. (No love for fluffy beards? Anybody who has a fluffy beard and would like to give Bitty your feedback, please send your comments to Kent@9deuce.com and I will deliver them to her. You have a voice, use it and let her know that fluffy beard shaming is not acceptable.)
Raylene: I didn’t like the short hair
Kent: Like Eric, I dig it. It’s a different look. Quite frankly, I wish it was more of a buzz cut though. I feel it would have looked more bad ass and a shout out to Shane.
- Did Carl do the right thing in leaving the cans of food or should he have kept them for himself or his group?
Briana: I think it was the right thing. They didn’t get where they are by being Negan’s group. They got here by being the people who brought in new people and helped others. That’s who they should stay. (Yeah, you said it better than I did, so well done.)
Bob: Yup, like Gabriel saving Gregory, this is who Carl is. His group will be fine, let’s not forget all those MREs they found. (Let’s never forget the MRE’s or the DRE’s.)
Bitty: Leaving the cans was different for Carl’s character. I think at the beginning of season 7 he would’ve shot on site and said eff it and never gone back. Now he has a sense of responsibility and leadership. He has almost a hopeful sense about him. (Carl is one of my favorites because I love his character’s arc more than just about anybody else’s, aside from Carol.)
Chris: Yeah he did the right thing. He hasn’t lost his humanity. (Has Rick lost his humanity do you think?)
Raylene: Yeah I think he did the right thing now that they are not giving half the stuff to Negan. (Not losing half of their stuff really does help.)
Eric: Yeah I guess, what’s a few cans of food when food is scarce (Yeah, I think at this point, Alexandria has some to spare in the short term, and better to make an ally than an enemy.)
Kent: I liked the gesture. Way back in season 4 I think (maybe late 3) when Carl was protecting Herschel and shot that one kid from Woodbury, and that’s who Carl was then. Carl has now had a chance to see various types of leaders and he is starting to come into his own. Rick has to be trigger happy in his mind because he doesn’t want to get fooled again. Carl knows the food situation and he knows at some point, there has to be something more, some kindness or whatever or what’s the point for him and Judith.
- Were you disappointed at the lack of Scavengers (Jadis’ group) considering how last season left things?
Briana: Nah. They served a purpose and that purpose is over as far as I’m concerned. No sleep lost over them. (The group debuted in episode #92, so I have to love them.)
Bob: No, I don’t mind the human planet of the apes characters from being missing from anything! (This is all I have)
Bitty: I didn’t miss the Scavengers. However I would’ve liked to see the Oceanside women come out to defend the honor of their lost men and boys. (I feel that you intentionally brought up Oceanside just to get a rise out of me. Consider me risen. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Aroused? No, that’s not it either. Hmmm, job well done.)
Chris: I wasn’t disappointed. I think there will be a few episode arc where Rick and co. go after them. It will be a good way to split the season up a little. (They gotta split things up because hardly anybody got any shine in this episode really.)
Raylene: I think we will see them soon they are still working with Negan I imagine
Eric: it’s a big world. maybe they will show up again. (They will be back. I need more Pollyanna on my screen. Also, she’s in a film on NetFlix called The Blood Lands. I don’t recommend it. Very disappointed.)
Kent: Apparently I liked this group more than others. Yeah, I was pissed because I was hoping that they would surround Rick’s group or be set up as snipers so Negan could walk out as care free. I felt like they were the missing element to that entire showdown.
- Had you ever heard Weird Al’s “Another One Rides The Bus” prior to this episode?
Briana: Probably but if so it was when I was a little kid so I don’t remember.
Chris: Yep. Weird Al 4 life!
Eric: yes. Weird Al is the best.
Kent: Well I am happy to see that most of you have at the very least. If you are having a bad day, just put on some Weird Al and it makes things slightly better.
- For episode #100, did this feel right, or did you expect something bigger or a big death of some sort?
Briana: I didn’t even realize it was episode 100 so yes it should have been bigger! (Right? It didn’t feel like a big event to me.)
Bob: I was definitely expecting bigger and better. This would be an easy episode to simply stop watching the show. Nothing is really compelling. (Nothing really compelling. For a season opener and #100, it was somewhat of a dud. Not a bad episode, but compared to other season openers, say 2, 3, 5, and 7, this was bland.)
Bitty: I liked all the Easter Eggs to previous episodes. I liked the speed and seeing all of the core cast in action. I liked the shielded cars. I liked seeing the different ways of killing the guards at the outposts. Everyone was involved in someway. And I loved…. “THE HILLTOP STANDS WITH MAGGIE!!!” (Okay, in all fairness, Carol seeing the flower made me happy. I miss Lizzie a lot. That girl was awesome.)
Chris: I guess I’m in the minority but I loved it. It seems like everyone expects something “big” in every episode. The show has never really been like that. All out war has started, and Gabriel is in big trouble. Can’t wait to see what happens next week. (Also loved all the scenes that payed homage to season 1.) (The episode for me is an average TWD episode, it wasn’t bad at all, minus the ammunition thing, but the show has spoiled us with great premieres, and this didn’t have that same vibe, at least for me.)
Raylene: I felt it was lackluster I was expecting a few major deaths or plot twists (M Night Sham is disappointed at the lack of tweets.)
Eric: Episode did move slower than I would have liked. But you can’t blow your wad right out of the box. Where are they gonna go if they kill Negan in the first episode. (Negan isn’t going to die, same as Rick or Carl aren’t going to die. It hurts the product in some capacity that certain characters are put in situations that we know they will overcome. The show is at it’s best when expendable characters are put in bad situations.)
Kent: Season 2 premiere gave us the highway herd, Sophia going missing, and Otis shooting Carl. Season 3 premier gave us that amazing first scene where you see how the group has become a great machine in how they scavenge and find the prison. Season 5 premiere gave us the escape from Terminus and Carol cementing herself as the baddest lady on TV. Season 7 premiere was the infamous lineup. This premiere doesn’t top any of those, so yeah, i was a little let down. Then you add the fact that it was #100 and, well you expect more. To take it one step further, they had this set up in the comics and it results in 2 deaths, so knowing that put a damper on this for me.
Bitty: I would like the action to continue. I would like to see Negan on the ground at Maggie’s feet and I’d like to see Rosita die.
Raylene: I am hoping to see the Whispers possibly the season finale
Eric: I am interested to see where this season goes. The story line of the kingdom and Rick. Hopefully it doesn’t suck.
Kent: One episode down, yay! If you want to answer any questions that I posed, leave a comment on this blog. I’d love to actually get comments on one of these blogs someday. That would be amazing.
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