Thoughts From The Walking Dead Episode "Mercy"

Synopsis: After joining forces with the Kingdom and the Hilltop, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) leads an attack on Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors while dreaming about what the world will be like in the future. The episode first aired October 22, 2017.

My Thoughts:

1. This episode made me wonder if maybe the writers are going to phase out and possibly kill off Rick at some point this season. Part of this is his obvious desire for a peaceful life (something that is just not going to happen, at least until they decide to end the series). But, he also made it clear he wants to pass the leadership torch to Maggie (Lauren Cohen).

2. To tell you the truth, if that is the case, I think it's time. Rick, in my opinion at least, became boring a few seasons ago. Unless the writers do something to give him some new life (maybe having him betray his friends and join Negan?) I would much rather see the series focus on someone else. In fact, I would love to see Carl (Chandler Riggs) take on a larger role, perhaps taking over as leader following his father's death with Rick showing up in flashbacks giving him advice.

3. Speaking of Rick, he was exposed to walker blood some time ago. When are we going to see the end result of that?

4. Why didn't Rick and his group just shoot Negan when he walked out to confront them? You have dozens of people with weapons and he was only a few feet away. Yet, instead of killing him on the spot, which would either end the war quickly or, at minimum, seriously weaken the Saviors, they let him talk for what seemed like an eternity then didn't finish the job.

5. In fact, I'm not really sure what the point of that attack was. They confronted Negan, let him escape unharmed and wasted a bunch of bullets shooting up the windows of his headquarters.  Yes, they brought a herd of walkers with them. But, that's not really the same as following through, capturing or killing everyone inside and taking their weapons as spoils of war. In the process, they let Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) get captured. And, let's face it, even though he has supposedly reformed, I'm not convinced he won't sell out Rick and his group the second he is given a chance to.

6. Also, if you're going to attack the big boss head-on like that, shouldn't you have your most seasoned fighters with you? I can understand leaving Michonne (Danai Gurira) behind to guard Alexandria. But why were Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James) all put on walker detail? Anybody could have led that herd and I find it hard to believe, had they been with Rick, Negan would have still gotten away.

Final Opinion: It was an entertaining episode. However, the season premieres usually are so I'm still waiting to see if this season can build from that or, as has been the case with other season, will fall flat after a couple episodes.

My Grade: B


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