With the coming of fall, “The Walking Dead” has returned to Sunday nights and with it the Great War against Negan and the so-called Saviors. We had finished the previous season with the usually cocky wielding of Lucille being sent packing from Alexandria thanks to the timely intervention of the Kingdom and the Hilltop, spearheaded at King Ezekiel’s attack tiger. In the first episode of the new season, the alliance of Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom take the fight to Negan.

What is this business with the old Rick?

Some of the scenes appeared to be a fast forward with an older Rick, his daughter now old enough to walk and talk, and everyone seemingly living a quiet, peaceful life.

Is this the real future of Rick and company after Negan and his army of Saviors are brought low? Or is the scenario something that is in Rick’s head about what the world should be like once human parasites like the bat-wielding braggart is on the ash heap of history?

Daryl, as usual, is awesome

We see once again why our intrepid heroes are very lucky that Daryl and his motorcycle are still among the living. The one man army is a crucial part of the plan to send a zombie horde smack into the Savior compound, setting off a series of explosives to keep the walkers moving. Daryl makes the operation seem natural.

Rick makes a crucial mistake

The tactics being employed in the attack on the saviors seem sound. The idea was to send a picked force to put the compound under fire as a distraction until the zombie horde showed up.

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However, at a crucial point, Negan and his court show up in full view of our intrepid heroes. The savior leader begins his shtick of bluster and bravado, and Rick does not take the opportunity to shoot him.

Think of it. Rick has made it clear that singular goal to end Negan. However, when he had the chance, he hesitated and instead put up with his mouth. I would have put a bullet in his brain and added, “You talk too much.” The resulting chaos would have been perfect for the arrival of the zombie horde. The reason Negan was spared was that it is necessary for the plot. Killing off the big bad guy so soon is so not done.

Father Gabriel is the most unfortunate person in the zombie apocalypse

Finally, we come to the case of Father Gabriel, whose act of Christian charity in saving the life of an enemy is rewarded by having him trapped, surrounded by zombies, with no company but Negan himself. Bad going to worse does not even begin to describe it.