“The Walking Dead” season 8 aired episode entitled “Mercy” aired last Sunday. Fans of the show met the premiere with mixed reactions. While some were satisfied with the new season’s opening salvo, some became bored with the lengthy speeches and the lack of action in Rick’s first attack against the Saviors.

‘Mercy’ recap

In “The Walking Dead” season 8 opener, Rick, Ezekiel, and Maggie rallied the fighters from Alexandria, the Kingdom and the Hilltop Colony to attack Negan’s base. With help from Dwight, Rick and his crew eliminated the lookouts made their way to the Savior’s stronghold.

During their first faceoff for the season, Rick issued an ultimatum to Negan’s lieutenants to surrender. Unfortunately, none of Negan’s men took the offer. It was later revealed that Gregory actually made his way to Negan to pledge his allegiance in behalf of the Hilltop Colony. However, his statement of support seemed to backfire since none of his people recognized his authority.

Fortunately, by the end of Rick’s attack, his group was able to do damage to the Saviors’ base as Daryl, Carol, Tara and Morgan led the horde of walkers to their location. It was a win for Team Freedom but one of their members was left in peril of Negan’s bat Lucy.

Lingering questions

Did Father Gabriel die?

By the end of the episode, Father Gabriel was shown trapped inside the trailer with Negan.

This seemed to signal that the villain was getting ready to unleash Lucy on the priest like he did with Abraham and Glenn. However, fans should not be too quick to dismiss the priest since at the end of the episode, he was holding a gun compared to Negan’s baseball bat.

Will Maggie be the next leader?

Is Rick getting ready to pass on the leadership role to Maggie?

"The Walking Dead" made reference to Maggie’s skills as an emerging leader several times during the episode. She made a speech on behalf of the Hilltop Colony. Jesus also declared that the Hilltop people stand with Maggie. Before their face off with Negan, Rick even said that he was getting ready to follow Maggie after everything was settled.

Will Rick die?

With Rick getting ready to take the back seat after the all-out war, could this be an indication that the show is about to retire its main character? "The Walking Dead" producers have teased major character deaths this season leading many fans to conclude that no one is safe, even Rick Grimes.

Was Old Man Rick a dream?

Some fans were confused by dream sequences of Rick as an old man that was incorporated into "The Walking Dead" season 8 premiere. Comic book fans know that at the end of the all-out war arc, Rick will injure his leg and rebuild the three communities. However, with the rate of death and violence that the show has served up in previous seasons, some fans are unsure if Old Man Rick was a dream or a fast forward into the end of the eighth season, reported Forbes.