[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers from the Season 8 premiere of “The Walking Dead.” Proceed at your own discretion.]
Advantage: Rick Grimes. As marketed for months, the “all-out war” between Rick (Andrew Lincoln
) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan
) finally began in the Season 8 premiere of “The Walking Dead
,” and it does appear like the Alexandria/Hilltop/Kingdom alliance has an early lead.
At the end of Episode 1, “Mercy
” (which also doubles as the series’ landmark 100th installment), Negan looks to be in a tough spot — stuck in a shipping container, with Gabriel (Seth Gilliam
), surrounded by walkers. But the battle with the Saviors has just started, and it’s sure to get more brutal before it’s done.
Nonetheless, there’s a bit of hope in “Mercy
,” thanks to mysterious flash-forwards that show a dream-like future in Alexandria, where life is peaceful. Rick, sporting his own David Letterman
-esque longbeard, wakes up to Michonne, Carl and a slightly older Judith, bouncing to “Weird Al
” Yankovic’s “Another One Rides the Bus.