On Sunday night The Walking Dead television show hit an important milestone: 100 episodes. Compared to the bloodshed unleashed in The Walking Dead comics when that title hit issue 100, the season 8 premiere was a relatively quiet affair. But the show did mark the occasion by sneaking in a pretty great throwback to the first episode of the massively successful zombie show. An early scene in the episode featuring Carl (Chandler Riggs) was a shot-by-shot recreation of a similar scene with his father Rick (Andrew Lincoln) from the series premiere back in 2010.
Not only that, but the show brought back Addy Miller, the little girl who played the first walker to be killed by Rick. That may not seem like too big of a deal considering how many walkers the show chews through these days. But this was a Rick new to the zombie apocalypse world, and the scene of him shooting a child in the head provided an early signal that the series would pull no punches. It’s one of the show’s most powerful moments, setting the mood for everything that follows.
The whole throwback tribute was kept as secret as possible, which can be pretty hard given how hardcore The Walking Dead fans are at sniffing out show news. The producers even went so far as to shoot Addy’s scenes without Andrew Lincoln because he’s been known to accidentally leak spoilers in the past. Now we get to appreciate the whole sequence, and it’s pretty impressive to watch side by side with the original. We’ll just have to see what The Walking Dead does once they inevitably get to 200 episodes.