While the main thrust of this week’s action on The Walking Dead was the All Out War, there was an otherwise relatively benign scene that carries a lot of meaning for the series beneath the surface, both past and potentially future.
The scene takes place very early in the episode and sees Carl carrying a gasoline can among some abandoned cars and through a gas station. The reason it is significant is because it mirrors Rick’s very first scene in The Walking Dead pilot episode, as can be seen below:
The scene is not just a cool callback to the series’ first episode; it also introduces an unnamed character who has already made a contribution to the series.
That character, played by Avi Nash, is believed to be Siddiq from the comic books. In that scene, Siddiq — presumably speaking to Carl — pleads for help, adding “I’ve been through things too, my mom, she also said that may my mercy prevail over my wrath.” That line is not only from the Koran, but it is repeated later in the episode by Rick an an unknown future timeline, sometime later during the All Out War (my assumption is that it comes before Rick confronts Negan for the final time during the war). In that scene, Rick repeats the line Carl heard Siddiq say, “May my mercy prevail over my wrath.” The title of the episode, “Mercy,” also seems to come from that line.
What does it mean in this context? I’m not positive, but I would guess that Rick’s wish for his mercy to prevail over his wrath is The Walking Dead laying the groundwork for allowing Negan to survive at the end of the All Out War. That means that even once the War is over, Negan may continue to be a presence on the series well into future seasons. Meanwhile. comic readers may also recall the significance of Siddiq to Rosita later on in the series.