The seventh season finale didn’t leave The Walking Dead fans with a major cliff hanger to contemplate, speculate and complain about for six months as the series did last season when Negan bashed the brains in of a then unknown character. The seventh season did, however, set into motion the All Out War between Rick’s camp and the Negan’s Saviors that will occupy much of, if not all of the eighth season.
After fearing Negan for much of the seventh season, Rick and his crew finally decided to go on the offensive in the finale. Eugene has switched sides. Dwight is playing double agent. Sasha is dead. Daryl is back in Alexandria, where he belongs, and Rick has amassed an army from both The Hilltop community and The Kingdom to take on Negan in the upcoming season. The wild card here may be Jadis and the Junkyard Gang, who sold out Rick and sided with Negan (and Pollyanna McIntosh, who plays Jadis, has been elevated to series regular). Steven Ogg, who plays Simon, and Katelyn Nacon, who plays Enid, have also been elevated to series regulars.
With 19 series regulars, notices for two additional cast members, and even rumors that Maria Bello may join the seres in season eight, the cast has never been as big, even with the losses of Sasha, Spencer, Glenn and Abraham last season, among others. Expect Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman to thin out the ranks in the upcoming season as a war that takes place over the course of 16 episodes is likely to rack up a number of casualties.
It’s a pretty good trailer, too, although there looks to be a lot of standing around and waiting for battles. It looks as though Father Gabriel will be the next Negan hostage, as well. One question, though: What is this?
Is that a dream sequence, or are we going to get a really big time jump this season?
The Walking Dead is set to return on October 22nd, but don’t expect to see much of three major characters in the first few episodes of the season.