As Season 8 of AMC's The Walking Dead kicked off a whole new chapter with its "All Out War" storyline, did you spot a cameo that went way back to the show's very first episode in 2010? That's right, director Greg Nicotero brought back "Summer," the first zombie to grace the world of The Walking Dead.
Heading back to Season 1 and a post-coma Rick Grimes heading out into the zombie apocalypse, fans might remember that the sheriff's first kill of the show was Summer the teddybear zombie. With a bullet to the skull, the death of Summer set the tone for the rest of the series as The Walking Dead set the bar high for a violent romp that wasn't afraid to put anyone down - children included. However, having actress Addy Miller return for "Episode 100," Nicotero had a faithful inclusion for the season premiere.
As a blonde girl lumbered from the background in "Mercy," Twitter soon spotted that the walker may have looked a little familiar from TWD's early days:
— Ashlyn Faye (@katelerr) October 23, 2017
At first, it appeared that the walker may have just been a coincidence or Easter egg for those who had stuck with the show, but after doing some digging, Miller herself confirmed the cameo over on her Instagram:
Speaking to Huffington Post, Miller then revealed that her return was a top-secret affair that even leading star Andrew Lincoln wasn't allowed to know about:
“They had to film me separately from Andrew because he’s known to spill some spoilers, so they had me in hiding the whole time so the crew couldn’t even know...I introduced myself to these brand new crew members like, ‘Hi, I’m Lily.' The original people who’ve been there since Season 1, they obviously knew it was me, but we were all like, ‘Shhh! Keep it a secret!’ So I had to be in hiding the whole time.”
Given that "Episode 100" was directed by SFX legend Nicotero, longterm fans had always expected some sort of special zombie tribute. From the likes of Creepshow to Day of the Dead, Nicotero's episodes are often packed with homages to the horror films that have influenced him over the years. As a chance to put his makeup skills to the test, why wouldn't he bring back the very first walker he created for AMC's ratings juggernaut.
Elsewhere, the centenary episode had several other callbacks to days gone by, including Chandler Riggs' Carl doing a direct mirror of a scene from Season 1, that infamous orange backpack, and a nod to Carol's "look at the flowers" line. All of this was packed in among flying bullets and an enraged Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, meaning that it looks like The Walking Dead is back on form after a shaky Season 7. With more death, destruction, and decomposing zombies promised over the next run of episodes, don't expect the heart-pounding action to stop anytime soon. As for the return of Miller, it just goes to show that even a bullet to the head can't put some people down!