— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) October 20, 2017
AMC has released the first 3 minutes of The Walking Dead's season 8 premiere online. The clip - included above - is essentially the cold open sequence for Sunday's episode, entitled 'Mercy.' Season 8 is arguably TWD's most anticipated to date, as the season is set to adapt the TWD comic book's famous All-Out War story arc. Much of season 7 served as the setup for the coming battle, with Rick first trying to live within Negan's terrifying societal structure, then subsequently reaching the conclusion that ending Negan's reign is the only path forward.
Season 7 drew controversy for the brutal ways in which some characters were killed off, and based on all available information so far, season 8 isn't planning to take it any easier on the emotions of TWD fans. No war is without casualties, especially when the leader of one side is a psychopath that couldn't care less if people die. Negan is the worst kind of opponent in a war like this, as there's no imaginable scenario in which he surrenders for the sake of those fighting on his behalf. The only way Negan will stop fighting is if Rick puts a bullet in his brain, a deed that the former cop would definitely relish doing at this point.
While the above clip doesn't give much away plot-wise, it does allow fans to get an early look at Rick and company's preparations for their impending confrontation with Negan and his Saviors. The centerpiece of the clip is an inspirational speech from Rick to his soldiers, laying out why reasonable people like them deserve the right to grow and prosper within this apocalyptic world, and why people like Negan deserve to be taken out of the equation. It's not the first big speech Rick has given, and it presumably won't be the last. Still, one can't say the logic isn't sound.
The Walking Dead franchise as a whole has been drawing some extra attention as of late, thanks to the surprise NYCC announcement that TWD will soon crossover with its spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead. This was a possibility that those involved with both shows had always downplayed, but many fans were ecstatic to learn that it would be happening all the same. The central character of the crossover looks likely to be Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), based on clues given in the season 3 finale of Fear.
This Sunday night, the all-out war begins. Who will survive, and what will be left of them? Tune in to find out. One can bet millions of others will be tuning in at the same time.
The Walking Dead season 8 premieres Sunday, October 22 on AMC.