The Walking Dead season 8 began last night and brought with it a brand new storytelling device for the hit AMC show: the flash-forward. During the episode, titled “Mercy,” the narrative jumped a few years into the future and gave us a glimpse at what awaits Rick and his community once they make it out the other end of their war with the Saviors. Of course, there’s one series that’s most famous for using flash-forwards before TWD and that’s ABC’s Lost.
That’s not where the connection between the two shows ends, either. To pay homage to the desert island drama, a very subtle Lost easter egg was inserted into yesterday’s episode. Besides Old Man Rick’s bed was a clock bearing the time “8:23.” That should mean something to Lost fans, as the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 cropped up many times over the course of the series.
ComicBook.com caught up with TWD producer Greg Nicotero last night and asked if the nod was deliberate, and surprisingly, he said that it was “completely unintentional” on his part.
“You know, what’s funny is that was completely unintentional. I know Scott [Gimple, writer]’s a big Lost fan, but I shot that shot, because of course, I shot the episode. And I hate to admit it, I’ve never seen LOST.”
He went on to say though that he loves The Walking Dead fans for studying the episodes so much that they’re able to notice something like this.
“That’s exactly what I love. Maybe I shouldn’t have answered that, and said, ‘Yeah, it could be a reference to LOST.’ I don’t think there was any reference that I’m aware of at the time, unless Scott gave somebody a note and said, ‘Make sure it says 8:23 on the clock.’ It could’ve been something that he put in there so that when I shot it, the props people made sure that it was set at 8:23.”
It turns out that, though he couldn’t remember it, Nicotero is right about Scott Gimple having a hand in this. The site also reported that the TWD showrunner had confirmed to them that he had specified the clock time in his script. So, it looks like it was a very intentional easter egg to Lost, after all.
The Walking Dead season 8 continues on AMC next Sunday with episode 2, titled “The Damned.”