Subtlety and The Walking Dead aren’t often bedfellows. Exhibit A: these brand new posters for the second half of season 8, one of which references Rick Grimes’ promise to kill Negan that he made the day the pair met. This was way back at the end of season 6, which was nearly two years ago. The one poster appears to be hinting that Rick should shit or get off the pot in regards to the whole Negan thing, while the other flips the table, showing Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s big bad with the message “Kill Rick” on it.
Right now, Grimes’ aforementioned promise seems to be in doubt. The latest trailer sees Carl attempting to convince Rick that if he kills Negan he’ll merely be perpetuating the cycle of brutality and viciousness that’s gradually consuming the world and directly causing people like Negan to flourish. It’s a decent argument, though knowing the show, we should expect someone to be smashed to bits, decapitated, torn apart or beaten to death.
Other reveals in the recent trailer were that Enid survived the events of the midseason finale and that Eugene has continued to aid the Saviors by crafting bullets for their army – both of which are indicators that the writers are hoping to stick relatively close to Robert Kirkman’s original comics for the foreseeable future.
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But all that’s a sideshow to the Rick/Negan collision that we’ve been gradually building to for a long time. Andrew Lincoln recently gave us some hints of what his character’s going to go through over the next few months, too, explaining that “All of the back eight is this terrible death, this emotion is unending throughout the whole cast and, I think, it’s palpable. The cost of this battle is much more full because of what happened.”
All I can say is that the show had better deliver the goods. While still being top-flight television, the first half of season 8 saw The Walking Dead‘s ratings falling to a six-year low. AMC will be eager to reverse that trend, so they’ll no doubt be deploying every trick in their arsenal to win back that viewers they’ve lost, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what they’ve got planned for us.