When a TV drama has been around as long as The Walking Dead, quite often the show’s creators will play around with the format.
This experimentation can result in anything from a bottle episode to some form of unexpected flashback that bends the rules of a well-established universe. And for The Walking Dead, AMC’s leading creators have toyed around with flash-forwards in the ongoing eighth season – flash-forwards that largely revolve around Andrew Lincoln’s wounded leader, Rick Grimes.
As you’ll no doubt remember, our hero was seen uttering the line, “my mercy prevailed over my wrath,” in a scene lifted from a future episode of TWD. And though he was understandably cagey, Lincoln recently assured fans that The Walking Dead season 8 will explain these sporadic moments sooner rather than later.
[Carl] is the linchpin. It goes back to the flash-forward where my mercy prevails over my wrath. There is a balancing of the scales in Rick’s life that happens in the back eight episodes. A lot of it is because of what is said in episode 9, by his son.
The online fascination with Rick’s “mercy” quote began after The Walking Dead‘s season 8 premiere…four months ago. So it’s fair to say that the answers are long overdue.
Closer to home, we know February’s mid-season episode acts as one big goodbye to Carl Grimes, and Andrew Lincoln has nothing but praise for his outgoing co-star, Chandler Riggs:
The beautiful thing is it’s what we rarely do in our show — we actually give the opportunity for a goodbye. It was unusual in that regard. Usually, things happen and people are ripped from you in this world that we inhabit. Thankfully, there was some sense of catharsis on this one, because we got to leave it all out on the screen. I thought Chandler did a remarkable job, as he always has done, but particularly in this episode.
Season 8 of The Walking Dead returns to our screens on February 25th, and showrunner Scott M. Gimple believes viewers will have a chance to “make peace” with Carl’s impending death. A ninth season is already on the cards, too, though Gimple plans to hand over the keys to Angela Kang.