The season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead introduced an intriguing narrative device: flashforwards depicting an apparent vision of the future which saw Old Man Rick with his children, Carl and Judith, in a happy Alexandria. These scenes were rendered even more perplexing, though, when Carl was revealed to have been bitten by a walker in the midseason finale.
When the show returns, though, it looks like we’ll find out what’s going on with these mysterious flashforwards. That’s because we’ve now been promised that the midseason premiere will closely tie into the opening episode of the season, which was also the commemorative 100th installment of The Walking Dead.
While talking with EW, showrunner Scott Gimple explained that there will be a “deep relationship” between the two episodes.
“Though it’s not the end of the overall story, in many ways its relationship to [Episode 8×01] is pretty important in terms of how it does end certain things and reveal certain things. There is a deep relationship between the two episodes.”
There’s another element of the episode worth mentioning that may also be elaborated on in the midseason premiere. If you recall, another strange sequence saw Rick, wracked with emotion, saying the words “My mercy prevailed over my wrath.” The phrase also cropped up later on as said by Siddiq which, interestingly, was heard by Carl.
So, how could the mysteries of the premiere be explained? Well, clearly, the scenes with Carl in the future aren’t real. Similar to those visions of a perfect world where Glenn, Abraham and Sasha were alive in the season 7 finale, the Old Man Rick sequences were just his dream of what could have been if Carl didn’t die. The “mercy” scene, in contrast, will likely occur for real over the course of the episode.
The Walking Dead‘s midseason premiere, which still remains untitled, arrives on AMC on February 25th.