For all our complaints about how things wrapped up the past couple of years, The Walking Dead knows how to kick off a season. For the eighth year in a row, the opening episode was full of energy, drama and lots and lots of zombies.
"Mercy" is nowhere near the best episode The Walking Dead has ever aired, but it's an effective season premiere that manages to add some energy into the aging series and at least partially hits the reset button.
After hemming and hawing and looking tortured for what felt like decades, Rick has decided to once again be a man of action, and "Mercy" has him taking the fight directly to the Saviors, with explosive and successful results.
It seems Scott Gimple and company have heard fans' complaints... and are bringing things back to basics. Rick's a badass again; the action is moving quickly; and the latest episode even featured a few blink-and-you'll-miss-them moments of humor.