It’s common TV practice for a series to pat itself on the pack if it manages to reach 100 episodes on the air. The very special installment tends to be full of celebratory nods and references to what’s gone before while also promising more great stuff to come in future. On that note, fans will be pleased to know that The Walking Dead will not be bucking this trend when it comes its its eighth season opener.
While speaking with ComicBook.com, showrunner Scott Gimple was asked whether the premiere would allude to previous episodes. Thankfully, he assured us that there would be lots of nostalgia on display in the 100th episode and also promised that this reverence to the past will continue throughout season 8.
“That’s just a straight yes. Even in the whole season. In a lot of ways this whole season pays, in some moments, very, very, exactly what you said: Direct references to the past stories.”
“The history of the show,” as Gimple puts it, will be celebrated in many different ways, from the visuals to the character’s journeys.
“Some visuals that are carbon copies of earlier visuals, and it very much just has to do about the cumulative nature of the story. I’ll just say weighing upon each character, or in some ways you see how it’s made them who they are. Or in other ways, how they might be fighting that history. But the history of the show in general, yeah, very much in the first episode, and even the whole season.”
The 100th episode will be directed by The Walking Dead stalwart Greg Nicotero, who supported Gimple’s claims that longterm fans will have much to enjoy in the new run.
“There’s going to be some moments that people who have watched the show from the beginning will see and be like, ‘Oh, okay. I see what they’re doing here.’ By paying tribute to specific moments over the last seven years. But, you know, we’re always cautious about that because you don’t want to take people out of it. There are probably two or three sequences in the first episode that I was particularly excited about doing, that people will instantly recognize it. That’s an instance when it’s okay that they recognize exactly where it’s from because we want them to remember that particular moment.”
Nicotero then went on to warn viewers to keep their attention on the screen at all times as many of the easter eggs will be tough to spot.
“Some of them might be a little more obvious and some of them might be super subtle. You’ll see.”
Going by these comments, the season 8 premiere will be totally different from the brutally bleak beginning of season 7. With an army amassing to take on Negan and his Saviors, things are looking up for Rick and company. Apparently, they’ll even find time to take a wander down memory lane.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on October 22nd.
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