4 Questions Walking Dead Fans Want Answered in Season 8

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Season 7 of The Walking Dead was an emotional roller coaster ride for the fans and actors alike. After the premiere episode entitled “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” some fans were so angered by the episode’s graphic violence that they abandoned the show entirely, and for those who stuck around, the season remained consistently grim for the series’ heroes. With the premiere of season 8 on the horizon, which will air on October 22nd at 9 pm ET on AMC, fans of the hit TV show are hoping for more triumphs for the Alexandrians as well as some answers to the questions that were left open-ended at the completion of season 7.

1. What happened to Heath?

Image via collider.com

In Abraham’s immortal words, “Loose ends make my ass itch,” and nothing gave Walking Dead fans more of a wedgie than the disappearance of Heath. Ever since Tara’s stand-alone episode entitled “Swear” where she met the very hospitable women of Oceanside, it was never addressed what happened to Heath (Corey Hawkins), who completely vanished after he and Tara (Alanna Masterson)  were attacked by those sand walkers. This event never occurred in the comics, making it a mystery to fans both of the television series and the comics.

It’s very likely, given the fact that Heath was griping about their situation beforehand, that Heath took off, abandoning his fellow Alexandrians. Although, it is more likely that some other group stole the RV and Heath along with it, which would explain the card that Tara finds reading “PPP.” According to the showrunner Scott Gimple, while Heath’s journey has not been concluded on the show, fans won’t find out what happened to him within Season 8, so it seems we’ll have to wait a full year to discover one of season seven’s major loose ends.

2. Is Eugene really Team Negan? 

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I still can’t wrap my head around the enigma that is Eugene (Josh McDermitt). He went from weenie to meanie over night, and it’s still a mystery whether or not Eugene is playing Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) like a fiddle, as he did with Abraham in the past, or if he’s truly enjoying his newfound power and betraying all of his former friends.

In the past, we’ve seen Eugene fabricate lies as a survival technique. Eugene lied to Abraham and Rosita for a long time and convinced them he was a scientist that could find the cure to walker-ism so they’d provide him with safe passage to Washington, D.C. Lying and manipulating others into thinking he’s worth more than he actually is seems to be Eugene’s specialty. So is Eugene doing the same here with Negan? Is he simply proving he’s a valuable ally by making himself appear smarter than he is in order to survive being Negan’s captive or is he genuinely proud of being one of Negan’s goons since he’s finally been given a leadership role? As someone who used to love the eccentric, mullet-wearing weirdo that is Eugene, it’d be quite upsetting to think that Eugene could admire someone like Negan, who just got done bludgeoning his last protector to death with a barbed-wire bat.

In the comics, Eugene is portrayed as a victim, being taken hostage during the war between the Saviors and Alexandrians. In the comics, Eugene even escapes from the Sanctuary with the help of Dr. Carson, the original Dr. Carson who recently died in season seven; since that story line doesn’t appear to be an option, it’s possible the TV show no longer wishes to paint Eugene as a victim that needs saving. It’s curious though if Eugene will appear so strong once he is out of Negan’s favor, a problem which is already on the horizon since Negan has become more suspicious of Eugene ever since Sasha’s death.

3. Which side is Dwight really on?

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In the episode “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life,” Dwight (Austin Amelio), one of Negan’s devout followers, confessed to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the Alexandrians that he no longer wants to be Team Negan, and from what we’ve seen so far, he seems pretty genuine. He followed through on his promise to stall Negan and his group by knocking down some of the trees on the road to Alexandria, and now that his former wife, Sherry (Christine Evangelista), has left the Sanctuary, Dwight really has no reason to keep his allegiance to Negan.

However, Dwight has always been a shady character. The possibility that Dwight pretended to be Negan’s right-hand-man to keep Sherry safe falls short when we see how vengefully he pursues the tasks Negan gives him, such as when he shish-kebabed Denise, hunted down Gordon, and tortured Daryl with that horrendous pop song. For someone who has every reason to hate Negan, Dwight sure is doing his bidding quite passionately.

While this could be because he needs to seem convincing in order to keep himself and Sherry safe, there’s one detail that paints Dwight as very suspicious. How is possible that someone inside Negan’s inner circle didn’t even know about the Savior’s alliance with the Scavengers? As Negan’s confidant, he would have known about the hipster, garbage people’s betrayal, and could have warned Rick ahead of time. Even if Dwight is genuinely on Rick’s side, it makes you wonder how beneficial his fealty will be if Negan doesn’t trust him enough to share vital information with him.

4. Why is Rick an old man in the trailer? 

Image via digitalspy.com

After watching the season 8 trailer, which was released back in July at the San Diego Comic Con’s Walking Dead panel, fans were left scratching their heads once the last image was displayed on the screen: a hazy Rick waking up in what almost appears to be a hospital bed with a bushy grey beard as if he is now an old man. After the trailer was released, fans sparked all sorts of theories about the meaning of the clip, such as Rick was simply imagining the future that he wants, as we recently saw Madison do in Fear the Walking Dead, to the even more ridiculous idea that Rick is actually waking up from his coma and the zombie apocalypse was “all a dream.” The best theory, as well as the one that makes the most sense, comes directly from the comics.

In Robert Kirkman’s original comics, by the end of the war with the Saviors, the comic jumps forward a few years. This would explain why Rick looks like an old man, since he’s aged by two years and is still recovering from whatever fresh hell Negan’s put him through. The image of a cane sitting next to Rick’s bed also provides proof that this theory may be correct, since Negan breaks Rick’s leg in the comics. The good news is fans won’t have to wait a full year to find the answer because Robert Kirkman told reporters after an AMC panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour that the old man Rick clip will be answered during the season premiere of season 8.

Sources:
http://ew.com/tv/2017/07/29/the-walking-dead-ep-teases-season-premiere-will-explain-old-rick-scene/
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/the-walking-dead/news/a825188/the-walking-dead-season-8-spoilers-comics-what-next/

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