All Out War has officially taken over The Walking Dead. The hit AMC series finally returned for season 8 this weekend and the big battle between Rick and Negan is underway. The Walking Dead season 8 premiere left fans with a lot of questions, but there's one particular question that seems to really be eating away at people: Why didn't Rick shoot Negan when he had the chance? Turns out, there's a pretty logical reason for it.
As The Walking Dead enters its eighth season, fans who have hung in there expect a certain level of explanation for things that don't seem to make sense. In this case, The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple has been asked to address why Rick didn't shoot Negan in the latest episode, even though he had every opportunity. Here's what he had to say about it.
"What shouldn't be glossed over is Rick is offering surrender to everyone else. He wants them to, more or less, be on his side after that. If he just shot Negan there, that would have been a shortcut to the war. He was making a play to not be in full violence with these people because you see what happens after that... If in fact Negan's other Lieutenants had given up, it would have been over."
So there you have it. In the latest episode of The Walking Dead, Rick absolutely could have shot Negan during the exchange they had prior to the gunfire and ended the war before it even began. Or so it would seem. But as Scott Gimple points out, that wouldn't have been the result. The "good guys" busted down the gate to the Saviors' stronghold and managed to get Negan and his Lieutenants out in the open. Rick then offered terms of surrender. Negan said no. Shots fired. Though, many fans felt that Rick had every opportunity to pull the trigger during the exchange.
Within the framework of a show about zombies taking over the world, Scott Gimple's reasoning pretty logical. Had Rick actually shot Negan when he had the chance, one of the other Lieutenants under him would have just taken over. So war would still befall everyone on The Walking Dead either way. Just without Negan. Also, in this particular scenario, since Rick offered peace, it makes his group seem more sympathetic. Even though the result was a storm of bullets anyway.
Also, this is a show and, let's be honest. If Rick had killed Negan in that way, it wouldn't have been all that satisfying. Fans deserve a bigger moment. There's a lot left for Rick and the gang on The Walking Dead Season 8, so Jeffrey Dean Morgan's days as Negan may still be numbered. But Scott Gimple's comments to The Hollywood Reporter do, to a certain degree, justify the logic of not having that moment happen just yet. For now, Rick appears to have the upper hand.