Are ‘The Walking Dead’ Old Man Rick scenes real or just a dream?

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Judith talking? Rick with a gray beard? What in the zombie apocalypse is going on here?

The Season 8 premiere of “The Walking Dead” focused heavily on Rick, Maggie and Ezekiel’s plan to take down Negan and the Saviors.

There was a lot of violence, as the All-Out War began. But it’s the calmer scenes from Sunday’s episode, titled “Mercy,” that certainly has people talking.

Expanding on the “Old Man Rick” footage we saw in the Season 8 Comic-Con trailer, we got multiple scenes of an older Rick throughout the season premiere.

At the end, we see an older, hobbled Rick being led by Judith, who is now significantly older (maybe 6 or 7 years old), through a beautiful and happy community. [On a side note, why does Rick look so old, yet, Michonne hasn’t aged?]

The real question is whether or not these “visions” are a dream sequence or are actually glimpses of the future. The most telling aspect is that we also get scenes of a teary eyed Rick somewhere in the near future (we think).

He looks defeated in those shots, or at least mournful. Has someone died? It’s hard to tell with the timeline being so unclear. Perhaps one of the people he loves most gets taken out at the end of the war.

In Robert Kirkman’s comic book, there is a time jump. It’s possible the All-Out War will take up all of Season 8 and then transition into a Season 9 set a few years later.

That would be one of the boldest moves in TV history, which, I suppose, makes it unlikely. But how would such a dream sequence take place and why would Rick imagine himself hobbled? There are a lot of questions that need answers.

The show is being very coy about it. As well they should be, assuming the payoff is worth it. This is one of the more intriguing things “The Walking Dead” has done in a while.

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