The Walking Dead Season 8 premiere went off with a bang, delivering equal amounts of action and mystery to fans. The episode also happened to be loaded with references, keeping viewers' eyes focused on the screen for any sneaky Easter Eggs.
During that long-awaited Old Man Rick flash-forward, we see an old clock. The time is 8:23. That might seem insignificant, but might actually be a nod to another long-running show: Lost.
Both 8 and 23 are significant numbers in Lost. And as luck would have it, Lost is one of The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple's all-time favorite shows.
But what's funny is that this episode wasn't directed by Gimple at all, but by Greg Nicotero, who told Comic Book that the reference wasn't even intentional:
"You know, what's funny is that was completely unintentional. I know Scott's a big 'Lost' fan, but I shot that shot, because of course, I shot the episode. And I hate to admit it, I've never seen 'Lost'."
This must surely mean that Gimple and Nicotero have developed some kind of next-level friendship telepathy. Or, it was just a lucky coincidence. Either way, there's no doubt Gimple was pretty chuffed at that detail — and so was Nicotero:
"That's exactly what I love. Maybe I shouldn't have answered that, and said, 'Yeah, it could be a reference to 'Lost.' I don't think there was any reference that I'm aware of at the time, unless Scott gave somebody a note and said, 'Make sure it says 8:23 on the clock.' It could've been something that he put in there so that when I shot it, the props people made sure that it was set at 8:23."
Just One Of Many Potential 'LOST' Reference We've Seen
You don't need to hear it from Nicotero to know that Gimple is a massive Lost fan. There have been quite a few nods to the iconic mystery series throughout The Walking Dead.
As the comments on this blog post point out, Eugene was once shown reading reading the H. G. Wells novel The Shape of Things to Come. This is also the name of an episode of Lost — as is "Whatever Happened, Happened," which Daryl quotes word-for-word to to Carol.
Another potential literary reference is a book in Carol's bag: The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer — Sawyer being the name of a character on Lost.
Don't forget those Morley cigarettes. They're not just a favorite of many Walking Dead characters. It's a fictional brand used in many shows, including — you guessed it — Lost.
In Season 5 Episode 6, Daryl and Carol find a Virgin Mary statue in a van— just like the ones filled with drugs in Lost. Both the plane carrying those statues and the van in The Walking Dead plummeted to the ground in the same way.
Even Michael Cudlitz, who played Abraham on The Walking Dead, played a character on Lost.
Fun fact: The unflattering sweats that the Saviors' slaves are made to wear were originally meant to be jumpsuits, but Gimple was afraid they would look to similar to the ones from Lost. He may be a fan boy, but he knows when to dial back the references.
Did you notice the accidental Lost reference in The Walking Dead Season 8 premiere?
(Source: Comic Book)