As promised, The Walking Dead's 100th episode was loaded with references and callbacks to previous episodes. Among the iconic reminders was an echo of Rick's fallen anti-hero police partner Shane Walsh.
As Rick and Negan stood outside the Sanctuary in the Season 8 premiere, Negan appeared to be the more diplomatic of the duo for the first time. Rick was bent on killing Negan and serving justice for Glenn, Abraham, Spencer, Olivia, Sasha, and more. Meanwhile, Negan thought it was a bad idea to throw lead at one another.
During the banter between the two leaders, Negan called out a phrase fans of the AMC series are familiar with...
"Let me ask you somethin', Rick," Negan said. It was a moment which echoed Shane Walsh and his constant, "Let me ask you somethin'," or "Let me tell you somethin', Rick," which fans loved or loved to hate in The Walking Dead's earliest seasons.
Speaking to ComicBook.com, The Walking Dead executive producer and director of Episode 100 confirmed the accented polish Jeffrey Dean Morgan put on the line was to echo the voice of Jon Bernthal's Shane Walsh.
"There were a lot of little things that we put in there that echoed the pilot, but then I can say throughout the course of the season, there may be other direct or indirect references to other episodes through the history of the show," Nicotero said. "Nothing too obvious because we never want to pull the audience out of the show to sit there and start analyzing the Easter eggs, but it's really there more to pay tribute to all the cast from day one and the crew that really have almost killed themselves to make the show so good."
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC.