Carl’s death has been the number one subject of conversation for Walking Dead during the show’s long hiatus, with many voicing their disapproval over the show killing off such a central character. Even Chandler Riggs’ father posted (and later deleted) a scathing Facebook comment about Gimple after Carl’s upcoming death was revealed. Probably not, since it took nine episodes to get to answers behind the flash-forwards.
The Walking Dead returned last night with the seco, nd half of its eighth season and fans were forced to say goodbye to a character who was there from the beginning: Carl Grimes (Chandler Ricks), son of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).
This tactic was used once again when the episode [spoiler] concluded with Rick bleeding from a severe wound, leaning against a tree.
The latest news for those fearless, emotionally-dead watchers of The Walking Dead is that Carl, probably the most important (still surviving) cast member of the show apart from his papa Rick, has been killed.
This doesn’t exactly jive with the vision we saw in episode one of the season, though: in that sequence, Carl is shown to be very much alive.
“This was dad’s before it was mine”, Carl said.
FAVORITE SCENE: About ten years ago, I came across a folk rock song called “At the Bottom of Everything” by Bright Eyes. “It plays out very differently”. What’s actually happening there? I remember reading the script and thinking how depressing all these scenes were. When Carl passed the torch to Judith, it touched a nerve, and it was hard not to get a little misty-eyed as Judith started to cry.
The violence of Ezekiel against the Saviors and Gavin’s demise is intercut with peaceful images of Rick and Michonne heading to a church with Carl to lay him to rest. What’s more, viewers learn in “Honor” that Siddiq is a doctor – a hugely important development given what Maggie needs at the Hilltop right now (Lauren Cohan’s uncertain future with the series notwithstanding), and even more pressingly, what Rick needs given his bloody state at the end of the midseason eight premiere.
Sure, this might be from carrying his son’s wounded body into the grave. It’s certainly a possibility worth considering. Several of the episode’s moments could vie as the show/s most emotional to date – see: the scene where Daryl (Norman Reedus) lauds Carl for saving everyone before turning his back on him for the final time; or Carl paying tribute to his “best friend” Michonne, Black panther sensation Gurira showing more emotion than she’s ever had to before.
As Alexandria burns, Rick and Michonne carry Carl to what;s left of Gabriel’s church for his final moments.
In the comic book, the All-Out War saga ends with Rick slicing Negan’s throat. They teased it as Carl’s envisions of the future, but now it’s kind of playing out like that’s kind of how it’s going to be.
Elsewhere, also in flashback, we see Morgan in his sniper nest opposite the Sanctuary.
Naturally, Rick takes this opportunity to attack Negan, as one does. If Eugene is there, it means that bygones are bygones and the fact that the Mulleted One has been forgiven for defecting to the Saviors way back when. It’s an intersection between mercy and wrath: Rick doesn’t kill his enemy, but he doesn’t forgive him, either. Or is it just Carl’s dream for the future?
Still, that’s not the most troubling moment of the whole show. Rick and Michonne eyeball Sadiq, the guy whose rescue got Carl bit. So while taking him out of the equation, the show has to give Rick a reason to keep going. One of the last characters remaining from the first season of the hit drama, he’s always been considered the ultimate underlying motivation for everything its protagonist, his father Rick, has been building over the course of the show’s run. Back in season three, Rick hallucinated speaking to Lori in the prison on a dead phone line, but by the end of the season, Rick recovered. “It was definitely something that I was looking forward to for so long and I’m really, really happy with how it played out”.