Top 5 Moments of The Walking Dead's Midseason Premiere

Emmett Rice
March 1, 2018

Those were among the final key words spoken by a dying Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) to his little sister, Judith, Sunday night as "The Walking Dead" resumed its eighth season with a somber farewell episode. But then he said this was the last we'd see of Carl this season. Tonally, too, the folksy pace aligns perfectly with the crystalline blue skies that surround him in his hour of peril. "Sometimes kids gotta show their parents the way". It was a key turning point that led to one of the biggest dramatic shifts of the comic series, though TV fans probably won't get to see things play out in quite the same way, especially if the show doesn't port the time jump element into live-action.

"You can't kill all of them, Dad", answered Carl.

"I think emotionally we're aspiring to evoke the same feeling that [creator Robert Kirkman] achieved in the book", said Gimple.

Sure, he might show up in future dream sequences or hallucinations, but that's basically it for the character.

Sidiq vows to honor Carl for saving his life: "That it meant something". "I love you", he says to both Michonne and then his dad. Carl reminded Rick of the time he cold-bloodedly murdered a boy just a little older than him at the prison, and how Rick reined in his own tendency for violence after that in order to keep Carl from going further down a dark path. Yes, it appears that the flash forwards were from Carl's dream of the future, but perhaps there's still a chance that some of it was from Rick, too. If you're getting exhausted of this, we're right there with you, but rejoice!

At the start, we see the steps Carl took after being bitten in order to protect the Survivors within the sewer drainage system below Alexandria during the battle, but to also prepare himself and those around him for his impending doom, including preparing notes for different members of their community. The relationship between these two has always been a delight-we're glad it wasn't glossed over at all in his final moments.

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In the end, all a person has is their honor, and that was the focus of 'Honor.' When you have accepted that your life is finite you can become free and untethered; Chandler Riggs brought this to the screen as Carl.

CR: I think he knew how much this was impacting Michonne and Rick and he really didn't want to put them through any more suffering and didn't want them to have to do that.

'In the end, I think it's a really, really courageous choice. As we reach the present, Carl is slowly slipping, his skin getting lighter and his speech slightly slowing down.

Riggs had previously said that leaving the show "wasn't my decision", though he added that "it was all story-related" and said: "It made sense story-wise for it to happen for Rick and Michonne and all the other characters". It wasn't dramatic or shocking, nor was it even the tolerable "gore for gore's sake" you often see in the zombie-killing scenes. Judith began to cry, seeming to understand the gravity of the situation, and Rick picked her up and handed her to Daryl (Norman Reedus) to take to the Hilltop. Rick and Michonne went outside to the porch of the church, and as the sun came up, they heard the silenced report of Carl's gun.

Rick's struggle between mercy and wrath likely connects even more deeply to his relationship with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the general on the opposite side of the battlefield. A possible outcome depending on Rick's choices in the war against Negan?

The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.

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