Unfortunately, the mid-season eight premiere of ‘The Walking Dead’ was Carl Grimes’ last episode. Here’s our full recap of how he spent his final moments.
No spoiler alert warning here because we all knew it was coming: The Walking Dead‘s mid-season eight premiere is Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) last episode. However, unlike many deaths before him, Carl is able to finish some very important business before dying. He saves Siddiq (Avi Nash) and gets him set up in the sewer, spends time making memories with Judith and even saves everyone left in Alexandria by bringing them underground. He also writes letters to everyone, as we saw in the mid-season finale.
Despite everything happening, Carl saying goodbye to Judith is hands down the most heartbreaking moment of the episode. He tells her that she needs to be good, and that she needs to be the one to keep their dad, Rick (Andrew Lincoln), in check now. The tears really start flowing when he hands her Rick’s sheriff’s hat as if he’s passing the torch the same way Rick once did for him in season two. Judith is just a toddler so she doesn’t seem to understand what’s happening, and towards the end she starts to cry. It’s Daryl (Norman Reedus) who carries her out to safety, but not before reminding Carl that he saved them all. It’s their goodbye — the last time they’ll ever see each other and they both know it.
Carl’s death also leads to an explanation of the flash forward/dream sequences we’ve been seeing. Carl tells Rick that he can see the future, even if his father can’t, and it’s the built-up version of Alexandria we’ve been seeing in the flashes. Everyone’s there, including Eugene (Josh McDermitt) who is back on their side and now helping them farm. The very last flash of the future we see follows Judith as she walks through some of the crops to say good morning to a man who is working on the plants. That man is Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and at the sound of Judith’s voice he stands up with a big, cheery smile and says, “Good morning to you, darling!” Mind. Blown.
In the end, Carl decides to take his own life so that his father and Michonne (Danai Gurira) don’t have to. Rick tries to put up a fight, but Carl makes it clear that he can’t ask either of them to do it for him. Before saying goodbye, Rick promises Carl he’s going to make the future he saw real. It’s the last time we see Carl. The next thing we see is Rick and Michonne outside of the church. It’s dead silent… and then one single gunshot. Neither of them say a word as the emotions overcome them, and you can feel their heartbreak oozing at you through the screen. Carl is dead.
Believe it or not, a lot of other things were going on while Carl was dying. Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James) led the charge to save King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) from the Saviors, which allowed Morgan to go on a pretty gnarly killing spree. Henry (Benjamin’s little brother) also runs away from safety to help save Ezekiel and ends up delivering one of the craziest kills by shoving the stick Morgan made him through the back of Gavin’s throat. It’s unclear if this is a wake up call for Morgan to chill or not, but it definitely leaves Carol and Ezekiel extremely concerned about his mental state.
Other things we saw: Rick and Michonne burying Carl in Alexandria. The opening and last scenes were also important as they show Rick, alone and extremely distressed, sitting under the tree we’ve previously seen flashes of. He’s injured badly and his hand is covered in blood, he’s dripping in sweat, eyes are red and he seems completely out of it. Blood loss? Heat stroke? Hopefully we find out what happened to him and how he got there very, very soon.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — Do YOU think that Carl’s death was justified? How do you feel about his decision to take his own life? Comment below, let us know.