The final moments of The Walking Dead’s mid-season Season 8 finale promised us that a major character would die in the last half of the season. In “How It’s Gotta Be” a lot has happened and we’re going to be venturing pretty far into spoiler territory so if you haven’t had a chance to see the episode and have somehow avoided the Internet until now, you’ll probably want to turn back.
If you’re still with me, you either have witnessed that tragic walker bite impression or just don’t care. While Rick Grimes was on top of the world leading up to the last two episodes, things have gone south rather quickly. With Alexandria burning above the survivors, Rick touches in and while losing is able to see that all of his friends and family are still alive. However, we soon discover that Chandler Riggs’ Carl won’t be around for that much longer as he had been bitten by a walker.
In fact, when we all thought he had almost been bitten by a walker a couple episodes back when saving the latest addition to the cast that it did indeed happen. His bravado in saving Alexandria and standing up to Negan while offering himself to be the one to die? He was already a dead man walking and was willing to sacrifice that tragic fate of having to have his dad put him down.
Riggs learned from showrunner Scott M. Gimple that he would be killed off back in June but his final episode won’t drop until February 25th, 2018 which will be the midseason premiere. On both the series and comics it always felt like Carl would take over after Rick eventually died and we’re years past this point in the comics and things still feel that way so killing him off in the show is a bit of a surprise.
This isn’t a fake out or a chance for a last minute save either as Gimple states:
“That is a bite on his side. … It will play out as bites play out on the show. It’s very important to Carl’s story and the entire story, what happens in the next episode. I’m just focused on the fact that Carl right now is alive and he has some business to attend to. That is a one-way ticket. But I’d like to think that the things we see in the next episode are so important to his life and the other characters’ lives.”
So unless everyone is playing a really long con with audiences that will show the helicopter showing up with a cure for Walker bites as a last-minute save, this is the end of Riggs’ run on the show.
Riggs chimed in as well about his future by saying that:
“Throughout the series Carl has been in Rick’s shadow and learning form him and observing him. He sees when Rick does something wrong and takes action from it. I think every moment throughout the series has led up to that moment with Carl commanding everyone in Alexandria to make this escape plan. When Carl pulls up his shirt and pulls down his bandage to reveal the bite, it’s a huge moment for him, Rick and Michonne and everyone in the group. He’s definitely happy with the way things ended up with him saving all of Alexandria and making sure everyone is alive. That’s going to be really interesting to see what happens next.”
While this is surely a major death, Carl honestly hasn’t had any major plot points in the comics since “All Out War” and most of his work could easily be transferred to other characters. The major impact here will be on Rick. Grimes has always put his family first and with this being the last of his real family, we could see a major change in his character moving forward which will be another drastic change from the comics.
What do you think Carl’s death will mean for the future of ‘The Walking Dead’? Do you think they’d jump the shark and introduce a cure this late in the game and completely change course from the comics? Share your thoughts below!
Source: The Hollywood Reporter