In The Walking Dead's 'Honor,' Carl Finally Grows Up

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In The Walking Dead's 'Honor,' Carl Finally Grows Up

Now, nine episodes later, the phrase is taking on an important new meaning. Just how well this plan works out remains to be seen, but if the end game of season 8 is one massive battle between Rick's coalition of survivors and Negan's Saviors, then this is the most logical progression. There's a reason why fans and cast members alike thought the show would end with Carl going off into the sunset: it's all been about keeping him safe. "If you watch a certain episode and see Carl's face, Chandler [Riggs] did it". "That final goodbye scene was one of the first ones that we shot for the episode". That gives an indication that that, in this scene, is not a premonition. "Everything I did, it was for you ..." And while Lincoln was purposefully vague and cryptic, he did confirm that this moment was not a vision. I'm not saying that that's actually happening. 'I think showrunner Scott [Gimple] says it really well in that although we're just making television, stuff that happens on the screen has real world consequences in people making the show because Chandler's not around anymore.

If you feel like you missed a lot in last night's midseason premiere of The Walking Dead because you were distracted by sheer heartbreak, you're not alone. Certainly, in his final hours, Carl stressed Siddiq's importance to the group, while Siddiq himself promised to live the rest of his life honoring Carl's bravery.

As Digital Spy explains, Lauren Cohan's Maggie might be the next one on the chopping block. It served as a flashback to his mother's death as he told her, "Before Mom died, she told me I was going to beat this world, but I didn't". Carl says that he was getting too quick to kill, but his father saw as much and made a decision to teach him a better way (a message that is also very timely, as young Henry is nearing the same pitfalls with his own ease of violence and needs some guidance to avoid becoming the next Lizzie). It's also a big deviation from Robert Kirkman's comics, in which Carl is still alive and a central figure. A possible outcome depending on Rick's choices in the war against Negan? It's his vision of what the world could be like if his father - and everyone else - stopped with all the killing and instead worked together. 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.

Best pitfall avoidance: In a flawless world, we wish Carl hadn't been killed off so we could continue to follow his ongoing comic book arc.

The show opens with a teary-eyed Rick reciting, "My mercy prevails over my wrath", before we see another "Old Rick" flash-forward. Not a flashforward, not Rick's dream, but Carl's perspective, a hope for a better future, not just for the good guys, but for Negan as well. "Honor" hinged on the harrowing death of a beloved and long-standing character, in a development that is stunningly bleak even by the standards of this show. The young actor's best known character, Carl Grimes, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on this week's (February 25) episode of The Walking Dead, after getting bitten right on the side by a zombie.

Rick's mercy will nearly certain prevail over his wrath by the end of season eight, allowing Negan to keep his head long enough to survive into season nine ... but as a free man?

While Rick's gang decides to bug out, Rick and Michonne vow to stay with Carl.

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