Why that one character appeared in the Old Man Rick visions

Thursday, 01 Mar, 2018

So how did we get here? Basically never, so it was fitting to use our header image here.

The Walking Dead returned for the second run of Season 8, tonight. Probably. If The Walking Dead is good at one thing, it is keeping its viewers on their toes.

Carl's death on the series came as a big shock when it was first teased in December on the show. If you subtract that from the first episode [of season eight], you're left with the scene under the tree. And two others from seasons two and three.

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

Instead of going out with anger or fear, Carl took some time to take everything in and say goodbye to everyone rather peacefully in the episode titled "Honor".

It's a closeup of Rick looking sad again. He knew what it was all about from the beginning. Every now and then we have to take our audience by surprise so they don't get too comfortable with the apocalypse so they don't think they're in control of it, in a weird way. The end is nigh. Honestly. a huge reason I wanted so badly to join this band of misfits. was because I was such a fan of the Negan Carl relationship in the comics. that storyline was one of my favorites, as I know it was one of yours. Just in case you didn't remember, or missed it, Carl's been bit by a walker and is going to die.

While we watch the events leading up to Carl's ultimate goodbye - as he scrounges up some Kit Kat bars for Siddiq, spends quality time with Judith, and hides his impending doom from his loved ones - the whimsical song accompanying the montage scene is Bright Eyes' "At the Bottom of Everything". He even shoves his hand into a Savior's gut and pulls his insides out.

When Shane died, it was a sacrifice Rick thought he made for the group - and it changed him. It's not just killing and killing and killing and killing.

This is where we learn old man Rick's world was Carl's dream for a peaceful future.

Back in the Alexandria sewers now, for a Ninja Turtles scene.

However heartbreaking the boy's death seemed to be, it carried an important message for "The Walking Dead" in the form of Carl's vision for the future. "I honestly don't know, because I don't get any of the future scripts anymore, so I don't know what's going to happen", Riggs told press during a conference call. Yeah, not sure we see that totally coming true, kid, but at least it gives Rick something to aim towards. Carl's death firmly does away with any safety net that can come from being a "main character" or the character still being alive in the comics. It was Henry (Macsen Lintz), Benjamin's little brother, who's about the age Carl was when he killed the boy at the prison. And that realization that Carl was really the one person that wasn't part of the war.

And now, a few highlights. Michonne's happy. Judith is older. As we reach the present, Carl is slowly slipping, his skin getting lighter and his speech slightly slowing down. He gives her Rick's old sheriff hat-will this show last long enough for us to see Judith grow up and wear the hat as well?

Morgan and Carol try to free Ezekiel and Morgan ... well, let's just say I haven't seen someone Kali-ma someone's insides outside their body like that since Temple of Doom. He tells Michonne she was his best friend, and implores her not to carry this sadness with her. But when you're constructing a high-drama deathbed scene, maybe don't go for a canned "crying baby" sound effect poorly mixed over a toddler who is obviously not crying. I mean, goddamn! He ripped out a dude's heart-intestine-lung through a bullet wound.

In an interview with HuffPost late past year, we asked Gimple (the man who had the final word on Carl's death sentence) about fans' responses to the reveal, and he admitted, yeah, it's been rough. The most obvious one implies this isn't the future at all, but a hope for the future existing entirely in Carl's mind.