“Walking Dead” Rattles Fans in Emotional Premiere

AMC’s long-running horror survival series “The Walking Dead” has never been one to play it safe.

From its gruesome effects to keeping the audience on its toes by straying from the original source material, the series has long been a mainstay for those looking for an emotional and harrowing look at the human existence.

Warning: major spoilers are ahead.

In its mid-season premiere, “The Walking Dead” has bid farewell to another character that many, myself included, thought would never come: Carl Grimes is dead.

Carl (Chandler Riggs) has been a driving force in the show since its beginning. The choices his father Rick (Andrew Lincoln) made throughout the show have been for the betterment and survival of his son, so now it will be interesting to see how this not only affects Rick butt he show as whole.

This is also a severe departure from the comics, in which Carl survives this story arc. There have been departures from the comic series before — such as the cause of death of Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) or the addition of Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) — but none so extreme as killing off a character that drives the story.

The way Carl died is a true testament to his character: he gets injured helping a stranger honor his mother. We also get to see the way he spends the rest of his time after finding out: he spends time with his sister, writes notes to everyone in case there wouldn’t be a chance for a goodbye and makes sure Siddiq (Avi Nash) is taken care of.

These acts show the important lesson Carl is trying to impart on his dad. He wants there to still be hope after the war with the Saviors is over. At the end, Carl did some personal reflection on how he used to be.

Knowing he has changed, Carl still believes that antagonist Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his band of Saviors can too.This will certainly add anew aspect to the show if Rick follows his son’s dying wish.

Rather than continue the war he could seek to reconcile with them. It also seems possible that Negan could go along with it, after all he did like Carl and knowing how he died would put perspective on his willingness to die to create peace with the saviors on the mid-season finale.

He can certainly understand what Rick is going through, having lost his own son.This combined with the aforementioned reasons might be enough to change him. With the events that took place during this premiere and the upcoming crossover with spin off series “Fear the Walking Dead,” the rest of season eight is shaping up to be quite exciting.

The episode’s pacing and tension were impeccable, a real treat for fans of the show. Even though the show has been running for eight seasons, it still has yet to lose its magnetic flair, still keeping audiences engaged from episode to episode.

“The Walking Dead” airs every Sunday on AMC and is rated TV-MA.

Photo from tvinsider.com.

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