What's Up With Rick's Final Moment In The Walking Dead's Midseason Premiere?

All eyes are on Carl Grimes when

If you missed it, last night we shared a new video discussing both the controversy of Carl's death and also whether or not we could see Chandler Riggs get a little bit of Emmy love down the road for the character.

The Walking Dead's mid-season finale ended with Carl Grimes, the badass kid with an equally cool eyepatch, revealing he suffered a bite few episodes prior and, because of its location on his body, there's no way to amputate the infected area.

Rather than allow Negan passage into the peaceful future, and rather than outright kill the man, Rick overpowers Negan and throws him in prison for the next several years - a prison cell not unlike the one Morgan (Lennie James) built back in season six, as a matter of fact. Let's see what we can figure out. Showrunner Scott Gimple and star Andrew Lincoln are keeping vaguely mum about what that WTF moment means for the future, but comic scribe Robert Kirkman told THR something a little more concrete and optimistic about how much we should be anxious for Rick's death.

"I'm great; feeling good", Riggs said on The Talking Dead analysis program after his final episode aired. And even if Negan really did want to jump into [a cease-fire], he is someone who is very conscious of optics... and his image, so that makes it harder for him to make a deal with the wrong people... or who are maybe looked upon as the wrong people. And [his demise] can show that this world is still the world of The Walking Dead, where these things happen. Well before joining this cast I was a fan. a fan that loved watching you grow up in front of a camera. "I always thought just having it meant I always kept dad with me".

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While Carl slowly succumbs to his bite wound in Alexandria, Carol and Morgan go on a mission to save King Ezekiel. As Rick tells him in Honor, everything he has done in this series to this point has been for Carl, starting from the very first episode when Rick woke up from a coma and had to travel through zombie-infested Georgia in hopes of finding his family. (Or the red, as it were.) Rick's bloodshot eyes have been teased ever since the season premiere, to be sure, as well as him uttering Saddiq's quasi-mantra about letting mercy prevail over his wrath. Here's how Scott Gimple explained it to THR. Then a scene more shocking and confusing takes place.

What the closing minutes to us say more than anything else is that Rick may not have been able to fulfill his promise to Carl. This moment undoubtedly is setting us up for what's to come in the remaining episodes. Probably not, since it took nine episodes to get to answers behind the flash-forwards.

Sunday's installment of The Walking Dead gave fans precisely what they expected: Carl's tragic death. What is the most interesting, perhaps, is that the show has been picked up for a ninth season with a new showrunner, Angela Kang. Check out why we think we'll see Carl again in Season 8, as well as what Negan will be up to in the next episode.

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