Sunday, February 25th, 2018
*WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS EXPLICIT DETAIL FROM SUNDAY NIGHT'S EPISODE "HONOR." IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT, TURN BACK NOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!*
Oh. My. God. Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead marked a new death in the series' death list; our very own Carl Grimes. Our beloved one-eyed hero was bitten in episode 6 of the eighth season and took his own life at the end of the mid-season premiere. Many fans, including myself, were not looking forward to the episode because we knew what was coming. But, it was inevitable. R.I.P Carl Grimes. You will be missed.
Episode 9 of 'Honor' began with another premonition of Santa Rick and an older Judith running up to Jerry. Then, it comes back to Rick and Michonne digging (presumably Carl's grave). Carl flashes back to the walker tangle. The walker is seen taking a chunk out of Carl's abdomen. Then, it shows the buildup to Carl's reveal, spending time with Judith, writing everyone notes, rescuing Siddiq and sneaking him inside and Carl changing and dressing his wound. Then, Carl visits Tobin at the gates. He hands Carl a note from Michonne that reads; I had to see it for myself. I'm sorry I didn't say goodbye first. Will be back soon. Michonne. Then, it shows him preparing the sewer for a hide-out and a cot for him when he's too weak to stand. He then shares a Big Cat with Siddiq. Morgan scouts the Sanctuary. He watches as the walkers begin to die and pile up, creating a trail. Then, they shoot at Morgan. He heads out and diverts a pack of walkers back as five or so Saviors appear. Gavin's group is seen heading towards the Kingdom. Morgan appears from within the treeline and follows.
When the commercials end, a walker is seen tangled up in Carol's wire trap. Henry kills the walker as Carol advises the Kingdom people of where to hide. Henry wants to tag along, but she refused him. She leaves. Carl is in bad shape. He's pale, sweating and visibly in distress. Rick is speechless, and Michonne is crying. Carl tells Rick 'It's alright.' He admits that he didn't know if Rick was going to make it back 'before.' He pulls out the stack of letters and hands them to Michonne. Carl tells Rick about Siddiq. Twice, Carl tells Rick "I got bit."
Gavin is talking to Ezekiel when the second set of commercials end. He tells him that Negan's going to kill him. Ezekiel says he freed his people, so what is done to him he is okay with. Gavin says he liked Ezekiel. Gavin blames Rick. Ezekiel says he made a choice he could live with. He tells Gavin to do the same. Morgan sneaks in at this point. Carol then appears behind him. They strategize. Rick and Michonne put Carl on the cot. Siddiq gives Rick a few meds to Rick to help Carl through. Rick guesses he's a doctor. Then, he asks Carl if he knew. Carl says he knew Siddiq wouldn't make it to Alexandria alone. Michonne jumps up and charges Dwight. She orders him to make it stop. Then, she breaks down and somewhat begs him to make it stop. Rosita says their best bet is to get everyone to The Hilltop. Dwight says to ride it out, then leave. Daryl then says "All is us, together. We'll be their worst damn nightmare."
Carol and Morgan sneak around, ambushing and assassinating the stragglers. Gavin's men load up supplies. Gavin asks the king "Is it gonna go bad, Ezekiel?" Ezekiel says it'll be fashioned to his start. Carl dishes on Michonne for leaving. She laughs and says she isn't the one dying. He says she looks great. He also says that 'it' needs to stop. Dwight's guess about the mayhem lightening up comes true. Daryl and Rick exchange a glance. Carol and Morgan get closer. He advances and ignores her. He mows them down, and Carol only gets one. They gather guns. Gavin tries to accommodate The King's ride. Gavin radios his men but gets no response. This worries him. He and his men rush away with Ezekiel while Carol and Morgan close in.
A red wide-eyed Rick is seen. Then, he is seen in the premonition with Judith. They walk up to Eugene. Then, Michonne and Rick are seen burying something. He sits with carl while he says goodbye to Judith. The Saviors have left. Rick says Carl won't make it to Hilltop. They both decide to stay. He tells Judith to 'Be good for Michonne and Dad. Sometimes kids have to show parents the way.' He gives her the Sheriff's Hat. He tells her "Before mom died, she said that I was going to beat this world. I didn't. But you will. I know you will." As Rick pulls her away, she starts to weep. Daryl takes her and tells Carl "You saved everyone. That's on you." Daryl walks off with Judith. Siddiq tells him "you were helping me honor my mom. You brought me here. You gave me a chance. I know I can never repay you, but I can honor you. I can prove that your death wasn't for nothing." Carl smiles and says "Congratulations. You're stuck with us."
Gavin and Co take Ezekiel to the auditorium. He hits Ezekiel. Gavin says it's too late, Ezekiel dies, and he lives. Then, there's an explosion at the doorway. Morgan and Carol fire. Later, Morgan gets into a fist fight and tears a man's guts from his body. Ezekiel finds a gun and Gavin runs. Morgan pursues. Michonne and Rick hold Carl, wiping the sweat away. She asks if he's okay. He tells her that he doesn't want her to be sad or mad. He wants her to be strong for Rick, Judith and herself. He doesn't want her to carry his death. Then, he says "My best friend, Michonne." She cries, smiles and replies "You're mine, too." The candle blows out AMD Rick says he needs help with getting Carl to ground level.
Gavin goes through a maze. Morgan stalks. Michonne and Rick carry a limp Carl through a crispy Alexandria to the church. Morgan sets Gavin up and finds him hiding. Rick lays Carl down. He thanks Rick for making him who he became. "Back at the prison, when we were attacked, there was a kid, a little older than me. He had a gun. He was starting to put it down, and I shot him. I just shot him." Morgan taunts Gavin. He pleads his case, saying they can't beat Negan. Rick tells Carl "No, what happened, what you lost, what you had to do, you were just a boy." Carl tells Rick "And you saw what it did, how easy it got." Morgan stands Gavin up. Carl says Rick brought everyone in and they lived together. He says he did it so he could become what he was now. "It's alright. It still is. You can be like that again." Ezekiel doesn't want Gavin dead. Rick says he can't be who he was. Carl says killing them all won't happen. Carol tells Morgan he doesn't want to kill him, but Morgan says he has to. As he does to kill him, a hole appears in Gavin's throat. When he drops, Henry is seen. "I know you can't see it yet, how could we? But, I have. You have a beard; it's bigger. Greyer. Michonne's happy, Judith's happy. She's older, listening to songs that I used to. Before. Alexandria is bigger, new houses, crops, people working, everybody living to help everybody else live. If you can still be who you were, that's how it could be." Carl explains. Rick tells him "Carl; it was all for you. Right from the beginning. Back in Atlanta, the farm. Everything I did was for you. Then, at the prison, it was for you and Judith. It still is. It's going to be. Nothing, nothing is gonna change that." He tells Rick that he wants it for him and Rick promises to Carl that he's going to make it real. Carl and Michonne exchange a glance.
After the final commercial break ends, Ezekiel tells Henry that it's okay. Carol gets on him. Ezekiel de-escalates the situation. Rick apologizes for not protecting him. After all, it's a father's job. "Love, it's just love," Carl says. He deploys his gun. He wants to go out on his own terms while he still can. Rick doesn't want him to, but he succumbs to it. Carl and a wet-eyed Michonne say their final "I love you's" as well as Carl and Rick. Rick repeats "I'll make it real." In the next scene, Rick and Michonne are standing g outside of the church for a moment when a single gunshot is heard. Their heads are hung. They bury Carl in the Alexandria graveyard. Judith is seen walking up to a man gardening tomatoes. Wait, Negan?!? They're all pleased to see one another. Then, Rick is seen sitting up against a tree staring at the stained glass. He has a bloody hand.
My God was this a compelling and sorrowful episode. I am utterly shocked by everything that went down. Were you surprised to find out everything that happened? Did you expect everything? What do you think will happen next? How will this affect the show as a whole? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time, be safe everyone.
Rest In Peace, Carl Grimes.
Chandler Riggs, you will be missed.
Editor: Joeleen Gatlin