Warning: Spoilers are forward for the season eight of The Walking Dead. Preserve studying at your personal threat.
After being bitten whereas out preventing zombies with Saddiq, The Strolling Useless’s prolonged episode, “Honor,” exhibits us how Carl spends his final day: imparting his personal knowledge and compassion on the hard-hearted Rick. He implores Rick to return to his former self, again when Rick was extra keen to put diplomacy above violence and see past easy tribalism to making a extra useful future for all. It’s a painfully emotional episode the place Rick’s agony is layered by Michonne’s, who feels as if she’s dropping a surrogate son and greatest good friend, layered by the viewers’s personal distress as we work out say goodbye to a younger character gone too quickly, too swiftly—particularly contemplating Carl is alive within the comics. With “Honor” starting with Michonne and Rick having to dig a grave, none of this feels remotely simple or pure, and I discovered myself crying intermittently all through.
The episode additionally included the return of the hazy future visions and Outdated Man Rick—besides the visions got here with a twist. This time the imaginative and prescient begins as Carl narrates over it, describing the form of future Carl imagines for Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom, lengthy after he has handed.
This opens up a number of prospects for these visions. The obvious one implies this isn’t the long run in any respect, however a hope for the long run present totally in Carl’s thoughts. On this imaginative and prescient, we don’t see Carl in any respect, however observe a visibly older Judith as she travels by means of the city.
This doesn’t precisely jive with the imaginative and prescient we noticed in episode one of many season, although: in that sequence, Carl is proven to be very a lot alive. This results in one other chance. Possibly the Carl Rick sees within the earlier imaginative and prescient is definitely a ghost. Within the present, Rick suffers delusions within the wake of Lori’s loss of life—a loss of life “Honor” is eager to carry up once more. Again in season three, Rick hallucinated chatting with Lori within the jail on a lifeless cellphone line, however by the top of the season, Rick recovered.
Within the comics Lori’s loss of life haunts Rick for for much longer, and he carries the identical cellphone with him till the Negan storyline. The comics and the present are inclined to commerce off on particulars; some characters die sooner, others later, and characters get altered. It’s attainable Rick’s briefer mourning interval for Lori within the present shall be substituted for a for much longer grieving interval for Carl, manifesting in Rick imagining Carl continues to be current when he’s not, even years later.
If you wish to go into the deep finish and actually wallow within the darkest timeline, there are even theories evaluating the gauzy, atmospheric cinematography in these sequences to the identical fashion we see in season seven, when Rick desires of getting dinner with Glenn and Abraham, lengthy after they’ve each been overwhelmed to loss of life. This principle supposes this repeated imaginative and prescient could also be telling us Judith and even Michonne, will not be lengthy for this world.
This episode’s dream sequence ends with a brand new, disturbing inclusion: the final particular person older Judith greets, smiling and gardening among the many Alexandrians, is none aside from a plaid-wearing Negan himself. Whereas the whole episode facilities round Carl telling Rick he can’t simply kill each single Savior if he desires there to be something left for after, it looks like an enormous disconnect to have the chief who orchestrated the deaths of Rick’s buddies simply casually wandering about. Is that this a dream or a nightmare? Isn’t it too unrealistic to rehabilitate Negan to this diploma?
This, once more, is a departure from the supply materials. It’s Rick who tells Carl Negan has to reside, not the opposite means round, within the comics. In problem 126 of the comedian, Rick says to Carl and Andrea:
“That’s not who we’re. That’s not what we do. That’s..it’s who we have been. We’ve all killed to outlive…we’ve damage so many who wished to do us hurt. That’s how we made it—how we received right here. However now that we’re right here we have now an opportunity to alter that.”
Rick subdues Negan. First, he ranges with Negan about how one can really cooperate with, moderately than subjugate, individuals, and second, he slashes his throat—earlier than telling Negan he’s “going to rot in jail till you die an previous man.” Rick believes displaying Negan how a lot they thrive with out him is an acceptable punishment; unsurprisingly, people in the neighborhood disagree, however however it’s true that in peacetime, Negan is confined to a cage. Negan later will get out and appears to lastly come to phrases along with his personal sins in problem 174, however between all these points he by no means reaches the kind of acceptance that may enable him to fortunately roam amongst Rick’s individuals, because the dream sequence exhibits us.
It’s laborious to say at this level what these visions imply. With Carl’s loss of life marking the largest departure from the comics so far, we’re on the level within the present the place the 2 properties might critically diverge. And with Maggie’s Lauren Cohan leaving the show after this season as nicely, it looks like The Strolling Useless is at a tipping level. Within the comics there’s a time skip to assist higher arrange Carl in a management position; with him gone, will a time skip even occur? With the lack of two key characters, the place can we go from right here?
Inform us your theories within the feedback beneath!
MORE UNDEAD CONTENT!