If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, chances are, you’re still trying to sort out some extreme emotions from the midseason finale that aired Sunday night. If you’ve not yet seen it, we recommend exiting now and returning to your life without the heartache we’re all feeling.
Seriously, go turn on a Hallmark Christmas movie and call it a day.
For those of you who, like us, did see the episode…well, we’ve spent most of our day doing a lot of reading and reacting to that scene with Carl. We had heard stories and rumors and sort of knew what to expect but at the same moment, we knew there was no way he’d be the next character to die. What is The Walking Dead without Carl?
While we’re trying to stomach that idea now, Scott Gimple has lived with it for some time. He spoke with EW about his decision to kill Carl and what it means for not just the future of the series, but for Rick Grimes himself.
First things first; why did Gimple decide to go this route with Carl?
You absolutely will see. It’s just a huge part of the story moving forward and this event is front and center in the story moving forward and it affects all the characters’ actions. It’s just a critical piece of how the story evolves.
Of course, it was mentioned that the lessons Carl was teaching Rick in the midseason finale were pretty linear to what ‘old man Rick’ was saying during the scenes in the first episode of the season. His mercy prevailing over his wrath brought tears to his eyes and now, having seen the last episode, we understand why.
However, Gimple isn’t going into much detail. He doesn’t want to get ahead of the story, but he did let us know that we’ll be seeing more of ‘Old Man Rick’ very soon.
I believe you’re going to see more of Old Man Rick. I’ll give you that. You pinned me down on that.
That being said, we haven’t forgotten that Carl does appear in one of the ‘Old Man Rick’ scenes we’ve already seen. This leads us to believe that instead of a time jump, that was a dream sequence. Or perhaps it is, in fact, a time jump and Rick sort of lives with Carl’s ghost. Only time will tell.
Gimple was also asked how he decided to take such a big leap away from the storyline that is in the comics. He said it was the big struggle because he wants to tell those stories and that he still plans to. It’ll all just have to happen in a different way now.
That was a big struggle about it. It’s a difficult aspect of it but you still want to tell those stories from the comic, and we will. We have seen major stories from characters in the comic go to different characters on the television show. We’re committed to keep telling the story from the comic book. Yes, it’s going to be different. And yes, Negan’s relationship to Carl was a big part of the story moving forward, especially in the world changes we see early on. But, as usual, we do plan on telling those comic stories. It just will have to be with different people and it’s a different way to tell those same stories. But we hope to still fulfill what those stories do.
One of the biggest questions about next season is what will happen to the Rick we know? What will happen to his drive and will to live, especially because the loss he’s suffering is so great and so painful?
The way it happens is critically important to Rick’s state of mind. This is a story that allows characters to say goodbye and to have a closing statement in some ways. And Carl challenges him in certain ways that are difficult, and we’ll see how Rick can reconcile the type of things that Carl tells him.
The Walking Dead‘s midseason premiere will air this February and, with that first episode back, we’ll begin to see how the pieces fall to create the new world; the one none of us planned to see without Carl in it.