Knowing what’s to come when The Walking Dead returns to AMC this February makes the wait for the series very bittersweet.
It’s something no one expected, something – quite frankly – no one wanted, and something that’s going to cause perhaps the biggest change we’ve seen within the series so far.
Carl’s life has been the reason Rick Grimes has managed to stay grounded within The Walking Dead. He’s survived, fought back from unfathomable pain and circumstance, and pushed through emotional devastation all to be there for his son.
Now, he’ll experience all of those emotions at once and the tread that kept him together will be broken. It’s a heart wrenching thing, when you think about it, and it’s just as hard on the cast as it is on the fans.
Andrew Lincoln spoke with EW about the goodbye and how it was incredibly sad but also beautiful in the fact that they were able to really say goodbye and live with what that means.
’I’m not going to lie to you, that was sad. The beautiful thing is it’s what we rarely do in our show — we actually give the opportunity for a goodbye. It was unusual in that regard. Usually, things happen and people are ripped from you in this world that we inhabit. Thankfully, there was some sense of catharsis on this one, because we got to leave it all out on the screen. I thought Chandler did a remarkable job, as he always has done, but particularly in this episode.’
Lincoln is right, there’s rarely a true window to formulate a goodbye and prepare for a loss.
‘It’s a very sad farewell and a farewell that I never thought would happen. Neither did most of the rest of the cast, I would imagine.’
While we still aren’t the biggest fans of this deviation from everything we thought we knew about The Walking Dead, it’s not our place to condemn anyone or anything.
Plus, we’ll still feel Carl through the loved ones he leaves behind, the lessons he’s taught, and the last words he says to his dad. Words that carry so much meaning, that their purpose has already been foreshadowed when it comes to Rick.
‘He is the linchpin. It goes back to the flash-forward where my mercy prevails over my wrath. There is a balancing of the scales in Rick’s life that happens in the back eight episodes. A lot of it is because of what is said in episode 9, by his son.’
The experience will change absolutely everything, but we’re hoping it’s going to make sense, even if we don’t feel that way until seasons from now.
The Walking Dead returns with that fateful episode on February 25th.
‘…but I knew him’