By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
The fate of Carl tonight was something many of us had been expecting for a long time. In the comic, Carl loses the eye and wakes up with amnesia. He forgets so many things, including the death of his mother. Since he hasn’t yet awoken from his coma, we don’t know if the writers will go there with Carl. I’m fine with it if they do, but it’s also okay if they don’t. This episode was so intense with so many things happening, I’d hate to slow things down with an old cliched amnesia trope. Still, if done right, it could still be interesting. This one event was such a pivotal part of Carl’s character development, and adapting it from the comic to the show could prove to be a risky move for the writers. It’s very important and I’d hate to see it messed up.
This episode is also a critical point for Rick as he begins to see the walkers as a manageable problem rather than a critical threat. Rick’s group has been surviving outside the walls for a very long time. Until now, they’ve been relatively alone. The size of the group has varied over time, peaking inside the prison before shrinking back down to the core group. Now they’ve joined the people of Alexandria and the group is once again large. It’s a big deal that Rick now trusts the Alexandrians. It’s been a hard-earned trust, but it’s now there nonetheless. Fighting off the herd of walkers and surviving the night has shown Rick that these two groups can now form into one cohesive unit. He doesn’t know it yet, but that will be vital to everyone’s survival as the new threat of Negan and the Saviors come around.
Speaking of Negan, we didn’t get to see him yet (and we probably won’t until the season finale), but his presence was definitely felt in this episode’s opening. This introduction warns the audience that Negan is a man who takes what he wants when he wants it. He’s a vicious man, and you should prepare yourself to lose some of your favorite characters along the way (it’s The Walking Dead so you should be prepared for that anyway). If you thought the Governor was bad, wait until you meet Negan and his baseball bat Lucille.
There were so many to choose from. I literally stood up from my couch and paced the room at the start of every commercial break; I just couldn’t sit still for this episode. If I had to choose just one scene, it would be Rick taking on the herd of walkers and the whole town coming to help him one-by-one. I’ve already mentioned why Rick’s group and the Alexandrians coming together is important, but seeing it happen was exciting. Having the sequence capped up by the return of Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha and watching them create the lake of fire was just perfect.
Thanks for reading!