THE WALKING DEAD: DEATH COMES WITH HONOR AS A BELOVED CHARACTER BIDS FAREWELL

It was the death we knew was coming, but that didn’t make it any easier to take. The Sunday night mid-season return of The Walking Dead meant another death in the family.

Carl’s death.

There are characters who come and go, barely leaving an emotional mark, but not Carl. Not Chandler Riggs heartfelt portrayal of a young man who found his footing just before the end came. ‘Honor’ was one episode for the books, but I still have personal reservations about why Carl had to go, only one of the few remaining characters we truly feel attached to and heavily invested in. Bu that’s The Walking Dead for you – as frustrating a show as it is compelling.

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Carl’s send off, for what it was, delivered as much closure as we were going to get. Proper goodbyes were had. The ones he loved knew it. An almost unnervingly serene Carl scratched letters to his nearest and dearest, finding strength on the last day the sun would set on him.

And when death came, it was noble and with honor. Michonne (Danai Gurira) didn’t pull the trigger and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) certainly couldn’t. On their side of the door, the pain and trauma of the situation was palpable. Rick was unable to be the protector here, but for Carl, it was most important that he had been given love. And then the gunshot. A suicide that will undoubtedly change the landscape of so many lives, as well as that of the show which has been hemorrhaging key characters at a decent clip.

Coming full circle in Carl’s case involved a serious case of whiplash, as a hot-blooded youngster found maturity and a sense of peace all in the space of a single episode…at the very end.

PHOTO: GENE PAGE/ AMC

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