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Talking Dead with Pedro: 8.09

Pedro Vasquez, Staff Writer

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Welcome back, walker fanatics, to the return episode of AMC’s hit drama series, The Walking Dead!

“Fighter,” “hero” are words that can describe Carl Grimes. This episode is a tribute episode to Carl as his journey in the zombie apocalypse comes to an end. The first episode of TWD of 2018 begins with the look of fear, depression, and overall disbelieve of Rick’s face as he’s talking to himself. Remember at the beginning of the season when we the audience begin seeing the future of the world Rick and company live in? Neither did I, but the directors are continuing on with that storyline by having Rick and Judith walking on the Hilltop. Judith gives Jerry a huge hug, and we see old man Rick with a cane, and everything is normal at the Hilltop. Back to reality, Rick and Michonne are digging up a grave for Carl, and both cannot keep their emotions in check.

The show flashes back to where Carl was fighting off a walker, he clearly lost sight of what was going on which gave the undead an opportunity to bite him in the rib area. This scene alone is very hard to watch because we never see Carl freeze before, and the look on disbelieving he has when the walker bites him is too hard to watch without tearing up. Carl takes a look at the wound in the bathroom, he realizes what his faith is, but plays it off, and continues to act like a leader in preparation for the Saviors. He also received a letter from Michonne stating, “I had to see it for myself. I’m sorry I didn’t say goodbye first. Will be back soon.” Carl’s facial reaction to the note says it all, he doesn’t know if he’ll live before she gets back, but once again plays it off cool. Carl sits in an empty room in Alexandria writing letters to his loved ones and putting them into piles, the last being one he writes is to Enid. Carl and his new companion set up the sewer escape for the battle and spends treasures his last few moments with his baby sister, Judith.

Back at the Sanctuary, Morgan is scoping out the place with his sniper rifle. Saviors are plowing down the undead, making a path for themselves so they can escape. Morgan plan on killing the Saviors, but gets shot at by them and escapes while letting his crew know too. Saviors begin to follow Morgan, but he escapes outside where there’s a hoard of the undead waiting to be feed human flesh. Morgan attracts their attention by banging the fence behind him. As walkers begin to go after Morgan, Saviors open the door, and the undead is attracted to their new target. A Savior truck drives by Morgan, and he rushes after it.

Carol is making an escape route for the remaining civilians of the Kingdom. She plans on going after them to finish off the job, but Benjamin’s younger brother is trying to convince Carol to let him go with her. She refuses at first not wanting to see him die, but she allows it.

Back to the sewer scene where Carl unveils the truth, Rick’s and everyone’s facial expression says it all… WHAT THE HELL?!?! Carl hands out the goodbye letters to everyone and notifies Rick of his new companion, Sedic. Rick is denying this nightmare is happening– sorry to break it to you, partner, it’s happening.

Meanwhile,  the Kingdom, Gavin the Savior notifies Ezekiel that Negan is going to kill him, and there’s nothing he can do to stop it. Ezekiel doesn’t care, but Gavin is trying to convince Ezekiel that he actually liked him, but Ezekiel is happy with his decision.
Morgan spots a little kid running across the Kingdom, he assumes Henry, and his senses were tingling and Carol was behind him. Together they make a plan to take back the Kingdom to its rightful owner, Ezekiel.

Michonne and Rick put Carl on a stretcher, and Carl’s fever is getting worse by the second. Sedic offers some medicine that will help treat his fever for a little while, rick automatically asks Carl if he knew he’s a doctor and if that was the reason why he brought him back here. Carl answered with he needed our help, and he was not going to make it out there all by himself. Rick acknowledges Carl’s bravery, and because of the battle still taking apart above them, Carl can’t breathe all that well. Michonne loses her cool and pushes Dwight into a corner and begs for him to make the madness stop. Dwight tries to convince them to stay in the sewer because that’s the safe route until they’re all gone, they don’t have enough ammunition to stay all night.
Carol and Morgan are hiding from the Saviors, only for a little while because they snuck from behind a couple and killed them. Morgan is wondering if the Saviors have found Henry, but Carol is focused on finding Ezekiel. Gavin is going to convince Ezekiel the Kingdom will be transferred to something else.

Michonne, acting like a perfect motherly figure is taking great care of Carl, treasuring her final moments with him. Turns out Dwight was right about the Saviors staying for only a little while longer, and begin escaping the sewer.

Morgan’s senses are tingling as he hears Saviors on the other side. Morgan investigates, stabbed one in the throat, the other in the chest, and Carol pops one in the head to the last one. Gavin is making room in the trunk for Ezekiel’s body, being it’s his last ride, why not make it comfortable. Gavin calls in for his group, no response. He’s starting to get annoyed and worried. Ezekiel tries to convince him it’s not too late to walk away from all of this. The Saviors and Ezekiel hear gunshots, and they all retreat. Suddenly, a Morgan appears from the shadow like if he’s Batman and investigates the scene.

The audience is looking at a depressed Rick, tearing up once again, do you know what that means? Time for more future reality starring Old man Rick! Old man Rick and Judith are meeting up with Eugene where he’s explaining his plan and gives Judith an apple with her name on it. Reality is in check as we see Rick and Michonne digging up a grave. Michonne notifies Rick letting him know the Saviors are gone and they should take Carl to the Hilltop. Rick believes he won’t make it, and he’s going to stay at Alexandria with him. Michonne is going to stay too, and Daryl will take Judith to the Hilltop. Carl has some final words for Judith, letting her know to be good, but she most likely doesn’t understand a word he is saying. Carl does a passing of the torch moment where he gives Judith Rick’s signature hat! Carl references his mother when he said that she told him he can be the world, now he’s giving Judith that power, to change everything. At the perfect timing, Judith starts crying. Sedic confronts Carl, thanking him for bringing him in, and promising him that he will honor Carl. Carl ends that moment with congratulating Sedic for being apart of the group.

Gavin orders his army to lock down the theater they’re hiding in. Ezekiel explains why he created the Kingdom, only to save the Saviors, no more! Morgan and Carol pop from the shadows, and plowing down Saviors to rescue their King. Ezekiel finds a gun and helps contribute to the fight. Meanwhile, a Savior jumps Morgan and fights him, but Morgan sees he has a gunshot wound still, so he sticks his hand inside the wound, and rips his guts out spilling everywhere! Gavin is shocked by what he has witnessed, he runs away, still breathing. Ezekiel recommends they retreat as well, but not until they’re all dead!

Michonne and Rick are taking care of Carl during his last few minutes. He’s wishing them to be strong, even once this nightmare is over. Carl thanks Michonne for being his best friend through the day in and day out. Rick says it’s time to get him out of the sewer.

Gavin is still trying to get away from Morgan as fast as he can. The scene then switches back to Rick and Michonne running towards a house with Carl in their arms, with houses burning down behind them. Gavin has found a place to hide for the time being, until Morgan throws him out with ease!

Carl thanks Rick for raising him the way he is today. Carl recalls the prison season where a kid a little bit older than him with a gun in his hand, and he just killed him with no fear. Carl thinks about that every day.Gavin starts calling Morgan a sick man, and a fool because the Hilltop is still overrun with Saviors. Gavin finds it funny how he thinks they won. Rick tries to talk some sense with Carl saying he was just a kid when that happened. Carl convinces Rick to be the person he used to be and just stop killing people without a reason. Ezekiel and Carol talk sense to Morgan to not kill Gavin, being the cowardly way to end things. Morgan says he has to, but it wasn’t Morgan who killed Gavin, it was Henry, avenging his older brother! Carl shocks the Walking Dead fanbase by saying it was him who has been having the future dreams of old man Rick living the perfect life in Alexandria! The purpose behind the dream was for Rick to change, but Rick claims it was all for him. The prison, the garden, Alexandria is all for Judith and him, and nothing is going to change that!

Ezekiel comforts Henry after his first murder. Carol is furious with Henry, but Ezekiel calms her down and says all will be resolved. Rick apologizes to Carl for not protecting him, for not being a real father. Carl smiles and draws out his gun. Michonne says he shouldn’t do it, he can’t do it, but Carl convinces them both to let him do it since their too emotional to do it. Carl’s says “I love you dad” as his final words. Michonne and Rick wait outside and hear the silenced gun go off, Rick can’t take it anymore. Carl’s final dream has Judith saying good morning to Negan, a civilized, normal Negan, working in the garden of Alexandria!

Wow, what a return episode! This episode was the perfect beginning to end because it had the proper action, development, emotion, and storyline necessary to make this episode one of my personal favorites of all time. Plus this is a goodbye episode for the G.O.A.T. of TWD Carl Grimes, it was certainly a great send off. Back to the rating scale—leaning towards Daryl Dixon—the best episode thus far—Glenn Rhee (Very good episode), Rick Grimes (An average episode), Gregory, the Hilltop leader (Poor episode), and Spencer and Aidan Monroe (Each a terrible episode). The farewell episode for carl broke the rating scale because there’s literally no better episode that can top this one!

 

 

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