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The Walking Dead - S8E9 - Honor

Previously on The Walking Dead, “How It’s Gotta Be”

Now we know why Carl had to die, even though his comic book counterpart is still alive and well. Carl had to die so Negan can live.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The dream-like fast forward first presented in the season eight premiere, “Mercy”, returned in last night’s mid-season premiere as Carl’s vision of the future without him. A future in which Rick is old and happy, Michonne still looks the same because melanin is magic, Judith is finally walking, and the communities are thriving. Most of Carl’s final hours are spent trying to convince Rick that this future is possible, that they don’t have to kill everyone. Carl’s utopia also includes forgiveness as an option as Eugene is seen not only back into the fold, but on friendly terms with Rick.

As Rick and Michonne sit by Carl’s side in the sewers and the Saviors rain down holy hellfire on Alexandria above, Morgan and Carol attempt to rescue Ezekiel at The Kingdom before Gavin and the other Saviors can deliver him to Negan. Morgan’s back on his clearing steez and unflinchingly and methodically takes out Savior after Savior, stepping in a few times to kill so Carol doesn’t have to. By the time Gavin realizes there’s a problem, it’s too late. Gavin watches as Morgan disembowels a man with one hand and then takes off running. Morgan hunts him down in a sequence taken right out of a Halloween movie. Carol and Ezekiel try to convince Morgan that he doesn’t have to kill Gavin, who has surrendered. The decision is taken out of Morgan’s hands by the little boy Henry, who has followed Carol despite her orders not to; he stabs Gavin in the throat with his staff.

Carol: “Morgan, you don’t have to do this.” 

This comes just after Carl has admitted that he knew the Woodbury boy in season three was about to surrender when Carl shot and killed him anyway. (I told you so!) If Farmer Rick hadn’t intervened in season four, Carl would have been well on his way to becoming a coldblooded, unstoppable killer… kinda like Morgan. Of course, we’ll conveniently forget all the other shit that went down between then and now, like Carl almost being raped and then watching his father stab a man more than a dozen times, and Carl mowing down Saviors after sneaking into The Sanctuary. The fact is, now, Carl realizes they cannot have any kind of meaningful life if they insist on killing everyone… even if those everyones are actively trying to kill them. I guess.

They manage to get Carl to the church above ground so he doesn’t have to die in a sewer. Final goodbyes are said, and Carl shoots himself in the head while Rick and Michonne wait outside.

The final bit of Carl’s vision of the future reveals that Negan is also a part of their community. He’s not dead. He’s not in Morgan’s homemade prison cell. He’s working in the community garden and palling around with Judith.

This is why Carl had to die - so The Walking Dead can keep Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan until the end, which I am convinced will be season ten. In what universe would Rick NOT kill Negan after all the shit he’s done? A universe in which Rick promised his dying son that he would put aside his guns and find a better way — this is most likely the other flash forward we’ve been shown where a red-eyed Rick says his mercy won over his wrath.

Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Rick will be on the verge of killing Negan when Henry puts a stick through Negan’s throat. *shrug*

Also, can we talk about how Carl took his impending death like a champ. That kid was so damn stoic and productive. I would have been curled up in a ball, sobbing, and wondering why bad things happen to good people.

What did you think of the mid-season premiere? Leave your brief thoughts below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast.

The Walking Dead S8E9 Review Score
  • 8/10
    Plot - 8/10
  • 7.5/10
    Dialogue - 7.5/10
  • 9/10
    Performances - 9/10


Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Norman Reedus, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Khary Payton

User Review
3.67 (3 votes)
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

11 Comments on The Walking Dead - S8E9 - Honor

  1. For the podcast:

    I fast forwarded that whole Carl montage. They need to stop starting off episodes with that reflective musical montage bullshit. I used to be one of those “TWD ain’t that bad” types but this shit sucks. The whole Carl storyline is so damn dumb. I’ll still watch but i’m waiting for Gotham for better storytelling. 🙅🏿‍♂️

  2. For The Podcast:

    Hey Nina and colonizers, the one thing I liked about this episode was Morgan Myers everything else was just mind numbingly stupid.
    I really don’t understand where Carl’s Gandhi like outlook on life came from in the 3 days that have passed since he went to the sanctuary to try to kill Negan himself, but the whole put down your gun mentality in the ZA is ridiculous and if that’s the shit we were going to get from him going forward I’m glad he’s dead. I would’ve respected Scott Gimple a lot more if he just walked on screen and said that he wants to keep Negan on the show and he’s using Carl to justify why Rick won’t be killing Negan in the finale because then we wouldn’t have had to sit through Carl’s speechifying bullshit. I’m done i hope this wasn’t too long I’m on my phone so it’s hard to judge the length.

  3. For the podcast.
    Gonna keep this short and sweet and say fuck this show I’m upset now because I feel like there gonna keep JDM and I’m gonna be stuck watching till like season 20 now as long as he’s there 😭😭😭😭.new greeting needs to be fuck gimple till the show ends

  4. For the podcast

    Well, that happened.

    I did like Solid Snake Carol and Morgan Myers taking out random henchmen, that shit was cool. Morgan has perfected the most art of impalement though.

    Carl doing a 20 minute philosophy speech while dying maybe would have affected me more if I didn’t know how Chandler Riggs got screwed over. But to end it with an off camera *pew*, come the fuck on though.

    Lastly. I love the Kang. That dude won’t break character for shit. Even when maybe about to die this dude is Medieval Timing.

  5. For the podcast:

    I’m now only watching TWD now so I can hear you guys shred this show apart. I literally was cleaning dishes, drinking, watched 3 minutes of the show and repeated until it was over. Don’t know what I missed but I’m sure it wasn’t important. RIP to Carl.

    Love the podcast

  6. For The Podcast:

    This did not need to be an extended episode.
    No one cares about the deadbeat dad dying.
    We don’t need Carol to get another Robin.
    Why is the brown dude always the doctor, and why can’t he live with the white folks instead of the sewer?
    Remember when anyone actually cared that The Walking Dead was coming back?

    Cheers for the podcast

  7. For the podcast

    Carl deserved better.

    They’re lucky they have the quality of actors they have cause fuck this show!

    I love when Morgan goes all murderous. But him & Carol being murderous together warmed my cold heart. And they saved my Kang Zeke.

    That’s it. Cause I’m still pissed over how they did Carl! Can’t wait to hear the podcast tho.

  8. For the podcast:

    Carl deserved better…we all deserve better.

    I increasingly think the way I need to watch TWD is on drugs. Only problem is I don’t use them.

    My black-ass moment was…oh wait, wrong podcast.

  9. For the podcast:

    I have a # of questions about sunday’s episode and this show in general but I’ll keep it brief. 1st, why didn’t they let Michonne take Carl back home so Shuri could fix yet another broken white boy?

    2nd, Why did Morgan tell everyone to abandon ship at the sanctuary? Nothing they bothered to show us explained how the saviors got the drop on them in the 1st place.

    and 3rd, and this is more of a wish, but can Henry die? I can’t stand him and everything he represents.

    I too think twd in going to end in s10 Nina, or at least that it should, because this was terrible. Carl dying made no sense and Carl dying so Negan could be spared down the line is fucking stupid.

    In what world does that decision make Rick a good leader or main character? Why can’t peace be achieved after Rick puts a hot one through his skull? Other than, Chandler, Danai and Andrew’s acting, and Morgan’s stomach trick this entire episode was a huge disappointment.

    That’s it for me. Can’t wait to hear the podcast.

  10. For the podcast. - so the future vision was Carl’s dream? If so why the bit at the end with negan and the tomatoes after carl was supposedly dead?

    Carol and Morgan are while being pretty kick ass , weren’t all that interesting this time.

    I’m just getting tired of killing people off . It’s starting to make their stories and character archs seem pointless

  11. For the podcast: ( I posted in the right place this time Nna😁)

    I missed the first half hour & fell asleep through most of the episode-at this point the show has jumped the shark for me. But I’m all in so I’ll stick w/it.

    I thought Carl’s passing was touching yet excruciatingly long. I liked that they didn’t show him killing himself. RIP Carl; while u weren’t my favorite character, you deserved better.

    Out of the hands of the babes-while Morgan hesitated, the kid killed Gavin w/o a thought. He has a conscience; he may deserved better too.

    That’s all I have for this week.

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