“My mercy prevails over my wrath,” distraught Rick (Andrew Lincoln) said with red-rimmed eyes at the beginning of The Walking Dead’s midseason premiere on Sunday, letting us know we were in for a rough time. Boy, were we ever.
Here are the top five moments from the season 8 episode 9, “Honor,” and the reactions from fans.
SPOILER ALERT: THIS ARTICLE REVEALS DETAILS OF EPISODE 9 OF SEASON 8 OF THE WALKING DEAD.
Like we really needed it, we see again that Carl (Chandler Riggs) was indeed bitten by a zombie in the midseason finale, while rescuing newcomer Siddiq (Avi Nash) in the forest. Then, there’s the montage of Carl trying to live his best life in the time he has left. Writing notes to everyone, having a cute moment with toddler Judith – and it only gets more heartrending from there.
Back in the sewers with the Alexandrians, Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) are trying to grapple with seeing Carl in his condition, while they all wait out the attack above from the Saviors, so they can escape to the Hilltop.
One by one, everyone has their moment with the dying Carl, even Siddiq, who we find out is a doctor. He tells Carl he will honor him and let everyone know what selfless thing he did in saving Siddiq’s life. Daryl gives Carl credit for saving everyone’s life by bringing them down to the sewers.
Carl saying goodbye to Judith, though, that’s almost too much. “Sometimes kids have to show their parents the way,” he tells her, adding, “Before mom died, she told me I was going to beat this world. I didn’t, but I know you will.” He then gives her Rick’s sheriff’s hat. Just stop.
— Katelyn Joy (@katelynjoy101) February 26, 2018
Finally, alone with Rick and Michonne, Carl tells his father that when he stopped fighting, it was the right thing to do. Then Carl opts to shoot himself in the head, so the two people he loves most won’t have to. As they sit outside, they hear the gunshot, and then they bury him. Sobbing doesn’t quite describe the emotions.
If I don’t watch the walking dead anymore then Carl never dies right? pic.twitter.com/A8vqq3UQZ4
— harley (@carlgrimed) February 25, 2018
No one talk to me for the next week. Don’t approach me at school, don’t look at me or say “it’s just a show.” Y’all I’m broken I watched this kid grow up for the last 8 years. #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/yGHNutVejt
— emz (@buchanangrimes) February 26, 2018
Throughout the episode, we see glimpses of old Rick, with the beard and the cane. Walking around a thriving Alexandria, with a 10-year-old Judith. Jerry (Cooper Andrews) is there, as is Eugene (Josh McDermitt).
Turns out, it has been Carl’s vision of the future all along. As he’s dying, Carl wants his dad to be happy again. Rick says everything he has ever done has been for his kids. Carl wants him to be at peace. Rick promises he’ll make Carl’s vision of the future a real one.
— Ronni Daus (@vdaus19) February 26, 2018
the year is 2025. its season 15 of the walking dead. everyone is dead except rick grimes. carl’s ghost appears and tells him everything is gonna be alright. andrew lincoln just wants to the show to end but they won’t let it. he’s so tired. free him
— laney (@seinfeId) February 26, 2018
At the Kingdom, Ezekiel (Khary Payton) is now captured by Gavin (Jayson Warner Smith) and his small Savior crew. Gavin can’t believe how dumb Ezekiel is in listening to Rick, and now he’s going to die. Ezekiel doesn’t see it that way. He still has his kingly crown on, and tells Gavin he, too, can take a step in the right direction and not do Negan’s bidding. We miss Shiva, the tiger, by the way. A lot.
— Brandon Davis (@BrandonDavisBD) February 26, 2018
Meanwhile, Morgan (Lennie James) and Carol (Melissa McBride) reunite at the Kingdom to rescue Ezekiel, along with young Henry, Morgan’s protege, who sneaked away and followed Carol after she told him not to. Damn those kids — can’t leave Carol alone.
Carol and blonde kids go together like peanut butter and plane engines #thewalkingdead
— The Walking Dead (@TheWalkingDead) February 26, 2018
Carol and Morgan do prevail, but in killing the Saviors, Morgan, the old killing machine, returns. He even shoves his hand into a Savior’s gut and pulls his insides out. Was that necessary?
— Siobhan (@vondeeezy) February 26, 2018
As Gavin begs then goads Morgan, Carol and Ezekiel plead with Morgan to stop. Killing Gavin won’t help, but Morgan says he must. But it’s Henry who ends up killing Gavin — with a stick through the throat from behind. Carol reprimands him for following her, but Ezekiel urges calm: “All will be resolved.”
— Leah B. (@thenleahsaid) February 26, 2018
— Jáy-Qué (@stickeno) February 26, 2018
Rick promises Carl the future world he dreams of will happen, but guess who else is there and part of the community? Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Could it happen?
Is anybody else confused Negan showed up in Rick's future dream? 🤔 #TheWalkingDead
— Γυζζψ Βοωεν 🎛️ (@IAmGuzzyBowen) February 26, 2018
Still, that’s not the most troubling moment of the whole show. It’s the last shot of Rick up against a tree, apparently shot in the gut. Oh god, is this what we have to worry about now?
— Kuli …. (@Rock_Jewelzzz) February 26, 2018
— Vishal Kiran Zade (@vishaalzade) February 26, 2018
What did you think of Carl’s final moments? Tell us in the comments.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8C on AMC.