We were promised heartbreak in The Walking Dead’s midseason finale, and boy, did we ever get it. In the final minutes of the episode, "How It's Gotta Be," we saw one of the few people that we all thought was safe get bit. And oh no. Already, tweets about Carl on The Walking Dead's midseason finale are so horrified.
Going into tonight's episode, fans of the show knew a major twist like this was looming over the midseason finale. The promo trailer for the Season 8 midseason finale warned that it was going to be "emotional," which, as any fan of the show knows really means "someone's going to die in a brutal, heartbreaking way." The description said,
Every story and battle from the first half of the season comes crashing together in this action-packed, emotional mid-season finale.
In the closing minutes of the episode, we saw the survivors of Rick's merry band who had survived Negan, the sacking of Alexandria, and so much more, making their way through sewers/underground hiding spot to survive. And when Rick finally stumbled on his son — for a moment, all was well.
And then Carl lifted his shirt... and bam. It happened. We were left with our jaws hanging open after witnessing that major cliffhanger. There was a bite on Carl and Twitter, rightfully, exploded with emotion and grief over the character.
A lot of fans went into full denial mode, saying that the show (which, may I remind everyone, is known for killing off all their main characters — seriously guys, sooner or later you just won't have any characters left) was going to find some way to save Carl. Maybe it was going to make him immune, which would be basically a superpower at this point in the story, or, or, I don't know, it wasn't really a zombie who bit him? I don't know. I'm emotional.
Because honestly, I can't really blame everyone who's freaking — I'm kind of freaking too. Carl has made it so far, and to get bit now, because he was helping someone is just way too unfair. I don't care that this show isn't fair. I'm calling it. This blows.
It was almost worse because everyone was so convinced that he was going to die, and then for so much of the episode, he didn't! In fact, he was kind of awesome. He got to sass Negan, fight in an awesome battle, and just generally come into his own. For a moment, we thought he was safe.
Of course, Carl isn't the only one to (maybe) die, but he is the most high-profile character by a long shot. We also saw the unfortunate deaths of the characters of Natania (the former leader of Oceanside) by Enid, and Neil, a member of the Hilltop who was killed as a message to Maggie (officially one of the rudest reasons to kill someone). Slightly more emotional was the death of Dean, a Savior whose final words included calling Maggie "cupcake." Not cute, bro. That kind of talk will get you a bullet in your face, apparently.
Of course, it's not over until it's over, and in a show that loves its cliffhangers I'm not buying that someone's dead until they're totally dead and I get to see the body. But, uh, it looks pretty likely.
That said, we have around two months to wait to find out what actually happened. The Walking Dead doesn't come back for its next episode until February, which means at best we've got six weeks to wait, and at worst, more than two months. So hold on as best you can, guys. Carl would want us to be strong.