Wait, Did The Walking Dead Just Kill Off Some Characters Or Not?

the walking dead eric season 8

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched The Walking Dead's latest episode, "The Damned."

Last week's Walking Dead premiere showed audiences just how rejuvenated and fearless Rick and the various communities are when it comes to taking down Negan and the Saviors. Tonight's episode, however, was far less victorious for all involved, and a few protagonists ended up on the receiving end of the Saviors' gun blasts. But when "The Damned" came to a close, it wasn't so clear whether or not a certain pair of Alexandrians -- Eric and Francine -- had actually died. It's like Glenn's dumpster mess all over again. Just, you know, with characters who aren't quite as important.

The biggest gun battle of the episode, and one of the bigger firepower-centered action sequences of the series, involved Aaron's group attacking a heavily populated outpost, and it's here where several Alexandrians fell victim to the Saviors' retaliation. Tobin got shot in the shoulder area, but he'll still be walking around in the near future. Someone who might not be, though, is Aaron's significant other Eric, who was shot in the stomach near the end of the episode. The last time we saw Eric, he was hanging on Aaron's shoulder and being walked to presumed safety, and while he might not have been pronounced dead on the spot, it's not likely Eric has the brightest and most game-changing future ahead of him.

Really, Eric's death was mostly expected at this point, and he was indeed one of our picks for characters who could likely die in Season 8. He's one of the sub-tier characters that, outside of his relationship with Aaron, doesn't have a whole lot of narrative oomph. Plus, it's around this time in the comics that Eric met a similar life-ending fate. Although on the page, he was shot in the head and there was even less room for speculation involving his prospects for survival. So we're admittedly not holding out much hope for Eric's chances. Still, it was quite lovely to see Aaron looking out for Eric during the earlier stages of the attack, and we're assuming he's going to be even more vengeful in the near future.

The other Alexandrian who almost definitely met her maker is Francine, whose name probably wouldn't have been on the tip of very many people's tongues had Eric not yelled it, even though actress Dahlia Legault has been on the show since Season 5. Once a part of the Alexandria construction crew, Francine was usually seen wherever Tobin and Scott were, and she was part of the big ambush at the Saviors outpost, and she was right next to Eric when she was shot right in the chest.

Similar to Eric, Francine's injury wasn't directly addressed with someone actually confirming or denying the severity of the wound. But it's not like anyone really had time to do any medical analysis on Francine, and getting shot in the chest is hardly the easiest injury to walk away from without miracles going down. And there are no miracles in this post-apocalypse, even with a Jesus around. Hopefully we'll at least get to see a Francine walker next week.

Now, Negan's Saviors definitely took a way bigger pounding from Team Family than vice versa. Just like last week, we got to watch a bunch of villainous underlings getting taken down -- as well as eaten, since Shiva also came out to play during "The Damned" -- and that ambush was a pretty brilliant move, as it was not only meant to directly kill the Saviors, but also to create enough walkers behind enemy lines to assist Team Family's efforts. The body count would have been even bigger had Jesus not stopped Tara and Morgan from getting on with their vendettas. Hell, Jesus almost got himself killed off for being too gullible over a pissy-pants Savior, but that thankfully didn't happen. I sure wish Jared would have died, though, instead of being saved.

The Walking Dead will almost definitely have resolutions to these potential deaths, and hopefully much more, by next week's episode, which airs on Sunday night on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see all the other shows that might be killing off characters soon, head to our fall premiere TV schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.