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Warning: gigantic spoilers lie ahead for the Season 8 midseason finale of The Walking Dead, "How It's Gotta Be."
The midseason finale of The Walking Dead was an intense episode that spent nearly 90 minutes building up to an incredibly tragic twist. The final scene revealed that a character who has been around from the very first season had been bitten by a Walker on a part of his body that can't simply be chopped off a la Hershel's leg. Yes, young Carl pulled up his shirt to show a zombie bite on his torso, and Rick had just enough time to look deeply and truly devastated before the episode came to an end. The show is now heading into a hiatus for a couple of months, but we fortunately have a trailer that reveals some of the aftermath of the big bite. Take a look!
The midseason finale of The Walking Dead technically didn't show Carl's death, as he was still alive and alert enough to pull up his shirt and show his dad the bite. Unfortunately, everything we've seen on the series to date should confirm that no miracle is on the way to restore Carl to full health. The kid was bitten on a part of the body that can't be chopped off or excised or anything that helps folks cheat death in the zombie apocalypse. Carl may not have been dead in the midseason finale, but he's going to die, and the shot in the trailer of Rick looking at a cross stuck in the ground near what looks to be the remains of Alexandria points to Carl officially biting the dust sooner rather than later.
That's not all that's happening in the clip of what's to come. The action of the zombie apocalypse isn't going to die down just because Rick's son was mortally wounded, and the Saviors are clearly still going to be on the warpath after the events of the midseason finale. Dwight apparently will prove that he's worth keeping around, just in case anybody among the survivors has doubts. Carol's got a gun again, and Michonne is evidently a woman on a mission, undoubtedly deep in mourning over the loss of the boy who had become a surrogate son. Negan apparently won't be any worse for the wear after his showdown with Rick, as he's seen ambling along next to Simon in the footage.
Daryl has been a pretty loose cannon in Season 8 so far, but it looks like the loss of Carl might have Daryl behaving himself and sticking with Rick a little bit more. Given that Rick will be in a very bad place, he could probably use the support of Daryl rather than have to deal with Daryl taking risks for the sake of revenge. All things considered, I think it's safe to say that The Walking Dead has plenty of action and intensity in store in the rest of Season 8, and we shouldn't rule out more big deaths. We also still need to find out what exactly is up with Rick's flashforward -- which we can safely say now that Carl has been bitten wasn't actually a real flashforward -- and there are plenty of questions to be answered.