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Warning: spoilers ahead for the Season 8 midseason finale of The Walking Dead.
The midseason finale of The Walking Dead Season 8 will go down as one of the most game-changing episodes of the series to date thanks to that heartbreaking final scene. After an intense episode that saw the Saviors rampaging through the ranks of the people who had defied them, it almost seemed like we would be getting a semi-calm ending with the majority of the key characters safe underground. Then came the shocking reveal that Carl had been bitten by a Walker on the torso and was therefore going to die, meaning that young Chandler Riggs would be leaving the series. Chandler Riggs' father had something to say about his son's character getting killed off, and he didn't mince any words:
Watching Gimple fire my son 2 weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next 3 years was disappointing. I never trusted Gimple or AMC but Chandler did. I know how much it hurt him. But we do absolutely know how lucky we have been to be a part of it all and appreciate all the love from fans all these years!
William Riggs, Chandler Riggs' father, shared his thoughts about his son losing his job on The Walking Dead in a candid Facebook post, although the post has since been taken down. His words make it clear that showrunner Scott Gimple did not deliver the kind of news Riggs wanted for his son at this point in his life. News that he would be losing the job he's held since he was a preteen must have been a very big deal for young Chandler, and his father evidently is not a fan of how it happened.
Of course, Chandler Riggs himself has been open about the devastation of losing The Walking Dead. He had apparently recently bought a house in the Georgia area where the show has filmed for so many years, and he was obviously close with everybody on set. William Riggs' post states that the whole family expected Chandler to be a part of the series for another three years, which had to make the news that Carl would be killed a big surprise. We can only hope that the young actor will go on to have a prosperous career in the non-zombie apocalypse areas of showbiz. The 18-year-old has already landed a movie that required him to get himself a mullet, so he isn't lacking for work.
At least we can say for sure that The Walking Dead won't simply gloss over Carl's death. Protecting Carl has been one of Rick's primary motivators over the series to date, even if he did come to trust his son on his own a lot more in recent years. We can see in the trailer that the loss of Carl will hit Rick very hard, and he has a history of not dealing with devastating family losses very well. Michonne was also visibly distraught at the end of the midseason finale, and we can bet that there will be plenty more sadness to come.