For anyone who hasn't yet watched The Walking Dead's midseason premiere, there are major spoilers below, so make sure to watch before reading on.
As Walking Dead viewers, we all knew that the midseason premiere would be an interesting and somewhat different affair, with Carl getting a rare episode-long farewell. (Mixed in with Carol and Morgan's story, but still.) I can't say I expected "Honor" to layer its emotional beats so successfully, but there were quite a few moments that attempted to and succeeded in making a bell's rope out of my heartstrings.
To that somber end, here are all the moments in "Honor" that made us want to sob our patch-covered eyes out, though admittedly, we were intentionally trying our damnedest to stay as far away from Daryl's ugly-cry face as humanly possible. For obvious reasons. Now grab a soft hankie and let's start this depressing journey by breaking down that opening montage.
Rick and Michonne Digging Carl's Grave
Well, The Walking Dead wasted zero time getting down to dour business, opening up on Jerry being awesome in the soon-to-be-disproven Old Rick flash-forward and then harshly juxtaposing it with the emotionally splintered Rick and Michonne digging Carl's grave, the sun beating down on them from above. We were already coming into the episode sensitive to anything that could trigger an onrush of tears, and I'm sure any parents out there (among others) definitely felt a crack in the armor at the thought of having to physically dig the hole that their child will soon be laid in. Especially in a world without functioning embalming tools or funeral services.
Carl Accepting His Fate
Surprisingly, it wasn't immediately gut-wrenching to watch the moment when Carl got bitten, though the haunted look on his face could have done it. But the ol' peepers started to twitch as Bright Eyes' "At the Bottom of Everything" took over the soundtrack, and once Carl stood in front of the bathroom mirror to assess the lethal damage, it was all we could do to not start leaking like a sink faucet. One can easily envision Carl going into that moment with the faintest of hopes that it wasn't a walker bite at all, but some other less agonizing injury, only to face reality head-on. Not the best feeling in the world, and then to immediately follow that with him getting the letter that Michonne wasn't even around. He just looked so lost.
Carl and Judith Making Memories
Yes, it's another moment from the opening montage, which can already be considered one of The Walking Dead's most powerful cold opens in its run so far. Knowing that his lil' sister Judith won't retain many memories of their time together, Carl spent a chunk of his final hours hanging out with her, laughing and making handprints and taking pictures so that she can keep him alive in her heart and mind. (Not to mention he was also bonding with Siddiq and setting him up with temporary shelter during this time.) Judith is usually an afterthought for me, I have to say, but her presence here (and in a later scene) made me feel all the love in the world for her.