The Walking Dead Will Give Viewers A Big Flashback In The Season 8 Finale

Warning: spoilers ahead for the fifteenth episode of The Walking Dead Season 8.

Only one episode is left in the eighth season of The Walking Dead, and it promises to be an intense hour of television. A lot will have to go down in the present, what with Negan using Dwight to set a trap for the Hilltop crew, Eugene going full villain and gearing up for revenge, the Oceanside crew on the road, Jadis and the helicopter, and Rick and Co. willing to do whatever it takes to survive the Saviors' wrath. As it turns out, the finale will also make time for at least one flashback featuring none other than Rick and a young Carl. A first look at the flashback has been released:

the walking dead season 8 finale flashback rick young carl

(Image credit: Image courtesy of AMC)

The season finale will evidently take a break from all the inevitable battles and bloodshed to take Rick on a blast from the past. The image from the episode shows a pre-zombie apocalypse Rick holding young Carl's hand as they go for a walk. It's not difficult to imagine why a walk with three-year-old Carl would be on Rick's mind given the events of the penultimate episode.

Rick went ahead and read the letter that Carl left for him, and even non-Carl fans might have had to admit that it was heartbreaking. Chandler Riggs' returned for a voiceover in which Carl reminded Rick of all the times that Rick would take him for a walk when he was only three, holding his hand and guiding him all around the neighborhood and even to the countryside with a farm and corn and a cow. Carl ended his letter by suggesting that Rick find a way to make peace with the Saviors so he could go on those walks with Judith someday as well.

Well, I'm not sure how likely it is that Rick and Judith will ever get to go on happy zombie apocalypse walks together, but Carl's words in his letter explain why Rick would be flashing back to one of these moments with his dearly departed son. A big question is how The Walking Dead will handle this flashback. Will it be in a dream as Rick prepares for battle? Or perhaps after he's knocked out in a fight against Negan's forces?

Could the flashback actually be a vision brought on by a fever because Rick finally got bit and is about to die? Probably not, but we may not want to rule anything out at this point. If The Walking Dead could kill off Carl, nobody is necessarily safe. The flashback may be as simple as Rick thinking back on happier times, no injury or fever needed. We'll have to wait and see.

Tune in to AMC on Sunday, April 15 at 9 p.m. ET for the Season 8 finale of The Walking Dead, which will immediately be followed by the Season 4 premiere of Fear the Walking Dead. For some non-zombie related fare, take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide and summer TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.