The Walking Dead: Carl graduates from the kids’ table

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) in Episode 7Photo by Gene Page/AMC
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) in Episode 7Photo by Gene Page/AMC /

After spending so much time trying to prove himself to the group, Carl finally comes into his own in The Walking Dead “Rock in the Road.”

Carl has left the kids’ table and joined the adults’ table in the midseason premiere of The Walking Dead.

When Carl went to the Sanctuary in “Sing Me a Song,” Negan talked to him like an adult. Negan treated him like one of the guys, imparting lessons to the young man that he hadn’t learned from his father. Negan respected Carl after finding out that the kid risked his life by sneaking into the Sanctuary. He respected Carl after watching the one-eyed kid take out several of his men. He respected Carl after seeing Carl’s bandage come off. And he sure as hell respected Carl after learning that Carl killed his own mother before she could turn into a Walker. Like as not, Carl learned a lot from his time with Negan. It was like a confidence booster. It was a much needed confidence booster.

When Rick got back to Alexandria and heard from Negan that his son snuck out and went to the Sanctuary, Rick was not happy. However, there were too many other things for him to worry about at the time.

Not much time has passed since Carl returned from the Sanctuary, but we know that Carl went on the trip to Alexandria, and he was there at the Kingdom as well.

On the highway Carl spots the Sanctuary. He and Jesus are the only ones who know the place, inside and out. This makes them an invaluable resource that means Carl now has a seat at the adult table. Tara called upon Carl to help move the cars. They worked together and his age didn’t matter. We haven’t seen Carl have that kind of role yet. It might be a small part now, but it’s an important start and things can only go up from here.

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The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.