What Can Possibly Happen Next: The Back End of Season 8
Carl isn’t dead yet. That’s incredibly important, because he still has the ability to do something before he dies. Could he be the impetus to stop the war? Can he bring Negan and his father to the table to start negotiations?
There’s no question that Rick will be devastated by Carl’s loss, and this will shape his decisions (and sanity) moving forward. Carl wanted to show his father the value and need for hope in the future and we can hope as fans that Rick remembers this.
Negan will also be impacted by Carl’s death. This is important because Carl and Negan shared an interesting relationship. Carl impressed Negan and was able to see through the false bravado. Negan showed Carl the respect he craved and Carl was close to brokering a deal with the leader of the Saviors in the midseason finale. Offering himself as a martyr blew Negan’s mind. Learning that Rick lost his son, and the fact that Negan had so much respect for Carl, will no doubt give Negan pause.
We will learn more about Carl’s short term legacy as soon as the action returns in the midseason premiere, but it’s pretty clear that his death won’t be in vain.