The Walking Dead season 8, episode 9 preview: Honor

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

The Walking Dead returns with its midseason premiere as we witness the aftermath of Carl’s walker bite and the deflated remnants of Alexandria’s community.

Before we get into the acceptance stage of what’s coming on Sunday’s Walking Dead midseason premiere on AMC…. There’s something we need to talk about and it can’t wait any longer. In the midst of the controversial ending that saw Carl Grimes forecast his inevitable demise, another cast member exit has loomed.

By now, anyone that’s even a casual Walking Dead fan has heard that Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene) has been cast as a lead in ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier. There’s major implications to the casting news for both this season and the Walking Dead television series as a whole. You see from Sunday’s premiere on, there’s only going to be one question that overshadows everything else going on in the series, “When is it going to happen?”

Real life news may have foretold the spoiler of Maggie Greene’s character end, and nobody is going to just forget about it. It’s quite similar to what happened to ABC’s Designated Survivor this season, when news broke out on Deadline that actress Natascha McElhone was leaving the show to star in Hulu’s The First. McElhone was playing Kiefer Sutherland’s wife on the series as First Lady Alex Kirkman.

The Walking Dead must not panic and do the predictable, a character death. They’ve been bleeding quality talent for literally years now by this route. Carl’s upcoming end seems to have ignited an angry apathy rather than the intended hype and shock. Forget the reasons, whether it be inevitable for storyline purposes like Shane, questionable like Jessie and The Governor, or shock value like Andrea. It’s hard to make an audience like characters so much they’ll tune in every week.

Finding an actor or actress that perfectly portrays a character your audience connects with is priceless. It’s downright magic. Which is why The Walking Dead needs to take a different approach for once. Let Maggie just leave for a few seasons, there’s no walker bite or dramatic Savior ambush needed. Do what you should have done with the Governor, leave the door open for a return years from now.

Carl Grimes: Acceptance

Now back to the acceptance stage…. Look, there’s going to be no Glenn style ‘under the dumpster’ reversal this time around. A walker bite is a walker bite and unless that whole last sequence is a dream, this is it for Carl. This means Rick Grimes’ main reason for always pushing forward is going to evaporate. Yes, Rick still has Judith but he’s mentioned knowing that Shane was her real father. His blood, his heir, and first and only son is about to leave forever.

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You can be assured that will change Rick in ways we never imagined. Remember, Rick bit into someone’s throat once to save Carl.

There’s four options on the table: Rick goes into a complete wild frenzy and emotionally goes into Sanctuary, Rick listens to Carl and moves on from revenge, deflation like the rest of the Alexandria community, or Rick continues with his plan.

Negan also a plan in mind now, one that involves taking out Rick Grimes at all cost. Rick has publicly embarrassed Negan with his ambush at Sanctuary, and you can be assured he won’t rest until he finds out where Rick is hiding. Dwight definitely can’t go back now, and members of Rick’s group like Daryl have not taken kindly to his new membership.

Hilltop as a Last Stand

Bringing the entire group together doesn’t seem like the smartest idea despite its simplistic charms. Especially, since it seems Dwight is coming up with it and just recently ‘betrayed’ the Saviors. If they go through with what’s talked about in the above trailer, they’ll be sitting ducks for the Saviors. Is that Dwight’s plan? A possible double turn in the making?

At least separated they can surprise the Saviors instead of just being inevitably outnumbered. Rick’s group would have to be flawless in a last stand at Hilltop to stop a barrage by the Saviors in the style that just scorched Alexandria.

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Remember to tune in Sunday night to The Walking Dead’s season 8 return with episode ‘Honor’ on AMC at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. Central.