Overall impression of TWD 809
I have to admit that knowing Carl was going to die since the midseason finale took a lot of the firepower out of this episode for me. I had accepted that he was on borrowed time and had already run scenarios through my head as to how it would go.
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The videos showing his farewells were mostly what I expected, and the goodbyes to his father and Michonne, along with Judith, were well done. But I’m curious what he wrote in those letters to the others who didn’t get to say goodbye.
The hardest part for me was watching Rick sitting outside the church with Michonne while Carl was inside and shot himself in the head so he wouldn’t return as a walker. Thinking about how hard that must have been for him to accept is very hard, and I totally understand why many viewers may have been sobbing uncontrollably during the episode.
That said, there were some interesting side stories being set up here. Morgan is getting conflicted again, Henry killed Gavin, and Dwight is now firmly with Rick’s group. All that will have an impact on the series and we’ll see that play out later.
It’s hard to grade this episode because I have been looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. Even though it was clunky at times, it was very effective in moving the story along and creating a new future for The Walking Dead. I’ll give it a 7.5/10.
*UPDATED 2/26 to fix episode title error. Thanks to @GreeneTea42 on Twitter for pointing out my error.