A couple of weeks ago I took to the blog to lament the fact that Carl totally screwed up his own death/undeath/resurrection, the final proof that he, Rick and quite possibly Judith are all immune, and the fact we’re about to discover what the helicopters mean and everything will FINALLY be epic again.

With me so far? If not, read the article, it’s a bit of a whacky theory I’ve had going for a while and takes some ‘splainin’…

All caught up?

Great. So, I just watched Still Gotta Mean Something, the most recent episode of season 8 to drop, and I may have to grant young Coral a reprieve.

Turns out, he maybe didn’t screw up his own plot twist after all, but simply twisted it even further.

I got a lot of scepticism over this theory. Apparently it’s ‘highly unlikely’ and ‘doesn’t make any sense’, and I should remember that ‘Chandler Riggs confirmed Carl is definitely dead’.

To the naysayers my responses are thus:

It’s not highly unlikely, it’s actually incredibly predictable, so much so I’ve been predicting it for months.

It makes perfect sense in the world of The Walking Dead.

I’m not saying Carl didn’t die! That he died is the whole point!

Coral’s death left Chandler Riggs in the beautiful situation of being able to very honestly confirm his own death, and discuss how he felt about it, without either giving away the twist or lying in order to keep it a secret.

It’s actually genius.

Two really important things happened in this episode which were perfectly understated and each occupied only a few second/minutes of air time:

The helicopter returned, Negan is now fully aware of it and has formed some kind of uneasy truce with Jadis, who appears to have originally been some kind of army/government badass (really that would explain so much) and knows all about the ‘copter, who is flying it, and why.

Negan drives home and, en route, picks up a passenger. He opens the door, tells the person they look shittier than hell, and they get in Negan’s car. Said person is short, and wearing a pale shirt. That’s all we know about them.

We all remember Carl is short and was last seen wearing a pale shirt, right?

I’m just going to call this and say it’s Carl in the car, and he either didn’t fatally shoot himself but appeared dead enough that they didn’t notice and buried him, or he regenerated after shooting himself in the head (Rick remember died due to a coma from which he couldn’t wake – brain related – and is still walking around just fine).

Either way he’s just crawled out of his own grave and would indeed look shittier than hell. He also likely has a good idea what kind of state his dad is in following his supposed death, and he’s gone looking for Negan to put the whole ‘we can all live happily together in a bright and sunny future’ plan in motion.

Still Gotta Mean Something also took a moment to remind us that Eugene is making bullets, with Rosita and Daryl plotting to kill him. He’s barely in the episode, appearing just long enough to remind us that he’s still alive, and was a fairly prominent feature in Carl’s little future daydream.

Which Carl himself featured in.

Whether Carl had a suspicion he was going to survive like his dad did (because let’s face it he’s about as genre-savvy as any of us, and if fandom has figured out Rick might have died at the hospital, odds are Carl realised it was at least possible), and that’s why he was so zen about the whole death-by-zombie-bite thing remains to be seen.

Either way, I’m expecting Carl’s reappearance next episode and if it doesn’t happen I’ll be very disappointed.

The Walking Dead might actually get interesting again…


UPDATE FROM MYSELF IN 2022: Obviously this didn’t happen. None of it happened. There was no epic twist. There was so much wasted potential. It was all super disappointing.


This post was originally published on Sci-Fi Fantasy Network, which unfortunately is no longer live. Before the site went offline the PTB were good enough to send me everything I’d published on there over the years so I could republish it here.