After about two months of waiting, season 8 of “The Walking Dead” finally returned yesterday with the extended season premiere episode titled “Honor.” If you haven’t watched the mid-season finale or “Honor,” stop now as there are major spoilers from here on out. Most people who saw the mid-season finale knew what this episode would likely entail, but many were skeptical if the show would have the guts to actually go through with it. With a heavy heart I can confirm that yes, they did indeed. From this episode on, Carl Grimes is no more.

What happened

“Honor,” began with some out of sequence scenes similar to that of the season 5 episode “What Happened and What's Going On.” From there we got to see how Carl got bit followed by a small montage of how he spent his time up until the season premiere. Despite being bit, Carl took it all in almost stride as he made the most of his time, writing letters to his loved ones and even planting a tree. Then we were shown how Morgan escaped from his sniper perch outside the Sanctuary and how he knew to go to the Kingdom.

Next, we got Rick’s and Michonne’s reactions to Carl getting bit. Rick was quick to blame the Saviors, while Michonne could barely speak. Carl assured them it was no one’s fault as he handed them the letters he wrote.

At the Kingdom, Morgan met up with Carol, and two started their rescue of King Ezekiel as they snuck inside the walls. Back in the sewers underneath Alexandria, the survivors argued about what they should do next as the Saviors bombed their home above them. After some convincing from Dwight, they decided to wait until after the Saviors finished their attack before moving the remaining Alexandrians to the Hilltop.

As can be expected, Morgan and Carol made short work of the Saviors at the Kingdom and managed to rescue King Ezekiel with little trouble. Unfortunately for the Saviors, this came at the cost of Gavin’s life. Despite Gavin having always gone along with Negan’s plans, you couldn’t help but feel some pity for the guy as a child killed him.

Speaking of children, watching Carl’s final moments wasn’t much easier. Even with his last breaths, Carl still refused to give in and used his time to try and convince Rick that he doesn’t need to kill all the Saviors. Carl tells his dad his vision of the future where everyone has put aside their differences to work together. A tired Carl then takes out his gun and says his final goodbyes. Rick promises to make Carl’s vision real as he and Michonne tearfully leave Carl to end himself. The two then wait outside, until they hear a gunshot. Michonne and Rick bury Carl as the episode comes to a close with Carl’s vision ending on a reformed Negan living among Rick’s people, while back in the real world, Rick lies bleeding under a tree.

What’s next

It's highly likely that Rick’s going to be releasing some major anger on the Saviors in the following episodes. Hopefully, he won’t go as crazy as he did when Lori died, but with Carl having served as his rock for so long, there’s bound to be at least some of crazy Rick returning. Maybe crazy Rick and crazy Morgan will go on a Savior killing spree. Wouldn’t that be something? Despite the Saviors effectively destroying Alexandria and the Kingdom, they did lose a major player in the form of Gavin and his soldiers. Gavin was one of the most level-headed people in all of the Sanctuary, so without him to spout some sense during council meetings, Negan, and the others are bound to take more drastic measures.

Fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ comic will know that Carl is still alive in that version and that he plays a pretty important role in many future storylines. While the show has deviated from the comic many times before and killed major characters before their time, they’ve always managed to pass on the stories of the deceased to other characters. Unlike those characters though, there isn’t really anybody to pass Carl’s story onto, unless that is, they decide to do a time skip and give it to an older Judith. Of course, since Judith is the only toddler, this would have to be a pretty long-time skip. There's also the possibility the creators may just skip over some future storylines. Either way, things have finally gotten exciting again as the show proves once again that anybody can die. With all this death and destruction though, maybe it's time for a certain character to return.