After succumbing to a fatal walker bite back in December, Chandler Riggs’ young survivor was left with his head on the proverbial chopping block, so it’s small wonder why Carl spent his final hours bidding farewell to his nearest and dearest.
Perhaps the biggest gut-punch came when Carl and Rick said their goodbyes, though it was only during Sunday night’s “Still Gotta Mean Something” that Andrew Lincoln’s grieving father picked up Carl’s final letter for the first time – much to the delight of Michonne. And it reads a little something like this:
And Friday night pizza. Cartoons. And grandma and grandpa and church, those summer BBQs and the kiddie pool you got me. Could have used that at the prison.
You told me about the walks we’d take when I was three. You holding my hand around the neighborhood, all the way to Ross’ farm. I didn’t know that I remembered them, but I do. Because I see the Sun, and the corn, and that cow that walked up to the fence and looked me in the eye. And you told me about all that stuff, but it isn’t just that stuff. It’s how I felt. Holding your hand, I felt happy and special. I felt safe.
Having witnessed another brutal spell of violence, this is the moment when Rick turned to Carl, his only son, for guidance, so we hope you have one or two tissues on standby – you know, just in case.
I thought growing up was about getting a job and maybe a family, being an adult. But… growing up is making yourself and the people you love safe. As safe as you can, because things happen. They happened before. You were shot before things went bad. Kind of felt like things went bad because you were shot. I want to make you feel safe, dad. I want you to feel just like I felt when you held my hand. Just to feel that way for five minutes. I’d give anything to make you feel that way now. I wanted to kill Negan. I wish I did, maybe it would have been done. I don’t think it’s done now. You went out there again, but I don’t think they surrendered. I don’t think they will surrender.
There are workers in there, dad. They’re just regular people. Old people, young people, families. You don’t want them to die, dad. We’re so close to starting everything over, and we have friends now. It’s that bigger world Jesus talked about. The Kingdom, the Hilltop… there’s got to be more places. More people out there. A chance for everything to change and keep changing.
Everyone giving everyone the opportunity to have a life. A real life. So if they won’t end it, you have to. You have to give them a way out. You have to find peace with Negan. Find a way forward somehow. We don’t have to forget what happened, but you can make it so that it won’t happen again. That nobody has to live this way. That every life is worth something.
Start everything over. Show everyone that they can be safe again without killing. They can feel safe again. That it can go back to being birthdays and school and jobs and even Friday night pizza, somehow. And walks with a dad and a three-year-old holding hands.
Make that come back, dad. And go on those walks with Judith. She’ll remember them.
I love you. Carl.
Season 8 of The Walking Dead reaches its penultimate installment with “Worth” this Sunday, April 8th. You can catch the latest promo down below.