Warning: spoilers for The Walking Dead season 8
With the shocking midseason finale of The Walking Dead season 8, showrunner Scott Gimple sealed the fate Chandler Rigg's Carl Grimes as he revealed he had been bitten by a walker. The decision to kill off yet another long-standing fan-favorite hasn't gone down well with some fans, and there are already petitions calling for Gimple to be fired over the change from the source material. However, Riggs' own words suggest that the whole show will be taking a wire-wrapped baseball bat to the skull before that comes true.
Fan site The Spoiling Dead Fans is notorious for revealing the show's biggest twists and deaths ahead of time, so viewers were perplexed as to why the spoiler hounds kept their mouths shut on that Carl bombshell. Well, a post sent by Riggs himself to the site admins may tell us why:
"So I've come to realize that you all have probably figured out the big reveal at the end of 808. If not, you will find out soon enough via one of your sources. I get that you guys have been doing this since we started, but I have a request. Out of respect for me, for Carl, and for one of the last few seasons of the show, I'm asking you not to spoil the ending of 808 once your sources inform you of what happens."
The biggest thing to take away is Riggs' comment "one of the last few seasons of the show." While it could just be a flippant remark to make, it doesn't exactly sound like something you would say about a show that isn't even half-way through its intended lifespan.
The Walking Dead hasn't even been renewed for season 9 yet, but even with a continuing dip in viewers, it is still a juggernaut in the network ratings battle. That being said, season 9 would again involve some major contract negotiations for original stars like Andrew Lincoln, Melissa McBride, and Norman Reedus - not to mention the growing star power of Danai Gurira. Gimple still remains confident for season 9 and 10, but with 8 being the most divisive run in the show's impressive tenure, AMC increasingly finds its audience asking, "how much longer can this really go on?"
Perhaps the biggest problem is the slow pace in which the show moves. With a cast bigger than ever and so much to pack in, there are whole episodes that revolve around characters that most frankly don't even care about. On the pages of Robert Kirkman's comics, readers can pick up and put down the story at their own leisure, but the show forces you to watch boring subplots about supply runs and long-lost characters returning for no reason at all. Gimple had previously said that the show will never outpace the comics (currently at Issue #174) and at this rate, that won't be a worry at all.
The only glimmer of hope for hardcore TWD fans to take from Riggs' words is the assumption that he wouldn't know anyway. The 18-year-old actor reportedly didn't even know of Carl's impending demise, so how would he know what Gimple and co. have in store for the zombie romp's endgame? While the corpse may be starting to smell a little, and the show shuffles toward its own TV graveyard, rest assured that The Walking Dead isn't quite dead yet.
The Walking Dead returns in February 2018.
Source: The Spoiling Dead Fans