The critically acclaimed hit, The Walking Dead, returned to AMC on Sunday night and proved to naysayers that it was still a force to be reckoned with, even though the show's creator, Frank Darabont, is no longer helming the series.

Executive producer Glen Mazzara promised viewers last month that he was "going to be respectful with the world Frank put in motion," reported the L.A. Times. And Sunday's extended episode of the zombie show took some unforeseen risks, including the disappearance of Carol's (Melissa Suzanne McBride) daughter, Sophia (Madison Lentz) and the shocking death of Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) son, Carl (Chandler Riggs). The paper is calling the episode "arguably the best installment of the series so far."

After heading to Fort Benning, Rick and his group of survivors are accosted by a group of "walkers" on a highway littered with overturned cars. As the horde overtakes them, Rick escapes with Sophia and leaves her in a safe hiding spot, only to discover that she's not there when he returns. A search party goes out for the young girl to no avail, and on one of the missions Carl is shot and dies from the wound, despite his father's efforts to save him. Cliffhanger complete.

You can see what happens on the next episode of The Walking Dead, which airs on AMC Sundays at 10 p.m.


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