The first half of The Walking Dead season eight was a let-down for most fans, but it appears the series is picking back up for the final eight episodes.

THE WALKING DEAD RECAP

The mid-season finale last year revealed that Carl had been bit on his torso by a walker, meaning his death was imminent. “Honor” is an homage to him and, in an exceptional performance by Chandler Riggs, Carl says goodbye to his newfound family before taking his own life.

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The future-Rick visions from the beginning of the season come together, as Carl lays out his hopes for the future: that Saviors, Hilltoppers and Rick’s group will live together in harmony in Alexandria. “If you could still be who you were, that’s how it could be,” Carl says. Rick explains that everything he’s ever done has been for his kids, and with Judith he promises to Carl, “I’ll make [this vision] real, I will.”

Most of the hour-long episode is reserved for Carl and his farewell. We see the exact moment that he was bitten by a walker during a scuffle in the woods with Siddiq. He then writes a letter for everyone in the camp in case he died before he could make those goodbyes in person. He lies in a sewer with Saddiq and Rick and his group as he dies. He says goodbye to Judith and gifts her Rick’s hat. He tells her the hat will help her stay strong. Daryl thanks Carl for his strength, and Carl tells Michonne that she has been his best friend through all of this.

The rest of the hour focuses on Morgan, as he and Carol fight to save Ezekiel from the Saviors. The latter shoot down a herd of walkers at the front of the Sanctuary to create a safe path. Morgan runs back toward the Kingdom, and along the way he runs into Carol and Henry, who is dead-set on avenging his brother’s death.

Morgan is angry and kills Saviors slowly and painfully, while Carol does so but swiftly with a gun. He nearly gets killed because of his bloodthirst, but Carol saves him. Meanwhile, inside the Savior’s camp, Ezekiel is getting into his guard Gavin’s head. “You are the author of this night, Gavin,” he tells him. “Its close will be fashioned by your star.” When Gavin hears gunfire, he and his few men rush Ezekiel into the theater, but the wall gets blown out and Carol and Morgan sneak in.

The violence of Ezekiel against the Saviors and Gavin’s demise is intercut with peaceful images of Rick and Michonne heading to a church with Carl to lay him to rest. In the end, Morgan pins Gavin down on the ground at spear-point and tells Carol and Ezekiel that he has to kill him despite their pleas. Before he can, though, Henry jumps in and pushes his own staff through Gavin’s throat. “I had to,” Henry says, mimicking Morgan’s sentiment. Morgan is immediately sickened by the action of the boy he once mentored and is angry with himself.

As Ezekiel comforts Henry, Carl tells Rick and Michonne that his final request is to take his own life, so that they won’t have to. The pair weep on the steps of the church, as a gunshot is heard, signaling the end of Carl’s life.

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