Scott Gimple, the current showrunner of The Walking Dead recently told Entertainment Weekly that the upcoming Mid-Season Premiere – AKA Carl’s death episode, will set the stage for the rest of the season and series. “I can’t say exactly what happens, but there is a story there and there are remarkable performances by everybody involved, led by Chandler Riggs, Gimple told EW. “And a certain compulsion is given to the story, certain ideas and wishes and even reveals with incredible importance to this season in the overall story.”
Although fans have maligned the decision to kill off one of the show’s original characters, Gimple assures them the decision is necessary to for the story going forward. “This episode, 809, sets very important ideas for the rest of the season — very important motivations and it re-contextualizes everything that’s been going on and gives it a perspective that just can’t be denied,” he told EW’s Dalton Ross. “It scrambles some things. But Carl’s presence is felt very deeply in the story throughout the story. It’s a critical aspect of the season.”
Gimple also noted that his death will end up helping the characters fight Negan. “Them deciding who they are going to be is certainly part of it and how they might be able to win this thing and also rethink the entire effort to beat Negan rather than find another way.”
Moving beyond this season, Walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman assured fans that Carl’s comic storylines wouldn’t be left in the dust. “There are big, huge stories coming up that you might think will be massively altered because of the absence of Carl,” Kirkman told EW. “But we have known these story lines have been coming for years. There are plans in place to make it all work. The loss of Carl doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to be losing big swaths of the comic book story. It means that there will be some differences to them.”
Catch the rest of the interview over at Entertainment Weekly. The Walking Dead returns Sunday, February 25th at 9PM.