Greg Nicotero Promises Devastating Midseason Premiere for The Walking Dead

The 108th episode in the zombie franchise should be an emotional ride.

By Chris Morse

As you surely know by now, either from watching the midseason finale back in December or from the internet as a whole, Chandler Riggs is making his exit from The Walking Dead as his character Carl Grimes slowly succumbs to his bite. Next month's midseason premiere will mark his final episode in the series, among the living at least. It remains to be seen if he will do any extra filming for flashbacks, dream sequences, or anything like that in the future. Either way, the minds behind the show have definitely been hyping up the episode as one of the more emotionally-intense ones in the series.

Previous reports have echoed this sentiment and Entertainment Weekly had the chance to talk to executive producer and episode director Greg Nicotero, who doubles down on his previous comments.

"I think it’s one of our most powerful episodes that we’ve ever produced. When I watched the first cut of this episode, tears were coming out of my eyes 20 minutes into it."

Nicotero compares this midseason premiere to the season 5 episode, which he also directed, where Tyreese was bitten and the characters spend time processing and dealing with that as he meets his end. There is a definite trend with him directing season bookends as well as episodes in which major characters are killed off, but he also says that responsibility is a challenge of its own.

It’s never easy because you can never really understand what they’re going through. There’s never really anything you can say that will make them feel better. You just really, really want to make sure that they have an opportunity to show people what their character was made of. Between Michael Rooker and Chad Coleman and Sonequa [Martin-Green] and the people that have brought so much to the show, it’s really making sure I honor them and give them that opportunity.

Fans are understandably worried about where the series is heading with this major departure from the comic series, but Nicotero believes we can all make peace with it.

It’s a beautiful episode and the people that clearly are upset about losing Carl and questioning where the show goes without Carl — I really do believe that a lot of people will put those feelings aside when they watch this episode because they’re really going to get an opportunity to make some peace with it. I mean, that’s what I think. I don’t know, I could be completely wrong.

That speaks volumes about the presentation of the episode and the farewell they are giving Carl Grimes, but sadly does not provide too much reassurance about how the series will handle losing such a major fixture of the Walking Dead universe as a whole. His development over the years is a huge deal in the comics as he went from a young boy to a more wise and independent man of his own. The show will have to move in a new direction, though. We are looking forward to seeing this play out as we reach the end of All-Out War and move into the future.

The Walking Dead returns on February 25th, 2018. Share your thoughts on what lies ahead below.

About the Author

Chris Morse

Programmer by day, writer by night. Having grown up surrounded by plenty of horror movies and video games, it only made sense for Chris to combine all of these passions into one place: Dead Entertainment. Whether he's working on designs, tinkering with the platform, or just writing up the latest horror news, he's sure to be hard at work keeping the wheels turning on this website no matter what time of day it is. When not coding or gaming, you can find him donning a Cheesehead and heading to the Midwest to cheer on his favorite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers. #GoPackGo

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