Walking Dead: 1 Deleted Rick Grimes Scene Makes Carl’s Death Even Worse
A deleted Rick Grimes scene in a season 4 episode of The Walking Dead makes Carl's shocking death an greater tragedy than it already was.
A deleted scene in The Walking Dead season 4 makes Carl’s death even sadder. Over the course of its 12-year run, the AMC series has delivered a long list of unexpected casualties, but arguably the biggest of them all was the fate that befell Rick’s son. Played by Chandler Riggs, Carl met his end as a result of his attempt to save Siddiq during the All-Out War.
As the child of the main protagonist and someone who was sometimes seen as the heart of the show, there was a long-held opinion that if anyone on the show was safe, it would be Carl Grimes. Some even felt that if The Walking Dead lasted long enough, he could be the one to carry on Rick’s legacy if the latter didn’t survive. But the show killed any chance of that scenario ever coming to pass when Carl was still just a teenager. Nearly everyone in the group, particularly Rick, was dealt a staggering blow when Carl revealed that he had been bitten by a zombie in the game-changing season 8 episode, “How It’s Gotta Be”.
Carl’s death was one of the show’s most heartbreaking moments and one that’s made worse by a deleted scene from the season 4 finale. Taking place after Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes chose not to risk their ammunition to save a stranger’s life, the scene shows Carl questioning Rick’s choice. In defending his decision, Rick said, “I want you to be safe, Carl, above everything else”. This comment highlights just how important it was to Rick that Carl survive and adds deeper meaning to Carl’s untimely death. The deleted scene emphasizes that protecting Carl was Rick’s top priority, yet in the end, he still wasn’t able to protect him. Tragically, his son never even reached adulthood.
Why Carl’s Death In The Walking Dead Is Still So Controversial
The handling of Carl’s death – and the fact that it happened at all – remains one of The Walking Dead’s biggest controversies. He was a beloved character to a point where suddenly killing Carl off sparked instant outrage. The reaction may not have been the same if Riggs had wanted off the show, but that was never the case, as the actor actually didn’t want to leave. Apparently, the producers had decided that Carl’s death needed to happen to service the story. At that point in season 8, Rick was fully committed to killing Negan, but that wasn’t how the writers wanted the All-Out War to end. What happened in “How It’s Gotta Be” put Rick on the desired path – but at the cost of Carl’s life.
Carl’s death made both Negan’s survival and Alexandria’s new direction become realities in The Walking Dead, but neither of these outcomes was considered a satisfying trade-off. The show getting rid of Carl to keep Negan wasn’t a well-received decision, nor did it help matters that the impact of his death was short-lived. Alexandria eventually went back to being ruthless to their enemies and the person he died to save, Siddiq, only survived one full season after Carl’s heroic act. His death not mattering in the long run sadly deepened the tragedy behind how his story ended.