Love him or hate him, Rick Grimes' one-eyed son got an emotional sendoff on Sunday night's episode of "The Walking Dead," which closed out actor Chandler Riggs' time on the show and also served as a major catalyst for change in the Survivors' never-ending war against the Saviors.
We all knew this one was coming, as the teen revealed he got bit by a walker in the mid-season finale, but that didn't make it any easier to watch. Riggs, Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira were all on their A-game this week, each giving Carl a worthy goodbye with their heavy performances.
The super-sized mid-season premiere wasn't 82 minutes of Carl dying, however, as Carol, Morgan and Ezekiel's B-storyline had a few shockers of its own.
Here are the 5 moments that had us breaking down in tears ... or screaming "WTF' at the TV screen.
Carl's Goodbye to Judith
The episode began by showing viewers how Carl spent his last day in Alexandria after realizing he got bit. That meant shots of him writing notes to his family, planting a tree and enjoying his final moments with his younger sister, Judith.
It was heartbreaking to see him try to make lasting memories with the child by immortalizing their handprints in blue paint and taking selfies together with a Polaroid camera. She may be too young to really remember him, but those pictures will go a long way with keeping his memory alive.
Later, in the sewer, he officially said his goodbye, telling her to listen to their father ... but not always. "Sometimes kids gotta show their parents the way," he told her. "Before mom died, she told me that I was gonna beat this world. I didn't. But you will. I know you will."
He also gave the young girl his hat. "This was dad's before it was mine, now it's yours," he said. "Just having it, it always kept dad with me, made me feel as strong as him. It helped me, maybe it'll help you too."
In recent seasons, Carl and Michonne have come to develop quite a moving, almost mother-son relationship, one that was hard for Michonne to admit was ending.
She had a near breakdown with Dwight, pleading with him to get the Saviors to stop their assault on Alexandria so they could maybe get Carl to safety. She then had a heart to heart with Carl, who told her he didn't want her to be sad or angry after his death.
"You're gonna have to be strong for my dad, for Judith, for yourself," he said. "Don't carry this, not this part. You're my best friend Michonne."
After they moved from the sewer to a nearby building, Carl and his dad had their final father-son talk.
In it, Carl reminded Rick how he once strived for greatness after learning his son killed another boy who was surrendering. "You saw how easy it got [to kill]," Carol told him, "That's why you changed."
"You did it so I could change. So I could be who I am now. What you did then, how you stopped fighting, it was right. It still is. It can be like that again," he said. "You can still be like that again. You can't kill all of them dad, there has to be something after. For you, for them. There's gotta be something after."
"I'm sorry I couldn't protect you. A father's job is to protect his son," Rick replied. "Love, it's just to love," Carl added, before reaching for his dad's gun and telling him he had to finish himself off himself.
Rick and Michonne left Carl in the building, breaking down when they heard a gunshot inside.
One Flash-Forward Explained, Another Leaves Questions
During his final conversation with his father, it's revealed the flash-forwards from the season premiere were actually Carl's hopes for the future.
"I know you can't see it yet, how it could be. But I have," he told his dad. "You have a beard, it's bigger and grayer. Michonne's happy. Judith is older and she's listening to the songs that I used to before. Alexandria's bigger, there's new houses, crops, people working. Everybody living, helping everybody else live. You can still be who you were, that's how it could be."
New flashes showed Old Man Rick chatting with Jerry and Saddiq, apple picking with Eugene and, finally, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in the garden. In Carl's vision, Rick and the other survivors were able to live freely with those they fought against, even the man who bashed in Glenn's head.
Rick's response: "I will make it real Carl, I promise."
The episode ended with what looked like an actual flash-forward, where Rick was seen leaning up against a tree, bloodied and badly injured. It's a location we haven't seen before, atop a hill with stained glass windows.
What happened here?! Our guess: this will be Rick after his final showdown with Negan, likely in the season finale. And if Carl's words ring true, he'll have resisted killing the Big Bad when the time comes.
With Carl's death out of the way, we need dig into the most shocking moment of the night: Morgan (Lennie James) totally eviscerating a Savior!
Morgan and Carol (Melissa McBride) meet up at the Kingdom in an attempt to save Ezekiel, who had been taken captive by Negan's goons. Carol was clearly concerned about her bo staff-wielding friend, who seemed to be taking extra pride in murdering people in cold blood again.
Instead of going the stealth route like Carol wanted, Morgan instead attacked as many Saviors as possible, stabbing them multiple times to make sure they were really dead. He was unraveling, fast.
After Ezekiel failed to get bad guy Gavin to switch sides, Carol and Morgan rolled in -- guns' a blazing -- and blew everyone away. It was then when Morgan literally pulled out a man's guts, in a moment that definitely had us screaming "WHAT THE F--!" at the TV screen. Carol, Ezekiel and, yes, even bad guy Gavin were sufficiently traumatized by what they just witnessed.
Gavin tried making a run for it, only to have crazy Morgan chase him down. Carol and Ezekiel tried to talk Morgan out of killing him, before little Henry came out of nowhere to do the deed instead.
"All of us, together, will be their worst damn nightmare," Daryl about the Saviors
"It's gotta stop, it's not supposed to be like this. I know it can be better," Carl to Michonne
"These people, you saved them all. That's all you, man," Daryl's final words to Carl
"I know I can never repay you, but I can honor you by showing your people, your friends, your family that what you did wasn't for nothing. That it mattered. That it meant something. Because it did. So that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna honor you," Saddiq to Carl