***UPDATE*** Well, it looks like somebody's people talked to somebody's people about getting somebody's people to take down some not-so-friendly Facebook posts re: the showrunner of The Walking Dead and some "casting decisions" they made in last night's mid-season finale, 'How It's Gotta Be.' It'll all make sense after you read the original post, but here's what you get now:
ORIGINAL POST: At this point, I'm hoping that you've realized that this post is going to have a massive spoiler about the mid-season finale of AMC's The Walking Dead. Just in case, though…
So by the time the final credits rolled and Chris Hardwick appeared on our screens as the proper Rod Serling of 93.7% of all post-episode chat shows, The Walking Dead fans were left reeling from the show's mid-season finale. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors hit back hard at Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his coalition; leaving Alexandria in flames, King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) taken prisoner and our heroes running for their lives. But the biggest hit was saved for the end: as Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) make their way through the sewer pipes with the other survivors, they find Rick's son Carl (Chandler Riggs) — who reveals to them that he's been bitten by a walker. Though he's still alive at the end of the episode, Riggs's return to the series in February isn't expected to last longer than an episode or two.
For William Riggs, Chandler's father, the decision to kill off the beloved character was a betrayal on the part of showrunner Scott M. Gimple that he took to Facebook to vent about it:
"Watching Gimple fire my son 2 weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next 3 years was disappointing. I never trusted Gimple or AMC but Chandler did. I know how much it hurt him. But we do absolutely know how lucky we have been to be a part of it all and appreciate all the love from fans all these years!"
But no worries, TWD fans! William wishes the show well moving forward — and still plans on keeping his TWD tour and autograph business going, thank you very much! You might want to consider checking it out during the summer, though — seems reasonably priced to get to hear him air his grievances in person:
Tickets from $19.99!
Are you a survivor? I am!
Come join me, Chandler's Dad, on a zombie road trip you will never forget. Check out filming locations and hear exclusive details of what goes on behind the scenes! It will be our own zombie adventure! You will hear incredible stories, be able to ask me questions and participate in Chandler's trivia. I will be giving away cool items from Chandler's goodie bags too. These are exclusive items from The Saturn Awards, Walker Stalker, and SDCC. Once you have your purchased your survivor ticket, I will email you the exact locations of our adventure as the date approaches. On the day of your trip, you will meet me at our starting point where the fun will begin. We will walk around the area where you will hear stories from my own experiences. After that, we will take a quick road trip (you will drive your own car) to our next filming location where more fun awaits. I want each one of you to have a personal, memorable experience, so I am limiting the group size to approximately 15 survivors.
Are you a survivor? Are you ready for this adventure? If so, I'll see you soon!
For his part, Gimple spoke of the decision to kill Carl and the character's continued presence in the season's second half in the vaguest, least detailed way possible on AMC's Talking Dead (best read in a "testifying before Congress" tone):
"That is a bite on his side.… It will play out as bites play out on the show. It's very important to Carl's story and the entire story, what happens in the next episode. I'm just focused on the fact that Carl right now is alive and he has some business to attend to. That is a one-way ticket. But I'd like to think that the things we see in the next episode are so important to his life and the other characters' lives."
The Walking Dead returns for the second half of its eighth season on AMC in February 2018.