*SPOILERS for The Walking Dead comic books & possibly Season 6*
So the mid-season trailer for AMC's explosive The Walking Dead season 6 landed last week. And despite the fact that we were denied a first look at Jeffery Dean Morgan as the biggest of big bads from the graphic novels, the long awaited Negan, there was still plenty for fans to chew on even though it was a pretty short teaser.
The teaser also sadly seemed to be building up towards the death of long-time fan favourite, and the second longest running Survivor after Rick himself, Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun). "The people you love, they're still part of you. Even after they're gone" says a voiceover which sounds like Glenn himself speaking. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) screams in despair, her cry sounding far too much like "Glenn" for our liking.
But the possible death of Glenn wasn't the only big event teased by the trailer, there's another less explicit shot that hints towards a very iconic moment from the series, and one that's all about Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs).
Careful, You'll Put Your Eye Out...
Growing from an annoying little snot in Season 1 to a larger, less-annoying snot in Season 6, Carl has become at least a likeable character if perhaps not your favourite of the Survivors. Personally I'd rather see him becoming Walker-feed than Glen himself, but that seems unlikely to happen in the near future.
But the trailer suggests that something else might happen to him, a pretty iconic and very shocking moment from the comic books that was set up by the mid-season 6 conclusion last year.
Where We Left Off...
So when the walking dead break through the barriers into Alexandria our heroes - Rick, Carl, Michonne, Jessie, Ron and Sam - attempt to escape from the house by disguising themselves as Walkers, something which is tricky to pull off at the best of times. We saw this at the conclusion of the last episode - Start to Finish - and again during the teaser.
So this is pretty much lifted almost straight from the comic books, except for the fact that the younger brother Sam in the TV series is called Ron in the comic books, and the elder brother is a new character made up for the TV show (yeah it's confusing given that the elder brother in the TV show is called Ron).
Anyway, whilst the Survivors are attempting to escape Ron becomes scared and starts calling for his mother. The Walkers are attracted to the noise, and towards the Survivors, and Ron gets chomped on.
What Happens Next?
In the teaser trailer there's a clear shot of Jessie Anderson (Alexandra Breckenridge) taking Carl's hand; it's a pretty explicit shot too, the camera panning on their hands clasped tight. This lends the gesture an air of significance, which makes sense if the show goes the way of the books.
Jessie clasping Carl's hand is an important event in the comics as whilst the group makes their way through the crowd of Walkers both Ron and Jessie are bitten. Jessie is holding Carl's hand tightly and won't let him go, even as she is devoured by them. Faced with no other option, Rick hacks off the arm of his love-interest Jessie's to save Carl and leaves her to the zombies.
Whilst Rick and Carl turn to run, a panicked Douglas Monroe (whose position as the head of Alexandria is replaced by Deanna Monroe in the show) accidentally shoots Carl in the head, destroying his right eye and a large chunk of his face. (Dammit Carl, stop getting accidentally shot). It goes a little something like this:
Though Carl does in fact survive this injury he's left horribly scarred, and this event has severe psychological repercussions for his character - repercussions which bring him into direct conflict with Negan. It's a pretty intense piece of character development, something which Carl has been getting quite a bit of recently in the show, so it's not exactly unlikely that this event could happen to our TV show Carl as well.
And whilst we don't have a Douglas Monroe hanging around anymore to panic and shoot Carl, there is that little shit of a Ron Anderson (Austin Abrams) who has been after Carl. If he sees his mother die because of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) - who has already killed his father - it's not exactly a stretch to imagine he'd wind up shooting Carl to take revenge. That's what you get for teaching creepy children to shoot, Rick.
It is worth nothing that the narrative arc during which Carl is shot in the head is called No Way Out. The title of the premiere episode of the second half of The Walking Dead Season 6 is... also called No Way Out.
Oh damn. Well Rick, looks like you might need to be getting your kid an eyepatch sometime soon. We'll find out for sure when The Walking Dead returns on Valentines Day, February 14th 2016.