After the shocking events of The Walking Dead mid-season premiere, there's certainly a lot of concern for Carl going around. However, as bad as things wound up for the youngest member of the original survivors crew, it could've been worse. How would Rick have reacted if Carl hadn't made it through his grievous injury?
"That's a good question," EP Greg Nicotero said in the extended fan Q&A sequence of this week's Talking Dead. "I think Rick would've been in bad shape. He would've gone off the deep end." Oddly, the producer thinks that Carl only getting shot in the face (and surviving) was a best case scenario.
"This is a happy ending episode!" he said, "You don't have a lot of warm fuzzy moments on The Walking Dead, so when Carl squeezes Rick's hand, it's a happy ending!"
Interestingly, the final shot of the episode was actually shot when they were about to wrap the season, so it came much later in the filming process than the rest of the sequences.