The Walking Dead concluded its eighth season with Rick Grimes honoring his late son, Carl, with a touching letter.
It was a letter from Carl, penned on the teen's last day alive, that brought Rick back from the edge and ultimately guided Rick to choosing to keep Negan alive and absolve his Savior army — allowing the communities to move forward in peace, fulfilling Carl's last wishes.
The war ended, Rick is alone on the same porch where he first brought himself to read Carl's words. As the sun sets, Rick tells his son:
"Dear Carl. I remember."
In the past, Rick walks hand-in-hand with a younger Carl. The pair are on a sunny stroll on the same farm Carl remembered so fondly.
"I forgot who I was. You made me remember," Rick says. "I remember that feeling, walking with you that day. Like I finally knew who I was for the first time in my life."
Rick and young Carl walk down a dirt path.
"Thing is, we were walking side by side, but you were bringing me somewhere. Bringing me here. Bringing all of us to the new world, Carl," Rick says. "You showed me the new world. You made it real. I see it. I remember. Dad."
End of season 8.
Rick upheld his promise made to Carl in his death-isode, "Honor," where he told his dying son "it was all for you."
In his last moments, Carl told Rick and Michonne his visions for an idyllic future — one that saw old friends and new enemies living happily and peacefully at a lush and thriving Alexandria.
"I'll make it real," Rick promised, saying goodbye. "I will."
The Alexandrian leader's redemption won't come without cost: two of his closest friends, Daryl and Maggie, are now plotting against Rick and Michonne, scheming to show Rick he was "wrong to do what he did" in keeping Negan alive.2comments
""So we're gonna bide our time, wait for our moment," Maggie tells Jesus and Daryl, "and then we're gonna show him."
The Walking Dead is expected to return with its season 9 premiere this fall on AMC.