The episode, directed by series veteran Greg Nicotero, fulfilled the promise of Carl's looming doom by way of fatal walker bite.
"Every single character death is different, every nuance and every moment," Nicotero said.
"But when you're dealing with someone like Chandler who's been on the show from the beginning, from literally the end of the first episode, it was rough. I mean aside from one of our original cast members going, I think the idea that it was someone that we grew up with. He was eight years old or nine years old when we first started the show. He was a little kid. So it was pretty intense."
"So it was rough. I mean, it's never easy," Nicotero said. "It's never easy saying goodbye to people on the show."
Carl, the boy who not so long ago pulled the trigger on his mother, goes out almost the same way: Carl says his goodbyes and shoots himself in the head.
Just like Lori's death, the gunshot is heard, not seen — the camera instead focusing on the devastating emotional aftermath of a brief bang.
"There's no reason that you need to see that moment. It's all implied," Nicotero said. "The moment where Carl is forced to shoot Lori in season three. There is a respectful way to show this, and I really never imagined that we would have ever wanted to film that."
"His last words were like, 'its got to be done by somebody that you love,'" Nicotero added. "He's really sparing Rick and Michonne this last heartbreaking moment by being willing to do it himself."
Carl's dying wish is for his visions — a united Alexandria, filled with life, enemies turned friends — to become reality. Rick promises he'll make it real.
"I don't think Rick or Michonne could every truly recover from that," Nicotero explained. "He's already left them with a lot to think about in regards to what his dying wishes are. He really is laying out the possibility what the future can be."
"He needs to leave Rick and Michonne with a sense of hope and a sense that there can be more for them to live for. So I don't think it would have made much sense at all to actually physically see Carl die on screen or to have one of them do it."
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.