Andrew Lincoln Explains Flash-Forwards In 'The Walking Dead' Mid-Season Premiere

With Carl Grimes on his way out of The Walking Dead, fans may be overlooking the show's biggest [...]

With Carl Grimes on his way out of The Walking Dead, fans may be overlooking the show's biggest current mystery: the flash forwards from the Season Eight premiere. It won't, however, be a mystery for much longer.

In the Mid-Season Eight premiere, Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln promises EW the flash forwards which saw his character worn down crying out, "My mercy prevailed over my wrath," will be explained.

"[Carl] is the linchpin," Lincoln said. "It goes back to the flash-forward where my mercy prevails over my wrath. There is a balancing of the scales in Rick's life that happens in the back eight episodes. A lot of it is because of what is said in Episode 9, by his son."

It seems as though Carl's parting words may, in fact, be used as Riggs originally suspected in his exit interview: to help preserve Negan's life post-All Out War. Should Rick honor his son's dying request, he will likely overthrow the tyrant's reign and show mercy, as he does in Robert Kirkman's comics.

While there may be a glimmer of hope for morality moving forward in the world of The Walking Dead, it doesn't seem the episode itself will be any sort of bright spot as Rick and the fanbase suffer the devastating loss unlike any other before it.

"I'm not going to lie to you, that was sad," Lincoln said. "The beautiful thing is it's what we rarely do in our show --- we actually give the opportunity for a goodbye. It was unusual in that regard. Usually, things happen and people are ripped from you in this world that we inhabit. Thankfully, there was some sense of catharsis on this one, because we got to leave it all out on the screen. I thought Chandler did a remarkable job, as he always has done, but particularly in this episode."

The Walking Dead returns for the second half of its eighth season on February 25, 2018. Fear the Walking Dead will debut its fourth season after The Walking Dead concludes its eighth, at 10 pm ET on April 15. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.