Synopsis of 8×09: It’s time to say goodbye to one of the characters who has been there since the beginning and, at the same time, a hello to crazy “Clear” Morgan once more. There has to be something better…
Carl’s bite is shown from his own point of view before he plays it off and sets Siddiq up in the sewers. He goes on to clean himself up and spend a lot of time with Judith, leaving paint handprints on the porch, taking Polaroid pictures, and writing notes for everyone. He’s accepted his fate and is trying to make the most of his impact before he succumbs to his bite.
From his sniper’s nest, Morgan has a front seat to the Saviors’ escape from the Sanctuary. They cleverly begin killing walkers in a way that provides them a path out of the building and when they run out they also shoot at Morgan, forcing him to abandon his post and pull back all the snipers. Moving into the future, he comes out of the woods and follows Gavin’s caravan, which still has Ezekiel.
Carol leads the Kingdom to a safe house that the Saviors don’t know about, but Henry insists that he wants to go with her to save Ezekiel. She doesn’t let him and ends up finding Morgan as he moves to save Ezekiel too. Meanwhile, Gavin is sorry that Negan’s going to kill Ezekiel now, but there’s nothing he can do to stop it.
As Carl’s condition deteriorates, he tells Rick that it wasn’t the Saviors’ fault that he was bitten, it just happened. He hands over the letters and Siddiq tries to give them medicine to help with Carl’s fever. Rick realizes Siddiq is a doctor and asks Carl if that’s why he saved him. Carl insists that Siddiq wouldn’t have lasted out there alone and that it was the right thing to do, with Rick only just realizing he was the man from the gas station.
In order to stay inconspicuous, Morgan and Carol are forced to take out some of the Saviors. Carol only knocks them out, but Morgan finishes the job with his stick every time – something that seems to worry her. He even goes out of his way to kill some men loading up a truck. Their cover is blown when Gavin tries to raise anyone on the radio and no one answers, quickly followed by gunshots. Before, he was trying to make Ezekiel’s last ride in the truck comfortable and told him that he just wanted things to settle, but now that’s impossible.
Michonne begs Dwight to get the Saviors to stop their attack on Alexandria, but he convinces them all to wait until they leave before they move from their hiding spot. Carl takes the time to tell her that the fighting has to stop. Once the assault is finished, Carl says goodbye to Judith by telling her that, “Sometimes, kids have to show their parents the way.” He gives her the sheriff’s hat and tells her that Lori told him he would beat this world. He didn’t, but he knows Judith will. Daryl takes Judith and the rest of the group leave for the Hilltop.
There’s another close-up of red-eyed Rick crying before it cuts to Old Man Rick and Judith visiting with Eugene. It then cuts to Rick and Michonne obviously filling in a grave.
Inside Ezekiel’s own theater, Gavin has the rest of the Saviors guard the doors – but it’s for nothing when Morgan and Carol blow the doors off. They have assault rifles and gun down all of the Saviors. One guy gets the better of Morgan before he brutally rips out his insides from a wound on his side. Last man standing Gavin tries to run from them as Morgan shoots at him. When things settle, Ezekiel says they should leave, but Morgan informs him that there is no need because all of the Saviors are dead.
After Siddiq tells Carl that he’ll honor him because it was his fault that he got bit, Rick and Michonne are left to care for him. Carl tells Michonne that she’s his best friend and she has to be strong for his dad and everyone else when he dies.
Morgan stalks a scared and wounded Gavin through the Kingdom. Gavin’s incredulous that Morgan is killing all of these people because Benjamin was killed and reminds Morgan that he’ll still wake up to the same shit tomorrow. Ezekiel and Carol both try to convince Morgan to stop, but before he can spare Gavin, Henry shoves a stick through his throat. Goodbye, Gavin.
Rick and Michonne move Carl out of the sewer into one of the few Alexandria structures that aren’t on fire. Carl tells Rick that he made him who he is, revealing that he’d done some terrible things in the past – including killing a surrendering kid at the prison. It got too easy to kill and Carl had to change for the better, which he encourages Rick to do. He took in the people from Woodbury once, he needs to do better.
It’s revealed that these Old Man Rick flashes have been Carl’s hallucinations and hopes for the future. Rick and Carl have one last heart to heart talk before Carl insists on killing himself. Michonne and Rick wait on the porch, hearing the shot, before they dig his grave. One final hallucination reveals Negan is also friendly and getting along with Judith before it cuts to some time in the future with Rick sitting under a tree, one arm covered in blood…