[SPOILER ALERT: Read only if you have already watched The Walking Dead midseason finale, “How It’s Gotta Be.”]

It was the most shocking twist in the history of The Walking Dead. The character that many think might eventually supplant his father and become the focus of The Walking Dead comic was just put on TV deathwatch after it was revealed on the show’s midseason finale that Carl Grimes had been bitten by a walker.

Andrew Lincoln told EW it is “the biggest death we’ve ever done,” and on Sunday’s Talking Dead right after the midseason finale ended, showrunner Scott M. Gimple confirmed that the end of Carl is nigh. “That is a bite on his side,” pointed out Gimple. “The bite is going to play out as we’ve seen bites play out, and it’s very important to Carl’s story and the entire story what happens in the next episode. So I’m just focused on the fact that Carl right now is alive and he has some business to attend to.”

To clear up any possible confusion — and dash any hopes of a possible recovery — Gimple clearly stated, “That is a one-way ticket. But I’d like to think that the things we see in the next episode are so important to his life and the other characters’ lives.”

The showrunner also praised the work of Chandler Riggs in playing this heartbreaking arc. “The work he does in this episode, in the premiere, in the next episode that you’ll see, is definitely the finest work we’ve seen on the show. I’m not saying the finest work by Chandler, I’m saying the finest work by any actor on the show.”

We’ll see the rest of that work when the show returns in 2018.

For more Walking Dead updates, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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