Carl Grimes is one of the most divisive characters in "The Walking Dead." You either love him or you hate him, but one way or the other, there's passion there.
And in either case, his fate on the show is deemed pretty freaking important to fans because it's either (1) "nooooooooo you can't mess with Carl, he's been through SO MUCH already" or (2) "get rid of that dude already because he is a drain and a pain."
But Carl is one of the presumed untouchables on the series because, well, he's a child. And even in the zombie apocalypse -- even when a zombie kid was one of the first and most iconic visuals of the whole shebang -- no one wants to see kids hurt. Even Carl. It's just not cool.
[Major giant SPOILERS warning ahead.]
The comics, however, have a lesser obligation to common sensitivity, and in them, Carl gets injured. Brutally. Let's just say he and the Governor would have a lot more in common with each other in the way of optical treatment in this series.
So, will the show follow suit?
Entertainment Weekly asked showrunner Scott M. Gimple that exact question, and while he didn't directly answer with a simple "yes" or "no" -- of course -- he did give a big clue about Rick Jr.'s future in Alexandria (and beyond?).
"There are some things we can’t do that were in the comic," he told EW. "Rick losing his hand — there’s also another big TV show that did it recently." (Helloooooo Jaime Lannister.) "There is a balance to be struck. If it is stuff that’s really important to serve the character, we need to try and do it. It’s also just if we can pull it off on a consistent basis in a great way. There’s stuff we can do, there’s stuff we can’t do. I would never tell you what it is."
That kind of dodging skill could come in handy in the walker world for sure, but what does it mean, exactly?
It's hard to be sure, but it sounds like a bullseye on Carl for Season 6 might not be the most important thing in the "TWD" to Gimple & Co. because he referenced another significant deviation from the comics -- Rick's continued use of two hands up 'til now -- first and foremost.
And the scale of what would be "important to serve the character" is also a pretty significant clue as well because, true enough, how would Carl's vicious eye attack bring anything new to the show when the Governor owned that patch so well?
Sigh. We'll have to wait and see for sure when "TWD" Season 6 begins on AMC starting October 11th.