Carl Grimes has long been someone we’ve particularly enjoyed on “The Walking Dead” long before season 6. Sure, many characters have been greatly informed by the zombie apocalypse and their journey, but few have been forced to become an adult in the way that Chandler Riggs’ character has. There have been times when he’s done the wrong thing, but also times when he’s been an anchor, and someone that could support his father during some rough times. In particular we think the back half of season 4 was particularly strong for Carl, and there is so much more that he is capable of both as a member of the group and an individual.
So how much of this are we going to see, and how much should we see moving forward? These are elements that we’re going to explore further in the latest chapter of our daily TV Underdogs series.
Why he’s an underdog – He’s a kid trying to become a man in an impossible era, and he doesn’t have the advantage of wisdom on his side the majority of the time. He’s faced insurmountable odds and survived everything so far, and he’s someone you are curious about even when you don’t see him on-screen. Underdogs are the masters of defying the odds, and we’re sure that if you were a viewer going into the show with no knowledge of the Robert Kirkman comics, he is probably not someone you would have thought would still be standing six years later. Yet, he’s done it, and it is certainly not by accident.
Why he hasn’t been seen more – First and foremost, this cast feels at times massive on a “Game of Thrones” level. There’s only so much time any character can receive, especially in the nonlinear way in which the story was told in the first half of season 6. Catching up with Carl or any other character was not always the priority, and his skills are not always the easiest to highlight in Alexandria; some of his scrappy nature and determination are a little more clear when the character is out on the road.
How to give him more airtime – Just because the character is becoming more of an adult doesn’t mean that the father / son dynamic should dissipate. We’d love to see more of Riggs and Andrew Lincoln working together, examining the evolution of that relationship over time. The same goes for Carl starting to carve out even more of a specific role within the group. We’d enjoy an episode that focuses more on some of his daily duties, and relationships with certain characters we don’t often seen him with. Then again, we’d also enjoy an episode that was just him, Rick, and Michonne, since these three delivered on some great material in the past. Any story that gives us almost a before-and-after perspective on who Carl has become would be an interesting one to behold.
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