(Note: This post contains big spoilers for the Nov. 5 episode of “The Walking Dead.”)
The third episode of “The Walking Dead” Season 8 ended with a little ambiguity and a big tragic moment.
“Monsters” picks up a thread from last week’s episode, in which Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his Alexandrians attacked a Savior outpost. While Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus) slipped inside the building, everybody else kept the Saviors busy with a gun battle in the courtyard outside.
During the fight, Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson) was shot in the gut. When we catch up to the Alexandrians this week, Eric’s boyfriend Aaron (Ross Marquand) carries him out of harm’s way. In the midst of the battle, things look dire for Eric, and he and Aaron have a tearful goodbye as Eric convinces Aaron to head back to the fight and help his people.
When Aaron returned to the tree he’d left Eric under, though, he found Eric was gone. All that was left was a big blood stain and Eric’s gun. In the distance, the anguished Aaron could see a walker headed away from the outpost, but another Alexandrian stopped him from going after it.
The episode implies that Eric died there, but the episode doesn’t actually show him die — there’s just a shot of Aaron looking at a walker in the distance that seemed like it may or may not actually be Eric. Without getting a closer look, it felt like there was some vague hope that he could have survived the fight somehow. But on “The Walking Dead” aftershow, “Talking Dead,” Woods-Robinson confirmed that Eric didn’t walk away from that tree alive.
“They had actually filmed my final scene of me walking away, and they had gotten someone else to do that for me, and I said ‘I really would have loved to have done that,’ and they actually went out of their way to say, ‘Yeah, okay, let’s do it, it’s you, you need to know that and that needs to be you.’ And so they put me in the makeup and I got to be there all day,” Woods-Robinson said.
Unfortunately, that means Aaron’s mourning for Eric is just beginning — and Eric is definitely not the only major casualty that’ll come out of this war.