You know nothing, Rick Grimes.
So far in Season 8 of “The Walking Dead,” Andrew Lincoln’s character seems very preoccupied with things that don’t really matter.
In last week’s Episode 2, Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus) raid a Savior outpost looking for guns that we now know aren’t even there. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, with the Season 1 character Morales (Juan Gabriel Pareja) returning to hold Rick at gunpoint. But in Sunday’s Episode 3, Daryl shows up and immediately kills Morales, telling Rick that the guy’s identity is irrelevant.
So all of that was pretty pointless.
While Rick wastes time, he doesn’t seem to notice the setup for a “Game of Thrones”-level disturbing moment centering around the one thing that did matter from Rick and Daryl’s unsuccessful attempt to get Savior guns ― the discovery of Baby Gracie.
The HBO hit has gone as dark as killing babies before. Now it appears “The Walking Dead” is headed down that path, as well, with Gracie’s discovery setting up two clear possibilities:
1. Judith will die.
Ageism in Hollywood is real. Just when Judith seems to be getting older ― after years of being a baby on the show ― there’s evidence that “The Walking Dead” will kill her off.
In Sunday’s episode, we learn that Rick doesn’t leave Baby Gracie in the Savior outpost to die. She’s now heading to Hilltop with Aaron (Ross Marquand). This is bad news for Judith.
It all goes back to the Season 8 premiere. In that episode, we get a mysterious vision of Rick Grimes’ future, showing a kid we assumed to be Judith Grimes finally grown up a bit. She wants to show her dad the “big owl” sculpture that the town is building for a festival. (We know from executive producer David Alpert that owls are a “foreboding” sign.)
Eagle-eyed fans noticed the rabbit toy we see in Gracie’s crib looks awfully similar to the one we see “Judith” carrying in Rick’s vision of the future. This has people theorizing that the girl we assumed to be Future Judith is actually Future Gracie.
Following last week’s episode, some HuffPost Entertainment readers said on Facebook that they thought Judith was a goner. One commenter, Amy, even stated that the fact Rick discovered Gracie after killing a man who appeared to be her father could be foreshadowing ― Rick’s own daughter may be left vulnerable by his actions.
In the “Walking Dead” comics, at this point, Judith is already dead. She and Lori Grimes are actually killed during the Governor’s assault on the prison. That Governor storyline happened way back in Season 4, so a Judith death scene may be overdue.
2. Baby Gracie will die.
As we mentioned, Judith dies as a baby in the comics. Reddit users have predicted that will be the fate of Gracie, with one theorizing:
Someone carrying her away from the crossfire; saviour OR survivors (Alexandria/Hilltop/The Kingdom) who gets shot and the carrier and/or the baby dies - perfect propaganda for either side depending on who is carrying the baby away, ties in with Ricks photographic propaganda against Negan with the Polaroid.
The Season 8 premiere gave us a strange time-jump scene showing Rick with red eyes, similar to a shot of Rick we get after the deaths of Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz).
From this scene, it looks like there’s a major death on the horizon. It just might be even more disturbing than previously thought.
“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.