By all accounts, the most recent episode of “Walking Dead” was tragic (RIP Carl). But something about it bothered us even more than the loss of the younger Grimes (Chandler Riggs).
In the Season 8 midseason premiere on Sunday, Carl enjoyed a touching moment with his sister Judith (Chloe and Sophia Garcia-Frizzi), saying goodbye before his inevitable death from a zombie bite. He gave her his signature hat and told her that owning it was like having a part of their father with them at all times. Then he shared a few last words:
Before mom died, she told me that I was gonna beat this world.
Oh, God, we’re gonna start tearing up.
No, please, Carl. Just stop.
But you will.
This is too much.
I know you will.
It’s an emotional moment from Carl.
Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was shook.
But Judith … couldn’t really care less?
Nope. Judith grew up in the apocalypse and clearly doesn’t have time for this wishy-washy nonsense. Girl’s got ice in her veins.
So when it came time to cry, Judith just … didn’t. Oh, it might have looked like she cried ― to a casual viewer. In fact, a lot of people tweeted praise for the moment.
But if you watched the scene closely, you could see that Judith was looking pretty content the whole time. That painfully obvious crying sound effect that you heard when she reached out her arm and conveniently covered her mouth ― yeah, that was production trickery.
And once you see the farce, you can’t unsee it.
Cut to seconds later, when Judith is turned away from the camera in Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) arms, continuing to look like she’s not crying at all.
I wasn’t buying the fake tears, and neither were many on Twitter.
Welcome to Baby-Gate.
Like many fans stated, the tears weren’t convincing. Also, the sound effect that production gave Judith was less a cry and more a painful squeal, like when Jonathan Taylor Thomas made the sound of a dying rabbit to attract bears in the 1997 movie “Wild America.”
For Judith to go from relatively chill to making guttural animal noises is about as believable as when that moose showed up and JTT ended up riding on its head.
So be careful, Carl. After that Judith cry, moose could be afoot.
To get to the bottom of Baby-Gate, I posed the question to Chandler Riggs himself. Since I saw the episode ahead of airtime, I asked the star during a conference call prior to the midseason premiere: “So, was Judith actually crying in that scene?”
Riggs, who was happy with how the scene turned out, told us, “They are babies, so they cry a lot no matter what,” referring to the young actors on set.
“I’m pretty sure what they ended up doing is just like editing in a part where [Chloe or Sophia Garcia-Frizzi] was actually just crying during the scene because she wanted her mom and parts where she wasn’t crying because she was content at the time.”
Perhaps the sound effect we heard was an actual recording of the child actor. Perhaps it was not. But this is not the face of someone who’s crying.
That’s the face of a stone-cold zombie killer who doesn’t have time for your B.S.
Ultimately, Judith is played by toddlers, so obviously producers had their hands tied. You’re not going to try to upset a child just to make them cry. Right? That’d be even more disturbing than some of the stuff that happens on “The Walking Dead,” a show where one character just ripped another’s guts out.
All we’re saying is, if Judith wasn’t feeling a cry in the scene, she wasn’t feeling a cry! Production should’ve just let her do her thing. After all, Daryl didn’t cry. He didn’t even hug Carl, which Riggs told us he didn’t mind because Daryl’s not “much of a hugger.”
Look, AMC, the sound effect wasn’t the best, but there’s no point in crying over spilt milk, or, in Judith’s case, over a dead Carl.