Spoilers for the March 25 episode. The Walking Dead fans said a grisly goodbye to yet another character this week — such is the harsh reality of a zombie apocalypse. After Tobin was injured in a battle with the Saviors, he turned into a walker during the night. The show is known for venturing from its source material, especially in recent episodes, so does Tobin die in the Walking Dead comics?
As it happens, Tobin is indeed deceased in the comics, marking an occasion in which the show does have a character endgame similar to that in the source material. Tobin's character in the comics was mauled by walkers as he tried to fend them off, giving the others in his group more time to survive. He was found by Rick, far past the point of no return. That's not unlike the end he met in the show, and with Tobin's death, The Walking Dead adds to its long, long list of victims.
It's a blow to Tobin's group, but particularly a sentimental loss for Carol, with whom Tobin has shared potential for romance with over the past couple of seasons or so. Though their relationship never evolved into what it could have been, it seems clear in his last lucid scene that it's a path he wanted to explore more than he was ever able to. We'll never know what might have come from their exchanges had he had more time with her — Melissa McBride told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016 that Tobin allowed Carol to show a different side of herself to the tough survivalist exterior she's been forced to develop.
"She's enjoyed getting to know him better," McBride said, just as their relationship started to bud. "With Carol's struggle with what's going on, for someone like Tobin — who is gentle, kind and someone different from the people in Rick's group — it's easier for her to feel a certain way about herself and shed the monster skin she feels."
Jason Douglas, who plays Tobin, told Hollywood Life that his character probably felt a kind of kinship with Carol because they'd encountered similar struggles in life, and they needed someone to understand how they each function. “I think we can say that Tobin has probably lost children, and he certainly is a widower, and I think that Tobin and Carol make a connection and I think that there is a ease that they have with one another that enables them to have that connect,” he said. “Their connection is something that both of them needed at a time in their life. Despite all of the ugliness in the world that they are in, they need to feel human.”
Unfortunately, even those who hadn't necessarily read the comics speculated that things may go south for Tobin — the Huffington Post reported soon after Tobin and Carol's first kiss that some fans thought it was "the kiss of death" for him, and that any potentially love interest for Carol was really just a setup for heartbreak down the line. Despite the fact that those fans called his end way early, and though things may not have proceeded the way people thought they would, apparently they were right. It's also a shame for plenty of fans — though Tobin had his flaws, he had become somewhat of a fan favorite, with some users appreciating that he treated Carol so well and was such a sweet, humble man. "If Tobin dies we riot," one Reddit user, TsarNab, even wrote. Well, it's time for fans to face that reality.
If there's one thing all Walking Dead fans should know by now, particularly after Carl's death a few weeks ago, it's that absolutely no one is safe.