The Walking Dead's much-anticipated midseason premiere is directed by executive producer/special effects wizard/go-to major episode director Greg Nicotero. Nicotero has shepherded many of the show's biggest moments, like the Season 7 premiere bloodbath, the death of Merle (Michael Rooker) and the Season 6 midseason premiere, which IMDb users consider the best episode of the series.

But the big moment that's coming in the Season 8 midseason premiere — the death of Carl (Chandler Riggs) — is the one that made the gore guru cry. "I think it's one of our most powerful episodes that we've ever produced," Nicotero told Entertainment Weekly. "When I watched the first cut of this episode, tears were coming out of my eyes 20 minutes into it."

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Nicotero compared the episode to another he directed, "What Happened and What's Going On," the Season 5 midseason premiere built around the death of Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman). Much of that episode was told through Tyreese's dying hallucinations and gave characters room to process the death of a loved one as it was happening. It's different than any other episode of the show and one of the most emotionally impactful, so it's an exciting comparison for Nicotero to make.

We'll see how the upcoming midseason premiere compares when it debuts next month.

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, Feb. 25 at 9/8c.

Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs and Danai Gurira, <em>The Walking Dead</em>Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs and Danai Gurira, The Walking Dead