Rick Grimes’ last episode will blow you away


The following post contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead episode “What Comes After.” It also contains spoilers for The Talking Dead, which had the truly shocking moments of the night.

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) spends most of the episode in a semi-conscious dream state. The blood loss you experience when you’re impaled on rebar will do that to you.

He ends up in and out of one of those night sweat inducing dreams where you’re being chased and searching for something at the same time. On a desperate quest to find his family, what he encounters is something that no one expected.

Rick Grimes Oldest Friend is Guilt

It’s really creepy when dead people visit you in a dream. Sure. There’s the warmth of the familiarity. You also get another chance to talk to someone you loved.

This is especially true if you’ve been thinking about them a lot. But why were you thinking about these loved ones? In Rick’s case, the guilt he still holds over the loss he’s experienced is powerful.

Rick Grimes-The Walking Dead-Courtesy of AMC Networks

In dream states, Rick encounters the three people that represent his grief the most.

Shane (Jon Bernthal) reminds Rick that Judith is his daughter. He takes credit for turning Rick hardcore. There’s some closure there, but it’s hollow for Rick. For me, I appreciated the fact that Shane retained his character growth from the first two seasons of the show. It was not a hug fest.

Hershel (Scott Wilson) reassures Rick that Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is not lost. She is strong and will grow stronger. In a conversation reminiscent of season four’s vibe, Rick tells Hershel he needs to find his family. Hershel tells Rick that he doesn’t need to that. But he does need to wake up.

Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) rises from a pile of dead bodies to remind Rick that he’s served his purpose. Love and the new world will go on without him. But, Rick is still finding it hard to believe or accept absolution.

This Bridge is on Fire

Meanwhile, there were two hordes of walkers that were focused on destroying all of Rick’s new world. It was the size and scope of the season six premiere. But this time Rick lures them on his own. He tries to get them to cross the uncompleted bridge in hopes that the weight of them all will make it fall.

The bridge holds. Rick can’t believe it. Just when some walkers are about to overtake him, the familiar bolts of Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) crossbow start to pick the walkers off one by one. Michonne (Danai Gurria) and Carol (Melissa McBride) start to lead a rescue charge. Maggie joins them.

Rick Grimes-The Walking Dead-Courtesy of AMC Networks

Rick looks at Daryl, Michonne, Carol, and Maggie. They’re all trying to save him. He’s spent the episode looking for his family. Rick’s last words are, “I found them.”

Aside from his family, Rick notices that walkers have knocked over some dynamite. As he utters his last words, Rick takes out his Rick Grimes gun and takes a Rick Grimes aim at the loose sticks. When he pulls the trigger, you see the spark blind him while the blast ripples over his face.

The bridge is gone. Daryl, Michonne, and the rest of the group all look at the spot where Rick was standing as if they had just watched him obliterated. I’m sure I’m not the only person that cried.

One Mean Tween

I thought the episode was over. But, I was wrong.

The Airwolf Copter Folks came spinning into view as Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) was locking and loading her gun. She looks at the fire from the explosion, notices the burnt walker bits floating downstream, and discovers Rick on the shoreline.

Rick Grimes is not dead. In fact, he has no additional cuts, bruises, or broken bones that we can see. He’s no worse for wear after being in close proximity to an explosion, flying hundreds of feet up and through the air, and landing on solid ground.

Rick is not even singed. He seems to be off in a dream state. We don’t see the dream state, but I’m guessing Rick was discovering his name was written on the wall of Jacob’s lighthouse on LOST.

Rick Grimes-The Walking Dead-Courtesy of AMC Networks

Anne makes a deal with the Copter Folk and we see Rick with an oxygen mask on as the aircraft flies away. The trees below them grow as the camera pans down.

We’ve jumped years ahead. Newbies, including Dan Fogler from The Fantastic Beasts Series, are about to be overrun by walkers. Suddenly they are mowed down.

A young voice calls to them. They go to the safety of the voice. It’s a young girl. She has a gun, a little katana, and puts on a brown sheriff’s hat before she introduces herself as Judith Grimes.

The Walking Dead Universe

Move over Marvel and DC. In the first few minutes of The Talking Dead, executive producer Scott Gimple explained what the hell just happened. Rick Grimes is over as a character on The Walking Dead. But, Rick Grimes will return in several movies that will air on AMC.

Gimple went on to say that there would be multiple stories over multiple timelines. Stories will appear in different sizes and shapes. My mouth dropped and I did a double take at my TV.

Per a report from Deadline, AMC CEO Josh Sapan told investors in September that there was a careful plan to grow and maintain The Walking Dead for more than a decade. The same report includes further comments from Gimple about creating a universe that will tell stories within The Walking Dead that we know and also branch out to new territory.

They will rely on veteran members of the production crew as well as emerging artists. The same report also includes a quote from Andrew Lincoln referring to “What Comes After” as “the end of a beginning.”

Wait. What?

When the shock wore off, I went into new shock. I’m interested in how Gimple and AMC will execute their plan. It is a brilliant way to keep Andrew Lincoln in the fold.

I’m sure the grind and career stunting of the production season for the series had taken its toll on him. As a fan, I’ve never experienced it, but I understand the need to break free from it after eight years.

Rick Grimes-The Walking Dead-Courtesy of AMC Networks

Still. Wow. I thought about all the advertising leading up to the episode. No one ever said Rick would die. Even the dream states featured dead characters telling Rick to keep going. But, Rick blew up.

I didn’t expect Michonne or Daryl to move their heads as they watched Rick fly though the air. But, it really looked like he blew up. It was a meaningful death that had closure. And someday, AMC may have to do it all over again.

The trailer for the remaining three episodes of season nine part one featured Aaron (Ross Marquand). More Ross Marquand is always a good thing. But, Aaron mentions that the walkers are evolving.

light. Related Story. The Walking Dead tribute to Andrew Lincoln touches the heart

Their movement and herding is different. And hopefully not much more. If we start communicating with walkers or they become big bads, that would mean Hershel was right back in season two. And I’m going to go into even more shock.

What did you think of Ricks Grimes’ last episode? Do you think The Walking Dead jumped the shark? Are you excited for the The Walking Dead Universe? Let’s discuss in the comments!