The Walking Dead: Why Rick's [SPOILER] Was A Mistake

In true Walking Dead fashion, Andrew Lincoln's last episode is both great and terrible.

The Walking Dead Rick Grimes
Gene Page/AMC

Contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 5.

As we've been told repeatedly by the marketing, this week's episode of The Walking Dead, What Comes After, was Rick Grimes' last. The former Deputy Sheriff, who has been the heart and soul of this series over the past eight-and-a-half seasons is departing, and AMC have made sure to cash in on that fact.

The previous instalment, which was similarly heavily marketed as being the beginning of the end for Rick, ended with a major hint towards how he'd exit: attempting to lead a massive herd of walkers away, his horse gets spooked and throws him off; Rick lands on a concrete slab, knocked unconscious, and with rebar impaling his side.

What Comes After finds him waking up and struggling on, all with the intent of finding his 'family' back at Alexandria, either for salvation or simply so he can die surrounded by those he loves. For the longest time, it looks like Rick is done for. Certainly, he comes close to death on a number of occasions throughout the episode, and towards the end it looks impossible for him to escape.

Except, of course, he does. Despite leading the herd away, despite the severe wound in his side, and despite blowing up the bridge that he's standing on, sending him to what should be a watery grave, he washes up on the banks of the river, is found by Anne, and taken away by one of those mysterious helicopters, leaving the show alive, if not well, and it's there The Walking Dead makes its mistake.

TV Editor
TV Editor

NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.