Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” “What Comes After.”
Andrew Lincoln’s final episode of “The Walking Dead” aired Sunday on AMC and we finally know what became of Rick after he fell on a piece of rebar. It’s a bit of a doozy.
Don’t continue reading if you haven’t seen Sunday’s episode and don’t want to know what happens.
Rick searched the entirety of Sunday’s episode for a way to get rid of the giant zombie herd threat to the communities. Somehow Rick miraculously didn’t bleed out over the course of Sunday’s episode.
He not only managed to pull himself up from a piece of rebar (everyone wears two belts in the zombie apocalypse, right?), but was able to ride a horse, hack away at the undead, and survive falling off a bridge all with two giant open wounds.
Near the end of the episode, Rick sacrificed himself and the bridge he worked hard to build to save the Hilltop community from the undead. He blew up some TNT, causing the bridge to explode and for him to go along with the undead into the moving river.
Luckily for him, he wound up washing ashore near Anne as she was about to flee Rick’s community circus for (hopefully) greener pastures.
When she found Rick, she immediately decided to save him. Anne convinced the mystery helicopter to whisk Rick away along with her to an undisclosed location, and just like that Rick’s fate was left open-ended.
Instead of ending there, the show flashed ahead several years later without Rick to show his daughter, Judith, much older.
Reactions to the show’s decision to not kill off Rick were understandably mixed, especially since AMC has heavily marketed these past few episodes as “Rick Grimes’ final episodes.” Is it really a true final episode if there’s a possibility for the character to return?
Most were happy and relieved that the show’s main character wasn’t killed off because there’s a possibility we’ll see him again at some point.
Rick Grimes surviving is the best thing imaginable for #TheWalkingDead as a whole.
— TWD Fan Page (@FTWDFans) November 5, 2018
RICK LIVES???????????????????????????????????? #TeamHelicopter all the way!!
I dare ANYBODY to start bitching..not one member of #TWDFamily wanted Rick to die, I better not hear one person complaining that he’s not dead tonight… #TheWalkingDead #DreamsReallyDoComeTrue pic.twitter.com/rGcYteNZ4W
— яєє∂υѕ ιѕ му мυѕє ???? (@leedusme1227) November 5, 2018
HES ALIVE IM QUAKING #TheWalkingDead
— Jessie ???? (@MyAlteregoJess) November 5, 2018
— Jasmeann (@joyNrepitition_) November 5, 2018
— Nya ???????? (@AynaynB) November 5, 2018
— Rick Heidrick (@rheidrick24) November 5, 2018
Some think the show should have just killed Rick off.
They honestly just should have killed him off.
— Kourtney (@xoxsammi15) November 5, 2018
They should have actually just killed Rick and have him die in that epic way but here we are
— Dylan Hulka (@Hulkk_54) November 5, 2018
So your telling me i watched 9 years or how ever long it has been to watch Rick get carried away in a helicopter and survive just so he wont come back its so stupid terrible writing should have just killed him off #TheWalkingDead #RickGrimes
— TTV Ellipse_TB (@Ellipse_TB) November 5, 2018
The Walking Dead should’ve just killed off Rick and went onward. Why do we need all these feature films about his story and futures of characters who don’t exist? What is that about?
— Dustin Tarnstrom (@Tarnstrom96) November 5, 2018
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lincoln said this has been a long time coming. He’s been mapping out his exit on the show since season four and was almost killed off the show on season eight.
“I tried to leave the show last season,” Lincoln told Yvette Nicole Brown on series’ aftershow “Talking Dead.” “There was a plan. The tree that I was bleeding out under, there was an ‘A,’ ‘B,’ or ‘C.’ There was a version where I died, there was a version presumably where a helicopter may have arrived and whisked me away, then.”
While Rick may be gone on “The Walking Dead” for now, he’s not gone forever. Chief content officer Scott M. Gimple announced on aftershow “Talking Dead” AMC will continue to follow Rick’s journey in a series of at least three original movies.
Do you think the show made the right decision by leaving Rick’s fate open-ended? You can follow along with our show coverage here.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.