The Walking Dead has always been Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) story. Rick’s story ends tonight. The leader of our survivors that we have followed for 8 seasons was impaled after being thrown from a horse last week. He is alone and two walker herds are closing in on Rick.
The Saviors tried to overtake Carol (Melissa McBride) and the team at the construction camp. Daryl (Norman Reedus) is on his way after hearing gunshots fired. At the same time, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is headed to Alexandria to kill Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Rick is dreaming. He’s back in his hospital room, telling himself to wake up. He hears Morgan (Lennie James) ask him about his wound. Rick looks down at his side and touches the wound. Outside a bunch of helicopters fly over the hospital. He hears someone tell him to wake up. It’s his old self, awake in the hospital bed, telling himself to wake up.
Rick wakes up and the two walker herds are coming at him. He uses his belt to pull himself up off of the metal stake that is impaled on his side. He gets on the horse and rides away. The two herds follow him. Rick is fighting hard to stay awake. He sees flashes of Green farm, the hospital bed, and the of where he was shot in the first episode. The horse speeds up to get away from the herd as it gets closer. Rick sees a familiar mailbox up ahead. He turns toward the house in the woods. Rick goes inside and tears a blanket to use as a tourniquet. He ties it around his waist and passes out.
My Best Friend
In his dream, Rick arrives in Atlanta. The herd is still following him. He goes into town and finds his old police car. Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) is waiting for him. Rick gets into the car and they eat burgers together like they used to. They are back at the moment when Rick got shot that put him in a coma. He says he’s looking for his family. Shane teases him asking about HIS baby girl…Judith. Rick teases back saying at least she doesn’t have his nose.
Shane says he’s proud of everything Rick has done. He knew he had it in him. The way he bit that guys throat out…and killed the Terminus people in the church. Shane says it’s time. He needs to find the rage and hate inside to keep going. Rick apologizes for killing him and Shane tells him to forget it. He says “You know something Rick,” and leans in towards Rick’s face.
Rick wakes up and a walker is in his face. He barely gets away and crawls through a boarded up door. The walkers surround the place, but Rick is able to get on the horse and ride away.
Jadis/Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) is driving along and her car stalls. She tries to start it again, but it’s dead. The helicopter people call her on the radio to confirm her location. She tells them where she is and that she has an “A.” The man on the radio says she has tricked them before. She promises this is no trick because she’s desperate to leave this place. Jadis gets out of the car and starts walking.
Maggie and Diane (Kerry Cahill) continue their ride to Alexandria. They come across a walker and Maggie jumps off her horse to kill it. When they get to Alexandria, Scott (Kendrick Green) notifies Michonne (Danai Gurira). Michonne rushes to meet her at Negan’s cell to stop her from killing Negan. Maggie makes the case that Rick and Michonne took away her right for justice. Michonne argues that Glenn and Hershel wouldn’t have wanted her to do this.
Maggie says if Negan had killed Rick instead, he would have been dead a long time ago. She can’t live knowing Negan is still alive. It’s been a year and a half and she can’t find any other way to deal with it. There’s nothing Michonne can say that would stop her. Michonne asks if Maggie can live with what comes after. Maggie says she can. Michonne gives her the keys to the cell and lets her pass.
Maggie walks in and finally faces Negan. He knows she’s there to kill him. He plays with her a little bit, talking about how much fun it was to kill her husband. Maggie slowly unlocks the door and is getting agitated by Negan. She asks him to step into the light so she can see him. He won’t move and begs her to kill him. Maggie opens the door and pulls Negan out into the light.
Maggie finally sees how broken Negan is. Negan begs her to kill him. He wants to be with his wife, Lucille. He says he tried killing himself, but he couldn’t go through with it. Negan says he can’t be like this and continues to beg for her to kill him. Maggie puts him back in his cell. She says she came to kill Negan, but he’s already worse than dead. She locks him back up and leaves as he tells her it wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Michonne is waiting for Maggie outside of the cell. She looks at the crowbar that Maggie is carrying and it’s clean. She knows that Negan is still alive and she smiles at Maggie. Diane interrupts them to let them know there’s trouble at the construction camp.
Rick falls asleep again and he’s back at the Green farm. Hershel (Scott Wilson) is standing in the barn. Rick apologizes for what happened to the Green family. Hershel says Maggie is strong and Baby Hershel makes her stronger, so Rick doesn’t need to worry about her. Rick says he needs to find his family and keep them together, but Hershel says he only thinks he needs to. Rick is sorry for taking away Maggie’s justice, but he did it for Carl and the world they are building. Hershel says they will get there eventually. Rick is tired. He thinks he can find his family there at the farm. Hershel tells him to wake up.
Rick wakes up and sits up on the horse, but is having a hard time staying up. He falls asleep again. This time he is in the hospital again. He finds the “Don’t Open, Dead Inside” door and goes through. There are hundreds of bodies on the ground, including those who are still alive, Maggie, Carol, Daryl, and others. Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) appears.
Sasha tells him that Rick has done his part, like her. What they do gives others strength and changes things for the better. Rick thinks it’s the end and Sasha tells him all things end, but it’s never really the end. The world is bigger than one person. It’s not about Rick or her, it’s about everyone. Sasha says he won’t find his family because they aren’t lost, and neither is he. He has to wake up.
Rick wakes up and falls off his horse. He’s in the construction camp where some of the Saviors have died and reanimated. He’s able to shoot them in the head, but the herd has followed him to the camp. The only way for Rick to go is toward the bridge.
Rick falls to the ground. His wound is bleeding badly. He looks up and sees the herd coming at him. Daryl calls out to him and runs past him.Rick’s community runs towards the walkers to fight them off. Michonne stops to check on Rick. She says it’s not over because they don’t die. She fell in love with him because he’s a fighter and he never gives up. Michonne tells him to fight for her, for all of them. Rick says he found his family, but he knows it’s not real. He’s dreaming again. Michonne tells him to wake up.
The herd closes in on him Rick. He walks across the bridge, barely hanging on. A walker grabs Rick and an arrow kills the walker. Rick’s family are standing on the other side of the bridge, but too far away to get to him. Daryl says Rick is going to destroy the bridge to stop the herd from getting to Hilltop. Maggie comes up with a plan to help Rick. Daryl starts shooting arrows, as everyone runs to save Rick. He looks at the herd and sees a walker knocks over a case of dynamite on the bridge.
Rick waits for the herd to get on the bridge. He points his gun at the dynamite and shoots, blowing up the bridge. His family watches in horror. Daryl cries. Maggie and Carol have to hold Michonne back from running towards Rick. The walkers keep walking onto the bridge, falling into the river. Michonne breaks down as Maggie and Carol hold her. Daryl walks away alone.
Jadis sees the explosion from the bridge. She hears people on the walkie say Rick blew up the bridge. The helicopter is coming for her. She sees the bodies in the water and walks toward the river to look. Jadis sees Rick on the river bank and he’s alive! She calls to the helicopter, saying she has a “B.” He’s hurt but he’s strong. She tells the man on the walkie that she’s trying to save a friend who saved her. She’s asks if they have a deal. The helicopter picks them both up. Rick wakes up to see Jadis telling him that he’s going to be okay.
What Comes After
A group of survivors fight off a herd of walkers. One of the survivors gets hurt and as they are picking her up, the walkers surround them. Someone starts shooting walkers in the head. They hear a little girl call for them to come to her where it’s save. The survivors get to the little girl and she asks their names. Magna (Nadia Hilker), Connie (Lauren Ridloff), Kelly (Angel Theory), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and Luke (Dan Fogler). And the girl’s name is Judith. Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming).
I had heard some rumors about Jadis saving Rick in the end. Then I saw the synopsis of episode six. But even though I knew what was coming, I was bawling like a baby. I enjoyed all of the callbacks to episode one. And seeing the return of Jon Bernthal, Scott Wilson and Sonequa Martin-Green was heartwarming.
I have to say that Rick’s final episode was great acting by Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. I will never look at Negan the same again. The writers are so much better this season. They could have easily killed Rick off. And if they had killed him at the bridge, I would have been fine with that. He sacrifices everything for his family. It would be classic Rick. But he lived!
At first, when I heard the rumors about Jadis saving Rick, I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like that we’d never know where Jadis was taking Rick. And after the explosion, Michonne and the others will never know that he’s alive. But then the announcement came that we are getting a trilogy of movies about where Rick ended up! I hope this means that Rick will go back for his family.
This was also Lauren Cohan’s final episode for this season. She has a new show coming out. When season nine began filming, no one was sure that Cohan would return. It all depended on if the new show would get picked up for more episodes. I know it got picked up for a full season, but whether or not it gets a season two remains to be seen. So we may seen Maggie again in season ten.
Well, we have another time jump coming, six years to be exact. Judith is older. The communities have had time to get over their differences. It will be a completely new show without Andrew Lincoln. I have to say…I’m a little excited.
Farewell Andrew Lincoln. And farewell Lauren Cohan…for now.