Beware: Spoilers for the latest episode of The Walking Dead below!
I imagine it’s going to take fans of The Walking Dead quite some time to get used to the idea that Rick Grimes, OG leader of the apocalypse, is not only leaving the show for good, but that he’s also going to be starring in a trilogy of feature-length films on AMC. Talk about a curveball.
If you watched the show’s latest episode, “What Comes After,” you know that Rick (Andrew Lincoln) doesn’t die after all. Instead, after blowing up a bridge infested with walkers to save his friends and preserve the legacy of community he’d created, his badly wounded body is tossed into the river below and washes ashore a mile or so downstream. The scene cuts to Jadis, who’s standing in the woods nearby and who spots Rick’s very-much-alive body on the riverbank. She hops on her walkie and begs the mysterious people in the helicopter to land and save Rick, to which they reluctantly agree. The last we see of our beleaguered apocalyptic leader, he’s being flown off to an unknown location.
So, yes: the story of Rick Grimes is far from over. According to Scott M. Gimple, who appeared on Talking Dead after the episode, Rick is indeed alive and “it’s not a weird trick,” but that was the last we’ll ever see of him on the show; he will appear only in the movies from here on out. “We’re gonna continue telling his story in a series of original AMC films,” he said. “It expands the universe. It’s gonna show a different corner of the world.”
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