‘The Walking Dead’: Who is Flying the Helicopter that Rick Saw? [S08E05]

(AMC/The Walking Dead)

There was a very strange scene during Season 8 Episode 5 that fans are trying to figure out. It happened after Rick and Daryl parted ways. Rick looked into the sky and saw a helicopter flying overhead. What was that all about? Read the top theories below.

This post has spoilers for Season 8 Episode 5.

Here are the top theories from fans about that helicopter that Rick saw. Some fans think that this is just Rick hallucinating, maybe even his first hallucination so far. We saw in the premiere a lot of “flash forwards” to Rick in a peaceful community with Michonne and Judith, years in the future. Some fans thought at the time that Rick was hallucinating. They wondered if he was sick and maybe the hallucinations were part of that sickness, or if he was just going crazy and finally losing his mind from all the stress. If Rick was hallucinating in the premiere, then maybe seeing a helicopter is the first sign of that disease starting to take over. Maybe the helicopter is a hallucination.

If that’s not the case, and the helicopter’s real, then what exactly is going on? Why is a helicopter flying in the sky while this big battle is going on? Did the explosion that Rick and Daryl set off during their fight attract the helicopter?

Well, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a helicopter in this series. In Season 1, we saw a helicopter flying in the skies over Atlanta. That helicopter was never explained. At the time, fans thought that maybe there were some remnants of the military who still existed and had survived the initial outbreak. But the helicopter in Season 1 looked more like a civilian helicopter. (Interestingly, in the comics the helicopter seen near the beginning was from a TV crew that was trying to escape, but they never referenced that plot line in the show.) We saw a different helicopter another time, in relation to the Governor:

Although the helicopter was a crazy sight in The Walking Dead, the spinoff Fear the Walking Dead already did the same thing. In that show (spoilers ahead), fans were shocked to see a helicopter near the border. The helicopter was owned by a pretty organized group of preppers, and some of the main characters even ended up flying in the helicopter. No, that doesn’t mean this helicopter is owned by the same people. Those people were off near the Texas/Mexico border, far away from where Rick and company is right now. But it does shine an interesting light on the supposed rarity of the sighting.

So in light of what we learned in the spinoff, this helicopter could be from anywhere. It could belong to a remnant of military survivors who had access to the helicopter or it could belong to a rogue group that managed to acquire a helicopter for themselves. It doesn’t have to mean that part of the government still exists somehow. More than likely, the pilot is flying it around to get an idea of what’s going on with this big war that’s been breaking out in their neighborhood between The Saviors and a new rogue group of people.

Some fans think it might belong to the big junkyard group that betrayed Rick last season. Some fans thought they saw a helicopter in the distance when Rick first went to the junkyard.

Or, it could all just be part of a hallucination that Rick’s having — a hallucination that’s going to just get worse and worse.

What do you think the helicopter was from? Let us know in the comments below.

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