How Long Is ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 9 Episode 5 Tonight?

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Tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead has been widely billed as Rick’s final episode, and fans aren’t very happy about this. We’re still holding out hope that he might survive and the character will just leave the show for awhile, because we don’t want to believe they’d really kill such an important character. (But then again, considering what happened to Carl, it’s definitely possible.) As you might expect, tonight’s episode will be longer than usual. But sadly, it’s not going to be as long as you’re probably hoping.

Tonight’s episode is airing from 9 p.m. Eastern to 10:08 p.m. Eastern. That means we’re getting an extra eight minutes of air time for what has been billed as Rick’s final episode. 

That doesn’t quite seem fair, does it? The Season 9 premiere was practically movie length, lasting a full 86 minutes and ending at 10:26 p.m. Eastern. So we’d expect at least that long for Rick’s last episode. But sadly, we’re only getting an extra eight minutes.

Talking Dead will air for an hour immediately after The Walking Dead airs.

This is a game-changing episode. It’s part of the first season since Angela Kang replaced Scott Gimple as the showrunner for the series. So far, fans have loved Kang’s take on The Walking Dead universe. They are saying that she’s capturing what made the show so great in the earlier seasons. Daryl, for example, has talked more in the last few episodes than he has for multiple seasons now. So whatever happens with Rick, it’s likely that Kang will handle Andrew Lincoln’s exit well.

Tonight’s episode is called “What Comes After.” The synopsis reads: “Rick is forced to face the past as he struggles to maintain the safety of the communities and protect the future he and Carl envisioned.”

As you could tell in Episode 4, Rick is still struggling with Carl’s death and I don’t think he’s truly allowed himself to grieve. That’s why he might be making some questionable decisions about trying to save that bridge — decisions that ended up getting him impaled on rebar.

The beginning of the season kicked off with an 18-month time jump. Since then, the communities have been struggling. Maggie wants Negan dead, and Daryl is determined to support all her decisions. Daryl is just as loyal to Maggie as he was to Carol, and it’s good that she has someone backing her up like that. But she also has Jesus, who isn’t afraid to let her know when he disagrees with her plan.

The Commonwealth is still out there, which is the group that Georgie oversees (at least, that’s what fans have been guessing.) Meanwhile, Jadis is working with a group that has a helicopter and takes people labeled “A” or “B” in exchange for goods and supplies. I’ve got to wonder if Negan knew about this group.