Tonight is the fifth episode of Season 9 of The Walking Dead. This has been widely billed as Rick’s final episode, although it’s not known if he’s dying or just going to leave. Considering how he was impaled at the end of last week’s episode, it’s tough to imagine he will survive. We will update this post as the show airs with a recap and review of what happens, so just refresh to see the latest.
The episode begins with a flock of birds in the sky. Rick is in the hospital telling himself, “Wake up. It’s time to go.” It’s present-day Rick “seeing” his old self from Episode 1. Next he sees a vision of a flock of helicopters passing overhead, and he looks at a deep wound in his side.
Rick wakes up (he was passed out when last week’s episode ended) and the largest horde of walkers you’ve ever seen is descending on him. The white horse is waiting around, upset, as Rick realizes what happened to him. He pulls himself off the rebar (poor Rick, this is SO painful.) He used his belt to grab the stakes above him to pull himself up, and that was PAINFUL looking. At this point I’m surprised he doesn’t pass out again. But he scrambles away to his horse and manages to get back on, riding slowly away and leading the walker horde behind him.
After the commercial break, Jadis hears her radio telling her to confirm her location and “the status of your A.” She gives her location and says she has the A and “it’s ready for transport.” The person says, “If this is a trick, there can still be consequences.” Jadis says she needs evacuation and is desperate. This doesn’t make a lot of sense, since things seem to have calmed down and she found her place in the community.
Meanwhile, Rick is riding away on the white horse, willing himself to stay awake, but he continually almost passes out. He sees visions of his hospital room, zombies, and other locations. He’s going to get eaten if he can’t keep going. A HUGE horde of walkers is behind him as he speeds up his horse.
Next, we see Maggie and her friend riding through another area. Maggie kills an approaching walker and says, “we can go now.”
We’re back to Rick with his fatal wound (I’m guessing fatal), as he struggles to stay awake. (Reminder: This is all Daryl’s fault, again, for betraying Rick and falling down that pit.) Rick takes a side road away from the walkers and finds a log cabin with the words “FACE ME A**HOLES” written on the door. Desperate, he finds bedsheets and ties up his wounds. He sees a gun next to a dead body and realizes the log cabin is riddled with bullet holes. He passes out again. :( (By the way, there’s a deer head in this log cabin and a lot of viewers thought the deer head was going to start talking to him, lol. Let’s not forget that the last time Rick was under extreme stress, he hallucinated seeing the ghost of Lori everywhere.)
Now we’re back, seeing a clip of Rick on his horse trotting down a highway, VERY similar to the very first episode.
We see Rick on a horse talking to Shane, still in a sheriff’s uniform. They’re talking about an old case they did together, back before the show started. Rick tells Shane he’s looking for his family and Shane answers sarcastically. “One could argue that’s my family you’re looking for. How’s my baby girl?” Is this the first time Rick acknowledged that Judith is Shane’s and not his?
Shane says he’s glad Rick killed him. “You took a page out of my book,” he says. “The only way this gets done Rick… Think about how you bit that POS’s throat out… That’s the sh** I always knew you had in you… It’s time. Kneel down, dig deep, find it Rick, your rage, the hatred, find it. It’s in there Rick. It’s the only way that this gets done.”
So that’s an interesting hallucination with Shane… Rick apologizes to Shane for killing him. Shane tells him that he needs to forget that. I kind of like how in Rick’s mind, Shane is stronger than he ever was. It seems like Rick was channeling Shane, maybe subconsciously, when he did some of the toughest things in his journey.
Rick snaps out of it and is back in the log cabin, almost being eaten by walkers. He manages to barely escape and gets back on his horse, which has somehow magically not been eaten by the horde of zombies. (Is this a hint that it’s all dream right now?)
Now we’re back to Alexandria and Michonne’s with Judith. Maggie shows up to talk, crowbar in hand. Michonne says that Glenn and Hershel wouldn’t want this. But Maggie says the only thing she had was seeing Glenn’s murderer die. Maggie tells her that Negan would be dead a long time ago if it had been Rick and not Glenn. “Stop acting like this is a choice,” Maggie says. “It has been a year and a half and I can’t (just turn it off.)”
But Michonne insists she has to find a way. Maggie says it would be different if Michonne was a single mother too… Meanwhile.
Maggie says she can’t live with it now, but she can live with what happens later. So Michonne gives in, and gives Maggie the key to Negan’s cell. WOW.
And now we’re at a scene with Negan and Maggie. “She’s got the blade, but you’ve got the fire,” Negan tells her. Maggie tells him to get on his knees. Negan says he remembers her screaming while he broke Glenn’s head. She says she’s hear for justice, not revenge.
“What you did to my husband. Get on your knees.”
“You mean how I cracked open his skull and popped out his eyeball…while you and his little friends watched? I used to say I didn’t enjoy killing. That was a lie,” Negan says. “Your old man… I forgot his name again… Killing him the way I did. That was fun.” (Note: Negan was referring to Glenn as “your old man,” not Hershel. The Governor killed Hershel.)
I kinda feel like Negan just wants to die, whether he means what he’s saying or not.
Maggie says she wants to see him in the light. It looks like my prediction was right. Negan is crying and begging Maggie to kill him. “So I can be with my wife,” he cries. “I should be dead. I have to be dead. It was supposed to be you. It has to be you, because I can’t do it. I’ve tried. I can’t be like this. Please don’t make me stay like this… Kill me.”
So either Negan has gone insane in the cell all this time, or he’s finally had to face his wife’s death for the very first time. Now Maggie won’t kill him. She said he’s already worse than dead.
This is a crazy scene. Negan’s now locked back up in his cell. Meanwhile some viewers are saying this:
Here’s a question… Is Negan really broken? Or did he stop crying once he was being put back in the cell and it was all an act? What do you think?
Back at the walker horde, Rick is still on the horse, leading them away. He keeps repeating to himself that he needs to find his family.
“What’s your wound?” he keeps hearing. Now he has a seen with Hershel, RIP :(. They’re together, overlooking a sunset at the farm. Awww, this is heartbreaking because the actor who plays Hershel has passed away. :( Rick apologizes to Hershel for what happened to him, Glenn, Beth, and everything that Maggie lost. “My girl, she’s strong. And my grandson, he’ll only make him stronger.”
Rick says he needs to find his family and keep them together. “No you don’t,” Hershel says. “You only think you do.” Oh my gosh this scene HURTS. :(
Rick says he’s tired and wonders if he can find his family there, but Hershel tells him to wake up. Ohhhh, this scene was painful… Goodbye Scott Wilson. :(
Now Rick is awake again, on his horse, but barely surviving. His blood has streaked down the horse’s white fur. :(
Rick passes out again. Now it looks like he’s at a hospital. Someone else asks, “What’s your wound?” This question keeps getting repeated in Rick’s mind. Now Rick sees himself standing on an endless pile of dead bodies, including some people we know from the show. This is very reminiscent of a cover of a Walking Dead comic book. We see Maggie, Rosita, Jesus, and others.
Then Sasha stands up. (Side note: The actress is on Star Trek Discovery now, and you need to watch the show! It’s really good.)
Sasha tells Rick it’s OK that they’re all dead because he did his part, just like she did. “They gave us the strength we needed…and the others draw strength from us,” Sasha said. “…We make each other better, and it never ends.”
“It’s not about you or me or any one of us,” Sasha says. “It’s about all of us.” (This feels like a message to viewers from AMC, telling us to keep watching…)
Sasha tells him: “Your family, you’re not going to find them because they’re not lost. And you are not lost. What you need to do is wake up.”
And Rick wakes up again. He fell off the horse and the horse ran away from him. OH NO.
He’s at a camp full of tents and he’s bleeding out really bad. But walkers are here too. Oh my gosh, this is terrifying. I don’t want Rick to die. :(
Now we’re back from yet another commercial break. Walkers are approaching him, but Rick takes out his trusty revolver and kills some of them first. But those gunshots are only going to attract more, I fear. He looks up after a walker falls on him to see a horde of zombies still approaching him. (At this point, Rick really needs to cover himself in zombie guts. Why doesn’t anyone remember to do this anymore?)
The zombies are approaching him. Folks, I want Rick to disappear and have a chance at life, not be eaten by zombies, OH MY GOSH.
Rick is struggling to walk away sans horse, and the horde is following him. He’s walking just like a zombie because of his wound. He stumbles forward, falls, and it’s heartbreaking.
He’s on that darn bridge he’s been trying to save.
A huge group of people show up, led by Daryl, and kill the walkers. Michonne is by his side, telling him she has to get him out of here. But I’m afraid this is a dream. Rick tells her to take care of them because he can’t. Michonne tells him it’s not over and Rick’s not going to die. “You want to know why I fell in love with you? Because you’re a fighter and you never give up, so fight Rick,” she tells him. “Fight for me. Fight for all of us.”
We see Maggie, Eugene, and Daryl in the background.
“You’re my family,” Rick tells her. “I found you.”
OH MY GOSH THIS HURTS MY HEART.
“But this,” Rick says. “This isn’t real.” Michonne tells him it is real and kisses him. “Now wake up.”
Oh my gosh, this wasn’t real. Rick is on the bridge, waking up, all alone. He looks over at the bridge again and stumbles forward. The walkers are close behind. Blood is pouring from Rick’s wound. He walks over the bridge and we see the rushing water beneath. The walkers are still following him. Rick stumbles to his knees, almost across. They’re closer.
This is so dang heartbreaking.
He turns and looks at them, holding his wound. He lets them get closer. “No,” he says. A zombie almost bites him but is killed by an arrow. It’s Daryl and Michonne. This time, folks, I think it’s real.
Maggie, Carol, the whole group are watching. They’re trying to pull the herd off the bridge and away from Rick. Daryl is staying back, trying to kill the walkers as they approach Rick. That’s when one walker knocks over a stick of dynamite.
This scene is insane.
Daryl is trying to save his friend. And Rick is just standing there, no longer trying to escape the horde. He aims his gun at the dynamite. “I found them,” he says about his family. He shoots the dynamite, exploding it. I think he’s saving the town this way from the horde, knowing he had lost too much blood to survive.
Rick gave his life for his family. He died a hero.
Daryl is the first one we see crying. And Michonne is heartbroken, wailing… And Daryl is lost.
Michonne’s reaction is so reminiscent of Maggie’s when Glenn was killed, it hurts.
And Daryl walks away, alone.
After the commercial break, we’re back. Jadis is listening to the radio chatter, and the helicopter is approaching her. She takes out her gun. Debris from the bridge floats by her and she watches, confused.
There, on the shore, is RICK. “I have a B,” she said. “Not an A, I never had an A. He’s hurt but he’s strong, will you help him? It’s not a trick.”
WHY IS RICK A B AND NOT AN A?
Jadis said she’s trying to save a friend who saved her. “Do we have a deal?”
The helicopter lands. YES. (Guys, AMC never said Rick was going to die. Just that this was his final episode!)
Next we see Jadis on the helicopter telling Rick that he’ll be OK. “We’re going to save you.” Rick is flying over the landscape in a helicopter, about to be back in a hospital again. So it looks like Rick will be back in a state similar to what he was in during the series premiere.
The scenery changes, and it looks like a lot of time has passed. We’re at the second time jump folks.
A bunch of young people we don’t know are killing walkers. There are five of them and we’ve never seen them before. One is named Meg. Someone comes with a gun and shoots the zombies that are surrounding them. The group runs.
A young girl who saved them asks for their names. Then she tells them her name.
“Judith. Judith Grimes.” She’s wearing Carl/Rick’s hat.
Welcome to the major time jump folks!
I LOVED this episode.
This post will be updated as the episode continues.