The Walking Dead
Everyone was shocked when The Walking Dead (spoilers) killed off Carl Grimes in season 8, but things took an even more severe turn when it was revealed that Rick Grimes himself, Andrew Lincoln, wanted to leave the show.
That led to a back-bending episode of twists that concocted a situation where everyone believes Rick to be dead, blown up on a bridge, while in reality he was saved and whisked away to a new mystery group via helicopter to star in future spin-off movies.
But now the comics may be following suit. For years, Robert Kirkman has said that Rick Grimes might die someday, and now that day could finally be here.
The latest issue of The Walking Dead, #191, had Rick Grimes getting shot square in the chest. Its the most significant turn for the lengthy Commonwealth plotline in which Rick has been trying to play peacekeeper between the elites and general public of a large community. Eventually, he takes the side of the underclass, helping to remove their governor (not that Governor) from power so there isnt an all-out civil war. The problem? He does not arrest the governors son, a sniveling rich kid who sneaks into his room at night and shoots Rick in the chest.
The Walking Dead
Fans predicted that issue #191 would have a shocking moment because its the end of the latest compendium. Compendium endings always end on something big, like Lori/Judiths deaths or the heads on pikes Whisperer moment we just saw on the show.
Some fans believe that this really might be it for Rick Grimes because the entire issue was set up as sort of a farewell to him. He gives a big, heartfelt speech to the Commonwealth culminating in the reversal of his once-famous line, saying We are NOT the walking dead as he encourages everyone to come together. Theres also an extend scene with Carl, who was trucked all the way to the Commonwealth seemingly just to be able to say goodbye to Rick.
And yet, counterpoint.
The shot, though it appears to be exactly where Ricks heart should be, does not immediately kill him, that much is clear. The last panel of the issue is Rick saying what have you done? and people generally do not talk after being shot in the heart. They are dead.
Past this, its clear from the blood spatter behind him that the bullet actually went through his chest and out the other side, and as we all know from uh, mostly TV and movies, a through and through is better than the bullet staying lodged inside somewhere. And if it didnt hit his heart, maybe it was just (just) his lung or something.
The Walking Dead
Finally, even though I know that Kirkman has said that hes going to kill Rick Grimes someday, being shot in bed in the dark by a dumb rich kid feels like a pretty poor end for such a beloved lead after 190 issues.
A theory is that Rick could go back into a coma and wake up with another time jump further in the future to set up a new era of the comics. Or he simply recovers from a wound that is not as bad as it looks.
Or he dies, and Carl effectively becomes the lead of the comics, which the series has been building up to for quite some time. Thats possible too, though Im just not sure if I buy it.
Regardless, its a big moment for the series, possibly one of the biggest, and I have to wonder that if the show does make it this far eventually, whos going to be the one shot in Ricks place here? Daryl? Carol? The show will arrive at the Commonwealth without Rick, Maggie, Carl or Michonne, so really the entire thing may have to be rewritten.
I believe in Rick Grimes, and I dont think this will kill him. But the signs are there that this could be the end for him, so well have to wait to see how this plays out.
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero