We get it. Things arent looking great for Rick Grimes.
The last we saw him, Andrew Lincolns character was riding around on his white horse, a la Khaleesi, trying to lead the zombie herds away from the super sick camp theyve all built, where everyone happily gets along during the times when theres not a mutiny.
But Ricks horse got spooked when another large zombie herd showed up, throwing him off so violently he gets impaled by some metal sticking out of concrete rubble. Rick passed out as the two large herds closed in.
It sure seemed like a cliffhanger. Were heading into Ricks last episode after all. However, Walking Dead mightve already spoiled how Rick survives the latest chaos.
In a trailer that aired at San Diego Comic-Con over summer, a few different shots might have given away Ricks fate.Ive scoured footage from the previous Season 9 episodes and cant find the scenes anywhere, which leads me to believe theyve yet to air.
One of the moments is a quick clip in which Rick appears to be waking up as a zombie approaches, gaining consciousness just in time to possibly thwart an attack. (Hey, it could just be Norman Reedus stirring him up in the morning to say hello. But Id lean toward the former.)
Another shot shows someone in boots, leaking blood out all willy nilly, seemingly walking on that bridge Rick cared so much about building all season. If those are Ricks boots, it means he somehow picked himself off the metal bar that impaled him. As long as hes had his tetanus shot, our boys got a chance!
It also plays into the next shot from the trailer.
OK, the coup de grce. Theres no question who were looking at in this one. Its Mr. Grimes favoring the side of his body thats been spouting blood everywhere. Hes just chillin on the bridge while his friends run to the rescue. Yay!
But wait. They cant come to the rescue. Weve been told over and over again in AMC marketing that Rick is off the show and next Sundays episode is his last.
Lincoln recently wrote a long goodbye letter to the media, in which he waxed poetic on his wild ride. So what gives?
AMC/HuffPost photoAndrew Lincoln’s goodbye letter.
There are a few potential answers.
If these trailer shots do spoil whats happening in Episode 5, its possible they are all just Ricks hallucination as hes dying. The promo for Ricks final episode showed him revisiting some past Walking Dead locations, which could be part of a fever dream. We also know a lot of past characters are appearing on the show in Season 9, including Jon Bernthals Shane and Scott Wilsons Hershel. Characters on Walking Dead have hallucinated on deaths doorstep before, and itd make sense to include some of those returning ones in Ricks sendoff.
To top it off, everything about these shots seems a lot like An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. Just as the Confederate plantation owner in that late 19th-century short story falsely imagines escaping the noose, perhaps Rick is imagining escaping the zombies when hes actually set to become a buffet. Oh, and theres a bridge.
If the shots dont amount to a hallucination, Ricks story could be left open-ended.
At San Diego Comic-Con, Lincoln said his relationship with Rick is far from over. Meanwhile, his letter to the press ends with the phrase, Until our paths cross again.
If Ricks story is left open, perhaps he slips into a coma from the blood loss, leaving the show the same way his character came in.
My personal theory is that the group of people whove been operating the mysterious helicopter tasked Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) with capturing victims as an experiment. The captives are deliberately infected with the zombie virus, and then used as test animals for a cure. As part of the experiment, the group needs the victims they label A (Alphas?), because they are assumed to be strong enough to survive a bite. Rick is certainly an A, so it would make sense that the helicopter people would attempt to save him,were he bitten by a zombie, in an effort to further their experiment.
Or theres also this bizarre yet amazing theory from a Reddituser claiming the helicopter people are actual helicopters, like the cars in Pixar movies:
Five helicopters will surround Ricks dying body, and theyll explain they can save him, but theyll need to change him. Holding back tears, Michonne agrees, and the surgery begins.
Later, Rick wakes up, and hes okay, but now hes a helicopter too. He and the other helicopters fly away from Alexandria and into the sunset. As he flies away, Maggie says I believe in Copter Grimes.
Is it a hallucination? Is it literal helicopter people? Will he roll under a dumpster at the last minute? Well find out next Sunday. Until then, Copter Grimes.
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero