Happy Monday TV fans! After watching AMC’s The Walking Dead season 9 episode 5, the moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived, but it’s not the moment we truly expected. Please note major spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet. In last night’s episode, “What Comes After,” Rick is severely wounded and desperately tries to get away from the persistent walker horde following him, as he slips in and out of consciousness, crossing paths with his friends in the afterlife. Meanwhile, Maggie finally faces Negan and Jadis continues to talk to the mysterious man on the helicopter. Please note that my top moments will all feature Rick, although I would like to point out that Maggie’s conversation with Negan was truly significant. My top 5 moments from The Walking Dead season 9 episode 5 are:
“Goddamn cowboy, you look like shit!”
Rick is still holding on, but is in immediate danger. He desperately tries to stay awake, but his mind continues to slip somewhere else, allowing us the chance to catch up with some of our favorite old characters who are no longer with us. First up…Shane! Shane is my absolute favorite character of the entire series and I was devastated after his exit. That being said, perhaps he knew that he was going to kick some serious ass as “The Punisher” so I guess it all worked out in the end. Rick and Shane have always been like brothers and their reunion picks up right where they left off. Shane even brings up Judith and asks, “How is my baby girl by the way?” Shane has always been the “asshole,” but somehow their friendship is still natural and real despite all of the ugliness and drama between these two. Rick is “looking for his family” and answers, but Shane reminds him to dig down and find the rage within him. He tells Rick to wake up, as Rick continues to fight and try and escape the walkers that keep coming. In a way, Shane represents that anger and rage that Rick has had to release on multiple occasions to stay alive. While Rick has not always made the best decisions because of it, it allowed him to survive. Perhaps he needed a reminder about that now.
“My girl, she’s strong and my grandson…he’ll only make her stronger.”
After scraping by the next obstacle, Rick continues on with his vision quest of sorts and is with Hershel on the farm. The sun is absolutely breathtaking in the sky and everything seems so calm and peaceful here. This scene was difficult to watch, especially since Scott Wilson recently passed away, but Rick has always looked to Hershel as his own kind of personal moral compass. Hershel has always been wise and reminds Rick that Maggie will be OK on her own and tries to tell Rick that he only thinks he needs to find his family. Hershel clearly represents loyalty and family to Rick, inspiring him with goodness and faith to keep going.
“You did your part like I did mine.”
After Rick flashes to some kind of afterlife, surrounded by corpses, he crosses paths with Sasha. Sasha tries to remind Rick that he did his part and that every single one of them gives us strength. Sasha further explains, “We help each other. We make each other better and it never ends.” Rick is still confused and says that it feels like the end to him, but Sasha reveals, “Little things do end, but it’s never the end of everything. It’s about all of us. Your family, they’re not lost. And you are not lost.” This part really resonated with me, as Sasha tries to get through to Rick about what it’s all about. Life is about the people we care about and our actions do matter. We can all continue to inspire one another and even when we’re gone, we can live on in memories and in the lives of those we have touched.
“Because you’re a fighter and you never give up. Fight for me.”
After Rick’s horse finally abandons him, Rick continues on foot and tries to make it to the bridge. He imagines all of his friends coming to his rescue, but he is there alone. Rick creates a conversation with Michonne in his mind, who tells him that she loves him because he is a fighter and never gives up. Michonne keeps Rick’s love and hope alive here, as he continues to stay true to himself and fight. I was surprised that we did not see Carl, Glenn, or Lori at all, but I do think that each character we did see represented a part of Rick, reminding him about who he is and what he can still do.
“I found them.”
As Rick makes his way to the bridge, his friends now finally catch up to him and try to help him. Daryl continues to keep the walkers away from Rick, one arrow at a time, and Michonne tries to run toward him, but Rick tries to tell them to stay away. Rick spots the dynamite and knows what he must do to protect his family. He lures the walkers on to the bridge and takes out his gun, staying true to who he is…a hero. Rick blows up the bridge to save his friends and should have gone out in a blaze of glory. Michonne and Daryl’s reactions were truly heartbreaking, as my own heart shattered as well. However, there is always some kind of twist on TWD. Rick is somehow OK and washes up to Jadis, formerly known as Anne. Jadis wants to help Rick because he has helped her in the past and tells the man in the helicopter that she has a “B.” Again, what makes an “A” or a “B?” I have no idea, but Rick is taken away on the helicopter and actually makes it out alive!
I don’t know about you, but I was actually really disappointed with this. As much as I love Rick Grimes and want to see him alive, this sort of felt like a cop-out to me. Rick had the chance to save all of his friends and leave this world as a true hero. We know that Andrew Lincoln is leaving the show and will now appear in some Walking Dead movies so I guess that’s a positive, but where does that leave the series? To make matters even more confusing, we get a time jump that shows bad-ass Judith saving people from walkers while wearing Carl’s hat. While it’s great to see that she takes after her father and brother, I’m not sure I’m ready to invest in another time jump. I kind of just want to follow that helicopter and see what’s going on with Rick. Either way, the episode was done brilliantly and I appreciated the seamless transitions into Rick’s mind. Rick will always be the very essence of this show for me. We will all miss you Rick Grimes, but I guess we’ll see you soon in your movies! Stay tuned!
I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on The Walking Dead below in the comments section. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!
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