New Walking Dead Easter Egg Connects Rick’s Final Episode To The Pilot

The Walking Dead Rick Grimes

The Walking Dead is no stranger to easter eggs. Many of them are fairly easy for casual viewers to find, while others require a deep knowledge of the original comic series and other similar pop culture phenomenons. Some are as simple as callbacks to previous episodes, whereas others go so far as to incite a bit of controversy over whether or not the show links together with other famous properties.

For instance, one of the most popular and clever easter eggs deals with a baggy full of blue meth that appears to be a reference to the hit show Breaking Bad, leading many to theorize that both of the AMC series take place within the same universe. It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility, of course, but it’s never been confirmed by anyone from either production.

Meanwhile, observant fans may have also noticed that The Walking Dead‘s logo decayed each season until season 9’s massive time jump, acting as a reference to the world’s own decay within the series.

One easter egg may have been easy to overlook for those who haven’t watched the pilot episode in years, though. When Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) departed in the first part of season 9 after blowing up a bridge, the other main characters assumed he was dead. Instead, his final appearance in the series saw him being escorted to an unknown place by a helicopter while Wang Chung’s “Space Junk” played in the background.

Those who remember the very first episode of The Walking Dead may recall this same song being played in its final moments as Rick found himself surrounded by walkers and facing an almost certain death. He ultimately survived both times, so it’s clear “Space Junk” was used to pay homage to Rick’s almost immortal status in the franchise and to represent the endless hope he holds for a better future.

The song offered a cool throwback that shows the dedication the production team has to the character and the impact he’s had on one of television’s most beloved properties. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we get to spend more time with him, either, in those upcoming Walking Dead films, which will finally answer the questions we’ve all had about where the helicopter took him and what he’s been doing lately.