The Walking Dead 9×05 is now so close we can almost smell the rotten flesh wafting up from those mindless walkers. And, well, let’s just say Rick Grimes has found himself in quite the pickle.
Last night’s installment of the AMC flagship left viewers on something of a cliffhanger, as the wounded Rick lay unconscious on a roadside teeming with zombies. It’s by no means the character’s first brush with death – far from it, in fact – but given his days are now numbered, we’re beginning to fear Andrew Lincoln’s series stalwart won’t make it out in one piece; rather, he’ll fall victim to the horde of walkers, just like his son Carl before him.
Don’t read into that one too much, though, as AMC has just unleashed a series of HD photos for next Sunday’s episode (titled “What Comes After,” it’ll air November 4th), in which you’ll see the injured Rick stagger back to Atlanta – back to where it all began.
Recognize the ‘don’t open, dead inside’ graffiti? It’s just one of many callbacks to The Walking Dead season 1, back when Rick Grimes was little more than a disillusioned police officer adjusting to the end of days. This trip down memory lane is enough to evoke memories of Laurie and Carl, not to mention Rick’s old ally/former nemesis, Shane Walsh, given The Punisher‘s Jon Bernthal has confirmed his return to the show in time for Andrew Lincoln’s bittersweet finale.
And it is bittersweet. We struggle to imagine The Walking Dead without Rick Grimes calling the shots, but the show must go on – presumably with Norman Reedus inheriting leading man duties in the absence of Lincoln. That’s just as well, too, considering AMC already has plans for multiple new seasons beyond 2018.