A Pilot Episode Callback Plays Into Rick’s Fate On ‘The Walking Dead’

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Spoilers for The Walking Dead will be found below.

Rick Grimes isn’t dead. Yet.

Fans of The Walking Dead have known this was coming for months, however, and AMC has even been advertising this season’s first few episodes as the final Rick Grimes eps. We know that he will depart from the series next Sunday, November 4th, but in this week’s episode, “The Obliged,” the means of his undoing may have been revealed. In fact, the episode ended with Rick injured, but it remains to be seen whether that injury — or another — will result in Rick Grimes’ death, or whether he will survive the injury and leave Alexandria.

The short version of how Rick suffers a life-threatening injury goes like this: Jed and the Saviors manage to obtain some guns, and they go back to the camp to confront the Oceansiders, who they now know are responsible for the deaths of a number of Saviors, including Justin and Arat. A confrontation ensues. There is gunfire. We don’t see who may have been hit by gunfire, but we know that it attracts the attention of two hordes of walkers, which eventually begin to converge. Rick, in an effort to steer the hordes away from camp and save the bridge, gets caught between the two hordes while riding horseback. Rick’s horse kicks him off, and Rick lands in a pile of concrete, and rebar punctures him through the stomach.

Interestingly, Rick’s manner of (possible) death was teased in the new season 9 credit sequence for The Walking Dead.


It’s also a callback to the pilot episode of The Walking Dead when Rick is thrown from his horse and nearly killed by a zombie horde (see header image above).

We don’t actually know if Rick will die from the rebar, but it doesn’t look good. In fact, in addition to rebar sticking through his stomach, Rick is also cornered on both sides by a horde of zombies, and there doesn’t appear to be anyone around to rescue him.

My guess, however, is that he will escape somehow. The most important character on one of the biggest shows in all of television over the last 9 years doesn’t die alone on top of a pile of cinder blocks. He hasn’t said goodbye to Michonne. He hasn’t made peace with Maggie. Sure, in real life, people die random deaths all the time without being able to say their goodbyes, but this is a television series.

We don’t even know for sure that Rick actually dies — it’s possible that he escapes the zombie horde, makes it back to Alexandria, and is subsequently transported away by the helicopter that is coming to for Anne, which would allow for the possibility — however unlikely — that Andrew Lincoln returns to the series later in its run. However, given that we know that Jon Bernthal will be returning to The Walking Dead, and that characters often hallucinate before death, it makes far more sense if Rick dies.

We’ll know for sure on the November 4th episode.

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