As was revealed in the big twist ending to "Rick's Last Episode", Rick Grimes didn't die on the bridge that he blew up to stop a zombie herd from reaching the settlements - instead, he was washed downriver where he was discovered by Jadis, who used her connection to a mysterious new faction to have Rick airlifted away by helicopter. It was revealed soon after by producer Scott M. Gimple that Lincoln's Rick Grimes will return for a Walking Dead movie trilogy, which means that not only did he not die as many expected, but that this also wasn't quite the "ending" that AMC and the show's cast and crew had been hyping for months.
Needless to say, The Walking Dead fandom is feeling all kinds of ways about this arguable bait-and-switch marketing tactic - check out a small sampling of the different reactions, below:
Tricked So Good
While some fans acknowledge this was a something of a trick, they don't necessarily see it as a bad one.
After all, if you were scared about The Walking Dead continuing without Rick Grimes, this is probably good news!prevnext
The Furious Ones
THOSE FUCKING BITCHES TRICKED US. FUCK YOU AMC. FUCK YOU. WE ALL THOUGHT HE WAS GONNA DIE. FUCK YOU FOR TRICKING US YOU CUNTS #TheWalkingDead— mønadø bøi (@berkaydotexe) November 5, 2018
As you can see by this NSFW language, some fans are royally pissed about what happened on the show.
It's only fair that they should be, though. AMC has been stoking that exact assumption in its marketing of this "event."prevnext
It Was All A Dream...
@AMCTalkingDead would have been genius if AMC had tricked everyone w the “Rick’s last episode” thing & Rick woke up from his coma years ago, all just a fever dream, end of the whole series. #thetalkingdead #TheWalkingDeadFinalSeason— we’re laughing @ you. not w you. (@laughtracktweet) November 5, 2018
This was one of the more popular fan theories about what was really going to happen with Rick's last episode.
Guess those fans really didn't believe the show could go on without Lincoln.prevnext
Happy In Sadness
For these fans, the episode was a roller coaster of emotion.
The dramatic pain of losing Rick; the happiness at his survival; the anger at being tricked; and probably the confusion of what comes next.prevnext
Playing With My Feelings...
Y'ALL MADE ME FEEL FEELINGS AGAIN AND THEN TRICKED ME LMAO @WalkingDead_AMC— Pelvis Costello (@AshleyElizabeth) November 5, 2018
A lot of fans are feeling a little embarrassed that they let themselves get so emotionally invested in that big dramatic ending for Rick...
...Only to find out it wasn't an ending at all.prevnext
That Judith Tho...
...so, @WalkingDead_AMC tricked me tonight... But, WOW, #JudithGrimes is my new favorite badass! Glad we'll still see #AndrewLincoln, and looking forward to the new format from @AMC_TV! #TWD pic.twitter.com/ysthP9K1KC— Eli DeGeer Ⓥ (@EliDeGeer) November 5, 2018
After that big twist ending revealing a major time jump, Walking Dead fans got to meet the hero that will replace Rick - and it's none other than his daughter Judy!
"The Future is Female," indeed...prevnext
Extreme Viral Marketing
AMC just tricked the whole world into watching “The Terror”— Eric Congdon (@ericcongdon) March 26, 2018
For the most cynical fans, there was only one reason for this entire event:
AMC needed a way to seriously boost the viewership of its series, The Terror. Yikes.prevnext
The Long Con
so theyre gonna tell more Rick Grimes stories.. hes still alive, just not on the show. hes gonna get his own AMC movies?!! hes probably gonna end up popping back on the show.. they found a way 2 give him a break but keep him in it #twd #TalkingDead
they tricked the shit outta us— RESPECT THANKSGIVING || Bucs 11-5 (@paully_eFFerson) November 5, 2018
I mean, at this point should we believe that anything about Rick's retirement is real?
As this fan points out, there's really nothing stopping AMC from having Rick pop-up at some point later in the series (provided he survives the movies). Sure, they're saying that Andrew Lincoln will never return to the TV series - but do you really believe that, deep down in your bones?5comments
How do you feel about Rick's "exit" from The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments!
The Walking Dead Season 9 continues to debut new episodes Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. The network has yet to stake a premiere date for Lincoln's first Walking Dead movie.prev