The Walking Dead 905 – What Comes After
What comes after…what indeed? Either as a statement or a question its definitely something that will be running through many viewers’ minds as they watch the final episode of The Walking Dead featuring Rick Grimes. What Comes After pays homage to the soul of the series before he makes his exit ambling down memory lane with a glance or two to the future. While it may not have been the way many viewers would have wanted to see Rick go out, on TV as in real life, we seldom get what we want.
Seriously injured, bleeding and on the run from a agonizingly slow but relentless hoard of walkers Rick drifts in and out of consciousness trying to reconcile the actions of his past. Familiar faces pop up, some with words of wisdom, while others allude to what’s made Rick the man he’s become after society’s collapse.
Maggie’s arrival in Alexandria kick starts a confrontation that has been brewing for months. Michone tries to intercept her, but Maggie’s passionate plea, grants her access to her target: Negan. Looking for justice, she comes away disappointed as Negan taunts her from the shadows. However, something clicks for Maggie and she sees through Negan’s ruse. The startling truth shocks her and the broken man before her makes her realize that killing Negan now would be redundant.
Rick’s fighting spirit has been the driving force behind The Walking Dead and in one last heroic effort he does his best to protect the communities while keeping Carl’s vision of a better future alive. What does the future hold? That remains to be seen but Jadis/Anne’s role in all of this becomes clearer and murkier at the same time.
What Comes After marks the end of an era but in reality it’s more of a pause. The time jump offers some intriguing narrative possibilities as well as the introduction of new characters. However, there is sure to be debate as to whether it’s the right direction for the series. Speculation surrounding who will replace Rick as the de facto leader of the communities leans towards Daryl. That seems like the logical choice but with an almost blank slate to begin crafting new stories the possibilities are endless.
There’s also the permanence of the changes set in motion in What Comes After. As mentioned earlier Jadis/Anne’s intervention opens up the possibility that Rick can someday return to the fold. Maybe those flash forwards from last season, with an older, greyer Rick is still to come?
One can only hope.