The Walking Dead is on its twenty-third episode and, finally, it is starting to give us everything we want. There is real tension, smart zombies that are actually scary, and major character deaths (although Judith’s fate still hangs in the balance).
For longtime fans of the show, Judith’s story line is giving us all the Rick Grimes content we could ask for – short of him actually returning on screen. Maybe next week for the finale?
In the latest episode, Judith alludes to her father quite a few times; for instance, when she picks up Rick’s gun and states that he was “searching for mercy.” Additionally, the intro monologue closely resembles one of Rick’s. This is purposeful as the score playing in both scenes is identical (season nine, episode five and season 10, episode 13).
Given that Judith is sorting through her parent’s weapons, this score gives us a sense that Rick and Michonne are still with their daughter in some way. But she might soon become a spirit too after an altercation with Pamela Milton later on.
Just when you thought everyone in The Walking Dead was invincible, Lydia got bitten by a walker and Judith was shot by Pamela Milton. Now, that doesn’t bode well for anyone whose name isn’t Maggie, Nega, Carol or Daryl!
Although there is hope, Lydia might survive with one arm less than before, and Judith could make it out alive as well. Even though, we may be too optimistic. The episode ends on a cliffhanger that suggests Judith’s fate is uncertain, and things don’t look good for her if the writers are considering the death of her father, Rick Grimes.
“But he’s still alive!” we hear you say. What many fans don’t know however, is that in the source material, Rick Grimes is actually dead-and has been for some time. Sebastian Milton killed him first, and then when he returned as a zombie, his son Carl put him down for good.
The season eleven finale of The Walking Dead subverted expectations by toying with the idea of an alternate version of Rick Grimes.
By the time Rick from the comic book series was killed, he had become a widely-loved leader of the Commonwealth. However, not everyone loved him because Sebastian ended up being quite resentful. In fact, Sebastian sneakily shot Rick in his own bedroom.
So, the event of a widely disliked Milton shooting a popular Grimes has been reversed. An unpopular Milton shoots a key member of the Grimes family, one who represents the future for many. But now it’s a mother shooting her daughter instead of a son shooting his father.
As The Walking Dead often is, no one could have predicted that Rick’s death would be the inverse of what happened at the end. But does that mean Judith could survive? If everything has been flipped round, then Judith surviving when her father didn’t.
At the end of the show, Daryl cradles Judith in his arms after she was shot. This mirrors Rick’s actions from season two when he ran with Carl (Judith’s brother) after he was shot.
The showrunner of AMC’s The Walking Dead, Angela Kang, confirmed in a behind-the-scenes feature that the writers meant for there to be parallels between the two scenes: “We definitely wanted it to feel reminiscent of the scene where Rick was carrying Carl after he was shot. It’s kind of the question of, like, is history going to repeat itself with Judith and what’s going to happen next with her?”
Given that Carl has survived his gunshot wound, it’s possible Judith might too. This is especially true if Yumiko’s brother, Tomi can be found.
Certainly, when Judith gave her younger brother Rick’s sheriff hat before everything fell apart, it points to a changing of the guard. Additionally, it might not be a coincidence that Carl gave Judith the hat back when he was dying in season eight…
The only way The Walking Dead can give fans what they want is by bringing back Rick Grimes for the series finale.
Covering superheroes, anything dark, horror, and more! Lead writer for Fan Fest