Rick is still alive and out there somewhere in the big The Walking Dead universe.
When Rick (Andrew Lincoln) left “TWD” in 2018, viewers knew he was carried away on a mysterious helicopter. However, everyone else on the show assumed he had died saving their lives.
In season 10, Michonne discovered evidence that Rick might still be alive.
Judith has been keeping a huge secret since her mom left the show in season 10, episode 13 and hasn’t been heard from since.
Another character, Virgil (Kevin Caroll) who was with Michonne when she discovered Rick had vanished from “TWD” on its final season.
If Judith doesn’t tell the group about Michonne’s secret mission, I’m hoping Michonne communicates with Daryl’s group via radio to tell others Rick’s alive.
This was potentially teased on the penultimate episode when Judith mentioned she hasn’t heard from her mom in a while.
Is this photo teasing the “TWD” finale real or a dream?
The penultimate episode ended on a cliffhanger with Rick’s daughter Judith getting shot. But would “TWD” really kill off another Grimes child?
The clues for Judith’s death are certainly laid out on the series. I’ve also been wondering whether or not some finale teaser photos are spoilers or a clever misdirection.
Either way, it’d be a massive mistake to kill off Judith. Since her birth on season three, the character has served as a beacon of hope for the group of survivors to carry forward in search of a better life.
Many of the risks Rick’s group took were to ensure they were building a better world for the next generation, including Judith. If she’s not around to experience that better life, what was the point of all their sacrifices?
It would be odd to kill Judith off before she could be reunited with her parents on the upcoming Rick and Michonne spin-off, too.
You can read more of my thoughts on the Judith cliffhanger here.
The majority of the cast survives
There are too many characters left for everyone’s story to get a satisfying conclusion. Because of this, I’ve hoped to see some major deaths on the final season, but that hasn’t happened.
Up until this point, every death has been largely predictable and mostly consisted of recently introduced antagonists and minor characters.
It doesn’t help that premature spin-off announcements likely ensured the survival of at least Negan, Maggie, Daryl, and Carol, lowering the stakes of the final episodes.
AMC seemingly spoiled one finale death in a promo photo that’s since been removed from the network’s press site, but, even if that comes to fruition, it’s another minor character.
I’d love a heart-wrenching death on the finale, but “TWD” has become allergic to taking big swings ever since Glenn died on season seven.
If the show does end up killing a beloved character, it could be Jerry (Cooper Andrews), who went off solo into a swarm of the dead.
Lydia will die.
It’s hard to believe everyone survives risky amputations in the zombie apocalypse.
Lydia’s arm was amputated after she was bit during the last episode. Currently trapped in an RV surrounded by the dead, she doesn’t have a clear path to seek immediate medical attention.
We’ve seen so many amputations over the years on “TWD” and just about every character has survived without complications, which is pretty miraculous. It’s overdue for someone to suffer a real-life consequence as a result of losing a limb.
In an interview with TV Line, showrunner Angela Kang said Lydia “is not out of the woods. But at the same time, there is hope in that people have survived this before.”
Rick and/or Michonne make some sort of appearance, but it’s probably just a small end-credits cameo.
I doubt Andrew Lincoln or Danai Gurira will appear unless in flashbacks or reused footage.
It seems most likely that one or both could reappear in an extra scene attached to the finale teasing their characters’ returns in next year’s Rick and Michonne spin-off.
In February, Lincoln was spotted in Georgia with Norman Reedus during the show’s final weeks of filming.
In September, showrunner Angela Kang told RadioTimes.com the “final scene” of the show changed pretty late in production.
“I will say without spoiling that our intended final scene is not the final scene anymore,” Kang said, adding, “Sometimes, even after you’ve shot things, it changes in the post-production process. It’s a living work, as we go.”
There’s a time jump, but not a major one.
The final comic issue of “TWD” skips ahead 25 years after Rick Grimes’ death to show his son, Carl, living happily ever after married to Carol’s daughter, Sophia.
Together, they have a daughter named Andrea, named after Carl’s comic step-mom who died.
In February, cast member Ross Marquand told Insider the show “might not be visiting some of the stuff towards the end of the comic.”
“I don’t think they’re rushing anything and I certainly don’t think they’re truncating anything except for the stuff towards the end of the comic series,” he added.
Since AMC is moving forward with so many “TWD” spin-off shows, which all appear to take place in the current timeline, I’ve thought the show may only skip forward a little bit in time with Judith relaying the story of “TWD” to the other kids her age.
That tracks with the current Judith actor narrating the opening of the past seven episodes as if she’s telling a story to someone.
Showrunner Angela Kang confirmed the voice-overs were meant to be “telling a story” in an October interview with Entertainment Weekly.
The show could still end with a massive time skip and then the spin-off shows tell the story of how they arrived at that conclusion.
I previously thought a nice twist on the comic ending would be to see a grown-up Judith and Hershel living out their days together.
However, if the show was skipping ahead decades, I would’ve expected a different voice narration over the past few episodes.
Perhaps “TWD” thought that would’ve been too much of a giveaway at what it was doing.
Lennie James appeared on 2010’s “TWD” pilot before crossing over to “Fear TWD” on its fourth season.
It would be a crime if the only remaining character alive from the 2010 pilot (other than Rick, of course), didn’t make an appearance on the finale despite crossing over to the spin-off, “Fear the Walking Dead,” a few years back.
When Insider spoke with James in October 2021, he said he had a conversation about whether or not he may return to “TWD” in its final episodes.
“That’s about as much as I can say,” James told Insider with a laugh.
Maybe if “TWD” flashes forward at the end, we’ll see Morgan and more reunited.
Pamela is jailed for shooting Judith and her many other crimes against the Commonwealth.
There’s no way our survivors are letting Pamela get away with shooting — and possibly killing — Rick’s daughter. You just don’t mess with the family without consequences. (See: Negan.)
I’m guessing that Negan and Maggie are most likely to go after Pamela on their own. The groundwork for them to hunt her down was laid out on the penultimate episode when Negan suggested to Maggie that they team up to “take out the bitch,” referring to Pamela.
As well, one of the finale’s teaser photos released earlier this week shows the pair having a serious conversation. If that’s not a set-up for their upcoming spin-off, “Dead City,” I bet they’re strategizing about the Commonwealth leader.
However, I’m not expecting them — or anyone else — to go through with killing Pamela.
Instead, they’ll likely show her mercy and throw her in jail.
Not only would this be a nice callback/nod to Rick showing Negan mercy after setting out to kill him in season eight, but it would also mirror the comics.
In Robert Kirkman’s comic series, a different Milton shoots a very different Grimes. Sebastian shoots Rick Grimes dead and as his punishment, he lives out the rest of his days in prison.
Mercer becomes the leader of the Commonwealth.
If Pamela’s no longer in charge of the Commonwealth, Mercer feels like a natural pick to head up the community of about 50,000. Not only is the leader of the Commonwealth militia well-respected by the people, but there was also a subtle hint earlier in the season that may have predicted where he’d be by the season’s end.
On season 11, episode 17, you can briefly spot a Commonwealth citizen holding up a sign that read, “Mercer for President.”
That stuck out to me because, during interviews with the cast this fall, Margot Bingham, who plays Mercer’s sister, told me she doesn’t want to see Mercer die because she believes he’d be a great leader for the Commonwealth.
“You look at him and you’re like, ‘Oh wow, Maybe there is hope in the future,'” Bingham said of Mercer. “If there was a leader of the future, that’s who I would want it to be — somebody strong, somebody passionate who believes in its people and just supports everybody and gets behind any fight for a good cause.”
Bingham may have given us a big clue. If the show flashes forward, maybe we get to see Mercer and Princess (Paola Lázaro) together with kids.
Hershel and Annie get kidnapped or disappear, leading to the Maggie and Negan spin-off.
Next spring’s Maggie and Negan spin-off, “The Walking Dead: Dead City,” sees the two frenemies uniting on some mystery mission in New York City.
Currently, it’s unclear how Maggie and Negan could wind up on a journey together. However, since Maggie’s son, Hershel, and Negan’s pregnant wife, Annie, haven’t been seen in any promotion for the show’s first season, it’s led me to believe that one or both of them could go missing, resulting in Maggie and Negan reluctantly teaming up.
The last time we saw Hershel and Annie they were safe and sound at Alexandria where Daryl, Maggie, Negan, and the rest of their group rounded up the Commonwealth soldiers. The big question is: What leads to Maggie and Negan teaming up on next year’s spin-off?
Maybe some of the captured Commonwealth escape and take Hershel and Annie prisoner.
Maybe someone else swoops in and kidnaps some of the group.
Personally, I’ve been rooting for some sort of “TWD: World Beyond” connection where members of the Civic Republic Military become involved in the finale since some of them are stationed in New York.
Maybe none of these things happen, but it’s tough to imagine any other reason for Maggie and Negan to work together unless it involved saving loved ones.
Negan, having killed Maggie’s husband, feels some sort of responsibility toward keeping her son alive. Maggie, despite hating Negan’s guts, really respects Negan’s wife.
Something terrible happens to Daryl.
I’m most curious about how Daryl will wind up on a “TWD” spin-off in Paris, France.
I initially had a few ideas. Daryl would be hit so hard by some loss on the series finale (Judith?) that he goes off on his own as he did after he thought Rick died.
My second thought was that Daryl learns that Rick’s alive and he sets off on a journey to find him.
Another thought was that Daryl and the group catch wind of a possible cure for the dead.
On the show’s first season, Dr. Jenner briefly mentioned that the whole zombie apocalypse may have started in France. Jenner popped up again on the series finale of 2021’s “TWD: World Beyond” and we started to get a hint of the variant walkers we’re now seeing on “The Walking Dead.” That show’s end-credits scene also mentioned Toledo, Ohio.
The Commonwealth group is located in Ohio.
Maybe something about the variant walkers sends Daryl on a journey. It would be an interesting way for the show to tie back to season one.
However, the final few episodes have led me in another, less exciting, direction.
That certainly has me wondering whether or not Daryl will get kidnapped by someone and get shipped overseas.
A few episodes back, Daryl learned about something called “Designation Two,” a label given to Commonwealth prisoners who are “taken somewhere far away” and are never seen again.
Maybe that’s where Daryl’s heading by the finale’s end. At the least, I hope it ties in with some of 2021’s “World Beyond” coda for a greater universe payoff.
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