The Walking Dead has always been one of those shows where characters could be killed off at the drop of a hat, regardless of how important they might seem to the story. And now that goes for Rick too, despite how thick his plot armor has been up until this point. On Sunday’s episode, it looked like the beginning of the end for him, so is Rick going to die on The Walking Dead?
At the 2018 San Diego Comic Con, it was confirmed that actor Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead this season, so an exit by way of death makes sense. Especially on a post-apocalyptic zombie show. But showrunner Angela Kang told The Hollywood Reporter that his exit doesn't necessarily have to be due to his untimely and tragic death. When viewers last saw Rick, he was impaled by a metal rod on the side of the road, surrounded by hordes of zombies. While the end is coming for Rick on the show, however, it doesn't mean that Rick is going to die.
"I cannot confirm or deny [that Rick dies]," Kang told The Hollywood Reporter. "What I can confirm is what's already been confirmed — Episode 5 will be his last episode on the series. I think there's a really emotional and exciting story awaiting the fans. We'll see what happens!"
She explained that there was a lot of discussion on whether or not Rick would be killed off or leave the show in some other way. "I think there's going to be some things that are unexpected for the viewers. It's pulse-pounding and epic," she said, of the Nov. 4 episode, "What Comes After," which is Rick’s official last episode. "It feels like a giant season finale dropped in the middle of the season. It should be a fun one."
Sunday's episode certainly felt like a farewell to Rick. Before he took off on his mission to literally bridge the gap between Alexandria and the surrounding communities with a bridge, he said some important goodbye messages to his closest friends and allies. He called Daryl his brother and told Carol that he was proud of who she’d become and that he could see her doing great things for the future of their society. It was the perfect way to leave things if Rick really is going to go out in blaze of zombie glory.
There have been fake out deaths in the past that were cause for concern, much like now, when it seems like all is lost for Rick. Like when it seemed like Glenn was a goner in the Season 6 episode "Thank You." At the end of the episode, it looked like a group of ravenous zombies had tore into him. A few episodes later, however, it was revealed that he’d used a human shield on top of him to survive the attack.
In Rick’s case, it’s been confirmed that he’s not coming back after Episode 5 on Nov. 4, but it hasn't been confirmed that he’s exiting the show by dying or being made into zombie chum. So the fact that he’s on the side of the road, potentially bleeding out right now, could mean that he’ll survive but still leave the group for good.
Though to be honest, I can't see the unofficial leader just abandoning them all, so the only logical option could be for Rick to leave The Walking Dead by dying rather than by literally picking himself up and leaving the society he’s so intent on building up. But if Daryl manages to save him at the last minute in a very Daryl-like way, then it’s likely that the metal rod to the abdomen and not zombies will kill him by the end of of Episode 5. It hasn't been confirmed yet if Rick will die or leave the show in some other way, but regardless, fans should get their affairs in order and prepare to say goodbye to everyone’s favorite TV sheriff for good.