I feel conned by Rick’s exit on The Walking Dead

Photo courtesy of Gene Page/AMC

I made it clear last week that I wanted Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) to go out with a bang – a bloody, violent, shocking bang that could only be accomplished with his death, which we had been teased about for months.

*SPOILERS (OBVIOUSLY)*

The cliffhanger in the previous episode and pretty much the whole of “What Comes After” led us to believe that his death was inevitable, a done deal, and I was excited to see how he was going to go.

At first it seemed like he died by setting off an explosion to destroy the bridge to Hilltop and save everybody from a massive herd of Walkers – but then he ends up washing up on the banks of the river near Anne/Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), who saves him by bringing him onboard her mysterious helicopter…. and the rest we will find out in a series of movies (urgh).

Rick should have died on that bridge. It was a hero’s way to go – sacrificing himself to save everyone else from thousands of walkers – and an exit so perfectly fitting for Rick and no one else.

So I can’t help but feel cheated by the whole helicopter rescue. I spent the whole episode, not to mention the past few months, waiting for his promised demise and I would have preferred he died over some cheap movie tie-in, which is exactly what this is.

Shortly after the episode aired, it was revealed that Lincoln will be starring as Rick in three TV movies and the questions we have about his ambiguous exit – such as, “Who are the helicopter people?” “Where are they going?” “Are the others going to find out he’s still alive?” – will be answered in the films.

This is unfair. The AMC bosses have used Rick’s popularity to force us to watch these films to get our answers, when all we really wanted was for him to go out in a heroic, devastating way befitting of a lead original character.

No one asked for these films and I certainly don’t want them – I want the flagship series to end, not for the universe to expand (a whole other issue) – but now I feel like I’ve been duped into watching them because I’m never gonna get closure about Rick’s storyline otherwise.

We also don’t get to see how the others deal with his death either, because there is a stupid time jump that makes no sense!

The Walking Dead execs have manipulated viewers before – the Glenn death fakeout in season 6 comes to mind – but this is on a completely different level because this exit was announced so far in advance and promoted heavily, and now it feels disingenuous.

Yes, he’s leaving the show, but the character is going to continue elsewhere. They should never had announced it in advance, because now I’m left feeling misled and annoyed.

I’m kinda debating whether to ditch the show now, not just for Rick, but also because I am shocked and appalled for Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who exited the series during that episode too – and wasn’t even dignified with some acknowledgement of her departure. She’s been in the show since season 2 and she deserved better.

Not impressed. I guarantee the show’s ratings will suffer because of this as viewers are fed up of these stunts.

Comments

  1. Fatalfeline says:

    I am in complete agreement with you. I didn’t like seeing Gimple on the Talking Dead couch because first I figured he was behind the scam, but then he started talking these movies, etc. which made it so much worse. I only watch the show because JD Morgan is still connected with it and I was interested in how they would get rid of Rick and Maggie . It’s a new beginning and perhaps finally I told time to jump ship.

    • Hannah Wales says:

      I’m glad you agree. I didn’t watch The Talking Dead and now I don’t want to! The movies makes it so much worse – shows how much of a cheap stunt this is. All for some movies nobody particularly wanted or needed! I have stuck with the show for years but it’s really tested my patience and I’m considering whether to jump ship too – I think I’m gonna try out the time jump and leave if I don’t like it.

Trackbacks

  1. […] and so I naturally went into the time jump episode (which takes place about six-seven years after Rick’s ‘death’) with low expectations, thinking it would be rubbish without Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in the […]

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