Dead show walking? OK, so that's too melodramatic, but the Season 8 finale for AMC's "The Walking Dead" just shed 30 percent of its overall Season 7 finale audience. Once we see the Hilltop is safe, we make our way back to the battlefield as Rick and Negan face off once more.
The episode featured the final battle of the two-season "All-Out War" storyline that introduced Negan and his Saviors as a huge threat to Rick and his survivors. Even more importantly, it may also be a turning point for a series that has long felt lost.
There could be some big shocking moments in store for the fans in "The Walking Dead" season 9. As Carl put it to Rick just before he died-and as Rick repeated to his allies and the surrendering Saviors-"There has to be something after". Rick even made note of the walkers. As Rick let Negan be healed, Maggie had to be restrained by Michonne: "It's not over till he's dead!" she cried. Lucky for them they are saved by Althea, played by Maggie Grace. What Negan didn't plan was Eugene providing the Saviors with faulty bullets resulting in a loud array of misfires. All their guns exploded in their hands, courtesy of defective ammunition designed by Eugene (Josh McDermitt), who had secretly switched allegiances again. For more viewing options that don't necessarily involve zombies, take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule.
On Sunday, the official Walking Dead Twitter account shared a post teasing the crossover. Mrs. Rhee promised Jesus and Daryl that Rick and Michonne would be shown the error of the ways, which naturally has fans anxious about what that vague threat means.
By not killing Negan and stopping the violence, Rick is trying to do right by his son. However, details remain under the wraps and there is still no hints about who along with Morgan will be making an appearance on Fear the Walking Dead Season 4. This very much lived in the world that Rick began with. So now, hopefully, Season 9 will be Rick and Michonne vs. Negan and Maggie.
A serene Carol (Melissa McBride), realizing the value of community, returned to the Kingdom. While some viewers may have been confused or even disappointed by the seemingly out of character heel turn presented by Maggie, Jesus, and Daryl in the finale, they may be even more upset if the storyline proves to have nothing to do with Rick or Negan in the slightest.
At best, the episode was a collective sigh of relief that we can finally, FINALLY move past "All Out War", which went had overstayed its welcome by at least 20 episodes or so.
So, did Negan actually kill Rick and what we saw after that was Rick's stairway to Heaven?
When showrunner Scott M. Gimple promised that the season 8 finale of AMC's The Walking Dead would serve as a sort of "conclusion of the first eight seasons", he wasn't lying, as the episode "Wrath" not only concluded the "All Out War" story arc but perfectly set up a "bigger, new narrative" for next season. He was always about keeping himself alive.
In a twist that seemed out of character, she promised what sounded like revenge. "You alive is gonna help show people that things have changed", Rick says. "To have that moment where he's slashing a throat and saving a guy's life, to have it so heightened, it marks time in a very important way and shows that from this point on the stories are going to be very different".