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“The Walking Dead”: Moving Forward

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“The Walking Dead”: Moving Forward

Karissa Schaefer, Freelance Editor

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The Walking Dead season nine premiered on October 7th, drawing in 6.08 million viewers. That may seem like a lot to other shows but to The Walking Dead, a show that garnered 11.44 million viewers for its season eight premiere. The drastic change in ratings have fans worried for the show’s cancellation; however, DVR and streaming sites, like Netflix and the newly made AMC Premiere app, contribute to the live ratings the show has. The TV show has been on a downward trend ever since season five. New show writer Angela Kang took over for Scott Gimple and has done a great job trying to revive the show, despite the rating crash. Season nine has definitely been more interesting to watch from the let down of the TV version of “All Out War” in season eight.

At San Diego Comic Con 2018, the cast of The Walking Dead had its annual panel with the viewing of the official season nine trailer. The season nine trailer left fans speculating about the next big enemy, the Whisperers, and what could possibly happen with Rick, the main character. Shortly after the trailer, Andrew Lincoln who plays Rick Grimes confirmed his departure from the show. He stated “This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes. I love this show. It means everything to me. I love the people who make this show.” The main reason for his departure was how he wanted to go home to England, spend time with his family, and take a break from acting; however, there is speculation of behind the scenes drama that caused him to leave. It was also announced that Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie, was also leaving after only a handful of episodes. Just when her character was starting to take off, as she plays a larger role as a leader in the comics at this point, she leaves unexpectedly. Both departures from two main characters were a huge blow to the fans of the show.

When promotion for season nine began, AMC were insistent that the first half of season nine would be “Rick Grimes’ Final Episodes.” People who didn’t have spoilers were surprised when he was only in the first five episodes. Episode five titled, “What Comes After” features an injured Rick as he tries to make it back to lead a herd of walkers away from camp. On the way, he experiences hallucinations ranging all the way back to season one moments. He sees deceased characters Shane, Hershel, and Sasha. When he arrives to the bridge the different groups have been building over the past few episodes, he decides to take it down with explosives in order to save the group. He is “killed” and taken away down the river with the herd, characters like Michonne (his love interest) and Daryl (his closest friend) watching in tears. Concluding Rick’s moments on the show, he is seen alive, though very injured, on the side of the river, with character Jadis taking him on a helicopter somewhere unknown.

On the show Talking Dead, a talk show about The Walking Dead, ex-show writer, Scott Gimple revealed that though it was Rick’s last episodes, there will be three featured length movies about his life after being rescued. Gimple reported, “There is more story to tell, and we’ll be telling it.” This gives Rick fans and viewers of the show another chance to see a beloved character on screen. Production is set to begin in 2019 and the location of filming or who else will be starring in it is still unknown, however, a film gives the opportunity for Andrew Lincoln to still act while staying located near his family. This is just the start of a long-term plan Gimple has to expand The Walking Dead universe.

With Rick gone, it gives the opportunity for other castmates to come more towards the forefront. Since there is about a six year time jump from when Rick leaves to the next scene/episode, watchers will be able to see the differences among the characters and where they are now, and who will take over for Rick as well as Maggie. There will be more of an ensemble now, focusing on the bigger picture.

 

Karissa Schaefer, Freelance Editor

Karissa Schaefer is a junior at Lindenhurst High School. It is her third year on the LHS Varsity Dance Team. This is her second year writing for the Charles...

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“The Walking Dead”: Moving Forward