#TheWalkingDead Season 9 Episode 5 "What Comes After" In-Depth Recap And Review

I honestly have no words...

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Sunday night's episode was the true embodiment of a rollercoaster ride through Hell and back. Rick Grimes' last episode damn well ended with a bang and it deserves an Emmy. His final episode was one for the records because, in my opinion, I feel that it may have been the best episode of the series. But, that's just me. One thing for sure is that Andy's acting in "What Comes After" was superior and amazing. Until the next time, Sheriff, until the next time.

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Episode 5 opened up with a glance outside of a hospital room while a massive swarm of birds flocked nearby. And, to be more specific, Rick's Atlanta hospital room. The present Rick was telling Rick of old that he needed to wake up. We heard Morgan's voice ask Rick what his wound was. Pulling his hand up covered in blood, he suddenly hears the comatose Rick telling him he needed to "wake up, asshole" as a bunch of helicopters flew at him. When he woke, he was on the rebar being engulfed by two hordes slowly closing in. Rick being Rick, acted quick and hoisted himself up and pulled himself from the rebar. He crawled onto the panicked steed which almost dumped him again then quickly was straightened out and on a steady trot away from the community fork.

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In the next scenes, Jadis was in what appeared to be Heath's RV. (Could this be what happened to him?) Her radio comes on, and the man from the Junkyard communication came on asking for a status update. She tells him she has his 'A' and is at a location near the Junkyard. She tells him she needs them and is desperate. She tells him that she'll be ready. Rick is leading the massive horde and fighting the fading. He's telling himself that he has to stay awake. In between fadings, Rick's flashing back. He sees the farm, the overturned car that landed him in the hospital and the hospital bed he woke in. When Rick comes back, walkers are close to grabbing him. He kicks up the horse's pace until they're far enough away. Maggie and her guard spot a walker. Maggie tests out her crowbar and kills it... overly kills it. Rick is fighting another fade when he spots a mailbox and kicks it into hyperdrive. The horse runs, and Rick gets off. He stumbles into the shack and finds evidence of someone dying in there. As soon as he sits, he passes out.

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Rick begins to hallucinate that he is leading that massive horde back to Atlanta. When he and the white horse come into the city and round the bus, Shane is seen sitting in their old squad car. Someone asks "what's your wound?" Shane laughs and says, "Damn cowboy, you look like shit." The scene shifts to Rick asking Shane what "this" is about. The two are in the old squad car looking out at the overturned car that they shot up. Shane tells Rick that he knows what it's about. "You know, you say you're looking for your family when you should be saying you're looking for my family. How's my baby girl anyways? She has my eyes, doesn't she?" Rick laughs and says that she has his nose. Rick calls Shane an asshole and Shane says that he is THE asshole. Shane calls Rick one too. Shane calms things down and tells Rick he really stepped up to the plate and even took a page from his playbook. Rick apologizes for what he did to him, Shane tells him that he needs him to regain that fire, that rage. The fight of the machete and freak that he ripped his throat from. Shane suddenly jumps at Rick and yells "wake up!" just as a walker is about to chomp down. Rick can avoid the flesh eater and kick open a shut door. He crawls to the horse, and the horse takes off.

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Michonne was working on expansion plans and taking care of Motherly duties when Scott came by to tell her that Maggie was there. Michonne rushed out to intersect Maggie and to talk her down. Michonne said to her that killing Negan would only start something they didn't want. Maggie begged Michonne to tell her something that would work to take away the anger and the hostility but she couldn't. Michonne handed over the keys and Maggie went in. After laughing, Negan asked Maggie, "she just gave up the keys, huh?"

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He admitted that although Michonne had the sword, Maggie had the fire. Shocked, she asked if he remembered her. He did. She told him that was good and to get on his knees. Negan immediately began to taunt her with things he knew would put her on tilt. He began to tell her that her screams echoed as he bashed Glenn's brains in, that killing Glenn was rather enjoyable and that he hoped she had the guts actually to kill him. After he knelt, she told him to get into the light. When he wouldn't, she drug him out. He looked awful. Negan then began to beg for her to kill him. He begged and taunted. He begged for death, but she wouldn't give him that. No. "I came to kill Negan. You're worse than dead." She told him to get back into his cell. He does as he cries. (Damn, that broke me apart.) When Maggie left, Michonne saw that there was no blood on the crowbar. Maggie sighed. Maggie's guard ran up and told them that there was a problem at the camp.

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Rick is fighting the fading as best as he can, but it finally catches up to him. He passed out on the horse's back. He flashes back to Hershel's farm inside the barn where Hershel waited for him. Rick embraced Hershel and apologized for his death, Beth's, Glenn's and blamed himself. Hershel told Rick not to worry about Maggie or his grandson. Rick tells Hershel he's looking for his family and what he wished for him and Carl hasn't been an easy task. Hershel tells Rick that 'it' will happen for all of them. Rick tells Hershel he's tired. Rick asks Hershel if he will find his family where they were. Hershel tells Rick that Rick has to wake up. Rick does for a moment then passes out again. This time, he visits the Atlanta hospital hallway where you hear a male voice ask "what's your wound?" Rick stumbles through the corridor and shoves the hanging wires. He goes to the "DON'T OPEN DEAD INSIDE" door and opens it. The light is so blinding but when it dims you can see thousands upon thousands of dead below Rick's feet. Daryl, Maggie, Beth, Rosita, Jesus, Carol and more lay lifeless below his feet. Then, Sasha stands. Confused, Rick says "They're all dead." Sasha tells him "yeah, and it's okay." Rick asks her why its okay that they're all dead and she tells him that they all served their purpose just like she did, he did and that endless one before them did. Rick tells her that it feels as if its all ending and Sasha tells him that little things do come to an end, but as a whole, it continues. Sasha tells him that no one truly dies and that nothing revolved around anyone in particular. "I don't think it just evens out. I think it always crosses over. Toward good, toward the brave, toward love." Sasha tells him that he won't find his family because his family isn't lost. Sasha tells Rick he isn't lost. Sasha tells him he has to wake up though and he does. By hitting the ground. Rick's horse runs off from the camp and walkers from a previous battle linger. Rick kills them quickly, but the horde is approaching fast.

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Rick gathers the strength to throw dead walks off of him and begin to wall toward the bridge. He stumbles quickly ahead but falls. As the walkers near him, he watches as help comes. Daryl, Michonne, Maggie, and others rush to take down the pack. Michonne begins to him and tells him that it's not over because "we don't die." She tells him that she fell in love with him because he is a fighter! Because he never gives up. He says that they're his family but "this" isn't real. "I found you." He tells her. She says it is real and he has to wake up. When he does, he's at the foot of the bridge with walkers comic for him.

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Rick stands up and stumbles to the other side. He smiled as they began to cross but frowned when the bridge held up. He turned, and a walker was about to bite down when an arrow came flying in. Daryl nodded at Rick. Michonne, Maggie and Carol ran to try and divert the pack, but there was too many. Rick stared for the longest minute then noticed fallen TNT. Michonne calls out to Rick as he raised his Python. "I found em." He fired, and the entire bridge blew. Daryl stared in shock and began to cry (as did I again), and Michonne went ballistic. Maggie and Carol held her back as she fought them and cried. In complete shock, Daryl walked away without a sound... Jadis saw the black smoke and radioed her man. She looked down the river and saw all of the bodies floating. As the helicopter nears, she spots Rick! He's alive! She radios that she has a strong "B" and wishes to make the trade still. After a moment, the helicopter lands and Jadis goes to Rick. When Rick comes to, he is oxygenated and bandaged up. She tells him that he's going to be okay. The helicopter flies away without a single interruption.

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In the final scene of the episode, a group is seen in that exact field six years later being pursued by a pack of walkers. They fight but they are quickly surrounded by walkers suddenly drop, and a small voice tells them to hurry her way. They do. She asks for names, and the head woman tells the girl that its "Connie and Kelly, Luke and Yumiko" and herself was Magna. When they ask for a name, she picks up Carl's sheriff hat, holsters Rick's python and has a small katana. "Judith. Judith Grimes." She tells them.

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What did YOU think of Rick Grimes' final episode? Let me know in the comments below!

Honestly, this is one of if not the best episode of the series for me. Although Rick did leave, it was still amazing. Both Andy and Jeffrey Dean Morgan were stellar in this episode with their scenes as well as Danai. But Andy's performance was that of award-winning. Andy, you will be missed. I love you; I can't wait to see you back in action in the movies coming soon!

Author/Editor: Joeleen Gatlin