AMC has made it no secret that tonight’s episode will be the “final” episode for long time “Walking Dead” star Andrew Lincoln. While we don’t know in what manner Rick Grimes will leave the show, it’s hard to imagine he’d abandon his comrades willingly. In the event that things should go south for Rick tonight, I thought it’d be appropriate to look back at the last nine seasons of “The Walking Dead” and remember all the good times we had with Rick.
Rick Doesn’t Need Any More Friends
In season two of “The Walking Dead” Rick and Crew found sanctuary at Hershel’s farm. However, tensions were starting to flair a bit at the farm as Hershel began to feel that Rick had overstayed his welcome. The two, along with Glenn, go on a supply run together where they come across a pair of suspicious wanders in a bar. The two want to tag along with Rick back to the farm, but Rick lets it be known that the farm is closed for business. This is still early on enough in Rick’s post-zombie apocalypse where he tries to be diplomatic about things, but when diplomacy fails Rick has other means of handling business.
Messing Fucking with the Wrong People
This is a bit of a cheat, but what the hell. In the original airing of this episode they chickened out and censored one of the more iconic lines from the comic book series by replacing the word “fucking” with “messing.” It was a silly choice as shows like “Breaking Bad” had been frequently dropping f-bombs and I doubt the extreme violence of the “Walking Dead” was any worse than a singular cuss word. They wisely decided to release the uncensored version and the scene is much better for it.
Most people would probably say that the “Ricktatorship” began when Rick let everyone know “this isn’t a democracy anymore” at the end of season two. However, for my money, this is when Rick really went full on dictator. Having accepted a position as local police for Alexandria, Rick and crew were the new folks in town and one would think they’d be walking on eggshells at this point. However, when Rick learns the local surgeon Pete has been abusing his wife, Rick winds up in a brutal street fight where he lays down the law.
Rick Rides into Atlanta
Whether you’re still up to date on the “Walking Dead” or if you stopped after the first season, I think probably the most iconic scene of the series and one that will live with people long after the show is over is the image of Rick riding into Atlanta on his horse. It’s still a remarkable scene seeing Rick ride in and experiencing how utterly screwed the world is with him.
Rick is Just a Man Looking for His Wife and Son
Another moment from the first season that will always stick with me. After crossing paths with Merle, Rick puts him in check and lets him know that he may have been a cop, but “all I am anymore is a man looking for his wife and son.” In other words, the old rules don’t apply anymore, so don’t push me.
Rick Loses Lori and Meets Judith
Not every Rick moment is going to be him being a badass, though there are plenty of those. This moment takes us back to one of Rick’s most gut wrenching scenes. After things go bad at the prison Rick has everyone accounted for, but he sadly learns that his wife Lori has passed away after giving birth to their child Judith. It’s a great scene and Andrew Lincoln really pushes it. Whether you think it’s a bit hammy or raw, it’s still an extremely memorable moment.
Rick Keeps His Promises
After being nearly eaten by the fine folks at Terminus, Rick and crew manage to escape. However, they’re followed by Gareth and some of the surviving members who attempt to finish off Rick for good. Unfortunately for them, Rick knew they were coming and laid a trap for them. As Gareth begs for his life, Rick reminds him that he had promised him earlier that he would kill him with his machete. And Rick shows that he is a man of his word.
Rick Gets a Taste for Human Flesh
There are certainly no shortage of moments where Rick looks absolutely crazy, but probably one of the best examples of this is when Rick, Michonne, Carl, and Daryl are being held at gunpoint by Joe and his men. In this scene Rick is forced to watch as they beat the hell out of Daryl and a large man torments Carl. Rick can only take so much before finally snaps and in a last ditch effort, he rips out Joe’s throat with his teeth.
Rick Deals with Sophia
Like I said before, not all of Rick’s moments are action packed affairs. People had a lot of problems with the pacing of season two, but I think the payoff for finding Sophia was all worth it. For the first half they had been looking for Carol’s missing child, only to discover that she had zombified and living in Hershel’s barn. Prior to this discovery, Shane had been running his mouth about how Rick wasn’t capable of stepping up to do what was necessary. Which makes his actions here all that more significant as Shane is left stunned and immobile when faced with Sophia’s grimm fate.
Rick and Shane Finally Throwdown
Speaking of Shane . . . It was really hard to decide what my favorite Rick moment was, but ultimately I had to take it back to this big moment. After two seasons of building towards a confrontation between Rick and his partner Shane, things finally came to a head. I don’t think the world knew how good and popular of an actor Jon Bernthal would turn out to be, but he had some shining moments on “The Walking Dead” that certainly hinted towards that. And of his bigger moments is in this scene where he get to see how far gone Shane is. An amazing moment for both Rick and Shane and my number one Rick moment.
Thanks for nine seasons of both awesome and hilarious Rick moments Andrew Lincoln, it’s been fun.