I think you're going to want to sit down for this one…okay?
I'm not sure if you've heard – especially considering how much AMC and Skybound wanted to keep it a secret – but the unthinkable has happened: Rick Grimes is leaving The Walking Dead.
Unless you've been living under a rock on a another planet for the past several months, you know by now that Andrew Lincoln's run as the Walking Dead universe's ultimate surivivor is coming to an end (one way or another) with this week's episode 'What Comes After.'
In case you need to catch up, check out the heart-strings-strumming trailer below:
The Walking Dead s09e05 'What Comes After': Rick is forced to face the past as he struggles to maintain the safety of the communities and protect the future he and Carl envisioned.
So in honor/memory of (just covering all the bases) Rick Grimes' ability to make ordering off a Chinese food menu sound like a call to arms – out of respect for a man who in a coma could deliver a speech more powerful than Bill Pullman's President Whitmore ever could on his best day – here's a completely unscientific and subjective look at Rick Grimes and some of the best words we heard coming out of his mouth:
● "You don't know what it's like out there. You may think you do but you don't. It's only a matter of time. There's too many of those things. My boy, my wife, I never told them what I really thought. I never even hinted, just, just kept it in, kept us moving, kept it in, kept us moving."
● "Last time I asked God for a favor and stopped to admire a view, my son got shot. I try not to mix it up with the almighty anymore."
● "Yeah, feels like there's a lot of that going around. That's why I need you. No more kid stuff. I wish you could have the childhood I had, but that's not gonna happen. People are gonna die. I'm gonna die. Mom… There's no way you can ever be ready for it. I try to be, but I can't. Best we can do now is avoid it as long we can, keep one step ahead. I wish I had somethin' better to say – somethin' more profound. My father was good like that. But I'm tired, son."
● "I am doing something! I'm keeping this group together. Alive! I've been doing that all along, no matter what; I didn't ask for this! I killed my best friend for you people, for Christ sake! You saw how he was like. How he pushed me, how he compromised us, how he threatened us. He staged the whole Randall thing, led me out to put a bullet in my back. He gave me no choice! He was my friend, but he came after me. My hands are clean. Maybe you people are better off without me. Go ahead. I say there's a place for us, but maybe… maybe it's just another pipe dream. Maybe… Maybe I'm fooling myself again. Why don't… why don't you go out and find out yourself. Send me a postcard! Go on, there's the door. You can do better. Let's see how far you get. No takers? Fine. But get one thing straight. You're staying, this isn't a democracy anymore."
● "Look, I fought him before. And after, we took in his old friends. They've become leaders in what we have here. Now you put down your weapons, walk through those gates you're one of us. We let go of all of it, and nobody dies. Everyone who's alive right now. Everyone who's made it this far. We've all done the worst kinds of things just to stay alive. But we can still come back. We're not too far gone. We get to come back. I know we all can change."
● Rick Grimes: They're gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out…
Abraham Ford: Find out what?
Rick Grimes: They're screwin' with the wrong people.
● "When I was a kid I asked my grandpa once if he ever killed any Germans in the war. He wouldn't answer. He said that was grown-up stuff, so so I asked if the Germans ever tried to kill him. But he got real quiet. He said he was dead the minute he stepped into enemy territory. Every day he woke up and told himself, "Rest in peace. Now get up and go to war." And then after a few years of pretending he was dead he made it out alive. That's the trick of it, I think. We do what we need to do and then we get to live. But no matter what we find in DC, I know we'll be okay. Because this is how we survive. We tell ourselves that we are the walking dead."
● "Because it's all about survival now. At any cost. People out there are always looking for an angle. Looking to play on your weakness. They measure you by what they can take from you. By how they can use you to live."
● "You still don't get it. None of you do! We know what needs to be done and we do it. We're the ones who live. You, you just sit and plan and hesitate. You pretend like you know when you don't. You wish things weren't what they are. Well, you want to live? You want this place to stay standing? Your way of doing things is done. Things don't get better because you– you want them to. Starting right now, we have to live in the real world. We have to control who lives here."
● "I was wrong. I thought after living behind these walls for so long that maybe they couldn't learn. But today I saw what they could do, what we could do, if we work together. We'll rebuild the walls. We'll expand the walls. There will be more. There's gotta be more. Everything Deanna was talking about is possible. It's all possible. I see that now. When I was out there with them when it was over when I knew we had this place again I had this feeling. It took me a while to remember what it was because I haven't felt it since before I woke up in that hospital bed. I want to show you the new world, Carl. I want to make it a reality for you. Please, Carl let me show you. Plea– please, son, don't die."
Note: Thought Lincoln did a lot more physical/visual acting this season, and that his powerful speaking moments tended to be of a more Ernest Hemingway-like nature:
● "I'm gonna kill you. Not today, not tomorrow, but I'm gonna kill you."
● "This is how we live now."
● "I know that now."
Note: Cue complaints about the lack of "Rick-talking-to-Carl" quotes in 5…4…3…
● "When I first met him, Jesus said that my world was going to get a whole lot bigger. Well, we found that world. We found each other. That bigger world is ours by right. That we've come together for it, all of us, it's that much more true. It's ours, by right! Any person that would live in peace and fairness, who would find common ground — it's their right, too. But those who use and take and kill to carve out the world and make it theirs alone — we end them. We don't celebrate it, we don't have shame about it either."
● "Have mercy prevail over my wrath."
● "There's not a lot that's worth much these days. But a man's word … it's gotta mean something, right?"
● "If we start tomorrow right now, everything we've beaten, everything we've endured, everything we've risen above, everything we've become …if we start tomorrow right now, no matter what comes next, we've won …we've already won!"