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Want to know what happens to Rick? The Walking Dead season 9 episode 5 preview gives us our biggest clue yet

The Walking Dead season 9 (opens in new tab) is about to go in a very different direction. The closing moments of The Walking Dead season 9, episode 4 (opens in new tab) left Rick Grimes stuck between a rock and a hard place, but replace ‘rock’ with a rebar sticking through his side and ‘hard place’ with a swarm of the undead waiting to eat his guts. What comes next, according to a new The Walking Dead preview could be one giant love letter to the show, filled with cameos and callbacks.

The preview for next week – confirmed to be Rick Grimes’ final episode – sees Rick, inexplicably, get back on his horse and ride to back to Georgia, where The Walking Dead began. If only things were that simple.

Along the way, a few familiar, obscured faces are going to be cropping up. Shane (already confirmed to be returning to the show (opens in new tab)) looks to be one of them, and the mound of bodies scattered at Rick’s feet could lead to a couple more cameos, including the late Scott Wilson as Hershel.

There’s even a reference to the very first scene in The Walking Dead, with Rick Grimes lying in a hospital bed. This time, however, someone is standing over him. Could it all be one big dream sequence with the kicker being Rick’s slowly dying? Or, could the figure standing over him be Jadis, helicopter in tow, ready to whisk him away to a brand-new community? 

Either way, it looks like a must-see episode, both for diehards fans who have followed the series every step of the way, and those lapsed Walking Dead watchers who left the show behind a long time ago. And we’ll finally get an answer as to whether or not Rick Grimes dies, so be sure to pack plenty of tissues.

We're closing in on saying our goodbyes, so, how does Rick leave The Walking Dead? (opens in new tab)

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.