Watch out for the big spoilers on episode 5 of season 9 of The Walking Dead if you have not seen it. "What Comes After" marked the departure of Rick Grimes to other horizons and although he was not dead, episode 5 was very much like a tribute to his cult character. Many references to the first seasons have been made, and we suggest you come back to see if you have them all spotted!
The alarm clock at the hospital
Back to square one
It's hard to miss the moment when Rick is talking to himself to wake up and run away from the nearby walkers. Injured and in bad shape, Rick has a vision of himself at the Atlanta hospital, where it all started in the first episode of The Walking Dead. The "first" Rick faces the "last" Rick, the loop is complete.
"Do not Open Dead Inside"
At another point in the episode, Rick finds himself in the hospital again. The hallway is the same one he went through a few years ago, and he comes across a closed door on which he says "Do not Open, Dead Outside". Season 9 of The Walking Dead did indeed a direct recall in the first season but adapting to the visions of Rick. It is this time "out" that the dead are, and that's where Rick has a vision of hundreds of corpses and then Sasha, who helps him wake up.
We still have no answer for this mystery, but we at least know that the helicopters were not shown by chance throughout the seasons of The Walking Dead. Rick sees an overflight Atlanta in the first episode, and he will see others thereafter. This recurring mystery is getting thicker now that Rick was taken by helicopter thanks to Jadis.
Shane and the returned car
Like the good old times
We knew that old characters would make an appearance and it is particularly Shane that Rick crossed in one of his hallucinations. He finds himself in a police car, with Shane and facing a returned car. The car in question is the same as the criminals that Shane and Rick pursued before Rick was shot and ended up in a coma in the pilot. In addition to these elements, the discussion of the two friends refers to Lori, Carl, Judith – and his biological father – or Shane's death. Topics that do not fail to take us back far.
When Rick and Jadis fly by helicopter, it's the song "Space Junk" by Wang Chung that can be heard in the episode. The same song we heard at the end of the very first episode of the series, when Rick is alone in Atlanta. A nice nod to fans music lovers.
The Hershel farm
The famous barn
Rick's vision with Hershel takes us back to season 2, in the famous barn in which the Greene family had locked their loved ones into zombies. This is also where we saw a zombie Sophie come out in one of the most important episodes of the series.
Rick found his family
From the first episode of The Walking Dead, we learn that Rick has only one goal: to find his family to protect them. Throughout his last episode, in Season 9, Rick follows the same path. He is desperate for his family until he finally gets the answer. Judith, Michonne, Daryl, Carol, Maggie and the others are his family. And he found them.
The road to Atlanta
Back to Atlanta
The image of Rick straddling a highway to Atlanta is one of the iconic representations of The Walking Dead. Revisiting this plan, this time with a giant horde of zombies on Rick's heels, was equally impressive.
"What's your wound?"
9 seasons later
First pronounced by Morgan, the words "What's your wound?" or "What's your injury?" are heard several times in episode 5 of season 9. What remind us that these are also the first words that Morgan addressed to Rick in the pilot of The Walking Dead.
Beth was there too …
When Rick is in the middle of a tide of corpses, we can recognize several familiar faces like Carol, Daryl, Jesus and even Maggie. But that's not all, even if you only see it from the back, it is obvious that one of the elongated silhouettes is supposed to be Beth Greene, who was, for a time, the optimist of the group.