The Walking Dead 905: The dual meaning of ‘wake up’

- The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
- The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC /

Throughout The Walking Dead “What Comes After” Rick hears that he needs to “wake up” and that phrase has two key meanings in episode 905.

Rick Grimes hears the phrase “wake up” throughout his final episode of The Walking Dead. He hears it from Shane, from Hershel, from Sasha and even dream-Michonne, and it has two very important meanings for Rick as he struggles to survive while protecting his family.

The most obvious meaning behind “wake up” is that Rick is bleeding out from his wound, and there’s no question that if he stops too long he will pass out and succumb to his injury, provided, of course, that the herd doesn’t get to him first. He’s definitely hallucinating, and his subconscious mind keeps telling him to get up and keep moving to avoid danger.

On the other hand, there’s a big reason that Shane, Hershel and Sasha show up and tell him to wake up. Rick has been fighting the good fight for so long that he’s no longer able to see the forest for the trees. He has been talking about this concept of the future, and Carl’s vision for the future, but what he doesn’t see is that he did what he needed to do. His actions made the future possible and he needs to stop and see all that he has accomplished. There is peace and there is prosperity and there is a bright future and it’s all thanks to what he did.

The final time Rick hears “wake up” is when Michonne appears in his vision. His family showed up to fight the walkers and it looked like there would be a happy ending. But in this case, Rick woke up to see the walkers crossing the bridge and his family standing on the bank across the raging river, unable to reach him. Daryl was shooting the walkers to keep them away from Rick and Michonne was racing to find a way to reach him, but there wasn’t much they could do.

Seeing his family there made it clear to Rick that that the only way to protect their future is to sacrifice the bridge to save them. And so that’s what Rick does in what looks to be his final moments. It’s the greatest sacrifice anyone can make, and Rick Grimes blew up the bridge after being awakened to the reality of all that he has accomplished. Though the bridge represents the future, blowing it up protects that future and makes a future possible.

Next. The Walking Dead 905 recap: What Comes After. dark

Rick Grimes left The Walking Dead doing what he did best: Protecting those he loved. But this isn’t the end for Mr. Grimes. There’s an open door, so who knows what might happen in the future?