'The Walking Dead': What to Expect From Andrew Lincoln's 'Curve Ball' Final Episode (Exclusive)


Andrew Lincoln's final episode of The Walking Dead is almost here. 

Fans have been preparing to say goodbye to Rick Grimes since Lincoln confirmed his exit from the AMC series at San Diego Comic-Con in July, and the time will officially come in Sunday's episode. 

While details of Rick's last episode are still under wraps, promos have teased a reunion of sorts between Rick and a few members of Walking Dead's past. But it won't just be sentimental, as Lincoln himself told ET's Leanne Aguilera to expect a bit of blood. 

"I think it was about day two of filming and I asked Greg Nicotero, who was shooting the episode, 'How many pints of blood does a human actually hold? Because I’m not sure I’m going to make it through the credits sequence,'" he teased at the season nine premiere.

Last week's episode ended with Lincoln's character being tossed off his horse and impaled by rebar with a zombie herd approaching and not a friend in sight. It's unclear if or how Rick gets out of his current situation, but Nicotero promised a "beautiful and respectful sendoff" for the show's main character. According to a few of Lincoln's castmates, however, fans might be in for a big twist. 

"I thought it was really well-written," Norman Reedus offered. "This show has a way of throwing you a curve ball at the last minute, I'm just going to say that." 

"I think [fans] are going to be very surprised," Melissa McBride added. "They're going to be proud of him." 

"The way he leaves the show is going to be interesting for the fans, and I think it’s going to propel the story in a way that it never would have been able to go before," Jeffrey Dean Morgan confirmed. "I think that the fans are going to dig it, but it sucks not having him."

TWD showrunner Angela Kang dished that Lincoln actually had some say in how his character would be leaving the show. 

"You know, we start with the writers' room and try to figure out the story, thinking about the themes, but of course we had so many great conversations with Andrew," she said. "He’s been amazing this season, as he has been this entire journey on the show. I can say that I think that the send-off is incredibly emotional. It’s filled with twists and turns, it's epic and so I’m really excited to share that with the fans even though we will miss Andrew and Rick. I hope that we’ve done service to that story."

And while Rick will no longer be a part of the show, we can certainly expect his legacy to continue. "I know the fans have a lot of trepidation about it, but the story continues and it continues in such a powerful way," Nicotero insisted. "The show has really got so much more story to tell."

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC. See more on Lincoln's exit in the video below. 


'The Walking Dead': Past and Present Stars Say Emotional Goodbye to Andrew Lincoln Ahead of His Final Episode

'The Walking Dead': One Character Loses an Arm -- How It Pays Tribute to Rick Grimes (Exclusive)

'The Walking Dead': Everything We Know About Andrew Lincoln's Final Episode (Exclusive)