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Rick Grimes’ Walking Dead Exit Prevented An Even Darker Storyline For 1 Major Villain


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Summary

  • Rick Grimes’ exit from The Walking Dead prevented an even worse storyline for the character, Sebastian Milton.
  • The show’s changes to the Commonwealth storyline allowed for a more complex final villain in Pamela Milton.
  • The upcoming spinoff will explore the power and influence of Major General Beale in the CRM, who is set to be an even worse villain.


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Rick Grimes’ exit from The Walking Dead may have been the last thing fans wanted, but it helped prevent an even worse storyline for one character. AMC’s show has certainly made many changes from Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead comics. One of the most notable is creating Daryl Dixon’s character, who went on to be one of the franchise’s most beloved protagonists and even earned him his own spinoff.

Another big change is how Andrew Lincoln’s Rick left The Walking Dead differently than his comic counterpart. In season 9, Rick had his final appearance on the parent show, complete with hallucinations of past characters, such as Hershel and Shane. After being impaled by a metal rod, Rick meanders around until supposedly sacrificing himself by blowing up a bridge of walkers to prevent the herd from infiltrating his group’s network of communities. He is then taken away in a CRM helicopter, with his story set to continue in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. However, had he stayed in the main show, a different fate may have unfolded.

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Rick Grimes’ Season 9 Exit Prevented The Walking Dead’s Sebastian Milton From Being Even Worse

Sebastian Milton looking angry on The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead‘s Commonwealth is vastly different in the show, from Carl not being there to the community’s downfall. More so, in the comics, Rick is killed by Sebastian Milton, Pamela’s son. For this, he is imprisoned for the rest of his life. However, in the show, Sebastian is turned by a walker after the truth about his disdain for the Commonwealth residents and cynical view of the community’s way of living is exposed. Thus, a darker turn for the Commonwealth as a whole and Sebastian’s death acts as The Walking Dead‘s revenge for Rick’s comic book fate.

Although it’s questionable whether AMC would’ve killed off Rick, his season 9 exit certainly prevented the opportunity for Sebastian from being even darker and killing the series’ main protagonist at point-blank range. While Sebastian is entitled, ungrateful, and demonstrably void of remorse in both the show and the comics, had his storyline ended with him sneaking into Rick’s home to shoot him multiple times in the chest, it would’ve prevented Pamela’s unraveling that his death incited. Sebastian’s reasoning would’ve also made Rick’s death worse, as it’s because he believes Rick quashed his family’s power, despite the Commonwealth continuing to stand in the comics.

Why Pamela Milton Was A Better Final Walking Dead Villain Than Her Son

Pamela Milton from The Walking Dead on stage in a blazer addressing the Commonwealth.

When first meeting Pamela, she appears to be a diplomatic politician, hell-bent on maintaining the Commonwealth’s standing. Sebastian, on the other hand, is self-involved from the get-go and never really grows beyond his entitlement. Moreover, Sebastian’s antagonism is much more frivolous as it comes more from being spoiled than from really wanting to facilitate effective survival or leadership. For instance, Sebastian lies to gain favor with the Commonwealth residents so that he can easily succeed Pamela, yet doesn’t really care about the constituents he feigned interest in.

Additionally, Pamela’s switch from a charismatic leader to a direct antagonist after Sebastian’s death makes her more complex than her son. She also demonstrates genuine influence, as she orchestrates a self-preserving shutdown on the Estates when the Commonwealth is overrun by walkers. Her disregard for her residents’ lives is shown when she orders traitors to be fed to her zombified son, sends some to labor camps, and lets walkers into the Commonwealth. Her isolation by the end of The Walking Dead series paints her calls for justice and trust as more self-serving in a way that doesn’t resonate with her community, thus exposing her power obsession as a major weakness.

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The Walking Dead’s Commonwealth Soldiers Are Terrible For A Reason

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How Sebastian Milton’s Death & Pamela’s End Sets Up Rick & Michonne’s Spinoff Villain To Be Bigger

While the Commonwealth and The Walking Dead‘s CRM are both large communities, the CRM outshines them drastically in numbers and resources. Additionally, Major General Beale has been noted as receiving more genuine loyalty from his group than Pamela. Although Pamela’s imprisonment echoes her son’s comic-book fate, this rock-bottom moment for her emphasizes her selfish motives, unlike Beale’s supposed goals. Her final interaction with Carol and Daryl mirrors a Beale trait – making tough decisions. While Pamela says making tough decisions is difficult, a Walking Dead villain update shared that Beale’s choices are made based on what he views is best for his community and doesn’t mention them being challenging.

Beale’s ability to make harder decisions, supposedly with no remorse, makes him a natural successor. It solidifies him as a more formidable antagonist than Pamela. Additionally, his apparent meticulousness makes him a more serious threat than Pamela or Sebastian. Plus, the CRM’s military presence is seemingly much more expansive and committed to leadership since all the Commonwealth’s claimed communities resumed their original ownership after Pamela’s fall. Because of the limited insight characters from The Walking Dead universe seem to have into the CRM, Rick and Michonne’s spinoff will hopefully explore more about the group, as well as the extent of Beale’s power as a major franchise villain.

The next spinoff, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, premieres on February 25, 2024, on AMC and AMC+.

The Walking Dead Season 11 Poster

The Walking Dead

Release Date
October 31, 2010

Cast
Steven Yeun , Andrew Lincoln , Chandler Riggs , Laurie Holden , Jeffrey DeMunn , Sarah Wayne Callies , Melissa McBride , Norman Reedus , Jon Bernthal , Iron E. Singleton

Seasons
11

Story By
Tony Moore, Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard

Streaming Service(s)
Netflix , AMC Plus

Franchise(s)
The Walking Dead

Directors
Greg Nicotero

Showrunner
Frank Darabont , Angela Kang , Scott M. Gimple , Glen Mazzara

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