The Walking Dead said goodbye after 12 years on Sunday, and while the series finale was as polarizing as you’d expect for a show that lost its way several times.
The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 24 concluded with the return of Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes and Danai Gurira as Michonne Hawthorne.
While fans desperate for a glimmer of intel about the two beloved characters are getting a spin-off featuring them both next year, their return changed the endgame a little bit.
Greg Nicotero explained to Insider’s Kirsten Acuna that a scene was removed from the finale, despite it being shot.
“There was a scene that we had shot, but when it was decided to put the coda in we felt like it would conflict with the Rick and Michonne bit. So we took it out,” Nicotero said.
A source close to the show revealed to Insider that After Daryl drove off, the narrative would have shifted to outside of Atlanta, to the same freeway Rick dode down on a horse on The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 1.
We would have then picked up in a van “with a young woman and man in the front seats (in their twenties),” according to Insider’s source.
“And through the scene, we come to realize it’s adult RJ and Judith. Other adult versions of the kids are in the back — Coco, Gracie, etc,” Insider’s description reads.
“They’re out there, looking to escort any survivors back to their communities.”
The description of the alternate ending then adds:
Continuing the legacy of their parents. As RJ speaks over the radio, he finishes with: “If you can hear me, answer back. This is Rick Grimes.”
(Which, of course, is his name — and the line Rick said in the pilot.)
Then we end with the voice of a survivor answering back: “…Hello?”
It’s a different ending, for sure, and one that would have probably worked better had there not been three additional spinoffs ordered.
The series finale did feature plenty of closure, but it left some threads dangling to tease what’s to come in the future.
Check out our interview with Greg Nicotero, in which he opens up about Rosita’s fate, Carol’s ending, and more.
What do you think of the ending?
Do you think the ending worked?
Hit the comments.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.