Behind the Scenes of Andrew Lincoln's Run on 'The Walking Dead'

AMC revealed a shocking time jump for their flagship show, with Judith stepping up in a major way, while revealing an even more mind-blowing journey for Rick Grimes.

"The Walking Dead" still has a pulse, if the social media reaction to Andrew Lincoln's final episode is any indication. The show's name was the top trending topic on Twitter Sunday, while Rick Grimes got plenty of attention, too.

While a lot of people have come and gone through eight seasons of "The Walking Dead" so far -- it's kind of embedded in the DNA of the show -- this is by far the biggest shakeup as Lincoln was the undisputed lead of the show. The only one that comes close was last season's farewell for Rick's son Carl (Chandler Riggs).

But while Carl succumbed to a stray walker bite, Rick's fate proved far more surprising. In fact, his ultimate fate is pushing the larger "Dead" franchise in a whole new direction, with AMC revealing that Rick's story would continue in three feature-length films.

Rick spent most of the hour on the run from a massive horde of zombies, bleeding out from a rebar wound in his gut. Somehow, though, he managed to survive everything the episode threw at him, including his ultimate decision to blow up the bridge he'd spent all season working on to save the communities from the horde.

In the end, he wound up on a helicopter with Jadis/Ann (Polyanna McIntosh) on his way to an uncertain future. "The Walking Dead" continues without him, and his story will continue without them in AMC's "Walking Dead" telefilm franchise.

And then the episode closed with another time jump, bringing us full circle in a way as Judith shows up at roughly the age Carl was in the pilot. She was sporting Michonne's sword, rescuing people and wearing that iconic sheriff's hat both Rick and Carl donned.

And then the teaser for the next three episodes blew everyone's mind with whispering zombies, badass Eugene without a mullet and Carol with long hair! It's been a long time since we've been this excited about the future of "The Walking Dead." New showrunner Angela Kang is killing it this season and she's just getting started.

Fans spent the evening processing Rick's "Dead" farewell and his "Dead" future, as well as the future of the show without him. The good news is that the episode was a fantastic return to form for the series that has faltered in recent seasons with repetitive storytelling and a molasses-like pace.

Here are the most passionate responses about what went down on AMC's flagship series:

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