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Rick’s Deadly Injury on The Walking Dead 9×04

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Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) second-to-last episode of The Walking Dead ended with our intrepid antihero — who has survived shootings, stabbings, cannibals, physical and psychological torture, wars, mutinies and an uncountable number of zombie encounters — getting laid low by a dang horse.

At the end of “The Obliged,” Rick Grimes was trying to draw a walker herd away from a camp when he unexpectedly encountered another herd coming from the opposite direction. Caught between the two converging streams, his horse got spooked and bucked him off onto a pile of rubble. The episode ended on a cliffhanger, with Rick impaled on a piece of rebar, alive for now, but bleeding out.

Fans were shocked that a survivor as resilient as Rick Grimes would die in such a random way, and their disbelief provoked some hilarious reactions, especially ones directed at the horse.

Fans on Reddit noted the connection that a horse brought Rick into the apocalypse in the series premiere, and now a horse is taking him out. “It is kind of poetic justice,” flintlock0 wrote. “Rick left a horse behind in the pilot as a sacrifice to get away from a hoard.”

“Are you implying word got around to other horses and this was a revenge kill?” ryanb31183 replied.

Rick will spend the next episode watching his life pass before his eyes. Whether that means he dies remains to be seen. In the preview for “What Comes After,” he’s riding the horse while holding his side, but that could very well be a hallucination. Whether he pulls himself off or not, he got a spike through his kidney and walkers are approaching on either side. It doesn’t look good.

Rick Grimes’ final episode of The Walking Dead airs Sunday, Nov. 4 at 9/8c on AMC.