Recently-named The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang says that the show's current ninth season will pack in its fare share of "losses," including that of Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes, the show's lead character since the first season. What Kang won't say, however, is whether Grimes will die in his final episode.
"This is a show with dead in the title. There are going to be losses. Not all of them are deaths, sometimes there are departures of different kinds, but this is really a show about how people survive," Kang told BBC News. "What I can tell you is, that it's a very emotional story. We get to look back at some of the scenes that he's been dealing with ever since his story started on the show."
And of course, Kang says Lincoln's departure from the show is planned to be permanent - but she won't say he'll never return.
"He is definitely out of the show this season. The intention is, this is his exit from the show," she explained. "But who knows what time may bring. We always love our Andrew, so since we've got some time jumps you never know what might happen. We just see the incredible grit and determination he has. We also get to deal with some elements of mystery and surprise."
Additionally, the official Walking Dead twitter account has tweeted that Rick Grimes has "two episodes left" before actor Andrew Lincoln departs the show. With that in mind, according to the episode schedule, Lincoln's final episode as Rick Grimes will be "What Comes After," scheduled to air November 4 on AMC.