Andrew Lincoln, who played the iconic lead character Rick Grimes on AMC’s most popular show, The Walking Dead, has departed the series after eight seasons.

But the Rick Grimes story is not over.

Hershel (the late Scott Walker) speaking with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) in a dream sequence during Rick’s final episode.

Sunday night’s finale, which featured a seemingly mortally-wounded Rick trying to make his way back to his friends, featured a series of hallucinatory dream sequences with several departed characters from seasons past (Shane, Sasha and Hershel – Scott Wilson filmed his scenes before his death on October 8th), and ended with Rick blowing up a bridge, destroying a huge hoard of the undead headed towards Alexandria and apparently killing himself.

The undead, ablaze and falling into the river after Rick blows up the bridge.

But afterwards, a mysterious helicopter was whisking him away.

Show runner Scott Gimple announced on AMC’s The Talking Dead that the Rick Grimes character, along with others departed from the series, will continue in three feature length movies featuring backstories of those characters.

Um, okay.

Rick giving a goodbye kiss to Michonne (Danai Gurira) during another dream sequence in the Rick finale.

The once hugely-popular zombie apocalypse juggernaut has experienced a significant drop in its ratings over the last couple of years, from a one time high of more than 17 million viewers in Season 5 to about 6 million this season, due to a combination of increasingly convoluted and stagnant storylines, punctuated by the exceptionally gruesome death scene of the beloved character Glenn (Steven Yeun) at the hands of Keegan and his barbed-wire wrapped baseball bat in the Season 7 premiere.

But it remains to be seen whether this twist in the series will revive the popularity of it or these spin-off films or further irritate its fanbase.

What are your thoughts? Was it a clever twist? Or a frustrating one?

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