A blast from the past.
The Walking Dead fans were gifted a nostalgic surprise for the final episode of the long-running post-apocalyptic zombie series as fan favorites Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) returned to tease their upcoming spinoff. However, viewers were nearly in for a different final moment.
In an interview with Insider, executive producer and finale director Greg Nicotero shared the last-minute changes that allowed for the cameo. “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.”
The cut scene, the finale’s original ending, would have jumped forward in time with adult RJ and Judith looking to escort any survivors back to their Freedom Parkway communities in Atlanta, continuing the legacy of their mother, Lori Grimes.
Nicotero added that he initially wasn’t sure how they would be able to end the series noting he want “back and forth” on the different options, including what they’d do if Lincoln and Gurira weren’t able to make an appearance.