The Walking Dead: Dead City's fifth episode introduces a new villain whose speech inadvertently reveals a major issue with the original show's ending. The main series of The Walking Dead followed the journey of Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, who wakes up from a coma to a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. However, Lincoln left the show during season 9, leading to a significant absence of Rick's character. In The Walking Dead: Dead City episode 5, titled "Stories We Tell Ourselves," it is revealed that The Croat is not the main threat in New York City, but rather Dama is pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Dama wants Negan to return to his old ways and join her in controlling the city. When The Croat fails to capture Negan, Dama gives a poetic description of what went wrong, which eerily mirrors the ending of The Walking Dead. According to Dama, the show started off strong but then took a plot twist that caused the hero to be absent. She questions the significance of a hero who is offstage and suggests that the ending is all that matters.
This description can be applied not only to Negan's storyline but also to the main series itself. It implies that the show ended with a whimper rather than a satisfying conclusion. The franchise has been building up to Rick's return, with multiple characters trying to find him. The upcoming show, The Walking Dead: Rick & Michonne, will set the stage for their reunion and potentially the ultimate conclusion of the franchise.
It would be disappointing if Rick's story was concluded within a single miniseries after his long absence. Instead, it is expected that Rick's comeback will lead to another significant battle, uniting him with his old companions and his children to provide a more satisfying ending than the main series. Furthermore, The Walking Dead: Dead City hints that Dama could be a major adversary in the future, suggesting that there may be more to come even after Rick's return.