Why Rick Grimes Died on The Walking Dead

Update: I was wrong, but it would have been an amazing turn in the story.


On the season 6 finale of the Walking Dead there is definitive evidence that Rick is killed.

Let’s narrow it down first. We know for sure that a character is killed. Executive producers Robert Kirkman and Scott Gimple confirm this, but who is it?

It's A Major Character

We know it’s a major character. The producers talk about this specifically and also use phrases like “extremely sad”, “extremely distressing”, “the world changes for everyone”, “it’s the start of a new story”, “we have to do an episode that justifies it to you.”

And not only is it a major character it has to be one that you would be totally stressing out about. In opinion that rules out Eugene, Abraham, Sasha, Rosita, and Aaron.

Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, Michonne, and Carl are left. Let’s take them from least likely to most likely.

I almost didn't include Michonne in this group because even though she is a major character and people would stress out about her being gone, it just doesn't quite fit the game changing language the producers and actors are using about the scene. However, with her recent relationship with Rick I included her though I think she is the least likely to be killed.

It most likely isn’t Glenn because his death has already been teased this season. It would seem to be lazy writing to do the same again. Also, Glenn is the one Negan kills in the comics in front of Rick and Maggie. I do not believe they would copy such a pivotal moment. That would be too obvious.

Daryl is an option. The show’s first shot is from his perspective being held captive and keeps returning to that perspective. But I believe that actually shows hope in his getting out of captivity. At the very beginning when the group encounters the Savior’s first roadblock the Savior spokesman says that they would make an example out of the one who “fired the first shot.” That would seem to be Daryl in the rocket launcher scene. But as we’ll see below, this could be figurative as it could be seen as self-defense and Rick led the first offensive to fire “the first shot.” Daryl’s death was also teased both in the middle of this episode and as a cliffhanger in the last episode. Again it would seem a bit lazy to do this multiple times. While Daryl’s death would be a shock I don’t think it would, in the executive producer’s words, change the world for everyone.”

Carl is more likely. At the beginning of the episode he tells Enid that if he doesn’t return she’ll just have to survive. He is on a quest for revenge which normally doesn’t end well. What better way than to teach Rick a lesson by killing his kid. Near the end, Negan tells his group “if anyone moves, cut out his [Carl’s] other eye and feed it to his father, then we’ll begin.” However, much like Daryl I don’t think Carl’s death would impact the group as much as a the producers are saying.

So that leaves us with Maggie and Rick.

Now Maggie is not an original character like the others in this list (save Michonne) but she has been there since early season 2 and has become a big part of the story, especially with the ties to Glenn.

Her death would certainly be a shock and a sadistic twist on what happens in the comics, not to mention she's pregnant which amps up the horror. 

Some have said that the audio at the end of the episode is Glenn saying Maggie's name.

This would also lead to a change in the group if Glenn blames Rick which could be what the producers are referring to when they say that everything changes.

So, while I'll say it very well could be Maggie I think there is even more evidence for Rick being on the receiving end of Lucille.

So what is the evidence for Rick?

The Episode is Based on Rick

The entire episode revolves around Rick, and the de-evolution of his confidence. Almost every key scene involves Rick.

The Opening Suggests a New Leader

Morgan is set up to be the new leader of the group. The show opens with Morgan (a central and charismatic character) finding a horse and mirrors the pilot episode with Rick on a horse. Rick originally sent Carol out but Morgan will be the one who brings her back. Morgan is the only one who stood up to attacking the Saviors. Morgan’s journey through the episode has him realize in order to effectively protect the people he loves, he will have to kill. When Morgan kills the Savior to save Carol he assumes this new identity. He also is the one who appears to have made an alliance with a new group that will help in the future.

Negan’s Goal

Any smart villain knows you have to kill the leader of the other group to effectively shut it down. Throughout history if you want to subjugate people, the leader is killed as an example, and the rest of the sheep fall into line. Negan’s ultimate goal is survival and wants Rick’s group to work for him. What better way to demoralize the group and put down thoughts of rebellion by killing its leader?

The De-Evolution of Rick

At the beginning of the episode Rick is as confident and cocky as ever. Statements like, “tell them to wait for me, I’ve a deal for them.” In his first conversation with Maggie in the RV he tells her: “Things have always worked out because it’s always been all of us.” “As long as it’s all of us we can do anything.” Rick retorts and taunts the first roadblock group. “I don’t have to kill anymore of you!” He tells Carl that we are going to “play it our way, how we want it.” Rick defies Abraham and several telling glances that they are heading towards trouble.

Rick’s second conversation with Maggie is not so confident and shows signs of cracking. Almost like he’s trying to convince himself he tells her “this isn’t it...there is going to be more.” Maggie then responds weakly: “I believe in you Rick.”

When they are finally captured Rick looks absolutely terrified and is the most distressed of anyone in the group. He knows it is the end and can hardly look Negan in the eye. His de-evolution of safety and confidence would be completed by his own death.

The Savior’s Taunts

When the group encounters the first roadblock the lead guy asks Rick specifically to think about that this might be his “last day on earth.” This is also the title of the episode. That is not an accident. This phrase is repeated at another roadblock again directed at Rick. These are glaring hints that this is Rick’s last day on earth.

Other Interesting Things

Why tell us that Judith will be safe and cared for? Why the focus on Morgan? Why does nearly every character have an interaction with Rick and basically says things will be okay? If you were going to replace the main character wouldn’t you add in an incredibly charismatic character that can hold the show like Negan? The line about cutting out Carl’s other eye still works because Negan uses the qualifier “then, we’ll start.”

The Last Scene

Negan specifically asks who the leader is and then figures out that Carl and Rick are related. Why the focus here if it doesn’t matter? Negan blames Rick for the death of his people. He tells Rick “you are so going to regret crossing me.”

The camera angles are very interesting in that the shot always comes back to focus on Rick. There are quick cuts to each of the other characters but it always comes back to Rick. The angle used to frame Rick and Negan is unique to every other character. The shot is below Rick looking up at his conqueror. Its also very similar to the angle used when the character is killed. The last character focus before the swinging of the bat is on Rick.

The Producers Hints

I believe the producers told us everything on Talking Dead.

First Robert Kirkman said that there are hints in the episode that tell you who was killed. I believe we have dissected those. Kirkman also said that they want to shake things up have an event that will skyrocket things for many seasons to come. What better way to do this than to kill Rick? Kirkman says Rick is not a good dude and then immediately after says “Negan is killing someone so beloved.” Kirkman also says that the cliffhanger is not the story, it’s what comes next.” He then immediately begins to talk about Rick and his de-evolution through the story. Kirkman says this episode is about “tearing Rick Grimes down and that is the conclusion of this story.” How do you not read into that?

Next Scott Gimple says “the end of [this episode] the story is the start of a new story.” He also says that the “world changes for everyone.” Lastly he ends by explaining the death in these terms: “we have to do an episode [looking to season 7] that justifies it to you. We have to do something so great, so intense…” I do not believe any character but Rick is worthy of this language.

On a show that has consistently taught us that no character is safe, what better way is there to live up to that billing, shake up the story, and start a new chapter then by killing off the lead?

R.I.P. Rick Grimes.

Ted Cruz Tax Plan Infographic

Ted Cruz has one of the most pro-active tax plans in the GOP primary. It includes eliminating a number of taxes, abolishing the IRS and making filing super simple.

Let the following infographic be your guide on Ted Cruz's tax plan.

This is the fourth Ted Cruz infographic in a series. You can find the first two below:

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Apple Has a Liberty Problem

Recently Apple and the iPhone have grabbed all the headlines again. But this time there is no sleek new design or killer innovative new feature. On February 16, Tim Cook, the CEO at Apple wrote a letter to their customers to tell them that the government is trying to forcibly coerce them to create a new version of iOS.

In that letter Cook said, “The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.” He believes that his employees are being forced to do something they consider immoral. He believes his engineers shouldn’t have to create something that violates their conscience.

Let me repeat that. Tim Cook believes American citizens should not be forced to create something that violates their conscience.

Pot, meet kettle.

In an ironic twist Apple now finds themselves tumbling down a slippery mountain where at the top is a Washington Post op-ed written by Tim Cook last year.

In 2015 the Apple CEO led the charge to boycott the state of Indiana with the desire to coerce small businesses like cake bakers, photographers, and florists to use their creativity against their conscience. Now less than a year later, Apple finds themselves defending their own creative liberty.

Now, I agree with Apple here in 2016. I do not believe they should be forced to create a new version of iOS to hack to iPhone. I believe the issue of getting information off a single phone is secondary to protecting the liberty of all Americans.

Realize that the precedent here is massive. If Apple is forced to create new software, essentially the government is saying that it has a claim to our creative thinking and creative power. And if it has claim to my thoughts, it has claim to absolutely everything else. The idea of freedom absolutely evaporates.

Unfortunately, we are already down this path and this is the result. When the government can fine, shut down, and shut up small businesses because they will not conform why would they stop there?

In a world where the government thinks it can forcibly coerce one of the world’s largest companies to bend to its will, what chance does a simple baker in Oregon have?

So, I’m writing this to all Americans. I’m a Jesus freak, bible thumper, fundamentalist and I know we don’t agree on many issues, but liberty of creative expression should be one we can all agree on. We can’t have freedom of creativity for some and not for others. We don’t want to discriminate right? If the government doesn’t get to force Apple to create something that violates their conscience, the government (or CEO’s) don’t get to force bakers or any other creative to create something that violates their conscience.

The beautiful thing about liberty is that it is all-inclusive. And while we may disagree on the morality of certain creative endeavors, the right to create or abstain is fundamental.

Can We Trust Ted Cruz?

Without trust relationships fail.

It’s a fact that has roots all the way back in the beginning in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve believed the serpent and thought God was lying to them, the relationship to their creator (and subsequently all of mankind) was utterly broken.

For any relationship to work, whether between friends, spouses or even those who hold office to the people they represent there must be trust.

This is one of the reasons why Washington is so fundamentally broken. We do not trust the politicians there. For this reason trust is major component of how I vet any candidate for my support.

In recent days the narrative of Ted Cruz is quickly becoming that he can’t be trusted. In fact its sort of ironic that the campaign logo you see often is the combination of the words “trust” and “ted” to form the word “trusted.”

How can you know whether or not to trust someone? Can I trust Ted Cruz? Should I believe it, when the media and other candidates call him a liar? I am a firm believer a person’s character can be seen by what they do, how they react and most importantly how they respond when the truth will hurt them.

So can I trust Ted Cruz?

I believe wholeheartedly the answer is yes and here are four specific instances that demonstrate why.

Standing Tall

Late last summer a link was shared on Facebook that had an intriguing headline: “Ted Cruz Calls Mitch McConnell A Liar on the Senate Floor.” That’s not something you see every day and it caught my attention. So I watched the video...all 20 minutes of CSPAN goodness. Now normally I would rather stab myself in the eye than watch CSPAN, but I was captivated by Cruz’s speech. Not only was he a great orator but he was standing up to members of his own party. I hadn’t seen that before. That immediately told me Cruz was not interested in playing games or getting comfy in Washington. It also told me he would not break under pressure and was not afraid of Washington. In that moment Cruz proved he would keep his word and stand up to those in Washington who made bad deals.


Next. During the CNBC debate in late October the moderators started off by asking a series of ridiculous questions. Ted Cruz stopped the debate and called out the moderators on the lack of issues being discussed. And what happened next was amazing. Every person on the stage followed the lead of Ted Cruz and unified behind him. Some of the most powerful people in the world stood behind the leadership of Ted Cruz and went to battle with the moderators. Cruz was coalesce that group and lead them by speaking the truth. Again I can trust Ted Cruz because he is willing to put himself out there and go where nobody else is willing to go to stand up for what he believes and the people of America.


The next instance that grabbed my attention was a couple weeks before the Iowa Caucus. A rival campaign’s Super PAC had put out an ad intended to smear Cruz that basically consisted of two women sitting at a kitchen table gossiping about how much the candidates had given to charity. The ad stated that Cruz had given very little and both women were shocked to hear it.

Now, set aside the fact that we are apparently vetting candidates based on gossip and their tithing percentage, this would have been the easiest smear to brush aside. When asked about the ad by a reporter, Cruz very easily could have turned the tables and said that he doesn’t report what he gives because he doesn’t want the credit. Not only would that have made his rival look petty it would have made Cruz look good. But Cruz wasn’t interested in making himself look good. In fact he told that reporter that “I have not been as faithful in this aspect of my walk as I should have been.

He owned it.

Folks, this is leadership. This is humility. In a moment where Cruz seemingly had everything to gain by lying, he didn’t.


Lastly, at the final debate three days before the Iowa Caucus the moderators had prepared a “gotcha” question directed at Cruz asking him about his position on ethanol subsidies. (If you’re not familiar, ethanol is perceived to be a big deal here in Iowa.) As the question was asked the network went split screen with Cruz and Governor Terry Brandstand who had days before called for Iowans to not support Cruz, and amidst the cheers of lobbyists in the crowd Cruz held firm to his belief that Washington should not pick who wins and loses by giving them federal subsidies. He did this in Iowa. He did this three days before a vote that very well could have ended his campaign. He stuck to his principles again with seemingly everything to lose.

Why do I trust Ted Cruz? Because he has stood up against the fiercest of opposition. He has stood up when he had everything to lose. He stood up and admitted when he was wrong.
I want a candidate that says all the right things, and says that he will fight for what he believes in, but more important is the fact that I want a candidate that has kept his word and actually fought for what he said he would.

Broncos Valentine Box

For Valentine's Day my son needed a box to take home his cards and candy. Of course in the age of Pinterest just sending him with any old box just won't do. So with the Super Bowl victory fresh on our minds we re-created the Broncos football field.

Originally I tried to use green tissue paper to cover the box but that was a complete and utter failure.

Duct tape came to the rescue. Not only was using duct tape a lot easier it strengthened the box for the mountains of candy and love it would bring home.

Supplies Needed:

  • Orange and blue duct tape
  • One piece of green construction paper (for the field)
  • Black sharpie marker
  • Cake pop sticks (for the goal posts)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Computer, printer and internet (for the graphics) or download the pdf containing all the graphics.
  1. We started by cutting the green construction paper to the shape of the top of the box and taping down the edges. FYI, the included endzone graphics are approx 6.5" wide. That would be the ideal width for your field.
  2. We then wrapped the entire box with blue and orange tape. The design is completely up to how you wrap the tape around the box.
  3. Print out the graphics from the included PDF or download from internet. If you're looking for a different team, google "[your team name] logo" and then "[your team name] end zone."
  4. Cut out all graphics and glue down end zones.
  5. Using a a ruler, mark and draw all the yard lines you want on the field.
  6. Glue down mid-field logo, first down line (yellow) and scrimmage line (blue).
  7. Wrap cake pop sticks or whatever you are using in colored tape.
  8. Admittedly this was a quick and dirty process, but tape together the cake pop sticks in the shape of goal posts.
  9. Tape goal posts to side of box. We needed to cut the bottom of the post so it wouldn't stick over the edge of the top of the box.
  10. Glue Super Bowl logo wherever you want because the champs are here!
  11. Enjoy the excitement with your child!

13 Hours The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Review

13 Hours The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is a great film. In fact I’ll go so far as to say I liked it much more than Star Wars. What??!! Sacrilege you say!

Now I love Star Wars, but I walked out of the theater after seeing 13 Hours more satisfied, more emotionally impacted, and more mentally engaged than I have been in long time by a film. 

I thought it was an amazing depiction of modern warfare–some have said the best. It really reminded me a lot of Black Hawk Down (which I also loved). Being a war film there were a number of things I looked for and it checked most of my boxes for a good war movie including lots of guns, fighting, male ego, blood, heroism, and sacrifice. I thought they forced the family man angle a little too much so that it didn't feel quite as genuine, but it still had an emotional pull.

However, the biggest takeaway for me was that the film clearly depicts the competing philosophies that we have in foreign relations with the Middle East in general and predominantly Muslim culture in particular.

One ideology says that we can stop terrorism, violence, and dictators by being winsome, having a conversation and working with local rebels to bring in democracy. A simplified version thinks that we should all be able to rise above our differences and just get along.

The opposite ideology says that this way of thinking is the definition of futile. The worldview of Islamic culture does not allow for freedom and democracy. The worldview of Islam has no intention, or desire of getting along.

Whether its ISIS trying to bring in the Caliphate now or Iran playing the long game, this is a religion (Apocalyptic Islam) that does not want peace, hates liberty, and would destroy all infidels, and the entirety of the West if they could, yesterday.

The leaders of our country for the past several administrations have failed to recognize this and have had the goal to impart American values and democracy in the Middle East. And from the Iraq war to the fiasco in Libya, all have failed spectacularly.

Why is this film important? It proves in a very visceral way that this strategy is a failure. It didn’t work when Bush invaded Iraq to depose one dictator. It didn’t work when Obama and Clinton aided the Libyan rebels to depose another dictator. 

You had maybe one of the best Ambassadors in terms of getting to know the people and getting the locals to love him and talk with him as was shown in the outpouring after Chris Stevens death. Yet it still failed.

This film is also important because it shows the lengths our leaders will go to prove their point. It has been stated that Ambassador Chris Stevens sent over 600 requests for additional security to the State Department. Why weren’t these requests for additional security recognized? Because it would have forced them to concede their philosophy doesn’t work.

Additionally, after the attack America was led to believe that a YouTube video was responsible. The leadership wanted to prove the point that when differences are pointed out people get mad and kill each other. They also wanted to say that those who would point out differences are to blame, not the ones who try and work together.

This film blows all that up literally.

There is no way that those attacks were a spontaneous response. First the attacks happened on September 11th, a holy day now for any jihadist. There were well-coordinated waves of attacks in two different locations. The local police and security disappeared at just the right time, and mortars were used effectively, which require advance planning.

I would love for the people of the Middle East to experience individual freedoms and democracy but what so many fail to recognize is that freedom and the rights of the individual are largely a Christian construct.

Western Civilization and America in particular exist because of the foundations given to them by Christianity. Christianity championed the rights of free speech. Free speech didn’t just happen all by itself. The liberty of conscience exists because America’s founders (while not all professing Christians) had a Christian worldview and understood that the tenets of Christianity were very good for society at large.

Christianity espouses that everyone has been created in image of God and has value. Everyone has eternal dignity. If I believe my neighbor (and everyone else in the world) was created in the image of God than certain behaviors will follow. I want them to be free. I want them to speak freely; I want them to have liberty of conscience. These liberties didn’t just happen. They were established, protected, and guarded by Christian societies.

The film 13 Hours The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi shows that we will never effect change or control the ideologies in the Middle East until we understand the foundation that drives their actions.

I give it 4/5 stars.

Ted Cruz on Immigration [Infographic]

This infographic will help you understand quickly and easily where Senator Cruz stands on immigration and what his plan will be moving forward in his administration.

This is the third Ted Cruz infographic in a series. You can find the first two below:

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Can Ted Cruz Run For President? [Infographic]

The question of whether or not Senator Ted Cruz can run for president has been brought up and answered over the past several years. In fact all the way back in 2013 Senator Cruz released personal documents including his birth certificate to satiate those who would make the claim he is ineligible.

Sadly the "birthers" as they're known are muddying up the waters for regular people. This really should be somewhat of a "common-sense" law but some don't see it that way.

Regardless of what many of the "birthers" claim many legal minds on both sides of the aisle have weighed in, and the vast, vast majority say this is absolutely a non-issue. However, many of you (myself included) may not know exactly what the constitution says about this issue or what legal scholars have said. So, I've created a simple infographic you can learn from and share with others who may have questions.


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Who Is Ted Cruz [Infographic]

I have officially endorsed Ted Cruz for President. This is the first in a series of infographics I have created about Senator Cruz to inform people about his ambitions, vision and plans to restore American exceptionalism.

This infographic is all about getting to know who Senator Cruz is. Find out where he came from, his notable accomplishments, life milestones, and some fun, behind the scenes info.


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Film Review 2015

It's no secret that I like movies. Here is my annual list of films I thought were great, okay and ones you should never even think about seeing.

Note that not all of these came out in 2015, that's just when I happened to see them.

Also note that there is content in every single film I do not condone or endorse. Film is philosophy and the main delivery method of influence to our culture. While it can be entertaining, it is also educational and helps us engage the worldview of the culture at large while helping us to understand our own Christian worldview. So do your research and view with intentionality.

10. Nightcrawler

This is a film I never intended to see because it just didn’t look that interesting but it was recommended strongly by a friend. The acting, pace, and story were very good and compelling. From a worldview perspective we were reminded that evil and depravity are in the hearts of all men no matter who they are and where they come from.

9. Mad Max Fury Road

I’m not one that typically gets into the apocalyptic dystopian genre so there is one reason this film makes my top 10 list. The visuals. This has to be one of the visually visceral films I’ve ever seen. From start to finish the landscapes, vehicles, concepts, characters and everything else put on the screen were amazing to look at. The story was lame which normally is the death knell for any film but that just shows how good the visuals were.

8. Avengers Age of Ultron

I’m a sucker for just about any comic book movie, especially since my 7 year old is all about the Avengers. Its just fun. Funny parts, good action, good characters, redemption, sacrifice – all elements that make for a good movie.

7. Ex Machina

A late entry, but very striking because of the incredible acting by all the main characters and the Twilight Zone/Black Mirror twist. The worldview implications were very compelling in this film also. It was striking that the title omits the first word from the traditional phrase Deus Ex Machina, as a main theme of the film was omitting the supernatural specialness of humanity. This then begs the question, without God is there any difference between man and machine?

6. 30 for 30 Hillsborough

Nearly every entry in the 30 for 30 series by ESPN has been amazing, but this particular episode intersected a great documentary with my newfound soccer passion. As I’ve become more invested in the English Premier League, its teams and histories have become very interesting. Hillsborough tells the story of one of the darkest days not only in soccer history but in England as well. This day changed soccer forever in England. It is compelling and riveting throughout with tons of actual footage from the disaster at Hillsborough.

5. The Martian

I like space movies and any film that needs to retrieve Matt Damon has traditionally been very good. Even with the subtext of “science as god,” the film is fun, very funny and shows how good of an actor Matt Damon is. If you like space, Cast Away and MacGyver, you’ll love this movie.

4. American Sniper

I love war movies. I love true stories. I love sniper films. Fantastic acting and great directing by Clint Eastwood make this a must see.

3. Star Wars the Force Awakens

This might have been higher had I seen it more than once. It was a lot of fun and what an experience to take my 7 year old son to his first Star Wars film! His face when the opening chords of the main Star Wars theme hit was priceless! I got a little bored with all the omages to the old films it lacked the gritty subtext that has made so many of the recent superhero films great and I think they missed opportunities to tell a deeper story, but overall it was a ton of fun.

2. Edge of Tomorrow

The surprise of the year for me was the Tom Cruise film re-titled Live, Die, Repeat. The best description is Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers. One of Cruise's best films in a long time, it had great action, great acting, a very fun story, and for anyone raised in the video game age a really cool plot device.

1. Inside Out

Pixar absolutely nailed it again. They understand human emotion and story better than any filmmakers right now. And we just happen to have an 11-year-old daughter going through very similar circumstances, so the emotion of the film was ratcheted up by about 100. But what a beautiful tale of family and growing up. From a Christian perspective I did wonder about the role of the Holy Spirit in all this and how the film would be different with that aspect as a part of the story.

Honorable Mentions

  • Making a Murderer – This is a multi-part documentary which is why I didn't include it, but wow. Must see.
  • Gone Girl – disturbing tale of human brokenness and today’s media voyeurism
  • John Wick – everyone loves a good revenge tale
  • Fury – Another true story war movie with great acting
  • Big Hero Six – Fun story and keeps the Pixar influence at Disney primary
  • Unbroken – Impossible to do justice to the book but a good effort nonetheless
  • Jurrasic World – Everyone has imagined, what if they actually got the park running & Chris Pratt is fantastic
  • Antman – Not the best comic book character, but still fun
  • Furious 7 – Good end to the franchise and respectable farewell to Paul Walker

Movies I haven't seen but might make next year's list

  • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Creed
  • Spotlight
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • The Gift

Movies I wish I could unsee

  • Kingsmen Secret Service
  • The Cobbler
  • Exodus Gods and Kings
  • Dumb and Dumber To
  • The Theory of Everything