Ever since the news broke in May that Andrew Lincoln will be leaving "The Walking Dead" in season 9, the fans have been endlessly debating how his exit from the show will play out. Now, after almost six months, this burning question of Rick Grimes' fate has finally been answered in the fifth episode of the season titled: "What comes after." On top of that, the episode also featured plenty of Easter eggs, comic book references, and callbacks to earlier seasons. So without further ado, let's break them all down.

Spoilers for "The Walking Dead" season 9 episode 5 "What comes after" will follow.

A helicopter hint

This emotional roller-coaster of an episode focuses mostly on Rick struggling for his life on the back of what has to be the most hated horse in television history all the while being chased by a giant herd of walkers.

"It feels like it's ending," but Rick is still fighting. He's losing a lot of blood, hallucinations follow.

The episode opens up with a creepy shot of Rick looking at his younger self, a callback to the very first scene of the show. He then looks through the window and sees the murder of crows that quickly turns into helicopters. This shot brilliantly foreshadows what will eventually happen to Rick towards the end of the episode. It was also a nod to all the times he encountered helicopters throughout the seasons.

To recall, he saw one in the first episode of the show, and then again in season 8 on his way to the Junkyard.

What is your wound

Rick also hears Morgan saying a familiar "What is your wound" line, which is a direct callback to the pilot episode. To recall, Morgan was the first person Rick encountered after the zombie outbreak.

Back then, Morgan asked Rick about his wound to make sure he wasn't bitten by a walker.

A familiar trailer

The episode then jumps off to Anne, previously known as Jadis, driving a trailer that "Talking Dead" later confirmed to be the same one Heath was driving in season 7 before he went missing. So the fact that Anne has the trailer now pretty much confirms that she traded Heath for supplies.

The ghosts of "The Walking Dead" past

During hallucination sequences, Rick encounters several people from his past, the so-called ghosts of "The Walking Dead" past. It is Shane that he encounters first. The two sit in the car, just like in the series premiere before Rick was shot, and they talk about Judith. Shane jokes about how Judith has his eyes, but not his nose. Then he tells Rick that he needs him to be the man he was when he bit the man's throat and killed that "a-hole in the church with the red machete."

Rick also encounters Hershel, Sasha, and then finally Michonne.

In his interview with Yvette Nicole Brown which we saw during "Talking Dead," Andrew Lincoln explained that each person Rick encounters in these hallucinations represent something. For Shane it's courage, Hershel represents the heart, Sasha is wisdom and finally, Michonne represents home.