The Walking Dead returns for its final eight episodes in the fall, and the series has a tall task ahead of it:
Bring the mothership show to a close while leaving certain storylines open to keep the more expansive franchise alive.
Below, we've rounded up our wishlist for the final episodes.
Rick Grimes in the Flesh
Ever since Andrew Lincoln left during The Walking Dead Season 9, there have been many questions about what happened to Rick Grimes.
With a trilogy of movies ordered but none of them yet to enter production, we're increasingly worried that we won't get an update on Rick before the series concludes.
As a result, it would be nice to see Rick back, even if it's just for one scene.
The broader universe is expanding with spinoffs and such, but not knowing when we will find out what Rick's been up to has been a bitter pill to swallow for fans.
A Worthwhile Goodbye for Carol
When the series finale was initially written, Carol's journey was set to continue on a spinoff with Daryl.
However, Melissa McBride has since exited the spinoff, meaning we might be left hanging when The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 24 airs.
Carol has been such a pivotal player throughout the series ever since the beginning, so we need to have a farewell for this character that packs an emotional punch.
I believe Carol will pop up in another TWD-related project, but fans should not be left hanging after investing so much time in the series.
More Magna and Yumiko
Yumiko is in a position of power in the Commonwealth, so of course we'll be seeing more of her, but the tricky part of that is whether we'll see enough.
She's badass and knows when someone is messing with her, so she will be a great person to see the inner workings of the Commonwealth.
Unfortunately, her storyline has taken her away from Magna, who has largely been absent from The Walking Dead Season 11.
I know they are classed as newer characters, but there is a lot of uncharted territory with them.
A Horrible Death for Lance
Lance is probably one of the best villains in the history of The Walking Dead.
At his core, he's evil, striving to do what he thinks will give him some semblance of power.
His actions are heinous, he's manipulative, and he's gotten up to a lot of horrible things.
The only satisfying way to write out such a character is with a shocking death, possibly carried out by Carol.
Carol is an information gatherer, who bides her time and strikes when people least expect it.
Bring the Characters Back Together One Last Time
The scale of the Commonwealth arc has been sprawling, and it's hard to imagine seeing the characters altogether, one last time.
The series needs to find a way to bring everyone together to really reiterate that they are all working on the same side.
There's an element of ambiguity about the final episodes, mainly because everyone has been so split up.
Bringing them together to fight this battle would be satisfying, but then again, this show likes to surprise people.
Craft a Compelling Reason for Maggie and Negan to Embark on a Mission to New York
If you watch The Walking Dead online, you know Maggie and Negan have a history.
The purpose of their arc throughout The Walking Dead Season 11 appears to be to allow them to work together.
It's a bitter pill to swallow for many fans, but now that we know they'll embark on a journey to Isle of the Dead, the series needs to develop a compelling way to keep them working together.
A common theory is that Hershel will be kidnapped, and Negan will work with Maggie to save her son.
There has to be more of an emotional thud for that to happen.
Michonne Returns to Save the Day
Michonne set off on a mission to find Rick during The Walking Dead Season 10, but it would be a shocker if the series wrapped up without any updates on our sword-wielding heroine.
Michonne and Rick have kids who are with the other characters, so there has to be some sort of payoff as far as they're concerned.
Plus, Michonne has been a pivotal part of the series. Unless she's returning in another TWD-related project, the fans deserve some answers.
Once upon a time, The Walking Dead killed off characters.
Nowadays, the creatives seem too scared about the backlash associated with killing people off.
It really takes the fun out of watching the show.
We expected much death and destruction during The Walking Dead Season 11, but with two-thirds already aired, characters are disappearing for episodes at a time.
Stop Spoiling the Show, AMC!
AMC announced spinoffs with several beloved characters while the season was airing, meaning we know they survive the series.
Wouldn't it work better to announce all of this when the series finale has aired?
As a longtime viewer, it's frustrating knowing which characters are golden.
What are your thoughts on our wish list?
Anything you'd add?
Hit the comments below.
The Walking Dead returns in the fall.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.