The Walking Dead has seemingly hinted at the moment where Daryl (Norman Reedus) finally finds out the truth about Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) from Judith (Cailey Fleming). For the time being, Daryl remains oblivious to the fact that Rick is still alive. Even though at least one person knows that he survived, most of the show’s characters are in the dark about what really happened.
Due to her concern that Daryl might leave Alexandria, Judith made a conscious decision not to inform him of the real reason why Michonne (Danai Gurira) left. When Virgil (Kevin Carroll) was brought into the group, it seemed the show was laying the groundwork for everything to be revealed. However, exactly how much Virgil knows about Rick was left ambiguous, allowing the secret to stay buried. The Walking Dead season 11 danced around the reveal in part 1 and avoided it completely in part 2. With the show coming to an end in part 3, it’s likely only a matter of time before someone on the show finally figures it out. With both Virgil and Judith around, the show has two different ways to drop the Rick Grimes bomb on Daryl and the others.
The promo for The Walking Dead season 11 part 3 includes a shot of Daryl gazing down at a revolver, which has been identified as Rick’s gun. The gun is currently in the possession of Judith. Daryl holding it in the promo has been taken as a tease of him learning the truth about Rick in the episodes to come. This scene being previewed in the promo suggests that there’s more going on here than just Daryl having Rick on his mind. That does make sense, especially since Rick’s fate has been a major topic of discussion that the show has carefully neglected for some time now. A secret that would have a profound impact on Daryl’s future is known by one of two children currently under his care.
Given how important Rick is to Daryl (and the rest of the main characters), the truth coming out is one of the final season’s most anticipated reveals. For many years now, so many people on the show have accepted that Rick died in the explosion on the bridge in season 9. Daryl being the only person who spent years refusing to believe it arguably makes him the best choice among the main characters to find out Judith’s secret first. How he’ll immediately respond to this knowledge remains to be seen.
Discovering the truth is sure to have serious ramifications for Daryl’s future and potentially the show’s ending as a whole. Even if Daryl finds out the truth early on in The Walking Dead season 11 part 3, it stands to reason that he’ll see the conflict with the Commonwealth through to the end and won’t make any hasty decisions. But once the Commonwealth story has been resolved, Daryl will be free to take action. Finding Rick Grimes could very well be his primary goal in his planned spinoff with Carol.