After the prison is destroyed and the group is scattered, Rick and Carl attempt to find shelter in a nearby town and reunite with surviving members of the group. Rick's physical and mental state begin to unravel, while Carl starts to grow more independent and apathetic. They eventually manage to reunite with the other survivors, however, before they can recover fully, three new survivors arrive and present an unbelievable opportunity for the group if they join them.
Michonne returns to the ruins of the prison, and upon finding Tyreese's undead decapitated head drives her sword through it. She investigates the wreckage of the RV, but, finds nothing except footprints leading away from the battle, which she follows. Around 3 to 4 days later, Rick and Carl are seen in a forest looking for some shelter for the night until they come across a small, deserted town. They investigate a nearby store, but, are attacked by a zombie. Rick tries to drive his axe through its head, but, is unable to penetrate its skull. Carl shoots the zombie after Rick lures it outside, and Rick asks Carl for his gun to dispose of another zombie. They hide in a nearby house and Rick takes a huge dose of antibiotics for the bullet wound in his stomach. Carl finds Rick unconscious, his eyes glazed over.
After defeating three zombies who were banging on the door of the house all by himself, one of which attacked him from behind, Carl decides that he no longer needs his dad to survive. He blames his father for failing to protect Lori and Judith, as well as the rest of their previous party. Rick momentarily wakes up and pleads with Carl to stay indoors. Carl agrees and holds Rick's head, taking back what he said about not needing his father's protection.
Rick eventually gets better after many days staying in the house. Just as they plan on leaving, Rick hears a telephone ringing and answers it and talks to a woman who is apparently with a bigger group. After speaking with her, they decide to stay. While hunting, the two encounter an unknown survivor. Before Carl can even get close, the man is torn apart by a mass of zombies. After walking away, they find an open car filled with lots of supplies which apparently belonged to the unknown survivor. Carl realizes that he was setting himself up to die, like Carol. Rick gets a call on the phone of the house they are staying in. Rick begins to talk to the voice and converse about their ordeals. Eventually, he asks for the woman's name and she answers Lori. Rick then forcefully unplugs the phone, but, can still hear Lori speaking on the line. This causes him to realize that the phone calls were all in his head and that he is trying to console his massive sense of guilt by " talking" to his wife. Eventually, he "hangs up" although he takes the phone with him in his backpack when they depart later that day.
Continuing their journey, Rick tries to teach as much as he can to Carl, to help him be able to stay alive even if Rick should be killed. When Rick leaves Carl alone, in order to forage for some gas, a zombie attacks the child, who's saved by Michonne. Michonne rejoins the group, revealing that a still unknown survivor from the prison escaped. Michonne was following the tracks to find out if he/she was one of them, or one of the attackers. The next morning they are reunited with Glenn and Maggie Greene, who are riding on horseback. Maggie learns that her father and brother are dead.
Rick, Carl, and Michonne return to the Greene Family Farm where Dale, Andrea, Ben, Billy, Sophia, Glenn, and Maggie have been staying. Carl and Sophia are reunited, where Carl learns that Sophia has repressed her memories of her mother and now thinks that Glenn and Maggie are her real parents. After Rick talks to Carl about Sophia's way to process things that have happened he talks with Dale about the possibility of staying at the farm permanently. Dale comments on how the farm wouldn't be a target and how it is no longer the dead he is afraid of anymore. Rick starts to cry, thinking that Dale did the smart thing by leaving and that they would've been fine if they had left too. Dale attempts to console Rick by saying that he has made many good decisions to keep them all alive and offers to talk to him about losing his wife. Later, Michonne reveals to Rick that she's been "talking" to her dead boyfriend. Rick shows Michonne his phone and explains that every time he picks up the phone's receiver, he talks to Lori. Rick and Michonne agree to keep each other's "craziness" a secret.
The next morning, the survivors are woken by a gunshot. Outside, Andrea points her rifle at three new arrivals: Abraham Ford, Rosita Espinosa, and Eugene Porter. Andrea does not trust the survivors at all and immediately gets off on the wrong foot with Abraham.
Ford explains that they are on a mission to Washington, D.C. and have come to the farm for supplies for the long journey. Eugene, a scientist, reveals he knows exactly what caused the creation of the zombie plague, yet reveals little as he deems the details classified. After a discussion of their current situation and an attack on the farm by zombies, the group decides to travel along with the visitors on their way to Washington. Rick decides that he is through making the decisions and does not trust himself anymore. As they are preparing their convoy (Rick's car, Abraham's army truck, and Glenn and Maggie on horseback), Rick pulls Carl aside and talks with him about staying with the group and warns him to never let his guard down, ever. With this in mind, Rick and Carl enter their car with Michonne and the convoy departs the farm.
- Rick Grimes
- Carl Grimes
- Maggie Greene
- Abraham Ford
- Rosita Espinosa
- Eugene Porter
- Tyreese (Zombified)
- Gus Strunk (Zombified)
- Unnamed Survivor
- The Walking Dead Volume 9 (review) Comic News
- The Walking Dead Volume 9 (review) Ain't It Cool News, Baytor, March 10, 2009.