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The Walking Dead conspiracy theory: Is it real?

Is this Rick's worst nightmare?

With the season finale upon us, we thought this was the best time to tell you about our conspiracy obsession. It's possible it all could be Rick's bad dream — find out how!

Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead

It's that time of year again when we gather around the watercooler and discuss the many mysteries of The Walking Dead's season finale. As the season comes to a close, we're forced to take a closer look at the show and consider some unpopular possibilities. For example, could this all just be Rick's (Andrew Lincoln's) extremely long nightmare?

I know, I know — it's a controversial theory that we fans really don't want to consider. But before you try to feast on my flesh, let's take a look at the facts.

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First off, it would have been impossible for Rick to survive in the hospital without assistance for as long as he did in Episode 1. He would have needed someone to refill his IV. It's highly unlikely that during a spreading zombie epidemic, there was a nurse making sure he had enough fluids.

Then there's the fact that everyone in the entire world is already infected. Although we're all terrified that this could happen someday, let's look at it realistically. Even during the time of the Black Death in the 1340s, when there was no modern medicine and nobody knew how to stop the spread of disease, the plague still didn't infect everyone. Plus, today we have organizations to help prevent that kind of thing, and if worse came to worst, our military would probably bomb everyone before things got completely out of control.

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Also, let's consider the distance that the group has traveled. It's been mentioned in blogs recently that fans were surprised to realize how Rick and the gang are still so close to where they originally started. Even though they have walked countless miles and driven for hours on end, they still haven't ventured too far away from home. Isn't that exactly what a dream feels like: You try to run or walk, but you feel like you can't get anywhere?

The Walking Dead gang

Also, Rick is having a very, very terrible year so far. First he was shot, went into a coma and woke up in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Then he found out that his wife had slept with his best friend, his best friend tried to kill him, his wife got pregnant (possibly with his best friend's baby), she died while giving birth and then turned into a zombie — and his son had to shoot her in the face. Come on! If that doesn't sound like a nightmare, I don't know what does. It seems like he's facing every fear and demon he has, which is common in a deep dream state.

Now, Rick's having visions of dead Lori and getting phone calls from beyond the grave. Things are getting more mysterious and a bit supernatural, so it's smart to consider that, too. These unnerving visions could be happening because he's finally snapped under all the emotional stress, or he could just be dreaming.

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The strongest evidence we have to support this theory is... all the zombies. Zombies in cages, endless zombie attacks, zombies in barns, zombies as pets, friends as zombies, heads of zombies shelved on a weird display and fighting-zombie competitions. There's not much more to say about that.

The Walking Dead has proven to be a show of twists and turns, and we can rarely predict what will happen next, but it's still fun to consider all the possibilities. There's a case to be made for both sides, but it's just a little curious how Rick has managed to survive this whole time against all odds while everything else around him has fallen apart.

Just something to think about while you're watching the season finale tonight on AMC.

Photo courtesy of AMC
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