Five times we gasped at 'The Walking Dead' finale

Story highlights

  • "The Walking Dead" ended its fifth season with many shocking moments
  • SPOILER: Rick and crew made it through the finale alive

SPOILER WARNING: Do not read any further if you haven't seen "The Walking Dead" season finale yet.

(CNN)Have Rick and his fellow survivors finally found a place they can settle in for the long term?

That was the question left still unanswered at the end of Sunday night's season finale of "The Walking Dead," and a finale record 15.8 million viewers tuned in to find out the answer.
Rick was back in "Ricktatorship" mode, telling the residents of Alexandria that he knew what it took to survive and they should follow him.
That led up to one of many moments where we gasped during the 90-minute finale. Here are five of the biggest gaspworthy moments:
1. Morgan is back
We've literally been looking for him all season, and Rick's old friend Morgan -- going all the way back to the first episode -- made a return appearance, wielding a stick he used to kick walker, and human, butt when necessary.
And it was definitely necessary once he was captured by two men wearing W's on their heads, who, we would later learn, wanted to turn Morgan into a walker in order to join a horde of walkers they controlled.
2. Daryl looks done for
It was Daryl who happened upon that horde, and he and Aaron were soon surrounded and forced into a car, with little chance of escape -- that is, until Morgan rescued them.
We rarely believe what we hear when there are rumors that Daryl might die, but that was a close one.
3. Carol and her casserole
Melissa McBride continues to steal scenes left and right lately, and her threatening of Pete while lending him a casserole may be one of the best scenes in the series' history so far.
4. Glenn gets shot
We seriously thought Glenn was a goner after a vengeful Nicholas shot him, then left him for a large group of walkers to attack.
Somehow, Glenn survived and attacked Nicholas, but stopped short of killing him. That's our Glenn, always doing the right thing when it comes down to it.
5. Rick's memorable walker encounter
Just when you thought you'd seen everything, Rick literally squeezed a walker's neck then discharged a round causing the walker to spray out blood -- a walker he presented to the residents of Alexandria, in a bid to lead them toward survival. Rick was then rudely interrupted by Pete, who slashed Reg's throat in a fit of anger.
At that point, Deanna told Rick to off Pete, which he did.
Phew! It was one of the most intense episodes of the already hyperintense series, and our group of survivors somehow made it through.
Fans on Twitter were into it.
"That was the most intense hour and a half of my entire life," one tweeted.