April 6-7, 2024
This article contains spoilers for ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’ and ‘The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon’
Described as an “epic love story of two characters changed by a changed world”, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live is the latest spin-off in The Walking Dead universe, and its six-episode arch explores what happened to Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) after his heroic stunt in season 9 of the original series, and his wife Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) journey to try to find him.
Ahead of its February 26 premiering on Stan, we take a look at the questions we want answered throughout The Ones Who Live.
The question everyone has been asking since Andrew Lincoln exited the show in 2018. In season 9, we watched the beloved sheriff be airlifted away in a helicopter after destroying a bridge in an attempt to lure a horde of walkers away from Alexandria.
Viewers finally got a glimpse of what happened to Rick in the 2022 season finale of The Walking Dead, and he was wearing a jacket that featured the signet of the Civic Republic Military (CRM) on it, the symbol of an organisation that serves as a militant and antagonistic police force in the Walking Dead universe.
The CRM is so ingrained in the universe that it appeared in The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and The Walking Dead: World Beyond, where the organisation and its connection to ‘Trash Queen’ Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) finally came to light. Seeing Rick repping the signet in the trailer, being taken away in a helicopter, and his connection to Jadis all but confirms that he is tangling with the CRM in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live and opens up the question to not just what happened to Rick, but what did the CRM do to Rick?
The CRM is a paramilitary created from the remnants of the US Government and it has shown to be corrupt in World Beyond when it attacks neighbouring colonies it previously had good relationships with.
It is highlighted in the second season of that show that the research branch of the CRM has been conducting experiments on both the living and the dead, and that Rick is a prisoner in these experiments. It also showed an important post-credit scene revealing a French laboratory was the birthplace of the zombie virus.
With all the talk of experiments and the new season of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon on the horizon, are we going to get a strong storyline connecting the CRM to the outbreak in France?
It’s been revealed that the CRM had an agreement for supplies in exchange for prisoners from Jadis’ junkyard community. In a hasty negotiation for being taken to headquarters, Jadis was the one who turned the injured Rick into the military.
When Jadis makes her next appearance in World Beyond she claims she “traded something very valuable” for her new life running high-level security in the CRM, and that it had been six years since she joined them.
Being traded isn’t something that is going to fly with Rick, and with Pollyanna McIntosh returning for The Ones Who Live, will he seek revenge or does she help him escape in a redemption arch that could change her future storyline?
After saying goodbye to her community and her family, Michonne set out in season 10 in hopes of finding Rick. Not much else has been revealed about Michonne’s life on the road, but all that is set to change in The Ones Who Live.
In a teaser trailer, Danai Gurira, who created The Ones Who Live alongside showrunner Scott M. Gimple (and is also credited for writing episodes for the series), said: “These two people are so powerful, and together… it’s insane!”
With shots from the trailers revealing Michonne facing down a horde of thousands of walkers, seemingly alone, we can’t wait to see what unfolds.
The community Rick helped build has grown so much in the years that he has been gone, with The Walking Dead series finale showcasing the Commonwealth, Alexandria, and Hilltop as thriving locations, with fan favourite Maggie the Hilltop leader. Many lives have been lost along the way, but The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live needs to answer the question of whether Rick and Michonne ever see their (living) friends again (and also not to mention their daughter Judith).
We know that Maggie was the one who sent Daryl on his factfinding mission to France in the recent series The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, and that the powerful Carol is on her way to find him in the next season’s Book of Carol, but are the newly minted spin-off series going to collide with The Ones Who Live in any way? It seems logical to find a somewhat happy ending in getting Rick and Michonne involved in the search for answers with Maggie, Daryl and Carol, but the Walking Dead isn’t quite known for its happy endings…
Happy ending or not though, Andrew Lincoln said in a teaser trailer that “our ambition is to have some answers,” so hopefully we won’t have too long to wait.