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A Love Story for the Ages By Renea, Joi, and Kera

Updated: Apr 12

The Ones Who Live will undoubtedly give the audience the long-awaited reunion of Rick and Michonne Grimes. While the new series does an excellent job of standing independently, a little history lesson never hurts anybody.

With that in mind, we compiled two lists of The Walking Dead episodes that would give the full scope of Rick and Michonne’s romance.

We’ll start with Pre-Canon, from their first meeting to their first kiss.

The second Post-Canon list will continue from the couch to the bridge and onto their final moments on TWD, and everything in between each episode brings something that enriches their love story.

  1. Hounded (3x6)

After escaping the henchmen the Governor sent to kill her, Michonne comes across Maggie and Glenn while on a formula run for baby Judith. She overhears them talking about the prison moments before Merle shows up and takes them hostage. Once the coast is clear, Michonne takes the formula and heads towards the prison and her future family...

2.      When the Dead Come Knocking (3x7)

Grief-stricken and traumatized, Rick can hardly believe his eyes when a mysterious woman walks right up through walkers to the fence of the prison with a shopping basket full of sustenance for his newborn. Distrust and skepticism are their immediate responses, but chemistry and connection loom. Michonne immediately proves that Rick and his group need her. But she’s also impressed by his leadership.

3.       Clear (3x12)

In episodes 3x8-3x10, there are palpable moments between Rick and Michonne, made more noticeable by his continuous threats to send her away. We witness him dispatching others quickly, but for some reason, he never finds the time to cast Michonne out.

All of that brings us to the foundation of Richonne's eventual love story being laid. Rick takes Michonne and Carl back to King County in search of weapons, but in the process, they all find something more that binds them together.

4.       Arrow on the Doorpost (3x13)

The Governor and Rick meet and Rick is under the impression that it's to draw up boundaries so that the residents of Woodbury and Team Family don't have to cross each other's paths and everyone can live in harmony. The Governor has different plans and he only wants one thing--Michonne. So he asks Rick a question about the woman who, ironically, will become the love of his life, "Is she worth it? Is one woman worth all the lives at the prison?"

5.       This Sorrowful Life (3x15)

Heavy lies the head that wears the crown. Rick makes the difficult decision to choose his family over Michonne and hand her over to the Governor. He cannot see another solution that keeps everyone he loves safe. He instantly regrets this decision, which leads to him officially ending the 'Ricktatorship'.

6.       Welcome to the Tombs (3x16)

As the group prepares for an imminent attack, Rick and Michonne still find a moment to talk. His guilty relief is met with surprising understanding when Michonne thanks Rick for saving her. He tries (and fails) to act like it wasn't a big deal. But with Carl’s approval, he admits, it must have been something else then...

7.       30 Days Without an Incident (4x1)

Michonne’s long-awaited return to the prison right after Hershel explains to Rick that things break but can still grow could be easily missed. One might not notice Rick’s frustration when Michonne says she may not stay long. But the delighted welcome from the Grimes boys and the gifts Michonne brings for them were small but vital parts of an episode that laid yet another layer to the foundation of Richonne's budding love story.

8.       After (4x9)

In 4x2, we get small scenes where the connection between Michonne and Carl is displayed to Rick's delight. 4x4 Daryl advises Michonne to stick around & perhaps build connections. At the end of 4x5, Rick looks a bit disappointed when his offer of help is declined by Michonne, who’s oblivious to his desire to be near her. But in 4x8, Rick is once again tasked with trying to save Michonne (Hershel & the rest of his people). But with the odds stacked, the prison falls, so what comes After? This leads to 4x9, where the question is posed, and the answer is a bleak family waiting to be put back together again if they dare to do so.

9.       Claimed (4x11)

Rick, Michonne, and Carl are reunited but now have to decide what to do next. Should they stay and start a life just the three of them, or go and find what else and who else is out there? A cute familial moment is near the beginnings of 4x15 as well.

10.   A (4x16)

The Claimers ambush Rick, Carl and Michonne and in the chaos that ensues Rick shows exactly what he would do to protect his child and any resistance Michonne may have had to falling in love with him evaporates in that moment. The brutal action he had to go through with in order to save Carl and Michonne leaves Rick feeling anxious and afraid of how they would react to him after the fact. Carl is still a bit stand-offish but Michonne puts him at ease by telling him when he asks that she's okay and she knows he's okay.

11. No Sanctuary (5x1)

The cannibals at Terminus find out quickly that they were screwing with the wrong people. After they mostly take care of business, Team Family is reunited. But more importantly, Judith, the child everyone thought was lost forever is delivered to her father, brother, and soon-to-be mother.

12.   Strangers (5x2)

The group comes across Father Gabriel and finds shelter in his church. The slight reprieve allows them to try and re-group. A trip to a food bank leads to a revealing conversation between Rick and Michonne about her sword, skills, and self-discovery.

Before things go to hell, Michonne is by Rick’s side when he (and Judith) decide they will join Abe's mission to get Eugene to Washington, DC.

13.   Four Walls and a Roof (5x3)

The reveal of the Terminites on their tail sends the group into a panic. Abe threatens to take the bus and run, but Rick is not having it, and they eventually make a deal to get rid of the Terminites once and for all. Rick and his red machete keep his promise to Gareth while Michonne is reunited with her sword that she thought she would have to learn to live without.

14.   Crossed (5x7)

Rick goes on a dangerous mission in Atlanta to save Beth and Carol. He acknowledges to Michonne that Carl wants to go but he can't have that because it's not safe. Michonne offers to go in his place so he can stay with his kids but he makes it clear that not only does he trust her with his kids but her safety is just as important to him as theirs.

15.   What Happened and What’s Going On (5x9)

Rick and Michonne join Glenn, Tyreese, and Noah to hopefully find the latter’s family alive in a community they can join. Unfortunately, that wasn't in the cards, and after that disappointment, Michonne was at her wit's end. She asked Rick for something that seemed impossible, especially with their state, but without even giving it a second thought, he told her they would do it. He would take his children and the rest of his family into the unknown simply because she asked him to.

16.   The Distance (5x11)

After a fitful night's rest in a barn Team Family is formally introduced to Aaron, a bright faced would-be Boy Scout who comes with an enticing offer...a little TOO enticing. A safe community with high walls and homes to live in seems too good to be true to Rick and he instantly lets his fist do the talking. Cooler heads prevail and Michonne makes it clear that she thinks it's something that needs to be checked out. Rick disagrees but Michonne makes a compelling argument and per usual he caves and gives her what she wants. Michonne and the protection detail Rick puts on her verify Aaron's story and the group heads to Alexandria. On the way there the group's RV breaks down which gives Michonne a moment to tell Rick that he has to know when to let the fight go, something she had to do herself. He seemingly understands what she's saying but excuses himself to hide a gun anyway. Once they reach Alexandria the beautiful sound of laughing children greets them and it's enough to almost make Rick relax. Almost.

17.   Remember (5x12)

A new community with McMansions and hot running water means 20-minute teeth-brushing sessions and freshly shaved faces. Rick may be thrown off-kilter by their new reality but not so thrown off that he doesn't yearn for Michonne's opinion on his new pretty face.

In 5x13, Michonne is equally nervous about Rick’s opinion of her constable uniform. Abe also speaks to her about brave acts now that they’ve reached relative safety. Michonne hanging her katana further displays the difference in her and Rick’s adaptation to Alexandria.

18.   Conquer (5x16)

In Try 5x15, Michonne is mourning Noah but searching for Sasha and is stunned when Sasha tells her it’s worked out for her. Meanwhile, the pressure cooker that is Rick Grimes finally goes off massively, but, as usual, Michonne is there to save him from himself. In what will prove to be another significant moment in Richonne's story, Rick lays it all on the line and confesses everything to Michonne, granting her the power to redirect him. In a charged yet tender moment that will have you on the edge of your seat, she instead lets him know she trusts him, ‘We can find a way.’ And no matter what, he still had her full support, ‘I’m still with you’.

19.   First Time Again (6x1)

Plans to re-direct a massive herd go awry, but for most of it, Rick and Michonne (along with a returned Morgan) stick with each other. In a flashback, Mama Michonne is concerned about Judy being handed over to Morgan after their last encounter.

But between bouts of handling the herd, Morgan still finds time to put Michonne on the spot about the protein bar she ate. I guess he didn't remember the mat said 'Welcome.'

20.   Thank You (6x3)

Rick splits off from the group to go to the RV, but not before leaving Michonne and Glenn in charge of the Alexandrians with him. Rick's one rule was they HAD to get back, and if the Alexandrians couldn't keep up, oh well. Rick's less-than-hopeful outlook proved accurate, and the Alexandrians started dropping like flies. One man, David, was bit but still wanted to return home to his wife whom he met during the ZA. He told a story about being lost and wanting to give up before meeting his wife, who was his friend before becoming more. He tells Michonne her story right to her face, and it's just another brick being laid on the Richonne love story's foundation.

21.   Start to Finish (6x8)

The walls in Alexandria are breached by walkers, forcing everyone into their homes. A talk between Michonne and a dying Deanna leaves Michonne reeling because she doesn't even know how to begin figuring out what she wants for her whole life, even though it's right there in front of her.

22.   No Way Out (6x9)

Escape through the sea of walkers is thwarted when Sam Anderson causes the demise of most of his family. In the mayhem, Ron's need for revenge drives him to recklessly use this moment to pull his gun out and aim it at Rick and is stabbed by Michonne just as he pulls the trigger. Just as everyone thinks the problem was averted, we hear a devastating “…dad?…” from Carl, only to turn and see he’s been shot in the eye.

Michonne and Rick rush to the infirmary, praying for a miracle. They lay Carl on the table, and Rick faces the door. Knowing his son’s best chance at living may be his final walk toward death as the light needed for Carl’s eye surgery is drawing in more walkers by the minute. Rick finds his resolve and storms out into the sea of walkers…

With a tender kiss on her soon-to-be son's forehead, Michonne races out to accompany his father. Rick, Michonne, and Team Family are a well-oiled machine, and by the end of the episode, Grimes family 2.0 emerges.

23.   The Next World (6x10)

An old wedding ring removed, a blue robe that had no business being as sexy as it was, and a hastily grabbed roll of mints instead of toothpaste all added up to be the catalyst that started one of the best love stories on TV. Ever. Also, it's only fitting that the first time Rick and Michonne had sex, they both saw Jesus.

24. Knots Untie (6x11)

Not only is a brave new world being introduced to Team Family but also a smirky Carl when Rick decides to spill the beans about his just consummated relationship with Michonne. This is different and we see an all new side to Richonne whenever they are near one another.

25.   East (6x15)

The episode starts for Richonne with them in bed blissfully happy, sharing an apple and playfully arguing the merits of staying in bed vs. being a good and helpful friend. Rick was right but per usual Michonne got her way. That was the highlight of an episode that went steeply downhill from there. By the end Michonne was missing while a visibly shaken Rick waits at the gates for her return to no avail...

26.   Last Day on Earth (6x16)

Before the bottom falls out of Rick's world the Saviors have to toy with him a little bit. In this case it was with a few of Michonne's cut out dreads tagged to a walker. Watching all the cockiness as well as all the color drain from Rick's face when he realized Michonne wasn't safe was a sight to behold. By the end of the episode Rick and Michonne are reunited but it's in the most terrible way possible as the group is officially introduced to Negan and Lucille.

27.   The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be (7x1)

The season 7 premiere was almost unbearable to watch, especially more than once, but seeing constant reminders of how important Michonne is to Rick throughout the episode makes all the difference in the world. And towards the end when faced with the prospect of Carl being hurt Michonne is quick to make a plea for his safety even though no one else dared to speak out of fear. In the final moments of the episode we see Rick's visions of a future with Team Family that sadly would never come to be.

28.   Service (7x4)

Negan unexpectedly comes to Alexandria and wreaks havoc leaving Rick rattled. Making matters worse Michonne is at odds with his decision to back down. Her potentially dangerous actions not only worry Rick but prompt him to share with her the true paternity of their daughter and how he had to move past it.

29.   Go Getters (7x5)

Distanced but still desperately in love, Rick holds out hope that Michonne would join he and Aaron on their mission to get more supplies for Negan. When she declines he instantly deflates but moments later she's giving him a kiss that bolsters him in ways nothing else ever could because it was just a reminder that no matter what she was still with him.

30.   Hearts Still Beating (7x8)

After yet another chaotic and deadly visit from the Saviors Rick finally reaches the end of his rope. He’s broken, beat down and feeling helpless but then like an answer to all his prayers a determined Michonne shows up. She picks him up and with an impassioned speech she reminds him that they’re the ones who live and they had children and a future to fight for.

31.   Rock in the Road (7x9)

Team Family goes to the Kingdom of getting King Ezekiel and his community to help fight the Saviors. Unfortunately Zeke isn't willing to risk the deal he already has that's been keeping his people safe so he declines. Rick, Michonne and the rest are disgusted but they don't let that deter them as they head back to Alexandria. On the way there they comes across a dynamite encrusted steel cable between two cars. The group steal the dynamite for a rainy day while Rick and Michonne synch up to clothesline the approaching herd of walkers in one of the coolest zombie take downs in the history of the show.

32.   New Best Friends (7x10)

Team Family are accosted by a new group who are...trashy to say the least. While the group is less than welcoming all Rick sees are their impressive numbers and sets out to prove himself to them, much to Michonne's chagrin. Rick, with Michonne's help, manages to best a spiked walker named Winslow, but ends up a little torn and bloodied in the process. Even still that doesn't stop Rick from going out of his way to take a cat sculpture as a gift for Michonne to make her smile.

33.   Say Yes (7x12)

Richonne’s honeymoon episode. A must watch from start to finish. The only thing that could make it better is if it actually included the deleted van and pond scenes that were allegedly too hot for TV. Greg N. isn't seeing heaven for that one.

34.   The First Day of the Rest of Your Life (7x16)

A sacrifice from Team Family officially starts the war with the Saviors. Rick’s earlier proclamation in 'Say Yes' that he and Michonne could lose each other is tested when he thinks she’s been killed. Spoiler alert: He was wrong. He can’t lose her.

35.   Mercy (8x1)

This episode marks the 100th episode of the franchise. With Rick leading the charge in fighting The Saviors and Michonne showing unwavering support waiting to see him off by the gates, he and Michonne share a tender moment sharing a loving kiss, silently communicating how much they still love each other before he leaves. At the end of this episode Rick dreams of a future with him and Michonne growing old together with their kids, without the threat of the Saviors.

36.   Honor (8x9)

Rick and Michonne come to grips with the devastating knowledge that Carl was bitten by a walker. As they each poignantly say goodbye to Carl on his deathbed, he reminds Michonne that she is his best friend while also relaying to Rick that he envisions a future where he is a compassionate leader, leading with forgiveness rather than vengeance. Rick and Michonne share in the devasting grief of having to say goodbye to Carl.

37.   The Lost and the Plunderers (8x10)

Rick and Michonne are still reeling from the loss of Carl after just burying him. Visibly distraught watching Alexandria in ruins, Michonne tries to bravely extinguish the fire from overtaking the gazebo knowing how much it was loved by Carl, to no avail. As they leave Alexandria, Rick ponders Carl’s words with Michonne offering insight. Rick decides to read Carl’s letter he wrote to him before he died but could not bring himself to do it. He instead calls Negan and tells him of Carl’s death and his wish that they stop fighting. With renewed determination, Rick vows to kill him.

38.   Still Gotta Mean Something (8x14)

The aftermath of Carl’s death continues as Michonne reads Carl’s letter who remains shattered by his death. Upon seeing her visibly in pain, he tries to offer her comfort by tenderly wiping away her tears while softly caressing her face. Even though he is hurting himself his love for her continues. Tenderly holding hands, Michonne knows that he must also read the letter Carl wrote to him to find closure. As she gives him privacy to read the letter, he still cannot face reading it and instead locates escaped Saviors and proceeds to massacre them taking him further away from Carl’s vision. After returning home, Michonne sees Rick finally reading Carl’s letter and he tells her he loves her, marking the first time he has verbally said the words (but has shown in so many different other ways). She confirms she loves him too and gives him the privacy he needs to continue reading.

39.   Worth (8x15)

Rick re-reads Carl’s letter urging him to end the war with Negan. As he continues to read Carl’s vison for a peaceful future, he’s finally in an emotional place to receive his words. He looks at Judith and Michonne playing in view, who looks up and smiles at him. As he continues to read, Carl relays that he wants him to feel safe, just as he made him feel safe when he was younger, continuing to relay that with the adjoining comminutes they are much closer to starting anew. Carl finalizes his continued wish that he has to find a way to make peace with Negan. Rick watches Michonne playing with Judith as Carl’s words resonates.

40.   Wrath (8x16)

As the war with The Saviors reaches its climax, Rick has a flashback of him and a very young Carl alluding to one of the earlier moments Carl referenced in his letter. Both Rick and Michonne are as united, and as in love as ever, as they are seen holding hands to make their final stand.  As Rick defeats Negan and slits his throat, he orders Siddiq to save him, honoring Carl’s wish. Rick and Michonne continue to be united as they both visit the infirmary reiterating Carl’s vison for a peaceful future. Negan will spend the rest of his life in a cell as he watches their community prosper. Rick then pens his own letter to Carl thanking him for showing him the way and leading him to the new world.

41.   A New Beginning (9x1)

Several months have passed with Rick enacting Carl’s peaceful vision for the future, maintaining the delicate balance of unifying all the communities. A wonderful Grimes moment on the porch see Michonne and Judith ribbing Rick’s “big tummy” as they later take her to bird watch in open fields. With Rick and Michonne having resumed their successful leadership of Alexandria, they head to the Sanctuary for updates. Basking in the glow of each other in bed, they strategize their next move as leaders, as well as husband and wife. Retiring for the night, Rick audibly wondered how he got so lucky finding her. With Michonne confirming that they both lost enough, she faced him as they proceed to kiss passionately while teasing he’s the famous Rick Grimes.

42.   Warning Signs (9x3)

Rick’s morning routine is revealed as he puts on his boots and tenderly kisses Michonne’s shoulder who lays restless in bed. As he heads out, he visits Carl’s gravesite smiling with renewed hope that he is honoring’s Carl’s memory.  When he returns, Michone is awake working on her charter and they discuss various things with him promising a family fun day for Judith. With complete adoration, Rick thanks her for existing as thy discuss the future. With deliberate intent, he muses he can think of another way to build for the future, heavily insinuating he wants a baby with her. Later as construction of the bridge continues, Michonne bring supplies to Hilltop as Rick continues spending most of his time overseeing the bridge for all the communities to successfully thrive. Solving the mystery of a Savior’s death, he’s tasked with trying to control the peace as the remaining Saviors refuse to continue building the bridge, shattering his vision for peace.

43.   What Comes After (9x5)

Andrew Lincoln exits the series as Rick makes the ultimate sacrifice for his family. Severely injured when he gets impaled by a rebar, a bloodied Rick flirts in and out of consciousness while trying to lead a walker horde away from the camp site. While near death he conjures up images of past friends with one last dream of Michone coming to rescue him at the last minute.

In his dream he tells her he found her; she is his family as the episode harkens back to the first episode of him looking for his family. With dream Michonne urging him to wake up and fight, he does so and very weakly lead the horde to the bridge hoping the weight of the walkers will be enough to collapse the bridge. With a horrified Michonne looking on, she races to get to him and upon seeing her do so, waves her off but she continues desperately trying to reach him. Rick realizes that his plan to collapse the bridge will not work as the horde continues to make their way across the bridge. He then sees a stack of dynamite and with one last heroic attempt, shoots at it effectively destroying the bridge. Michonne is seen screaming his name in agony presuming he is dead.

44.   Who Are You Now (9x6)

Six years after Rick is presumed dead, Michonne tries to pick up the pieces leading Alexandria alone with the new title of “Head of security” while raising her kids Judith – and Rick Junior “RJ” who is six, the living embodiment of their love. We see Judith evolve into a precocious, inquisitive pre-teen wearing a mini katana and holstering Rick’s gun. A beautiful montage shows that Michonne is still very much in love with Rick as she now wears his shirts intimating that even though he is not there, his presence is still with her. After coming across a small figurine that looks exactly like him, she promised that she hasn’t given up and she never will.

45.   Scars (9x14)

With flashbacks of a 7 month pregnant Michonne searching the riverbank for Rick in the aftermath of the explosion, she together with Daryl, continued to search for him finally coming across his gun. In present time, her college friend Jocelyn showed up at Alexandria needing medical attention with several kids who she later relayed to Michonne were skilled hunters. The next day, Jocelyn has kidnapped most of the Alexandrian kids, including Judith along with their supplies and food. Michonne enlists Daryl’s help to bring Judith and the other kids home. Upon finding Jocelyn, they are both branded with the letter X where a fight between her and Jocelyn ensues. She killed Jocelyn but is forced to kill all the children to save Judith. Because of these haunting events, Michonne has enacted a policy that prohibited anyone from entering Alexandria. In later present time, she recanted her stance and agreed to help her friends and allies who were in need of  her help.

46.   Lines We Cross (10x1)

Michonne continues to train Judith to be a warrior like she is with an opening scene where Judith is mastering her skills with her katana. The effects of losing Rick is still with Michonne as she painfully tells Aaron she lost Rick on a bridge after his impulsive decision. As Michonne takes the kids to Oceanside, she overhears Judith relaying the story of the “brave man” in which their father made the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends and family on the bridge. Michonne, clearly emotional, shares a family hug with them and finalizes when you love someone you will do anything for them, just as she would for them. Paying homage to Rick, RJ is known as “lil brave man”.

47.   What We Become (10x13)

In Danai Gurira’s last episode, we see Michonne set out to find Rick, with Judith’s blessing. After gaining clues that he’s still alive, Michonne visits an island to obtain weapons in the war with Alpha after being tricked by Virgil. After Michonne discovers he is lying and his family is dead, he locks Michonne in a cell next to Virgil’s former friends who informed her that Virgil is crazy. Virgil drugs her and she began to hallucinate an alternate life where she became a Savior and Negan’s right hand culminating with her wielding Negan’s bat and ultimately fighting against Rick, who fatally kills her. After the drugs wear off, she manages to capture Virgil and show him mercy by not killing him. Virgil shows her a room filled with scavenged items that includes Rick’s boots then later finds a cell phone etched with Rick's name and a drawing of her and Judith, along with a log book indicating Rick may be alive. Michonne then contacts Judith who convinces her to search for Rick and bring him home. Michonne agrees and sets out to find her husband.

48.   Rest in Peace (11x24)

With one simple match struck, Rick Grimes was back. Rick is seen very much alive writing love letters to Michonne as they stare lovingly across from each other through fire highlighting their love still burns bright for each other. Rick is very much alive while Michonne continues her search for him in new body armor. As they each write letters (him to her and she to the kids) we see flashbacks of special moments of just them throughout the years interspersed in a beautiful montage from their first encounter at the fence, intimating that they are very much thinking of the other. As Rick is seen trying to escape but getting captured, we see a very determined Michonne on horseback ready to ride through a massive horde of walkers undeterred in her quest to find him.

Please like, rate, subscribe and follow Noir_Nerdy on Twitter(X), IG & FB for continued coverage of The Ones Who Live. More shows to come such as AMC’s Parish, Interview with the Vampire and Daryl Dixon.

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