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Becoming Dana Bethune Spoiler-filled Postmortem on Episode Two: Gone by Joi, Khalilah & Renea

Updated: Mar 10


Introduction:

Three million plus viewers agree that The Ones Who Live is must-see television with the triumphant return of not only Rick Grimes in episode one but also Michonne Grimes. With high praise from critics and fans alike, we all are anticipating answers to the opposite side of the journey that led to an unexpected early reunion in the series premiere.


In this episode two postmortem, we will break down the persistent and agonizing trek of a wife and mother to find her long-lost love. New friends, particularly innovative Nat whose influence sways our heroine in a few directions for heartbreaking moments that have our eyes flooding with tears.

 


The integrity and steadfastness of Michonne:

We begin the opposing side of the trek to reunite right where we left off with Michonne Grimes in the Mother Show. ‘What We Become’ provided hope for the return of our original protagonist to not only us, the viewers but to his wife and daughter.


Discovering worn-out cowboy boots, a location chronicle, and a cellphone with her and her daughter Judith’s face etched on the screen sets the stage. A message also on the device, in Japanese untranslated but managed to encourage resolution. An anxious conversation with Judy reinforces the mother to head out in hopes of bringing the father home to his daughter and the son, RJ who he doesn’t know exists.


An injured couple encountered during Michonne’s departure episode struggled to catch up with their apocalyptic western caravan. Michonne is always a leader willing to go to great lengths to assist those who may not even deserve her help. Flashes to the faithful day at the prison fence when Rick and Carl decided to take in a walker guts-covered samurai carrying baby formula remind Michonne of who she is at the core. But luckily the couple Aiden and Bailey, are worthy of aid. The sudden request, a detour ending up charting direction, and ultimately companionship. And so, begins the journey north.

 


New Actual Friends:

Matthew Jeffers bursts onto the screen portraying Nat, an ingenious man whose natural talents are fostered through negative and eventually positive ways. Being born a little person who was abandoned by his louse of a father and then bullied by cruel children stoked Nat’s fascination for demolition through fire. An overworked but loving mother tried her best but Nat’s experiments with destructive forces grew. Explosions tested out in the woods and fantasies of bombing his high school football team with chlorine gas plagued Nat.


This knowledge could be off-putting at first, yet it grants us an understanding as to why Nat is furious at Elle. A woman who abandoned her sister following the rules of the nomadic troupe. Distraught that his only two friends were left behind while he was stopped from going in search of them. Nat’s relieved to see Aiden and Bailey returned and by a stranger no less. He’s minutely taken aback that anyone would have helped them, dictating his past experiences. But it instantly fosters his appreciation for the mysterious woman who plans on departing even if not rewarded for her efforts.


Appreciatively declining offers to join the moving community, Michonne expresses curiosity as to why people opposed to the flippant disregard for their people have remained. While the members are left to ponder her inquiry, they further posture her with incentives and information about the difficulties ahead. A five-mile-wide field of walkers called The Wailing migrates and is currently situated on her way north.


Promises of weaponry and a bed for the night as well as instant camaraderie soften Michonne to a short stay with the group.

Later, a surprising and grateful gift of newly made leather armor in shades of brown and washed-out burgundy adorns Michonne for the tumultuous path ahead. Nat understandably tries to convince against the risky endeavor until the massive herd drifts South. He gifts her the journal she chronicles in for her children before parting ways. Believing the efforts could be futile and even worse deadly to one of the few people he cares for, he’s at a crossroads.


The instant connection to Michonne counters the ones Nat’s had in the past, except with the subtle encouragements from a man named Danger. A stepfather cleverly pivoted his skill set towards beneficial inventions helping eliminate his harmful course. That is until it’s necessary and valuable in the zombie apocalypse. This knowledge will be key in strengthening the unlikely duo of Michonne and Nat’s voyage forward leading to heartbreaking losses.

 

Resolve:

Steadfast in her belief that her husband is still out there, Michonne charges on. Her deceased boyfriend Mike had given up once civilization fell, escape with marijuana, and discouraging conversations about not wanting their son, Andre to live in such a world unnerved the mother. It strengthened her fortitude to prepare herself and she scavenged for necessities, finding her infamous katana. But nothing could prepare Michonne for what was to come. Her son was bitten and turned while his father and best friend were high during an attack on their refugee camp. She doled out a punishment on the men that ended up shielding her from the newly risen.


The horrifying incident hardened Michonne until she was thawed by an acquaintanceship with Andrea and later a reciprocated connection with Carl, Rick, and baby Judith. The man that was to become her husband was different than her ex. Devotion to his family and their safety was his driving force. Something she witnessed time and time again. Cemented during an impossible entrapment where he bit out a man’s neck to save his son and her as well from sexual assault. Knowing the extent Rick would go for his family meant that he indeed needed help if he was out there because he would’ve returned by now.

 

Parting:

Bright startling, purple explosions divide The Wailing, Moses’ style. Transporting back to another seemingly biblical moment in season five, episode ten ‘Them’.  The surrounded barn Team Family sought refuge in during a storm was surrounded by walkers. Our beloved group was surprised to have made it overnight discovering mother nature or perhaps a little faith caused the trees to fall in just the right places to kill or hinder the dead and not them.


This intervention arrives after Michonne is dispatched from her horse when things go awry. A walker covered in gas cans accidentally ignites when a Nat created screamstick meant to distract the walkers explodes. Michonne’s rescue through the parted Red Sea of the dead comes from Nat, Aiden, and Bailey. Some members of the caravan also venture northbound, having changed their minds about leaving folks behind.


But calamity strikes after arriving in an abandoned neighborhood where a block in the road halts them. Hell is dispatched unceremoniously by who we know are the CRM but our new band does not. A helicopter without warning bombs them with chlorine gas providing a glimpse into the heinous missions Okafor spoke briefly with Rick about in episode one. The bombs swiftly kill most of the troop including Bailey and a pregnant Aiden.


This attack also serves understanding on why Michonne has been gone so long. A year is necessary for the recovery of her and Nat’s respiratory systems in particular. A cinematic montage of regaining strength is balanced out with seasons changing through the skylight of their new home in a mall.


We learn in World Beyond that the hybrid chlorine gas created by Dr. Lyla Bellshaw with algae was being dropped on unsuspecting people to test whether it could slow the reanimation process in an operation called Project Bodus. But Major General Beale simply wanted a more efficient way of knocking down the population deemed a threat to the CRP.

 

Decisions of a Mother:

Healing while trapped halts Michonne’s mission. She still wants to continue in hopes of finding her husband but the time away from her children has been increased by monsters in the sky. Agony of leaving her children in the first place causes guilty feelings. Unsure she made the right decision to leave them in search of their father, even though they permitted her to do so proclaiming their safety.


Wavering on her course, Michonne tries to persuade Nat to head for Alexandria just the way she’d done prior with Aiden. But he wasn’t going to leave his only remaining friend. The pair travel to the last location in the logbook, Bridgers Terminal in New Jersey.


Arrival at the location brings on further heartache when it’s clear that piles of burnt bodies weren’t walkers put down, but people murdered. A desperate search of the charred remains wallops our gut as Michonne painstakingly checks each for clues of Rick. After, sitting by a campfire with Nat unsure of where to turn or if Rick is even out there anymore, Michonne sobs. A guttural wailing unleashing streams of tears down her cheeks while her body trembled from utter exhaustion. The scene is devastating to witness our only comfort is that Nat is by her side.


Even more so shattering is her next decision- heading home for Alexandria. Choosing to reunite with her children while believing a little while longer about her missing husband. But taking Nat’s advice to know when to go.

 

Reunited and it feels so… good?:

Our couple has finally reunited! And boy what a reunion! Rick and Michonne Grimes have against all odds found their way to one another in the most unforeseen manner. The old adage of ‘if it’s meant to be, it will be’ or maybe ‘If you love something, let it go, and if it comes back to you, it’s yours forever’ apply here.


A thirst for revenge on the helicopter flying group who attempted to murder Michonne and Nat but successfully killed Aiden, Bailey, and the rest of their caravan set them in motion. The first shot from a new weapon in Nat’s arsenal is thought to be a dud. But audiences know, it’s in fact the explosive that kills Okafor right next to Rick.

Incendiary devices take down the copter until Michonne races for face-to-face vengeance with the last three soldiers.

Promises of the return to the warrior who took on the Governor were fulfilled in just a few minutes. Flipping their headgear off to witness their demises as her blade slices throats open displays the carnality our warrior must once again exact. The warranted visual brutality the only thing that saves Rick- and Michonne.


With last week’s cliffhanger, we were left to ponder how the reunion would play out. But we are sweetly rewarded with Rick immediately coming to his wife for an embrace. Their hug tender and loving, countering their prior actions in a fight for survival that it seems Rick had given up on. The couples soft spot for one another instantly revived in a kiss and eager examination.


“I found you”, takes us back to Rick’s journey to the bridge where hallucinations empowered him in ‘What Comes After’. He whispers to the Michonne mirage, “I’ve found you”. This poignant callback floods us with the emotions felt between these soulmates who complete eachothers thoughts.


The moment is monumental when Nat arrives to see a gleaming Michonne snuggled with one of the soldiers they’d just tried to kill. Unfortunately, the bomb blast had left one officer alive, and he suddenly shoots Nat. Another tearful scene plays out between the friends as Michonne holds him while he starts to slip away. Rick proving his declaration of “I’m not with them” true killing his fellow trooper with Michonne’s discarded katana, without a request.


Even with his last moments, Nat wants to confirm that his friend Michonne has in fact found her long lost husband. ‘Believe a little bit longer’ and ‘Know when to go’ become solidified as oaths for the series.


With not much time left, Rick must convince Michonne that she must mask herself from the approaching CRM. He needs her to pretend to be a B instead of the A we all know her to be. Her safety is most important to him as he takes items that can link her to him. A minute understanding when she mentions a phone and his boots tells Rick that his wife wasn’t out here by coincidence, that she was searching for him and had indeed found his breadcrumbs.


With a raised gun to her back, he tells her he will find a way for them to escape and that he loves her. Michonne triumphantly smiles even with the winds of helicopters whipping at her raised cheeks. Her wedding ring flipping defiantly in the air signifying her wherewithal to weather any storm. At long last, she’s found the father of her children, her husband Rick Grimes.

 

Is that the end? No!:

Dana Bethune becomes Michonne’s alias to infiltrate the CRP. A derivative of Aiden’s existence being used for a lone survivor story, in search of a place she can lay her weary head. A setting she can become a part of even if she can’t leave. Michonne’s faith of escape emboldened by Rick’s promise. A fact she plays up when glancing in a two-way mirror pretending to be in awe of her own reflection.


Consignee duty is doled out and she wanders around to get her bearings until she’s snatched up by an officer. Michonne instantly knows who it is and acquiesces to a warehouse. A ravenous Rick can barely wait for them to check out the place before he swoops in for a breath-stealing kiss born of years of longing combined with worry about her orientation into the other realms of the hidden city.


Continued kisses occur with bits of important conversations amid the hungry lip locks. A missing hand is a non-issue but questions of Judith’s wellbeing nearly prompt Michonne to confess about their other child, RJ. Deciding against it for perhaps an unrushed moment to divulge almost eight years worth of details regarding their son. The moment shouldn’t be rushed but Rick’s confession of losing his hand on one of the last times he attempted escape bring about disbelief.


Michonne doesn’t recognize this new battered Rick. His wariness counters all she’s known of him. It’s off-putting but she has yet to grasp the monumental hardships encountered within the CRP, let alone the CRM. She only knew of them from their attack on her group when they got too close to Philadelphia and what she now discerns were the murders of people at Bridgers Terminal. She immediately shifts to the warrior we know and love.


“Could we stop them?”

“Could we try?”


Rick’s response of “No”, tells the tale along with his hesitancy. He’s changed and attempts to explain he will find a new way out for them but she must be patient. Pretending they don’t know one another is the only way he can keep her safe. But Michonne is unconvinced and wanders the grounds to see how extensive their foes are. Meanwhile, Rick returns to his apartment to see an unwanted visitor has entered, making themself comfortable.


Old New “Friends”:

A returned menace to the Grimes family enters Jadis. A warrant officer for the CRM who takes pleasure in seeking out corruption, ineptitude and betrayal in the community. It’s been some time since she’s laid eyes on Rick and she cant help but share her appreciation even though its always been rebuked. These untoward come-ons add an additional layer of creepiness. But her unwanted presence delivers a message she hadn’t offered even when Rick attempted to escape numerous times before.


Behind the double-paned glass, Jadis sat during Dana’s interrogation. Worry and fear strike Rick even deeper when his kidnapper states “… she found you. If anyone could, she could.” He must scramble to find a new way out of this situation when Jadis threatens Alexandria. But we are left with another fade to black after the too-close-for-comfort threat of “Rick, what the fuck are doing?” is uttered.


Conclusion:

The CRM is an enormous entity that is shown carrying out targeted attacks on innocent people, just for unknowingly wandering too close to their city. Committing genocide to secure their place as ‘the last light of the world’. Michonne quickly realizes how much they have taken from Rick to keep him hostage, and how much she has lost as a result of their brutality.


We witnessed Michonne’s harrowing journey to find Rick, and while we are delighted to see she has found him, it is clear to the audience that her husband has changed dramatically from the man on the Bridge. While their love for each other is unquestionable- can they work together to get home? Or will outside influences and inner demons hold them back?


Our spoiler free review of Ep3 ‘Bye’ is coming soon & you don’t want to miss out. Please like, rate and subscribe to Noir and Nerdy for upcoming coverage of The Ones Who Live and more shows to come.

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Very informative and a delight.

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