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Dana, You’re in Danger, Girl Spoiler-filled Postmortem on Episode Three: Bye by Joi, Khalilah & Kera


 

With a tumultuous episode that left our jaws no doubt sweeping the floor, we are tempted to jump right to discussing the shocking and unanticipated ending. A cliffhanger that makes the first two look tame by comparison. Just when we thought The Ones Who Live couldn’t get more intense, they wallop us with suspense, action, angst, and despair. But we are bolstered with bouts of romance, hope, and understanding as well.

 

This episode three postmortem will navigate the shift from a possible ally to a firm enemy with Pearl’s actions. The struggles of camouflaging while beneath the surface you’re bubbling over. Elation, wonder, rage, and adrenaline seemingly push Michonne past her limits. And Rick and Michonne Grimes are in the CRM until they are not.

 


We open up with a flashback of a frustrated Consignee Grimes at a marketplace in the CRP. It’s his furlough day and he stomps along undeniably plotting an upcoming escape attempt. The safety of his location does not matter because it’s not where he wants to be.


An elated Jadis calls out to Rick happy to see him even knowing the confinement she’s trapped him in. She admits to being a regular there for weeks, awaiting his orientation arrival. Ignoring Rick’s irritation she reveals her long-standing deal with the CRM when she was the leader of the Scavengers. Furnishing them with anyone deemed interesting or a threat in exchange for supplies.


Delusions have spun in her mind that Rick should overlook his imprisonment and only be appreciative of receiving lifesaving medical care. The CRP presents substantial comforts she plans on securing for them once she joins the CRM and moves up the ranks. She even reveals that she’s being asked how to question Rick and seemingly wants his help in answering the inquiry. Disgusted by her assumptions of companionship, Rick rebuffs her and makes his intentions crystal clear, he WILL get home.



After, we flash forward to the intimidation we left off with in episode two. Jadis warns Rick against attempts to leave with Michonne or everyone back home dies. She’s impressed that Rick was convincing enough to get Thorne, a fellow CRP believer to vouch for Michonne aka Dana.


Rick pleads, distraught not only for his wife and family but that his ascending hope is being dashed away. In all his prior attempts, she never bothered resorting to threatening him this way- Jadis admits she knew Rick couldn’t escape alone but with Michonne they would succeed and that would spell disaster for her involvement in The Last Light of the World.



While Michonne went through designation intake becoming Dana Bethune to infiltrate, Rick returned to base. The events of the crash and subsequent reunion with his wife had rattled him. Michonne’s safety is his priority and he needs Thorne to pull it off. Untrusting of Pearl after her previous thwarting of his hopes of returning to his love, in the same manner she had. He uses the guise of Okafor’s mission persuasively on apprehensive Pearl. Her distress from the loss of Donald and the fate she assumed befell Grimes push her to agree. She will reluctantly vouch for this woman Dana to not be sent away.



We see Michonne on consignment duty, trying her best to blend in as Dana, but not exactly succeeding at it. Her strength is uncontainable and her partner Cleo Clifton notices immediately - despite Michonne trying to convince her otherwise. When it comes to dispatching walkers and protecting others, Michonne will show up every time ready to rock.


Unfortunately, Dana and her abilities have also caught the attention of Major General Beale. This news panics both Pearl and Rick but for very different reasons. While Rick’s concern is solely for Michonne’s safety, Pearl is worried about nobody but her standing. With neither the strength nor resolve of Donald Okafor she buckles to the pressure of taking a stand and continuing his mission. Pearl’s panic drastically increases Rick’s fear as she becomes increasingly manic.



Okafor's demise has sent a shockwave of fear and a bit of insecurity among the ranks. Major General Beale seizes the opportunity, wielding it to further inflame the army. In a surprising move, Beale regards Rick favorably but promotes Pearl to a level above what Okafor held.



Even with this promotion Pearl comes to Rick in a spiral. With Okafor gone, she’s less sure of herself and her leadership abilities. Asserting oneself after advancement is normal, but her request for a salute displays her despotic mindset. This revision leads her straight into a conversation about Dana that puts Rick on edge. It becomes evident that a shift has occurred in him since his rescuer arrived. This is solidified for viewers when we see Rick lock his door when Pearl leaves. Unlike previously when she could just walk right in, Rick is putting distance between them.

 


Parting Gift:

An unfathomable choice has to be made. Fear and knowledge merge pushing Rick to betray the woman he loves and trusts. His earlier promise was regretfully amended to protect her, their daughter, and communities back home. With his hands tied, he plots, requiring someone on the inside with enough power to pull it off. Jadis’ reclamation team oversight enables the ruse knowing she can sweep evidence away. Her desire to keep Rick there outweighs what she and he should assume, that Michonne wouldn’t be cast off so easily.



When relaying to Jadis that he’d tricked Michonne into departing, we again get a glimpse of past damage done to the man. Remnants of forlorn relationships reemerge making him believe his current wife would leave without him. An ache no doubt nagged at Rick’s heart writing a new farewell letter. Unlike his past writings since torched, Michonne would indeed read this one summarily breaking her already wounded heart.


I know that’s Not Who I Think it is:

Disbelief that she was deceived by the man she held out hope for after years of no signs, Michonne is left with a consolation prize in the form of her katana. The previous weary and complacent looks in Rick’s eyes partially explain this duplicity. Michonne had witnessed this type of consternation in her husband before. Risking her or their children’s safety backed him into compliance. Yet it never turned her away from him. Rather fortified the necessity to empower him with her confident presence. Michonne would continue this but dejected fury was in control.


Retracing her steps through countless walkers set free by the subways turnstile, she unknowing to Rick, returns to the CRP. At culling duty, her anger bubbles over causing her like her husband before to unleash on non-kills. Forgetting pretense, Michonne displays her skills to Pearl and a stunned Rick. Strife present in the couples glares at one another as she continues to put down the dead far surpassing his record of 68.


After another attempt to alleviate Thorne, Rick stomps after his wife. Ready to discipline her defiance, he’s instead rocked when his helmet is yoked off. Witnessing the heartbreak in Michonne’s eyes is conflicting. Yet he pushes on repeating an unscrupulous statement from his letter but Michonne’s silence and glare are deafening. “What if he’s trying to come home too, but no one will help?”. Judith’s guess is confirmed by her father, “I asked for help, I didn’t get it.” But Rick, Michonne is here now. With all of his yelling and declarations, it’s Rick left standing there confused and despondent.


Welcome to Command Force:

Rick tries to hide his raging frustrations focusing on assuaging Thorne’s worries. Dana is not someone hiding behind numbers, this much is clear. But Rick tries to convince Pearl that it makes his rescuer all the more useful for Okafor’s mission and that he can get the Consignee in line.



A trip to Lincoln Financial Field to recruit Consignee Bethune occurs. Thorne assumes the assessor role providing the spiel to Dana while Rick covertly delivers direction. Michonne even though aggrieved follows his directives. But her strength unnerves Thorne into preparing for a sneak attack. Rick’s weapon is unholstered seeing Pearl's hand at her knife. There's no question he will put his comrade down if she attempts to harm his wife. Luckily, for Pearl, Michonne is convincing but storms off letting Rick know she’s still furious with him.

 


A balancing act has Rick tittering on edge when a new mission sends the squad to Wyoming. New CRM member Bethune is in tow likely so Rick can keep an eye on her. His tense conversation with Pearl concerns him but there’s a task ahead of them. Clearing walkers headed to the Summit location he and Thorne built over the last year.



On the other hand, Michonne is taken aback by displays of her husband reprogrammed. He was a sheriff's deputy but seeing him subservient irritates her all the more. Yet something is underlying in his behavior. Her prior trip to the marketplace spurred her to continue ‘looking for him’ and to believe a little bit longer. The merchant's tales of eventual connection where Rick revealed details about his lost family he knew he’d see again restored her faith. Her and Judy’s pictures kept him stable and hopeful. But attempts to have another etching never came to fruition… Carl’s.


At the same time, intimidation leads Thorne to assertions of dominance. She means to deliver the bomb meant to destroy incoming delts. But when she can’t budge the R-DIM, she abandons the device leaving an opening. Michonne still vexed hoists the apparatus racing to get it in place. A moment we have all been waiting for arises with triumphant music. Rick joins her for a throwback to how in sync they truly are. The couple places it before Rick sets the timer, holding his wife’s hand as they retreat.



Shielding her behind a doubled-stumped tree, the tension mounts and they can’t control themselves. Passion ignited by action and overwhelming desire has them commence in a lustful kiss. A doe-eyed Michonne pleads with her husband for their departure. Rick too is softened but fear still racks him and he gently dissuades her. Once again promising to get them out, the couple returns to battle the dead together.


Ever the force to be reckoned with, The Grimes hold their own. Michonne’s use of a killstick establishes her overt aptitude, catching the eye of Thorne. The Commander is boiling with envy seeing the Consignee defying her order to stand down and it pushes her past the edge. Raising her weapon to put Dana in her sights, Rick thankfully notices. His fears materialized only granting him seconds to intervene. Racing to grab a walker with his metal hand just in time he saves his unaware wife’s life. Seething when the bullet ricochets off his hand, Thorne was shooting to kill.

 


Rick is hoping to alleviate the current threat by taking Michonne back to the Harvest Point. Thorne reluctantly agrees and as the helicopter is loaded up for departure a second renewed peril appears. Jadis announces her stationing with another attempt to come onto Rick which he of course rebuffs. His last insult regarding her dreadful hairstyle proves her humiliation preference. But her knowledge of his wife’s continued presence is what’s most feared by Rick especially once she alerts Michonne.



Countering their conversation behind a vaguely shielding tree husk, Rick believes he must enact the most severe remarks to ward Michonne off. Protecting her life is of foremost importance and with rapidly surmounting threats he feels forced to accomplish it by any means necessary. Our hearts are ripped from our chests with his brutal statement spoken with a harshness he’s never dared or ever wanted to use with his wife.



We’ve witnessed Rick Grimes spiral out of control at various moments. His tether to maintaining his mental health is precarious when under extreme strain. Doubt would overwhelm him until something or someone would pull him back from the brink. But this time his damaging words had taken Michonne past the fringe.



Her steely stare has unequivocally and rightfully scared her husband. His fitful movements are overreaching ones necessary for the stormy flight. Michonne sat still through turbulence throwing daggers at him much more intensely than she had when he’d awoken in an Alexandrian basement. His outrageous behavior prompted her to knock some sense into him. As Rick fidgeted, worry as to what she’d do this time had to boggle his mind. If she knocked him unconscious again, how would he get her out of a new danger once he awoke? Would it be too late by then?


All of which is troubling but the largest concern for us, is the state of Michonne’s heart. The strength she possesses may have some glossing over her agonizing emotions. Her soul potentially fractured by what could be insurmountable damage. Rick’s words cutting deep to expose buried wounds from a lover who had given up on her and their child. Time she spent away from her children heartrending enough but finding their father in an unrecognizable state further crushes her. What Rick believes is justified to save her life, chips away at Michonne’s spirit.


All out of options and having been thwarted at every turn, Michonne loses her grip. Rick is antsy figuring she will take a literal shot in the dark. A swift glance out the window grants an opportunity he nor us see coming. Quickly unfastening her seatbelts, opening the door, grabbing Rick, and chucking them both out of the helicopter mid-flight. With an internal apology to her beloved progeny Judith…mom and dad may not be home after all.



Our spoiler-free review of the much anticipated Ep4 ‘What We’ is coming soon and this is one you do not want to miss! Prepare for a glimpse into the heart and soul of Richonne as they walk us into a new era of love and hope.


Please like, rate, and subscribe to Noir and Nerdy for upcoming coverage of The Ones Who Live and more shows to come such as AMC’s Parish and Interview with the Vampire.

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