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Rick Grimes Returns with a Bang and so does Michonne by Joi and Kera

Updated: Feb 28

 In a gripping comeback, "The Ones Who Live" delivers a potent dose of Rick Grimes' agony, determination taking us on a rollercoaster of emotions. As we delve into the postmortem of Episode One, the spotlight will undoubtedly be on Rick, but we will take a look at stoic Okafer, enigmatic Thorne, and the unexpected twists that kept us on the edge of our seats.


"The Ones Who Live" plays out like a mini-movie, featuring breathtaking cinematography and vivid imagery of a rundown Philadelphia. The visuals enhance the storytelling, creating a gritty and immersive experience for the audience. There is a moment when Rick watches helicopters fly away, take a look at the surroundings. It’s simple and breathtaking all at the same time. The lighting is crisp and clear with a very realistic hue to it that made the episode even more enjoyable. Over all it’s clear the budget was high for this show, and in our opinions, it was money well spent.


The episode masterfully places Rick's agony and desperation at the forefront. A man that has always been galvanized by devotion to his family. Once again when he sees no way out, harkening back to him being trapped in a tank surrounded by the dead, he contemplates suicide to resolve the inner turmoil. An even more gut-wrenching scene now that Rick Grimes has embedded his way into our hearts and minds.


After the opening credits, an ominous yet determined sense looms while we watch a tethered Rick take off into an ignited delt filled wilderness. The messaging from the PA system spewed propaganda about thankfulness for volunteering to the reluctant consignees hoping for survival and citizenship in the CR. But Rick stubbornly scoffs at this message, his own plan in the works. This has not gone unnoticed by the CRM, both for better and worse. But his next move, while heart wrenching, only proves how truly committed Rick is to getting back to his wife, Michonne and the only child he knows remains, Judith.


A hesitant lift of his arm and whispered words ‘This is how’ showcase how desperate his means would be. A powerful single chop from his hot axe above the handcuff and his left hand has been dispatched. Left behind as he attempts to flee but the tourniquet slips off and he’s bleeding out. Walkers are still afoot as well as soldiers, his only hopes are to cauterize the wound. An ignited walker carcass, his only hope and with hesitancy he sticks it in. Despite the CRM's attempts to control him, Rick remains a force to be reckoned with, showcasing the resilience that fans have come to love.


The moments when Rick drifts into his dreamland with the ever-gorgeous Michonne we are provided with more sweet, endearing, and sexy insights into their relationship. These dream sequences reveal Rick's instant attraction to Michonne in any circumstance. The charged eye contact through the fence heightened with this fresh perspective on how he sees her. How Rick has always seen Michonne. Remember we saw a flash of pre-fall Michonne but Rick had not. Every glance and stare shared between them before they commenced their relationship is made more intense with this knowledge.

Providing Rick with a focus to remain alive has his mind working up a storm. But it also serves to remind us of the layer of emotional depth in the show’s narrative. One could take these fantasies as the ways Rick wishes he could have fallen in love with Michonne had life been normal. Desires to have gotten the chance to quickly proclaim his love. To nervously await her answer with promised gifts of cheesy pizza and wedding rings.


Blurring opposite ends for greyscales is how an assumed villain is developed into a sympathetic character. Donald Okafer is potentially to be both an asset and a threat when it comes to the challenges Rick and even Michonne will face. Leading an elite division of the CRM that carries out covert and nefarious acts from orders of Major General Beale. Donald knows that Rick is clearly not the B he was described as on entry. But he vouches for him, keen for his skills in an undercover plan to infiltrate the higher echelons of power and usurp.

In this pursuit, he recruits Grimes and Thorne briefing them on his plans. Dastardly methods have finally gotten too heinous for him. Believing in the greater good has taken him far because what won’t you do when you’ve murdered your own wife for the cause. Yet, we observe his affection for Rick’s wherewithal and grants him an opportunity to redirect to his aims. Anticipation of how his influence may seem to be halted when his death abruptly occurs in the helicopter next to pilot Rick but his impact just may resonate a while longer.


While Okafor may want us to root for Pearl as the mirror image of Rick, her drive is too easily swayed by the CRM’s agenda. She’s undoubtedly a badass from her days in the South African Naval Force~ and the cadet training montage, but Thorne is shown to have already given up on her pursuits of return to her long lost love. Drinking to dull the pain after she purposely missed her shot at killing Donald relays how she’s given in before the military has even discovered her floating in the Atlantic.

It leaves viewers to question her authenticity and motives. On one hand, she’s throwing glasses and threatening to kill Rick. While on the other, she notices that he goes all in while playing poker, a game she’s told him she’s an expert at. Realizing he has plans to make another escape she saves him and perhaps his family back home by revealing that Okafer knows about him. Her passions have been redirected after witnessing the destruction of Omaha. She’s fully drank the CRM Kool-aid and is determined to convince Rick to do so too. Maybe if she can convince him to give in, then her decision to do so will be validated. 


Unsurprisingly, Rick’s maintained his drive to return home to his wife and daughter. After the unknowing advice from a friend named Esteban, Grimes joins the CRM. His new mission was to persuade them that he was all in while searching for new means of escape. The loss of his hand hadn’t hindered him in the long run. His resilience overcoming obstacles most would’ve long faltered at. But alas this early setback sets the tone for the challenges Rick will face in the episode. With another failed attempt, he now knows if he gets out his wife, daughter and old community will be in mortal danger. His fervored declaration and yet another call for death takes him to the aforementioned attempt at his life.

A shard of glass found after Thornes chucks it at the wall of his apartment takes him to the tear spilling scene. But Rick doesn’t want his life to end this way, It’s got to mean something. He resolves to a new revised state of death. To remain alive but hollow out his hopes. Even though he pushes his love away, it still rests on the back burner. Nightmares of his father’s painful sacrifice and ultimate deceptive choice nag at him. Perceived in the way he needs it, Rick can endeavor to push forward with the aching course his life is on now.  


The studio wanted Richonne’s reunion to be held until episode four or five and thankfully Danai, Andy and Scotty G disregarded that message. In a move, unprecedented a defeated Rick and relentless Michonne find one another at the end of episode one. Pilot Rick crash lands and unfortunately activates his PRB tracking device before climbing out of the helicopter. His tactical retreat with other soldiers is thwarted by continued explosions that down his copter. Blown away from his weapon, he feverishly crawls away from the stranger that follows.

Our hearts skip when feet enter the frame jogging over to the felled men. A visible sword sends our hearts to pounding with recognition. The flipping off of the men’s helmets as they are slain is our only hope for our heroes. With his back turned, Rick clambers for his gun that’s swiftly kicked from his hand. A loud clang of metal connecting reminds that it could’ve been his arm from being sliced off. But with a hearty kick to the face Rick is incapacitated. With his eyes closed as he accepts his fate, the katana is brough to his exposed neck. His helmet is removed for a reason we are yet to understand.


In the instant that his throat should’ve been cut there’s a pause prompting his lids to open. Their disbelieving eyes connect. Blue to brown. An unlikely reunification happening when they are both in a raw moment of survival. Rick and Michonne Grimes have found one another. An astonishing curveball leaves viewers hanging on the edge when the screen fades to black. We are left to ponder what their responses will be to one another. What will they do now with the CRM arriving at any moment. And most of all what was Michonne’s journey that brought her to discover her husband when she was clearly on the attack. The cliffhanger is both intriguing and exciting, setting the stage for the next installment and leaving fans eager for more.


Andrew Lincoln's return to the role of Rick Grimes is seamless, with the actor not missing a beat in portraying the beloved character. American Southern accent spawning after years of respite to voice the gritty and impassioned tones that reverberate in our souls. The charisma and intensity he brings to the screen contribute significantly to the pilot episode's success. An award-winning performance reminds that his presence was the driving force behind the success of The Walking Dead Universe. We welcome Mr. Lincoln back with open arms awaiting what else he has in store for the six episode series.


"The Ones Who Live" successfully brings Rick Grimes and a tease of Michonne Grimes back into the spotlight. Offering a thrilling mix of emotions, character dynamics, and unexpected twists. With strong performances, captivating cinematography, and a well-crafted narrative, this episode sets a promising tone for the future of the series. As we await the next chapter, the journey of Rick and Michonne Grimes in the post-apocalyptic world continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

Check out our Spoiler free description of Ep2 coming soon!!!

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