Following the release of The Walking Dead: Dead City and The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, AMC is gearing up for their biggest spinoff yet, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. The series will see the return of the original series lead Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln), who fans have desperately been waiting to return. The series will also see the return of Michonne (played by Danai Gurira), who we last saw embarking on a mission to locate Rick after she discovered he is still potentially alive.
This exciting new series will debut on February 25th on both AMC and AMC +. Below, I’ll dive into the trailer a bit (which you can find on AMC+’s site here), and other official releases, looking for clues of what we may expect to see, and some of the history behind the series.
What’s in the past of The Ones Who Live
As mentioned, The Ones Who Live has been long in the making. Series lead Andrew Lincoln exited The Walking Dead back in 2019 after 9 seasons on the show. His departure saw him being carried away in a mysterious helicopter to an unknown location, while the rest of our main cast, including Michonne, presumed he had died in a massive bridge explosion. The show carried on for 3 more seasons after the departure of Lincoln and saw characters like Daryl Dixon, Michonne, and Carol step into leading roles in the show.
On the night that Rick’s final episode aired in 2018, Chief Content Officer and former The Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple appeared on the talk show Talking Dead that was hosted by Chris Hardwick. While appearing on the show, Gimple announced that, while Rick would not be back in the main series, he would go on to lead a new trilogy of The Walking Dead films. The films were slated to follow where exactly Rick Grimes had been taken to.
After that day, years went by before we got any new concrete information on these films. During The Walking Dead’s final SDCC panel in 2022, Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira stepped on stage to announce the trilogy of films would now be released in a six episode TV series format.
Where did Rick Grimes go?
Any TWD fan would agree how remarkable and unbelievable it is that Rick Grimes’ six year absence from The Walking Dead universe finally ends this month. Dedicated and loyal fans have waited for this for quite some time. Many fans have spent years making theory videos and fan fictions about where Rick Grimes disappeared to.
Rick was originally lifted off by a helicopter sporting three interconnected rings. That symbol sparked curiosity about the group that had captured Grimes. Through The Walking Dead: World Beyond, we learned this place is actually called the CRM, or the Civic Republic Military.
The trailer for The Ones Who Live gives us some brief looks at Rick Grimes presumably trapped at the CRM with a few voiceover lines about his crusade to return home to his family. Beyond that, the show’s plot has been heavily kept under wraps.
I expect the plot for Rick to be fairly straightforward, though. We know Rick as a character who has an immense loyalty to his family and friends. For him to be away from his family for so long, it’s fair to assume he is stuck at the CRM. It’s also fair to assume that the show could possibly show us what he has endured during the near decade he’s been missing. With such a long stretch of time, TWD writers essentially had a clean slate to write a fresh and hopefully compelling story of where Rick Grimes has been.
Will Michonne finally find Rick alive?
The last we saw of Michonne was in season ten of The Walking Dead after she discovered Rick may still be alive. After her departure, we never saw or heard from her again for the remainder of the original TWD series, apart from some brief mentions by Judith Grimes.
We know that after Rick disappeared, Michonne and Daryl Dixon spent years searching for him. Daryl’s final scene in the Walking Dead’s series finale saw him also departing the group to search for Rick once again. The show makes an emphasis on just how important and crucial to the group Rick Grimes is.
It’s expected that the show will follow Michonne’s search for Rick, the trailers have given us a few glimpses of what to expect from that. So far, we’ve seen Michonne presumably find another group of people that she travels with while searching for Rick. In the trailer, she briefly mentions how she’s lost someone and how she’s looking for him.
We primarily see her with newcomer Matthew Jeffers’ character Nat in the trailers. It’s expected that he may become a companion with Michonne on her quest to find Rick. Beyond that, the trailer gives us very limited shots of both Rick and Michonne. The trailer folks have done an impressive job of hiding the overall plot and narrative of the show.
Fans can’t wait to see Rick and Michonne’s stories continue in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live
Overall, tons of old and new The Walking Dead fans will tune in for the return of Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes. He’s an incredibly beloved character in the universe, and once was the lead on a show that was garnering some of the highest viewer counts in television. His return should see some old fans who gave up on the show potentially return to the fandom.
Fans will also be delighted to see the return of Danai Gurira as Michonne. Many of our readers will recognize her as Okoye in the Black Panther films. Michonne was one of the longest standing characters on The Walking Dead as well, and her relationship with Rick became a fan-favorite throughout the years. The TWD fandom has a lot to be excited about, as the future of the TWD universe appears to be back on the rise.
The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live premieres on February 25th on AMC and AMC +. Be on the lookout for my review of it on The Cosmic Circus in February (Edit: read Drew’s review of The Ones Who Live here). Are you planning to watch this series? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord!