Why That Character Returned In The Walking Dead Series Finale

Warning: spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead’s series finale.

Following rampant speculation, AMC’s The Walking Dead The series finale features two giant cameo character returns, with Rick Grimes and Michonne both appearing in the episode’s closing moments. Having portrayed Rick Grimes since 2010, Andrew Lincoln departed The Walking Dead in season 9, believed deceased by friends and family after sacrificing himself to blow up an approaching zombie herd. In The Walking Dead season 10, Danai Gurira made her own exit after Michonne discovered clues pertaining to Rick’s survival and left to locate him. Although both are already confirmed for a Walking Dead spinoff series, question marks hung over their potential presence in The Walking Dead‘s final episode.


After the Commonwealth battle concludes and a year-long time jump reveals the Commonwealth, Alexandria and Hilltop are thriving, Rick Grimes and Michonne finally make their The Walking Dead returns. Lincoln and Gurira feature separately, with their characters each writing letters they can only hope will one day be read. Although Rick and Michonne’s The Walking Dead series finale appearances are fleeting, neither is gratuitous, and Rick’s cameo in particular will have an undeniably profound impact upon The Walking Dead‘s future.

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Why Rick Grimes Returns In The Walking Dead Series Finale

The overarching purpose behind Rick returning to The Walking Dead is setting up his upcoming spinoff with Michonne. Immediately after Andrew Lincoln departed The Walking Dead, AMC announced a Rick Grimes movie trilogy. The project ultimately transformed into a Rick & Michonne TV show spinoff instead. Rick’s The Walking Dead The finale cameo successfully maps out Lincoln’s future in the franchise alongside Danai Gurira’s Michonne. The spinoff has been touted as a post-apocalyptic love story, and seeing the lost lovebirds writing letters to loved ones despite knowing they will likely never be received teases their quest to reunite in the Rick Grimes and Michonne spinoff.

One might argue that avoiding the Rick Grimes issue completely in its series finale was all but impossible for The Walking Dead. Rick’s next chapter may be earmarked for an upcoming spinoff, but the helicopter taking him away in season 9, followed by the clues Michonne stumbled across in season 10, demanded at least some degree of resolution via the main series. Not addressing Rick and Michonne whatever would have left The Walking Dead‘s series finale disappointingly incomplete.

What Happened To Rick Grimes In The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead's CRM group

Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes scene in The Walking Dead‘s final episode is actually a flashback. Rick is seen stashing the etched iPhone from The Walking Dead season 10 into a bag and throwing it onto a boat, which is then discovered by Michonne in her final episode. Rick’s The Walking Dead Return scene must take place before then. Indeed, years may have passed since he tossed that bag into the abandoned boat and hoped it reached the right hands.

The Walking Dead affords viewers a fairly clear idea of ​​Rick’s present situation. Following his helicopter exit in The Walking Dead season 9, Rick was taken to the Civic Republic where his life was clearly saved. Just as clearly, Rick and the CRM, the Civic Republic Military, had some kind of disagreement, perhaps because the villainous regime refused to let him leave. Since then, Rick has effectively become the CRM’s prisoner, desperately trying to escape whenever the opportunity presents itself. That Rick wriggled free from the Civic Republic once, even just temporarily, is deeply impressive. This dramatic reveal completely addresses why Rick never returned to Alexandria.

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What Next For Rick Grimes In The Walking Dead?

The Walking Dead Rick and Michonne

Viewers can make several key inferences about The Walking Dead‘s future from Rick’s grand escape. Since the CRM is making great effort to try recapturing Rick instead of simply killing him, The Walking Dead‘s bearded hero must have some use to the Civic Republic. Indeed, Jadis suggested this was the case The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2. Additionally, the voice emanating from the helicopter has a casual air of familiarity that implies Rick has attempted escape before. the “it’s like she told you” line then alludes to the presence of a higher-up CRM villain Rick has clashed against – Jadis herself or Lieutenant Colonel Kublek, perhaps.

Another potential clue for AMC’s The Walking Dead future is the destroyed city Rick Grimes is located near when the CRM recaptures him. This destruction may have been caused by Operation Cobalt, the US government’s contingency plan of bombing infected areas early in the outbreak. As demonstrated in The Walking Dead: World Beyond, however, the CRM is no stranger to destroying communities itself, and possesses the means to do so. The city Rick finds himself looking across the water may be the CRM’s latest victim, but without knowing how long Rick’s freedom lasted or how far he traveled since escaping, no conclusions can be drawn for certain.

What Happened To Michonne In The Walking Dead

Michonne in Walking Dead Danai Gurira

As enigmatic as Rick Grimes’ The Walking Dead return may be, Michonne’s comeback leaves even more to the imagination. Clad in a set of unique leather armor with chain mail detailing, the search for Rick remains ongoing, but the survivors Michonne was traveling with in The Walking Dead season 10 during her farewell episode are nowhere to be seen. Michonne’s upcoming spinoff will likely explain how she came to be in this situation, addressing both her new armor and what became of the group she encountered.

Whatever trials her journey may have encompassed, Michonne has unquestionably become a far more formidable fighter during her The Walking Dead hiatus, as a headlong charge into a massive zombie herd duly demonstrates. Taking the hue of a mystic post-apocalypse hero on horseback, Michonne keeps faith that her missing partner will be found, while also pining for Judith and RJ back home. The Walking Dead‘s series finale does heavily imply that Michonne has not yet found any further sign of Rick’s survival, still clinging to his etched iPhone and boots.

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How Rick’s Walking Dead Return Sets Up His Spinoff Series

Walking Dead Rick Helicopter Group CRM

The storyline of the Rick Grimes and Michonne The Walking Dead Spinoff pulls into view after the series finale. As revealed during SDCC 2022, Rick and Michonne will start their new show separately. Michonne’s half of the narrative will likely begin by charting the aftermath of her exit The Walking Dead season 10, before later catching up to her scene from “Rest In Peace” and then continuing the search for Rick. Judging from his own The Walking Dead series finale scene, Rick’s spinoff narrative will take place either within the Civic Republic walls as a prisoner, or with Andrew Lincoln’s character on the run following another escape attempt.

The question driving The Walking Dead‘s Rick and Michonne spinoff will be whether the two main characters will reunite, and if so, how they challenge the CRM to achieve that. One would now imagine that the CRM are absolutely confirmed as antagonists in The Walking Dead‘s upcoming spinoff, as Major General Beale and his evil CRM are responsible for stopping Rick returning to his family in Alexandria. Another problem then arises, however.

Assuming Rick does escape, he probably wouldn’t be foolish enough to then lead the CRM back to his home. Even with the Commonwealth now under its banner, Alexandria pales in comparison against the mighty CRM, and that could mean Rick and Michonne are compelled to tackle their CRM problem permanently before they can start making homecoming plans, lest they risk the lives of friends and family. . The Walking Dead is rapidly setting the stage for a battle that makes season 11’s Commonwealth uprising look like a minor scuffle.

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