The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live comes To A Satisfying Conclusion In “The Last Time”


There hasn’t been any indication that The Ones Who Live is getting a second season, and after this satisfying finale, I don’t think it should.

And just like that, we have reached the end of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. After years of waiting for this story, tonight’s episode was the epic conclusion to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) journey.

There hasn’t been any indication that this series is getting a second season, and in my opinion, it shouldn’t. I feel the showrunners, writers, and producers brought this story to a satisfying conclusion, and while there were some bumps along the road, we got what we were asking for.

I am pretty satisfied with how all the loose ends were tied up, and I would be content knowing that this is all we are going to get when it comes to Rick and Michonne. Of course, AMC may have other plans, but for now, it looks like they too feel that this arc has been given all it can get.

With that thought in mind, let’s dive into the major moments of the Season 1 finale of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. BEWARE MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!

The return to Cascadia

We last saw Rick and Michonne after Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) took her final breaths and revealed the location of a dossier the CRM was keeping on Rick and Michonne. With that dossier destroyed, Rick and Michonne could essentially go back home to their children and live happily ever after.

It sounds simple and easy now that the plan is clear, but this means they need to return to heart of the CRM and destroy the dossier without getting caught. Easy enough, right? Not at all.

The start of the episode plays out in an interesting way, as we get glimpses of Rick and Michonne’s journey. It was a very visual and visceral way of showing they’ve been through so much, and it’s their reliance on one another that they will see them through what comes next. There is a bond there that will never waver. I liked that the episode took a beat to just be with them and their insane amounts of lovemaking before they unleashed hell on the CRM.

With nights of love-making and planning behind them, Rick and Michonne execute their plan. They take Jadis’ helicopter and land back on Cascadia’s base. They both have very clear-cut roles to play in in this mission: Rick would get the Echelon Briefing from General Beale (Terry O’Quinn) and Michonne will find the dossier and destroy it.

Once they complete their tasks, they will escape and tell the Civic Republic Council the atrocities that the CRM is committing and then go back to their kids. Happily ever after…they hope.

The mission begins…

Rick has a sit-down with General Beale, and from the get-go, the whole thing feels ominous. What Beale has to say in the briefing is shocking and disturbing. It’s clear he knows that and seems to be gauging Rick’s response to all of it.

The best thing about this scene is that for all the fans who stuck by The Walking Dead all this time, it is a moment of redemption and excitement. Everything that has been sprinkled around in the various shows and teased comes to fruition in Beale’s briefing to Rick. Remember all the things we learned in World Beyond? Well, we finally learn what the heck it was all for.

As Beale reveals, all those scientists studying the zombies came to one shocking conclusion: the Earth has about 14 years left. Given that our time on the planet is dwindling at a fast pace, the CRM took it upon themselves to do something about it, according to Beale. They decided that they would destroy all other communities and make theirs the only one. As Andrew Lincoln in the post-episode talk, it was more like “artificial selection” than “natural selection.”

According to Beale, Portland was the CRM’s next target, which would then be followed by Philadelphia being put under martial law. Once that took place, they would go across the nation and destroy all other communities based on intel from spies.

There was a moment where I thought Rick might be convinced to join the cause. But absolutely not! Not at the price of killing so many innocent people, most of which are children. Luckily, the fleeting moment of Rick potentially joining the CRM passes and we shift into Rick turning on bada** mode. He glares at Beale and says “NO!” Their scuffle eventually ends with Rick taking a needle sword and shoving it through Beale’s hand and all the way into his chest.

This probably wasn’t part of the exit plan, but this is where Rick is at. Unfortunately for him, he runs into a CRM officer whose head he has to bash before continuing on.

Meanwhile, Michonne heads to Jadis’ room and finds a bunch of artwork that Jadis had worked on over the years. Some of the paintings include pictures of Father Gabriel and General Beale. Michonne also finds the dossier that has everything to know about her, Rick, and Alexandria on it.


Mission accomplished, right? Not exactly.

Michonne is essentially caught when a messenger comes by to push an envelope under the door and hits Michonne’s foot. The officer enters and faces Michonne’s wrath. Following that, Michonne sneaks her way into a CRM meeting about the Portland attack. The plan is to abduct the children there first, which is frightening in and of itself. The soldiers are told to coax the children using stuffed animals and love while the world around them is bombed and torn to shreds. It is very jarring and alarming to see this. Had it not been for Michonne, Rick might have been involved in this.

What’s the plan?

Rick and Michonne eventually come back together with more updates than they had imagined having for one another. They have both accidentally had to kill some folks along the way, but now that they are here, Michonne shares they can’t just leave knowing what is about to happen to Portland, and what the CRM is planning for the long-term.

Things move pretty fast from here on out. Thanks to spending time with Nat, Michonne knows how to blow this joint up and fast. She quickly hashes out a plan to rig the tent that has all of the mustard gas in it with grenades. They will use the two zombies they’ve collected (Beale and the CRM guy from Rick’s encounter) as decoys to blow up the place and then make their narrow escape.

However, during this time, Thorne (Lesley-Ann Brandt) figures out Michonne’s true identity. She puts together all the clues that were there and realizes that Rick kept trying to leave for her.

Just as Rick and Michonne leave the rigged tent, they run into a very angry Thorne who feels betrayed and furious. But there isn’t really a moment to engage as the bombs are about to blow. Michonne throws a wet garment over her and Rick (she knows what she is doing!) as the bombs go off.

Following the explosion, things get even more chaotic. Rick has to face a horde of walkers while Michonne is fighting off Thorne and eventually kills her. In those wild moments, there’s more bombs, Rick almost gets eaten by walkers, and it all leads to Rick and Michonne making their escape.

Ending of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live Season 1 finale explained
Alls well that ends well, we suppose.

With Rick and Michonne successfully completing their mission, we hear a voiceover that explains everything that went down. They were able to tell the Civic Republic Council what the CRM was up to, and they made sure all that power taken away in order to prevent world domination.

It is all hunky dory, and while Beale’s reveal that the Earth is dying may or may not be true, this series gave us what we were all hoping for from the beginning: a reunion of this family.

Rick and Michonne are dropped off back at home, in new outfits and looking swag, as they reunite with Judith and RJ (well, Rick meets RJ for the first time). It is such a beautiful and bittersweet moment for the characters and the fans because a lot has happened. The amount of time that passed in the show matches the time we waited in real life. It’s such a full-circle moment, and satisfying beyond belief. I was so very happy to see them back together, especially as the camera pulled away to show the entire family hugging and holding each other.

I truly hope that is the end of Rick and Michonne’s story, and that we do not get another season. I don’t want anything else, this was perfect, and I don’t want there to be any other image but of the family hugging and reunited.

Let’s hope that this is what AMC has decided to do. l’d like to think that they are now off living their best lives with the comfort of knowing the CRM (hopefully) is no longer a threat. But then again, who knows what the studio has in their minds…

Thanks for watching The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live with us all season! Head to AMC+ to stream the entire season, and relive some of the epic moments.

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