‘The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live’ Episode 3 Recap & Ending Explained: Does Michonne Escape Alone?

Now that the backstories of Rick and Michonne are done and dusted, it’s time for the duo versus CRM in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. While that is inevitable, this episode doesn’t quite get there. Instead, it raises an interesting question: does Rick Grimes really want to leave CRM? The result is an episode that is partly bland and partly thrilling. The blandness is mainly because the writing of this show is average at best, which makes CRM seem like a pansy villain compared to the likes of The Governor or Negan. Not to mention, the actions seem dated and quite dull, compared to what we saw in the mother show or even in the Daryl Dixon spinoff. The one man who is keeping things alive here is Rick Grimes, of course. If only Andrew Lincoln had something better to play with!


Spoilers Ahead

Is Jadis Blackmailing Rick?

Despite very limited screen time so far, Pollyanna McIntosh’s Jadis is certainly a key player in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. This episode actually starts with a Jadis flashback, where she meets Rick for the first time while saving him. They’re in the city, and Jadis is happy to live her civilian life, although she’s planning to enroll. Rick is mad at her for bringing him to a place where he can’t live, but Jadis doesn’t regret saving him. And unlike him, she actually believes in the CRM ways and sees them as the flagbearers of a better tomorrow.


In the present, Rick convinces Thorne to give Michonne, aka Dana, a chance, just like Okafor once gave them. Thorne is obviously skeptical, but she trusts Rick enough to do the same and takes Dana under her wing. We get back to the heated-up conversion scene between Rick and Jadis from last week, where she warns him that if he tries to escape with Michonne, they’ll be killed. Jadis also tells him about the insurance she has and a little file with all the details about Rick and Michonne’s people, which will be duly sent to CRM authority if she dies, implying Rick can’t or shouldn’t kill her. While this isn’t good news for Rick, from Jadis’ perspective, it actually makes sense. Why should her sweet little paradise of a life suffer because of Rick and Michonne anyway?

Who Replaced Okafor As The Command Sergeant Major?

We knew for a fact it had to be between two people Okafor took the shine  to, Rick and Thorne. And despite both being worthy enough, Beale goes with Thorne because he’s still unsure about Rick, and despite everything, I’m sure Rick doesn’t mind either. He does give Rick a book that he once gifted to Okafor. With Throne at the command, Rick is bound to be her right-hand, which is sort of sad for the character as she has no idea what he’s really up to. Throughout the episode, Thorne and Rick keep discussing the possibility of developing Dana as an asset—an idea that Rick puts inside her head. Thorne, another believer of the CRM way, doesn’t forget to remind Rick of the importance of “this life,”  like always. Sadly, though, she has no idea what he’s cooking or how much it’s going to cost her.


Why Does Rick Attempt To Secretly Send Michonne Away?

Easily the most important aspect of the episode, Rick considers the possibility of staying by himself at CRM and sneakily sending Michonne away. His reason for doing that is quite novel as well as pragmatic: if both of them escape, CRM will come after them and they’ll probably lose everything that matters to them, but if Michonne manages to get out and Rick covers that up with a fake “death by trying to escape” story, then no harm will be done. Add to the fact that Michonne clearly doesn’t belong in the confinements of CRM, and her being there only means the children are alone; Rick does make a lot of sense here. But the major question is still raised by none other than Jadis: Does Rick Grimes have some other reason to stay back? Jadis may or may not have been hinting at the very noticeable sexual tension between Thorne and Rick, although the show never really goes there. It would have been a risky move to make a beloved character like Rick Grimes change his color like that, and TWD is a show that doesn’t really have a reputation for being bold. 

Does Michonne Escape Alone?

Rick’s plan to send Michonne away could only work if Michonne herself was okay with it. And knowing Michonne, she would never be okay with such a cowardly idea if things were seen from her perspective! That’s why Rick tricked her into believing that they’re escaping together, so that Michonne goes to the Randevu point and finds the boat. She also finds his letter, though, explaining why she should go away and he shouldn’t, but obviously, Michonne is clearly in no mood to accept that.


So she returns, surprising Rick (although it really shouldn’t) and picking up her consignee duty. After managing to take care of a lot of almost dead deltas (that’s what walkers are called by CRM, remember?) inside the compound, she gets recruited by Thorne for an all-important mission, which is basically going out into the wild and taking care of a horde of deltas as something big in the CRM front is going to happen soon and delta clearing is a must on the to-do list. Thorne takes Rick and Michonne away in order to give Michonne a sort of pep talk or warning that was once given to her by Okafor. We see Rick standing behind her, pointing his gun towards Thorne, but he never goes ahead with it. Thorne also calls Rick his only “family,”  clearly something Michonne wouldn’t like, but she can’t do anything about it either, at least for the time being.

A confrontation between Michonne and Rick was always coming regarding their differences in terms of opinion, and that does happen, but we don’t really get any resolution. Michonne being Michonne, she ignores Thorne’s direct order during the mission and goes on a delta killing rampage, where Rick eventually helps her. In the middle of all the chaos, Michonne suggests to Rick that they should make a run for it right away, but Rick prevents her from doing that. He also notices Thorne pointing her gun at Michonne, which prompts him to deliberately block the way and stop the catastrophe. Although I don’t think Thorne would have actually killed Michonne, no matter how mad she was, And frankly, Thorne does have a valid reason to be mad at Michonne, as does Rick, who keeps endorsing the new recruit. After the mission is over, Thorne orders Rick to take Michonne back and put her on consignee duty again. Clearly, she has had enough of Michonne! 


Mad at Michonne for doing exactly what he asked her not to do, Rick snaps at her. He tells her he’ll make sure that she gets out this time, and he’s not going to listen to anything else. We all know what an angry Rick Grimes can do; maybe that’s why Michonne takes the very deliberate jump from the returning helicopter while taking Rick with her! Considering it’s the dead of the night and the weather is stormy as hell, this is another reckless move, but we do know these two are going to survive and have many more arguments in next week’s episode. And even though Rick seems to be considering spending his life at the CRM, now he has to go against them because there’s clearly no other option left! 

Note: We do get to know what Okafor meant about the sword. It’s basically a prized possession of Beale, with a lot of historical value. I do believe it’ll have further significance, but for now, the whole thing seems as irrelevant as the entire sequence of Michonne meeting the painter who drew her picture once upon a time. Yes, the same picture that led her to the “Mission Finding Rick” journey!


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Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra likes to talk about movies, music, photography, food, and football. He has a government job to get by, but all those other things are what keep him going.

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