The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live finale.
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Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: AMC

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live airs with a strong start and is slowly building up to the long-overdue ending that viewers crave for. Each week, the show is consistent with satisfying lost or unknown timeline periods, and filling in some of the blanks.


Anne’s (Pollyana McIntosh) redemption arc was heart wrenching to even the most stubborn of viewers. The Walking Dead introduced us to a young woman in her thirties once upon a time. A woman who makes her own community and trades other survivor’s lives to the Civic Republic Military in return for supplies.

And then, once upon a time, Anne made two sour deals. One with nefarious and arrogant Negan Smith (played with hilarious and charismatic charm by Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and the ever-changing, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).


Anne is known to go back and forth on her deals as long as it ends well for her. Until it’s not. And in last Sunday’s episode five “Become” we lost the spark that she provides for this particular spin-off. In the finale, we look inside of her private life.

An apartment that includes various paintings of many characters. Some of note were Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Enid (Katelyn Nacon), Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Major General Johnathon Beale (Terry O’Quinn), and possibly Pearl Thorne (Lesley Ann Brandt) and Jennifer Mallick (Annet Mahendru.) When we see the pictures of Gabriel, Michonne  Grimes (Danai Gurira) immediately takes note.

Humorously, she instead is going for the cat made out of wiring. Michonne loves her cats. They’re just ‘too damn gorgeous’ to leave behind, after all.

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Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

This is a direct callback to the season 3 moment between Michonne and her future adopted-son Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs). The dossier is inside of the cat statue and she tearfully rips up the hand-written note. The note contains the locations and names of Alexandria, Hilltop, and many more.

Among the names and locations are attributes that describe Michonne as a major threat and that the CRM could use whatever supplies the communities have acquired over the years.


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Terry O’Quinn as Major General Beale – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live fails to have General Major Beale mention anything about his own son Mason Beale (Will Meyers), despite his long talk with Rick about fatherhood, childhood and leadership. This would have been a perfect time to mention his long-neglected son, but it does tell us as viewers that he clearly does not care for him.

In The Walking Dead: World Beyond, Mason confessed to a stunned Hope Bennett (Alexa Mansour) that his father is running the CRM. After Beale commands Rick to swear by his sword, a flashback of Donald Okafor (Craig Tate) plays of Okafor telling his friend to be careful. Beale seeing that Rick is about to double-cross him, picks up his pistol.

But Rick springs into action with the other’s own sword and stabs him in the palm. It is now that Rick cements that he is going to take the CRM down and promptly pushes the blade deeper into Beale, killing him. Terry O’Quinn’s talent is wasted in this series.

What was a promising build-up of a long-time villain only mentioned by name, they give us little backstory and small interactions. To just have the main protagonist one and done the leader, as well as use him as a walker, is very disappointing and could have been written as a better outcome.


As many suspected, Pearl Thorne (Lesley Ann Brandt) is a long time friend of Grimes and is seen helping him numerous times. In episode 5 “Become”, Richonne (the ship name for the now married couple) discusses how stubborn and unwavering Pearl was the last time they saw her. Rick explains that she has tried to go to South Africa to visit the one she loves, but Beale put a stop to it.

Pearl considers Rick family and has said it from the get-go. If she had been able to put down Michonne, that would guarantee Rick’s future within the CRM. Okafor himself went against the protocol by telling both Rick and Pearl about the real bombings and the outcomes.

With the CRM, everything is veiled in secrecy and about eight layers of irony.  


  Despite her earlier reservations in previous episodes, Thorne’s allegiance flip-flops  through the finale. At one point she believes Beale, and then at another point, she believes in Okafor’s cause. In a slightly cliche scene, after Rick and Pearl nearly fight to the death, an angered Michonne stabs Pearl. “Love never dies.” she proclaims. What should be a touching moment, baffles me as to how that dialogue got through the editing room.


In a setup reminiscent of Jennifer’s death, Rick and Michonne have rigged the Summit to explode the remaining chlorine gas cans and take out three thousand of the frontline forces. Using Beale as an undead distraction, Pearl is cornered. At her end as the thousands of now undead soldiers close in, Thorne does one last good deed and hands Rick her gas mask.

Beale mentions that the CRM is national, but also global. He has sleeper agents all around the world, including children. We never get to see Portland, Iris Bennett (Aliyah Royale) who was heading there with her friends to warn them about the gas.

We never see Silas Plaskett (Hal Cumpston) as a CRM soldier, undercover and now doing Mallick’s job as Jadis’s favorite. We never even see Mason. There is one mention of Daryl in the show, though viewers were disappointed that Rick was written to just gloss right over it.


It is no secret that The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live has had an interesting fanbase (also known as a fan base) on social media to say the least. It is really advised dear reader, not to get involved with things called fan ship wars or arguments and to just enjoy the show for what it is. These shenanigans are nothing new to the franchise as a whole and should be taken with a grain of salt.

They are receiving Rick Grimes (who left his hand behind in a symbolic but not practical moment), and a reunion with Michonne and their children. Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) now seventeen, and RJ Grimes (Antony Azor) now eight/nine run to their parents. RJ finally meets his father whom he calls “The Brave Man” and in a moment of familiarity and nostalgia, Rick tips back his old Sheriff’s hat on RJ’s head and tells him to call him ‘dad’.


Overall, the ending was sweet. Danai’s writing in episode four was absolute fire, but this journalist could definitely do without all of the sex scenes and plot holes. I love the character of Pearl, I love how much Matt Negrete dug into his long complex creation of Anne.

I loved how he added in World Beyond because that was the show that gave us this one in the first place. The reunion was sweet, the marriage proposal was sweet. the humor. The grit. In my opinion, episode five was the best of this series.

It brings us back to the original The Walking Dead with a slow-build, intense action scenes and gruesome deaths. Does a show have to have lots of action, gore and deaths to be good? No. And The Ones Who Live at the very core, is a love story. However, I do think the CRM could have lasted longer as the facility has floor after floor of various freight supplies and secrecy. While that is a giant explosion, it is unbelievable that it took out everything.


While it could be, I would prefer it stay just one season. Despite the rushed plot, the lingering ‘what if’s’ and the wasted potential of some supporting characters, it really seems like this is as far as they should go.

Rick is happy with his family which is exactly what the longtime viewers wanted. The CRM has opened their doors to civilians and the public and done away with their military, and everyone can live in peace again.

While there is room to expand further on Rick’s plot line, work with the CRM and bring in new and old characters–I believe we need to take a beat and enjoy the confusing and complex world of The Ones Who Live.


We really never get a lot of answers to a lot of things, never mind these things. Echelon is very short-lived but is not exclusive to Rick. Beale mentions he has briefed people many a times, but never one of Rick’s caliber. We also have zero information on Heath or PPP.

What is even more bizarre is the odd subplot that reads like a video game side quest, in that of the specific children shown in the briefing slideshow. Are they gifted? Are they like Hope or even Laurent? Could they be victims to harvest a cure from? What on earth is even going on? 



Lorette Magazine
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About the author: Katie Harden is a professionally repped New York-based/bi-coastal musical theater, entertainment journalist, and indie film actress. She is proudly part of the Actor’s Equity Association and frequently interviews colleagues, friends, and celebrities, along with reviewing television and movies. Find her at the bottom of a can of Arizona sweet tea or in the ocean!

Work: AMC, Showtime, HBO, The Emmy’s, The Walking Dead magazine, MGM, Universal, Sony Screen Gems, Fansided, Bloody Disgusting, and more.


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