The Walking Dead’s finale gave us some surprising cameos. We got to see a glimpse of (ghost but not ghosty looking) Carl Grimes at Alexandria, smiling at the community he loves. And, surely there wasn’t a dry eye when flashes of the many fallen people came over the screen at the end. What really made those final moments of The Walking Dead hit in the gut was none other than Michonne and Rick Grimes. That’s right, they came back for the finale but not in a way that fans thought they would. Here’s what went down.
Just when we think the episode is ending with Daryl riding off to parts unknown, there’s the light from a match. Surprise, it’s Rick Grimes looking very dirty and disheveled, a very on-brand look for him in The Walking Dead universe. He’s writing a letter to his family, thinking of those who are still here as well as the ones that were lost before his “death.”
We see that boat from Bloodsworth Island where Michonne discovered his stuff. So this is obviously Rick from the past, leaving his stuff behind in hopes that someone will find it. He’s wearing a CRM jacket and standing on the shore near a large city, presumably Philadelphia.
Suddenly a helicopter comes to get him and he sort of smiles as he surrenders. We also see Michonne, who is sporting a very cool new look and also writing in that journal she found earlier in The Walking Dead. We cannot fully confirm the time period she’s in but can assume it is the present. She looks as though she’s been on her own for a while. It is not clear where she is but her writing is clearly aimed at her two children. She gets on her horse and rides straight towards a really large herd like the boss she is. The final scene ends with Judith telling her brother “We’re the ones who live.”
That phrase is super important to The Walking Dead. Both Rick and Michonne have said it throughout the years and it is fitting for those who survived the series. Sure, Rick was way unhinged when he said it the first time in season five (see below) but the sentiment is the same.
So, what does this mean for the Rick and Michonne series coming our way in 2023? Well, we know that Michonne is on his trail and making some level progress. And Rick obviously sees someone flying that CRM plane whom he recognizes, hence the smile. It would be interesting if somehow, someway he is able to cross paths with Maggie and Negan, who aren’t too far away in the Big Apple. Oh imagine the sheer shock he will have seeing those two together.
The voice from the helicopter calls him “Cosignee Grimes” and warns him that he cannot escape the living. So he’s obviously been in their clutches for years, failing to get away after surely more than one attempt. But, if he can get Maggie, Negan, and Michonne by his side, anything seems possible for Rick Grimes. Let the countdown to these spinoffs begin.