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Advance Review: The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live - Rest in Peace

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who LiveIf you've never seen a stitch of The Walking Dead or aren't caught up to how Rick (Andrew Lincoln) or Michonne (Danai Gurira) departed the series, then here is a brief rundown before you dive into this new spinoff series The Ones Who Live:

After being blown off a bridge, Rick is literally taken from his home, his family, and lost for years. Then Michonne discovers he's still alive, and goes off to find him. This new tale is a search for love, for destiny. The Queen sets out to find her lost and fallen King, and bring him back. 

This, gentle readers, is indeed an epic love story, a modern, apocalyptic spin on a fairy tale. It will answer the question: can true love conquer and prevail? 

The musical score of this series, I feel, is the best The Walking Dead-verse has had to offer to date. The writing is both right, quick-paced, all while offering an intimate view of these characters and their new journey forward. Thematic and dark with smatterings of sunshine, it not only broadens the universe, but is of a caliber that could have meant itself to films. In short, this is cinema.

One of the things I loathe about reviews and online chatter are spoilers. I don’t know what other reviewers will say about what they saw, but I am gonna do my damndest to leave this spoiler free. More than that, what occurs in the first ten minutes, as a fan, as a Richonne shipper, as a Rick Grimes fan, left a hitch in my throat, a sting in my eye. Beauty, pain and sorrow. And I believe that you, audience members, deserve to experience that unfiltered. Untainted.

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who LiveSo where does that leave this review? Well, I’m gonna describe all of the feels: 

 “I tried. Please know I tried.” 

Sorrow – from days to years gone by, we see a Rick who has become joyless, isolated, crippled with grief. Never have we seen a Rick this down, this low. This broken. 

 “This is how. This is how.” 

Tethered – No matter how many miles, how many years, Rick refuses to let go of his heart. Through tears, through sweat, through blood, he has to make it home. He must

“That’s where I need to be, but I don’t know where I am.” 

Joy – Moments of respite, figments, are all he has to cling to. Another time, another world, with her. In the sunlight. 

 “I can’t face everything. This is most of it, but all of it, it was always about getting back to you. Everything was about secrets…Secrets on secrets. And the only thing I cared about was holding onto mine.” 

Secrets – Darkness lurks…and pervasive evil is afoot. 

“I believe in you.” 

Hope – Michonne's hope is the driving force of this journey. 

“She’s not gone. They’re not gone. You don’t get to choose for the world. You don’t get to choose for me! My wife is my choice. My daughter, my life is my choice.” 

Dedication – a major concern in fandom has been how will the Richonne relationship be portrayed? After seeing the pilot, the episode that I think sets the tone for this series, it is apparent that the show creators – Scott Gimple, Danai Gurira, and Andrew Lincoln – were dedicated to telling this love story properly. And I believe they do it justice. 

“I love you. I love you so, so much.” 

Devotion – What wouldn't she do, where wouldn't she go, to get him back? What are the limitations of her love? 

“I tried. But I failed.” 

Agony – when you’re in emotional flux, your organs constrict in on themselves. Rick becomes crippled in this agony, in this cycle of grief from which he has not been able to escape whereas Michonne almost becomes adrift at sea. 

And where this all leads is…well, perhaps another time. 

All in all, I’d give this series premiere episode four out of four stars. It definitely has made me feel more than I could have fathomed. I’ve watched it several times at this point, and I cannot, cannot, get enough. 

Happy viewing. 

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