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" gives "The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live - First episode" a 8."
Written by on 28 February 2024.
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The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live - First episode

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live begins with the spectacular return of one of The Walking Dead's most iconic characters.

Rick Grimes is finally back! The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live tells the story of Rick (Andrew Lincoln, Afterlife) and Michonne (Danai Gurira, Treme) after they left The Walking Dead. In the ninth season of that series, the seriously injured Rick went missing after a helicopter took him to an unknown location. A season later, Michonne found a clue that Rick might still be alive and decided to leave Alexandria and look for Rick.

In The Ones Who Live, it is revealed that Rick was taken to a mysterious place called the Civic Republic. Because this community values ​​secrecy, people who arrive here are never allowed to leave. After several failed escape attempts, the army of the republic sees potential in Rick. They offer him a high position and Rick accepts it in the hope of now being able to escape and be reunited with Michonne.

The Ones Who Live combines fast-paced action and moral dilemmas excellently

In the first few minutes it becomes clear that the Civic Republic is not to be messed with. Rick takes drastic measures during an escape attempt and a scene like this is a strong example of how smooth action and moral dilemmas can go hand in hand. As a result, what made the series so good in its early seasons returns at times. I'm not saying that this first episode made as much of an impression as the first episode of The Walking Dead, but it is nice to be reminded of the glory days of that series.

I also think it's cool that the makers have taken a significant development from The Walking Dead comic books. In the comics, this happens quite early in the story, but for all kinds of practical and story-technical reasons, the makers refrained from doing this for a long time in the series. In the early years of the series, there was great uncertainty as to whether important characters would survive in this harsh world. But in recent years this seems to have been tamed a bit and major deaths seemed to be mainly intended to shock. By including this moment in the series, I have good hope that the charm of the early years can return in some way.

It's great to see Rick Grimes back on screen

Rick gets the spotlight again and it's wonderful to see him again. Although The Walking Dead had many flaws, the actors were often not to blame. That is also the case here. In addition to Lincoln, there are also strong roles for Lesley-Ann Brandt (Lucifer) and Terry O'Quinn (Lost). We haven't seen much of Michonne in the first episode, but I expect that will change in the coming episodes. Pollyanna McIntosh (Vikings: Valhalla) also returns as Jadis from the original series, but she was barely visible in the first episode.

The Ones Who Live is yet another spin-off of The Walking Dead, and if you're not familiar with the original series, you might be thrown in at the deep end. Yet it is quickly explained what is going on with Rick and Michonne and this is a nice refresher. The Civic Republic also had a major role in the spin-off World Beyond. The events in that series are referenced. but luckily you don't have to have seen it to understand what this is all about (I personally don't recommend it to anyone either).

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live kicks off with the long-awaited return of Rick Grimes and he doesn't disappoint. The first episode contains a lot of action and presents the main character with interesting dilemmas. I'm very curious to see what the rest of this six-part first season has in store for us.
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The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live