The Walking Dead‘s “Who Are You Now?” proved that this show CAN and WILL survive the departure of Andrew Lincoln’s character Rick Grimes. Michonne and Carol stepped up in “What Are You Now?” and proved to us that this story is so rich and wonderful that the departure of one doesn’t take away from the many. Sure, I’m a bit miffed that Rick is gone and that we skipped over YEARS of pain, but I understand that it was done to help us survive the departure of Andrew Lincoln. Watching our favs grieve Rick would’ve thrown us into an even bigger spiral of WTF and pain at his loss. But this time jump is like a buffer, an intriguing one, that will keep us watching, hoping, and praying for the survivors we still have now.
So without further ado, let’s dive into The Walking Dead‘s “Who Are You Now?”
Ever since it was announced that Rick Grimes was to leave The Walking Dead, I was worried and concerned about who would be our leader. Yes, our survivors are scattered across a bunch of communities, but there is still a need for a leader. That was what Rick Grimes was and that’s what Michonne is now, a leader. AND I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER.
Sure Michonne has some things to work out. She’s got trust issues up the wazoo and who wouldn’t after the shit she’s gone through, the people she’s lost, and that mysterious scar on her back. But she has been leading these people for years and has kept them alive. And I couldn’t be prouder. I would’ve liked to see the grief, pain, and sorrow right after Rick’s “death” and when she found out she was pregnant (that’s what fanfiction is for at this point), but it’s clear to me that the pain of his loss is still present.
Michonne has kept Rick and Carl alive in her heart and mind for years. They’re her sounding boards and they’re one of the reasons why she hasn’t fallen apart. They are still a part of her life, Judith’s life, and RJ’s life. She won’t let them disappear, no matter how much time has passed. And it’s a great move story-wise. We all know that Rick is still alive out there.
With Michonne keeping him alive in her heart and mind, she’ll keep looking for him and wanting him. And their reunion, because you know it’s going to happen, will be much more beautiful and heartbreaking because of it.
Initially, I was worried for Carol. Sometimes shows make it so that characters get soft after a time jump. And by “soft” I mean that they get so sure in their abilities and the community they have built around them, that they ignore the signs of something bad coming or let their guard down. It’s been TV’s quick and easy way to clean house and give new characters a chance to shine. That’s not what happened with Carol in “Who Are You Now?”
Years have passed and she has grown, there’s no doubt about that. She has let go of so much pain and has a family now that she loves and that she chose. Carol is different. But it doesn’t mean that she’s stupid, has let her guard down, or isn’t afraid to do what she must to survive. The Carol that knows how to take risks and do what must be done to survive, is still there. That’s why she ended those forest Saviors.
They chose to be assholes, thieves, and the cruelness that still lives in this world when they decided to rob Carol and her son. Carol finding them, and lighting their asses on fire, was what must be done to stop them from hurting someone else or a group not as well equipped and skilled as Carol’s. These forest douches were given a chance, over and over, and still decided to be monsters.
So, Carol took care of them just like she probably takes care of any other threat that comes for the Kingdom. That’s why I love the dynamic between her and Ezekiel. He grounds Carol in a way I’ve only seen Daryl do. And she protects and does what she has to because Carol knows that Ezekiel doesn’t have the strength to do it. It’s ying and yang, two pieces of a whole, that work together and survive the perils of the apocalypse.
I’m gonna be honest with you. Going to lay it alllll out. After 9 years of watching The Walking Dead, this is the single most terrifying scene. We know what these walkers are. They’re not walkers at all. They are the Whisperers, a community straight out of The Walking Dead comics, who caused a hell of a lot of damage to our survivors. So, we know what they are as we’re coming into this scene. But Rosita and Eugene don’t.
These two unconventional friends look like they’re about to legit pee themselves in fright because of what they are hearing. For all they know, and what they can put together, the walkers are evolving into something smarter and without a doubt, more terrifying. They’ve dealt with a threat for years that only shambled about aimlessly trying to kill the living. Add a drop of intelligence into the mix and you have a terrifying concept that makes the world seem darker and more frightening.
If you’ve read the comics, you know who dies and what kind of shocking changes are in store for our survivors. But you also know that the death of Carl and the disappearance of Rick Grimes is going to chance things exponentially. Relationships that were to happen and that were critical to the Whisperer storyline, will have to be molded into something new and without a doubt more terrifying. That means that we have no fucking idea who will die and have their head put on a pike as a warning. (Seriously, that happened.)
With three episodes left for this year, before we go on hiatus, I’m both scared and terrified for what’s to come. Which, in the grand scheme of everything and the departure of Rick Grimes, means that The Walking Dead is going to survive and thrive despite the disappearance of Officer Friendly.
Favorite Scene from The Walking Dead‘s “Who Are You Now?”
This is the future of The Walking Dead. This is everything that they’ve fought for. And I’m so proud of them!
P.S. WE HAVE RICHONNE BABY TOUCHDOWN! SWEET JESUS I NEED ALL THE FICS WHERE MICHONNE FINDS OUT SHE’S PREGNANT!
Check out the trailer & sneak peek for next week’s episode of The Walking Dead titled “Stradivarius”:
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.