“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live”: Does the new show offer a worthy finale for Rick Grimes?

“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” about fan favorite Rick starts in Germany. Will fans finally get a worthy series finale?

At its best, the zombie show “The Walking Dead” was one of the most popular series in the 2010s, which was not exactly poor in terms of excellent productions. Fans loved the often frightening stories about former police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln, 50), reformed redneck Daryl (Norman Reedus, 55) and the many other survivors who fought their way through a devastating undead apocalypse.

But then lead actor Andrew Lincoln decided to leave the series in the ninth season. As is well known, his character, the hard-nosed, righteous Rick, was not bitten by a walker and died that way, but he flew away, seriously injured, in a mysterious helicopter that basically shouldn’t exist anymore after the end of civilization. Since then, fans of “The Walking Dead” have been eagerly waiting for answers. They want to know what happened to the popular protagonist and what power lies behind the mysterious helicopter.

Originally, Rick and Michonne – actress Danai Gurira (46) left the zombie series one season after her colleague Lincoln – were supposed to return in a series of films to bring Rick’s story to a worthy conclusion on the big screen. In the meantime, those responsible for “Walking Dead” have decided to realize the planned project as a six-part miniseries. And so the zombie spin-off “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” starts on MagentaTV in Germany on February 26th at the same time as the USA – and the fans of Rick and Michonne finally get the answers they have been waiting for for years wait.

That’s what “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” is about

Former leader Rick Grimes (Lincoln) is a broken man at the start of the series. The Civic Republic Military, or CRM for short, may have saved his life, but Rick is also a prisoner of this powerful group. The CRM protects a secret city where people live as they did before the apocalypse – complete with electricity and other amenities such as air conditioning.

Rick takes on increasingly difficult and dangerous missions for the CRM. The formidable fighter is even accepted into a kind of officers’ course. But at no point does Rick lose sight of his big goal: escaping and returning to his family around his beloved Michonne (Gurira).

Meanwhile, the dangerous swordswoman is looking for Rick. She has joined a new group of survivors who survive the zombie apocalypse by never letting their large convoy of vehicles stop. But even that doesn’t ensure survival forever in the midst of Walker hordes…

Those involved in front of and behind the scenes

In addition to the main actors already mentioned, Pollyanna McIntosh (44), known from the mother series and the spin-off “The Walking Dead: World Beyond”, returns as Jadis for “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live”.

A whole range of exciting new faces completes the cast of the zombie spin-off. “Lucifer” star Lesley-Ann Brandt (42) plays the former soldier Pearl, who befriends Rick and is not unlike the main character of the series. Terry O’Quinn (71), known from the series phenomenon “Lost”, takes on another leading role in the AMC show. He embodies the leader of the CRM with Major General Beale.

Behind the scenes, long-time “The Walking Dead” showrunner and current “Chief Content Officer” of the “Walking Dead” series universe Scott M. Gimple (52) is responsible for the new project. Gimple serves as series creator, screenwriter and producer, as do stars Lincoln and Gurira.

Is the new “The Walking Dead” series worth it?

All those who were hoping for the big conclusion to the zombie saga with “The Ones Who Live” will unfortunately be a little disappointed by the new series. The horror project looks excellent and also boasts some breathtaking action sequences that are hard to beat in terms of tension – the US channel AMC clearly spent more money on this than on the final seasons of the parent series – but “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” sometimes seems like a completely new version of the zombie show, but one that is only captivating to a limited extent.

First, viewers will find out what has happened to main character Rick Grimes since he left the parent series. To this end, a whole new setting is introduced – the secret city protected by the in many ways dystopian Civic Republic Military.

And new characters also enter the scene in both Rick’s and Michonne’s stories. These characters are sometimes more and sometimes less captivating, although some of them quickly die in the fast-paced miniseries. “The Ones Who Live” thus follows on from the pleasant, almost forgotten virtues of “The Walking Dead” from the first hour. Especially in the final seasons of the show, it was really annoying that numerous characters such as Daryl, Carol (Melissa McBride, 58) or Maggie (Lauren Cohan, 42) simply couldn’t die, since they were ultimately responsible for their already announced spin -off series had to return.

Unfortunately, the overarching plot of “The Ones Who Live” ultimately comes across as a bit aimless. The danger posed by the Civic Republic Military – strictly speaking, this is the most dangerous antagonist in the entire “The Walking Dead” franchise – is repeatedly invoked by the characters in dialogue, but viewers see little of it.

In addition, the question repeatedly arises as to whether Rick and Michonne should now aim to change the organization from the inside, or whether they should “just” flee from it. This simply doesn’t come close to iconic, highly dangerous villains from “The Walking Dead” history such as the baseball bat-wielding Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, 57) or the no less psychopathic Governor (David Morrissey, 59).

“The Ones Who Live” is therefore more recommended to die-hard “The Walking Dead” fans who want to find out what happened to their beloved main characters. These long-time viewers will probably enjoy the show despite all the weaknesses mentioned. Because “The Ones Who Live” always offers classic, touching Rick moments that were previously missing from the undead franchise for a long time.


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