The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live Review - 5 Ups & 5 Downs From "Bye"

Rick and Michonne hide their motivations in a thrilling if formulaic episode.

The Ones Who Live
AMC

Last week, The Walking Dead's latest spin-off The Ones Who Live gave long-time fans some brilliant insight into what Rick Grimes and Michonne have been up to during their years separated since the mainline series tore them apart.

Following their bittersweet reunion, Rick and Michonne's fates seem tangled beyond repair. Rick, now a soldier for the CRM, has forced his long-lost wife to adopt the personality of a meek survivor, so his superiors won't use her to control him... or kill her.

Since the CRM have a deep aversion to survivors with a predilection for leading, Michonne needs to stay out of the spotlight. But given the fact she's finally found her husband after many dark days apart, how long will Rick be able to keep her safe from the political trappings of his new life?

In the show's latest hour, "Bye" - titled to form the sentence "Years Gone Bye" with the previous two episodes, a haunting callback to The Walking Dead's premiere - the star-crossed pair are caught between a rock and hard place, but their biggest challenge may just be each other.

Here are 5 Ups and 5 Downs from episode three of The Ones Who Live. As with previous recaps, this article will contain spoilers.

10. Down: It Takes Risks But Still Feels Predictable

The Ones Who Live
AMC

"Bye" continues the trend of the previous two episodes, startling its with deep, nostalgic character work, but pushing itself a bit too hard to twist expectations.

For the most part, the episode follows a simple pattern: Rick is trying to keep Michonne out of trouble, whilst Michonne tries to keep up appearances and reconnect with him. But amongst this, there are several red herrings that feel obvious from the start, from Michonne's clashes with Rick's frenemy Thorne and Rick's desperate attempts to push her away.

The latter of these developments is the worst. Though well acted, watching Rick scream at Michonne that "everything we had is broken" never rings quite true. It's obvious he's trying to push her away, and Michonne can see through such a ploy as well as we can.

There's other moments like this, too: Rick creating an elaborate escape for Michonne that she abandons to stay with him, as if she was ever going to leave. The episode does this a lot - a rug pull followed by an expected anti-climax - and it never packs the punch it's aiming for.

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