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

An old face returns as Rick and Michonne run out of options... and story.

The Ones Who Live
AMC

Following on from last week's brilliant hour, The Ones Who Live has returned to Rick and Michonne with a classic case of Walking Dead filler - an episode of wandering, talking, setting things up for future action. 

These episodes are common in the franchise, and often follow an episode of greatness, and "Become" is no exception to this trend. Last week gave us one of The Walking Dead's best episodes in years; this week is all about rebalancing, getting things back to familiar territory before one last hour ties everything together. 

After finally putting their marital and personal conflict behind them, "Become" follows Rick and Michonne as they start to make their way back home, traversing familiar set pieces whilst old frenemy-turned-enemy-turned-friend-turned-enemy Jadis hunts them down for their disobedience. 

It's an hour that contains as many highs as it does lows, several legitimately shocking bolts from the blue, and a sense that, whilst the couple themselves are stronger than ever, it may take a miracle for Rick and Michonne to be truly free of their recent pasts. 

With that in mind, here are 5 Ups & 5 Downs from "Become," with spoilers throughout. 

10. Down: The Distracting Structure

The Ones Who Live
AMC

Up until now, The Ones Who Live has worked wonders with its structure, which has managed to cover several years of story with only brief moments of feeling rushed or unsure of itself. Some of the story beats themselves have stumbled, but the pace has been fine. 

"Become" has ended this trend slightly. By following two different timelines - the primary one concerning Rick and Michonne; the other exploring the past of Jadis - it's constantly shifting between tone and levels of urgency, deviating from maddeningly slow to jarringly quick in an instant. 

What's worse is that neither of the episode's storylines feels entirely fresh or, at their worst, necessary. Jadis's flashbacks give insight into her motivations and fractured mental state (which we'll get to late), and offer a surprising amount of fan service, but Rick and Michonne's is more of the same. 

The truth is, a lot of "Become" could be skipped over and you wouldn't be missing much. It's all awkward set-up, blunt exposition, and anti-climax, and fails to justify its time-shifting narrative structure. 

 
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