It all comes down to this episode on The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. In “The Last Time,” Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) return to the CRM to save Alexandria. Last week, Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) revealed where she kept the Alexandria file before she died.  There are a lot of flashbacks in this episode, from this series and The Walking Dead. 

Rick and Michonne discuss their plan to stop the CRM. They will use the helicopter that Jadis left behind to get back to the Cascadia Base. Rick will go in and get the Echelon Briefing, while Michonne looks for the dossier that Jadis has on Alexandria. Rick tells Michonne to click the walkie if anything goes wrong.

Rick walks up to the gates at the Cascadia Base. Once inside, he meets up with Thorne (Lesley-Ann Brandt), who is happy to see him. Rick explains that the helicopter was hit by lightning. Dana, aka Michonne, pushed him out of the helicopter and saved his life. He says Dana died in the crash and thanks Thorne for bringing her in. Then he thanks Okafor, thinking they are still carrying out his plan.

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Thorne tells Rick to forget Okafor’s vision. She says it took her giving up to understand what the CRM has planned. And Rick will understand it soon. Thorne says it’s up to them, but not in the way Okafor intended. Okafor was never really on board with the CRM and that’s why he died. They lived because they are meant to be a part of the CRM’s plan. Rick agrees and asks Thorne to show him the other way.

Thorne takes Rick to General Beale (Terry O’Quinn). Beale likes to have some time alone the day before an operation. He is allowing Rick to interrupt that time so he can tell him what they are working for. Beale says he, alone, laid out the path they are on and he alone has to carry the weight of it. He takes Rick to a conference room and they sit across from each other. He tells Rick to put his gun and prosthetic hand on the table. 

Michonne in disguise on The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Beale and Rick talk about having to kill to save lives. Rick has had to do that many times. Beale tells Rick about leaving his hometown of Pittsburgh and joining the military. He had a rough childhood, but still returned home after the military, despite his trauma. He was part of the operation that destroyed a lot of the major cities in the U.S.  Beale was the one who decided to destroy Pittsburgh, but only to save Philadelphia. Rick understands, comparing it to burning crops. Sometimes things have to burn to bring things back. Beale is ready to tell Rick the truth about everything. He starts by saying the most likely outcome is that everyone is going to die.

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Michonne sneaks into the dorms and finds Jadis’ room. She tears the place apart looking for the file and starts to panic. Jadis has lots of artwork around the room, including a sculpture of a cat made out of wire. Michonne sees a roll of paper inside of the sculpture and pulls it out. The dossier is two pages, explaining how Jadis knows Rick, who Michonne is, where Alexandria is and concludes that they are all a threat to the CRM’s mission. Reading the file makes Michonne tear up, so she tears it to pieces and hides the pieces in her uniform.

Michonne prepares to leave, picking up her mask and someone slides a file under the door. The file hits Michonne’s foot, so the CRM soldier knocks on the door, asking if Jadis is in her room. Michonne hears the soldier using a key to enter, so she hides. Once inside, Michonne and the soldier fight and the fight ends with Michonne choking the soldier with a wire.

Beale says they discovered several hordes of walkers around the country. The human population has about 14 years left on the planet. This is due to the dead, starvation, conflicts between populations, and disease. He says there are millions of petri dishes out there that are growing things that could destroy human life. The CRM finds and destroys communities for resources, strategic superiority and to ensure the safety and security of the Civic Republic.

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The CRM puts spies in selected communities across the country and the world to monitor them, potentially sabotage them, and influence their politics. Until recently, they provided test subjects to CRM labs to test reanimation time and find a way to rid the earth of the walking dead. Beale admits that they destroyed Omaha and Campus Colony. And tomorrow, they will destroy Portland.

Meanwhile, Michonne makes her way out of the dorms and finds a toy bunny on the floor. Another soldier takes it from her. The bunny makes her think of Carl (Chandler Riggs), Judith (Cailey Fleming) and RJ (Antony Azor). She makes her way to a briefing about the mission that is going to happen the next day. They planted people in Portland as teachers to identify gifted children. The CRM will help the spies extract these children from the community. Then the city will be gassed. 

Terry O’Quinn as Major General Beale – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Beale says they will report Portland as an unexplained tragedy. Then he will declare martial law on the city and get rid of the Civic Republic Council.With the city under CRM control they will march across the country and eliminate any growing competition, taking their resources and ensure supremacy. While he talks, Rick pulls a knife out of his pocket.

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As Michonne watches the briefing, she clicks the radio. Rick’s radio goes off and he has to explain to Beale that Thorne wants to talk to him.  Michonne sees a photo of a boy that looks similar to RJ. She gets upset again and leaves the briefing. She makes her way back to the balcony where she snuck in but stops. Michonne says she has to do it and turns around to go back into the dorms.

Beale says Rick could be the next leader of the CRM. He attempted to leave multiple times but came back. His story could be used to win the hearts of the people who don’t like losing their freedoms. Beale recognizes the sacrifice that Rick made, just like he and Okafor had to sacrifice.

Beale asks who is the closest person that Rick has lost. Rick says he lost his son. Beale says Rick never has to suffer that kind of loss again. He says the people that Rick was trying to get back to would be spared if Rick would bring them to him. It’s a chance he wants to take on Rick. Portland will die, the CRM will take over and the march begins. They will burn things to bring things back. The sword that kills is the sword that brings back life. And all Rick has to do is swear on the sword.

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Rick thinks about his family and everything they’ve been through. He looks at Beal in the eyes. Beale can see that Rick is not on board. He jumps up, grabbing for the gun, but Rick is faster and throws the knife at Beale’s shoulder. Rick jumps over the table and tackles Beale. While they fight they argue about how the world should be saved. Rick is able to get the sword and stabs Beale in the hand. He says he never lost his son, but he did lose himself. His son and his wife brought him back. They are the sword that kills and the sword that give life. They are not dead, but Beale is. Rick stabs Beale in the heart. Afterward, he radios Thorne saying Beale gave him a task and they will talk later.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Rick sees a crate and puts Beale inside. He rolls the crate to an elevator, but another soldier gets in with him. The crate starts to leak blood. When the elevator stops, the soldier sees the blood and starts fighting with Rick. Rick is able to beat him up by bashing in his face with his prosthetic hand. The elevator moves while they fight. When the elevator opens again, Michonne is standing there with the crate.

Michonne says they can’t leave yet. She tells him about the briefing she went to. They both agree that they have to stop the CRM from gassing Portland. They go back to Rick’s room. Rick packs a bag of supplies while Michonne ties a box of grenades together with a wire. Rick stops and says they can just leave. Michonne is worried about what kind of world they are giving their kids if they leave. It’s not that Rick is scared. He’s mad about the time he lost. He just wants to go back. Michonne says they are back. Adn this is the s**t they do.

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Thorne looked for Beale in his usual spot, but he wasn’t there. She knows Rick is up to something and goes looking for him. She starts to realize that Dana, or Michonne, is the love he was trying to get back to. Thorne goes to Rick’s room and finds his prosthetic hand on the window seal. While she searches for Rick and Dana, she sees the CRM soldiers gathering for a final briefing.

Rick and Michonne set up the grenades in the tent with all of the CRM’s gas explosives. Then they get Beale and the soldier that Rick beat up out of the crate. Each of them lead a walker toward the exit of the tent with a wire tied to them. The idea is when the walker gets the exit, they will pull the grenade tabs all at once. The couple leave the tent and start to run away, but Thorne stops them.

Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Thorne wants to know where Beale is and what Rick did in the tent. She orders them to turn around and undo what they did. They turn and walk back to the tent. When they see Beale emerge, Rick and Michonne run between two cargo crates. They run under a flow of water and pull a flag on top of them. The tent explodes killing all of the CRM troops. 

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Thorne survived by retrieving a mask from Rick’s bag. There is another mask in the bag, so Rick tells Michonne to get it while he rushes at Thorne. Rick covers his face with a rag and goes after Thorne. Thorne yells at Rick for destroying their world. The dead CRM troops are everywhere. The dead surround Rick and push him into a crate. 

Michone jumps out and fights Thorne. Thorne knows that Michonne is the love that Rick was trying to get back to. She asks how Michonne was able to get through to him. Michonne says she never gave up on Rick or herself. Thorne says in a dead world, love is dead, but Michonne says love doesn’t die. She stabs Thorne.  

Rick has to set off a grenade to get the walkers off of him.  He shields himself with walkers from the blast. They return to Thorne, who removed the mask. She says Okafor was right. They just have to hope Beale was wrong. She hands the mask to Rick and they fight their way through more walkers. The couple are able to jump up on top of a crate. They are able to remove their masks and look around. It’s over. 

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Rick and Michonne were able to report back to the Civic Republic Council, revealing Beale’s plans. The CRC took immediate control over the remaining military, full of soldiers not privy to the Echelon Briefing or Beale’s mission. The CRC also established free movement for the citizens of the Civic Republic, doing away with the CRM’S security protocols. The Civic Republic opened its borders to survivors and plans to assist and provide resources to surviving communities around the country.

The CRC fly Rick and Michonne back to Virginia. Michonne called Judith to let her know. Judith and RJ ran into their mother’s arms, happy to see her. Both kids have grown up so much. Judith looks at Rick and runs into his arms, crying. She knew he was alive, she just didn’t want him to feel alone. Rick says he was never alone. Rick finally meets his youngest son, Rick Jr. RJ asks if he is the Brave Man. Rick says he is, but he hopes RJ will call him Dad. RJ says he knew Rick would come back because he believed. The Grimes family are reunited at last. 

 

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