Warning: this story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead series finale. The Walking Dead started as a story about a man searching for his missing family in the zombie apocalypse. 11 seasons, 12 years, and 177 episodes later, The Walking Dead ended with the start of another story about the missing Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) search for his family. Closing out Sunday’s “Rest in Peace” series finale was a coda scene featuring the return of Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira), who will next reunite in the all-new Rick & Michonne spin-off series coming to AMC in 2023.
The final minutes of the series-ending episode revealed what happened to Rick after he disappeared from The Walking Dead in Season 9 and checked in with Michonne, who has been away trying to find Rick since Season 10. The Walking Dead has ended, but the story of Rick and Michonne is far from over.
AMC has released the nearly five-minute coda scene online, which you can watch in the player below.
“The show was always Rick Grimes’ journey. You can’t really wrap up the story of The Walking Dead without Rick Grimes,” series executive producer and series finale director Greg Nicotero exclusively told Comic Book in an episode postmortem. “It didn’t feel right, it didn’t feel authentic.”
Nicotero continued: “We wanted to serve the story arc that the writers had created over the last 30 episodes or so, but we couldn’t end The Walking Dead with Rick Grimes being taken away in a helicopter and there’s no mention of him ever again. So it was very important for us to really sort wrap up the show the way it started, which is seeing who this person is and where he is on his journey.”
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That journey continues in The Walking Dead: Rick & Michonne spin-off from showrunner and AMC’s Walking Dead Universe chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, who also serves as executive producer with Lincoln and Gurira. Described as an “epic love story” reuniting Rick and Michonne, the first six episodes begin production in January for a premiere later in 2023 on AMC and AMC+.
Rick & Michonne “presents an epic love story of two characters changed by a changed world,” per the synopsis. “Kept apart by distance. By an unstoppable power. By the ghosts of who they were. Rick and Michonne are thrown into another world, built on a war against the dead… And ultimately, a war against the living. Can they find each other and who they were in a place and situation unlike any they’ve ever known before? Are they enemies? Lovers? Victims? Victors? Without each other, are they even alive — or will they find that they, too, are the Walking Dead?”