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Rick And Michonne's Epilogue In The Walking Dead Finale Took 2 Years To Come Together

The final few minutes of the series finale of "The Walking Dead" include a long-overdue reunion with former series lead Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the katana-wielding Michonne (Danai Gurira). Although it was already announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 that both Rick and Michonne would return to "The Walking Dead" universe in an upcoming six-part miniseries (which also happens to be written by Gurira), their appearance in the finale, this brief epilogue appears to give us our first glimpse of what that series could entail — as it shows Rick and Michonne on a walker-infested beach, facing down a mysterious assailant in a helicopter.

A voice inside the helicopter calls out over a loudspeaker, saying: "Consignee Grimes, you've been located and instructed to surrender. Come on, Rick, it's like he told you. There's no escape for the living." The scene gives no indication of who this mysterious voice could be and ends with Rick raising his hands in submission and smiling as the helicopter slowly descends from the sky while Michonne rushes towards him on a horse.

Although this entire epilogue is only about five minutes long (including a prior scene in which Rick recalls all the people he's lost through a voiceover), this particular sequence was actually a massive undertaking that took around two years to come together.

There were plenty of obstacles that hindered the return of Rick and Michonne

While speaking to TV Insider about the climactic series finale of "The Walking Dead," showrunner Angela Kang admitted that bringing Rick Grimes and Michonne back for this episode required an extreme amount of work behind-the-scenes — and started as a wish she thought might never be fulfilled.

"In my first pitch of the season — this was back in 2020, before the pandemic interrupted everything... I said to the network, 'I feel that the show is not complete without Rick and Michonne coming back,'" Kang explained. "But there were so many obstacles to making that happen, and we didn't know if it could happen, and the actors needed to say yes, and there was possibly a movie... It was a wish from the beginning, but it actually took a long, long, long, long time to lock it in."

Kang also emphasized just how rewarding to see that wish come to fruition once the actors had finally agreed to return and AMC had finished the business side of the arrangement since the entire ordeal was essentially out of her control from that very first pitch. In any case, it's certainly interesting to know how much time and effort went into bringing Rick Grimes and Michonne back for this epilogue — even if they only appeared for about five minutes of total screen time.