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The Walking Dead Questions The Rick And Michonne Spin-Off Needs To Answer

After 11 pulse-pounding seasons, AMC's "The Walking Dead" has finally come to a close, but it doesn't mean that the larger "Walking Dead" saga is done just because the original story is over. Though the original series has spawned various spin-offs in the past — such as "Fear the Walking Dead" and "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" — the conclusion of the flagship show leaves a lot to be desired, which adds extra significance to the promise of more stories to be told in the future. 

Besides the "Tales of the Walking Dead" anthology series, the "Daryl Dixon" spin-off, and "The Walking Dead: Dead City," which is set to reunite Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan), there's another story we're anxious to see play out. After years of teasing, with the project originally slated to be a "Walking Dead" trilogy of films, Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira are set to return as Rick Grimes and Michonne in a currently untitled six-part series co-created by Gurira set to reunite these star-crossed lovers.

For longtime fans of the original series, this is a dream come true. Since the ninth season episode "What Comes After," fans have wondered and speculated about what might become of Rick Grimes, and after the series finale "Rest in Peace," we have even more questions than answers. As we anticipate the upcoming Rick and Michonne series, let's reflect on the questions that "The Walking Dead" left us with as it finally came to a close.

How has Rick changed since we last saw him?

When we first meet Rick Grimes, he's a small-town sheriff who is nearly killed in the line of duty. Upon waking up in a zombie apocalypse, he quickly becomes the leader of a group of survivors and is forced to make life-changing decisions nearly every day. Rick has become a fan favorite for his ability to lead, his willingness to explore ethical gray areas when necessary, and Andrew Lincoln's iconic portrayal. But after the brief glimpse we get of Rick in "The Walking Dead" series finale, it's clear that this is a hardened Rick Grimes — one who's been through a lot more trauma than before.

While we don't know exactly when the Rick and Michonne series will take place, we do know that Rick may not be the same man we've known for nearly a decade. No doubt, his time with the Civic Republic Military (CRM) has changed him, and while we trust that Rick Grimes will forever be the hero of "The Walking Dead" universe, it's hard to imagine him not being profoundly changed in some way.

Beyond his experience in captivity, his time away from his wife and children alone is enough to make Rick a little crazy. If "The Walking Dead" proves anything, it's that just about anything goes when desperation is the only thing on the menu.

When exactly on the timeline does the spin-off take place?

After a six-year time jump post-Rick's departure in Season 9, the katana-wielding Michonne also bows out of the original series in its 10th season in search of her zombie apocalypse life partner. By the time that the Rick and Michonne spin-off was first announced, "The Walking Dead" had not yet ended and thus their return in the series finale "Rest in Peace" hadn't aired yet. While this may not seem significant, it actually just might be.

With all of the time-hopping that "The Walking Dead" universe utilizes, it makes it hard to discern exactly when in the franchise's chronology this Rick and Michonne epic might take place. In fact, that final "campfire moment" between the two in the series finale may not even take place in the exact same time period — meaning, Rick and Michonne could've missed each other by days or even months. While we know that Rick and Michonne are in different parts of the country, we don't know how long after the events of Rick's final episode "What Comes After" and Michonne's send-off in "What We Become" these final moments take place. 

It takes more than six years for Michonne to even begin looking for Rick, so it stands to reason that the Rick and Michonne-led spin-off may bounce around the timeline a bit. Whenever it takes place, we're beyond excited to see these two reunited in "The Walking Dead" universe.

What's the deal with these new walkers?

The final season of "The Walking Dead" introduces — or rather, re-introduces — a unique concept of walkers (you can call them "zombies" if you want) who are able to learn. These walking dead don't just walk, but they also climb, open doors, and even pick up rocks to bash people's heads in. While many fans may not remember, this idea isn't exactly new to "The Walking Dead" universe as the concept is first explored in the first season before being forgotten. Likewise, the origins of the zombie virus itself haven't been explored since around then either.

In the 11th season of "The Walking Dead," the series brings back walker variants, and they prove to be a massive pain. But where did these creatures spawn from? How and why are the walkers evolving? Sadly, we don't find out on "The Walking Dead," and while "Fear the Walking Dead" originally takes place at the beginning of the outbreak and "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" tackles the CRM experiments for a cure, we still don't have any answers. 

Though it's stated that the outbreak may have begun in France — the apparent setting of the upcoming "Daryl Dixon" series — there doesn't seem to be a clear path towards defeating it or stopping the walkers from evolving in the future. Responsible for some of the most gruesome deaths on "The Walking Dead," the show continued to make walkers formidable foes until the very end.

How long was Rick a prisoner of the CRM?

The last time we saw Rick Grimes, he was being acquired by the CRM and chastised for trying to walk away from whatever shenanigans they're up to. After the CRM helicopter finds the long-lost survivor, Rick seems to give up without a fight, willing to go back with them to wherever they want to take him next. Presumably, this would be the same place that Anne, aka Jadis, takes him at the end of his original tenure on "The Walking Dead," though after over half a decade, it's possible that he's headed somewhere else entirely.

Somehow, Rick escapes CRM and tries to fight his way back home to Michonne and Judith (Cailey Fleming). No, we didn't forget RJ, but Rick Grimes Jr. (Antony Azor) isn't born until after Rick disappears. Regardless, Rick has been missing for a long time, but for how much of that time was he actually a prisoner?

The "World Beyond" spin-off reveals some of the experimentation that the CRM was doing on "A" and "B" subjects, resulting in the deaths of many in search for a cure. At one point, Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), a higher-up in the organization by the time of "World Beyond," refers to Rick as an "A." Though, to spare him from torment, she tells CRM that he's a "B." It makes us wonder, what did the CRM want Rick for? Did they get it?

What has Michonne been up to in the meantime?

Though Rick's absence in his children's lives can be excused given that he sacrifices himself for the survival of their group and he isn't to blame for his own kidnapping, many have criticized Michonne for leaving Judith and RJ behind when she goes off to look for her long-lost love. Whether you think her actions are justified or not, especially considering the dangers and challenges of the zombie apocalypse, the truth remains that we don't know what Michonne has been up to in all the time between "What We Become" and "Rest in Peace."

When Danai Gurira left "The Walking Dead," Michonne goes off and seemingly joins an entire colony of survivors who travel in packs more like warriors on her search for Rick. When we pick up with her again in the series finale, Michonne has a full-on set of body armor and a horse clad in leather. No doubt, the most potential for the Rick and Michonne-themed spin-off — aside from their reunion of course — is seeing what Michonne has been up to in the meantime and how she further trained herself for war.

With Gurira serving as one of the co-creators of the six-part series, we're bound to be seeing a lot of badass Michonne material that'll blow us away whenever the new show comes out. It would be awesome if she brings some leathery armor for Rick, too.

What is the CRM's endgame?

Possibly the biggest mystery behind the entire "Walking Dead" universe is the Civic Republic and its military faction known as the CRM. This group has played a behind-the-scenes role in "The Walking Dead" and "Fear the Walking Dead" while playing a clear antagonistic role in "The Walking Dead: World Beyond." We know that Jadis moves on from "The Walking Dead" when she trades Rick to the CRM, which leads to her own status change as a leader in this "new world order" in "World Beyond," but we still don't know what CRM's endgame is.

This shady "three-ringed" government organization appears to be slowly overtaking the United States. It seems as if, at its core, CRM is attempting to cure the zombie virus, but what comes next? If we know anything from our favorite dystopian stories, it's that organizations and groups like the Civic Republic are nothing but trouble, and with the promise that Rick and Michonne are going to face off against this group together, we can't wait to see what comes next. Especially because whatever the organization's plans are for Rick, they can't be good.

Are the CRM responsible for the walker variants we've been seeing in Season 11 of "The Walking Dead?" Is their search for a cure actually more dangerous than just leaving the virus alone? It's unclear. But one thing that is clear, is that the CRM must be stopped, and who better to stop it than Rick Grimes and Michonne?

Who is Major General Beale?

One of the biggest mysteries behind the Omaha, Nebraska-based spin-off "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" – which expands the world in ways the mainline series never could — is the Civic Republic Military's high commander, Major General Beale. Beale's son Mason (Will Meyers) is a character in "World Beyond," and though the Major General's voice is heard briefly, the character never once appears on screen. Instead, he opts to order Jadis around from afar, presumably from Philadelphia where Rick is last seen in "Rest in Peace."

This mysterious leader of the CRM — at least, we assume he's the man in charge — is arguably one of the primary antagonists of the entire franchise despite his lack of physical appearances. If the CRM has been involved in this virus from the beginning, not to mention their kidnapping of Rick and possibly other "Walking Dead" characters such as Heath (Corey Hawkins), it stands to reason that Major General Beale may have had his hands in all of these events since before "Days Gone Bye."

Now that we know Rick is in Philly, and that the CRM is based outside of their fully restored "Safe-Zone" (though, is anyone really safe in "The Walking Dead?"), there's no doubt that these two will come to a head and face off like no other "Walking Dead" characters before. If The Governor (David Morrissey) and Negan were some of the show's most heinous villains, no doubt Beale will be loads worse.

Will Daryl or the others make an appearance?

By the time "The Walking Dead" comes to a conclusion, very few long-time cast members from the show's first few years remain. Aside from Rick and Michonne themselves, only Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Maggie Rhee, and Judith (even though she isn't born until Season 3) make it to the very end of the series. While there are plenty of others, including Negan, who make it through as well, the aforementioned six have been with the series the longest. In fact, Daryl and Carol appear as early as the series' third episode "Tell it to the Frogs."

As of the end of "The Walking Dead," Daryl leaves the Commonwealth in search of Rick and Michonne, promising Judith that if he learns anything, he will bring her parents home. Though Carol stays behind, Maggie and Negan are eventually bound for New York City in their own spin-off "The Walking Dead: Dead City." With the main cast members of "The Walking Dead" all splitting up, it raises the question whether Rick and Michonne will ever be reunited with their friends, or if Daryl will find them on his travels.

While only time will tell and each of these individual spin-offs will no doubt expand on these questions further, we hope to see Rick and Michonne fight alongside Daryl, Carol, and Maggie again in the future. Maybe they'll have to reunite them all again on another "Walking Dead" series down the road.

Will the Grimes family be reunited?

When Rick leaves the group on "The Walking Dead," he doesn't just leave behind Michonne, he also leaves behind his daughter and unborn son. Since his departure, both Judith and Rick "RJ" Grimes Jr. have become more important characters in the series' chronology. In fact, the very final shot of the series reveals these two awaiting the return of their parents, proclaiming that they are "the ones who live." As far as send-offs go, ending the series with the new members of the Grimes family — compared to how the show began — feels pretty poetic.

Much like the early days of the apocalypse where Rick misses parts of Carl's life, his being away for years means that he's missing the majority of Judith's childhood and all of RJ's. For many of us, we can only hope that the Grimes kids will be reunited with their parents by the end of the untitled Rick and Michonne-led spin-off, even if it's at the very end. In the final few seasons, Judith proves herself a worthy successor to the Grimes name — and the family hat — and RJ slowly begins living up to his father's name.

Given that "The Walking Dead" was always about Rick Grimes' journey, it stands to reason that Rick, Michonne, and their family will continue to be important parts of "The Walking Dead" universe going forward. Here's hoping that Rick and Michonne make it back home to Judith and RJ soon.