On the last episode of The Walking Dead [“The Next World”], Rick and Michonne [finally] consummated their love for each other.
All of the writings were on the wall for impending Richonne, the scene was well done and yet…
There are these murmurings:
“Michonne is too strong.”
“She’s like his sister.”
“This means she’s probably going to die.”
“Wow. What a surprising choice. What about Jessie?”
“How do we know this isn’t a one-night stand?”
Wow. WOW. Really, you guys?
I first noticed this bizarre mentality when I read an EW interview with Scott Gimple. He is asked by Dalton Ross, “Finally, what can you say about how this relationship is going to play going forward? I’m assuming this is not just a one-night stand.”
Why would “one-night stand” even factor into this equation? Have you not watched the last few seasons of the show? Did you not see the expressions on their faces? Did it read as a, “Yeah, let’s get in” moment? From the acting to the lighting to the music, that would get a big, fat, “NO” as a response.
The comments weren’t so bad on that article, although I did stop reading…but they were pretty horrible on the article on The Hollywood Reporter.
Lesley Goldberg asked, “This is a huge departure from the comics. Obviously Andrea (Laurie Holden) isn’t around anymore. How do you think diehard comic book fans will respond to Rick and Michonne’s romantic pairing? I certainly didn’t expect it to happen, let alone for it to be in this episode.”
- The show is not the comics; it’s an adaptation. If you make it past season one, you should have gotten that memo.
- Again, how did you not see this couple happening? Were you simply not paying attention to the show? Cause it sounds like it.
I keep asking myself those questions, but I know, deep down, what the truth of it is:
Some cannot see Michonne as a love interest for Rick, I think, simply because of aesthetics. She’s not meek, mild, fair, or blonde (i.e. she’s’ too black).
“Michonne is supposed to be the muscle! This is a total jump the shark moment for TWD! What were the writers thinking?! Rabble rabble rabble!”
Michonne is not just black; she is dark. She has dreads. She wields a sword. She is the epitome of a strong, black woman.
But here’s the thing, guys: She isn’t just a strong [black] woman. She is a mother. A friend. A love interest, and after a long wait, a lover. The writers did a fabulous job of making her (and most of the characters on the show) well rounded individuals. Michonne is not excluded from this.
The writers knew that Rick needed to have his queen to the kingdom, and he found her. Michonne is perfect for him in every way. She is his equal; his confidant; his partner. Now, in every sense of the word.
“But they’re such good friends! This will ruin it!”
I’m sorry, but for those that mentioned these things—
Ever since she appeared at the prison gates covered in walker guts, staring across the way at Rick, I knew that Rick and Michonne were going to become an item. The writers, directors and actors further proved my ship as the seasons rolled on with all kinds of clues, the main three being the following:
- Michonne essentially being the only one to save Rick (from himself, walkers or other threats) countless times
- Pairing Michonne with the Grimes family unit, starting with Carl claiming her as “one of us.”
- Michonne passing up her usual survivor mode after the prison fell, and instead headed back to find Rick and Carl (specifically). I’m sure she could have tracked that bus, which had a larger portion of the group, or Beth and Daryl or anyone, really. But instead, teary eyed, she went to find her core family.
- Nearly every damn look shared between Andy and Danai. It could be just natural chemistry that manifested itself onscreen, or it could have been pointedly written into the scripts. Either way, I saw it, was pleased, and waited for more. And in “The Next World,” I got exactly that.
I have to be honest and say that I was spoiled a bit—I knew that Rick stopped wearing his ring, there would be a time jump, and that Richonne would finally be consummated on screen. I just wasn’t sure how they were going to go about it, and that opening scene confused me for a moment there. Then I belatedly realized, “Oh right—that’s just natural for them to interact that way.” They’ve been living together for quite a while, and a family unit for longer than that. The question became, when would romance peak it’s lovely head in? Later that night after a long day for both of them, we finally get it.
- Notice how Michonne waits up for Rick to come home?
- Michonne tells him to, “Move,” and he quickly complies.
- They share a moment, gushing over [their] daughter.
And then, it doesn’t get more natural than what those two shared. Rick started his day with “More Than A Feeling,” even singing jaunty tunes (much to Daryl’s lament) on his road trip, and Michonne tells Spencer that she was “working up to” what she wanted for herself. Prior to Rick’s return, Carl basically admits to Michonne being like a mother to him, and that he loved her. Not that I needed him to say it, as it had been apparent for some time, but it was nice to hear. Even Judith seemed to light up at her presence.
Rick leans in first to kiss her, and there is a moment where she looks…marveled. “Is this really happening?” It’s as if her being is bursting with joy, with Rick all the while smiling in her face. I have a plethora of pics and gifs and vids, including one where someone was kind enough to drop the background music, so we can hear more of the two and their moment. I suggest you stalk my last week’s-worth of posts on Tumblr to see all that. Anyway, the moment was beautiful, lovely, and…
WHAT THE CRAP?! HOW DARE YOU CUT TO BLACK!
I come from an era of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and was totally waiting for an intense, lengthened moment. Lovey-dovey, naturally, but just, more of it, I guess. I mean, it’s their first time and I’m a greedy bitch. Still, there they were, comfortably asleep, naked with a smidgen of sheet. I can tell that clothes were quickly divested during the course of their passion, given how they are strewn on the floor, and given their positions in bed, I’m gonna go ahead and say that the last moment of their coupling had her on top, falling next to him. Too drained and spent to do much else, she rests her hand on his chest, and he rests his…well, where his hand was resting. It’s a comfortable pose for a couple, if not marginally uncomfortable, for Michonne at least, the way she kind of collapsed on her right arm. Hey, I’m not just a shipper; I’m a writer. I have to be meticulous in the breakdown and know all the moments we didn’t get to see.
RICHONNE IS CANON; DEAL WITH IT.
Overall, I am pleased, and anxiously await next week [to the point where I even want to be spoiled…no I don’t].
In the meantime, I can’t wait to see the next ep, how the group hears of Rick and Michonne’s togetherness, and what becomes of Paul/Jesus.
Learn more about Jill Robi at houseoffangirl.com and check out her latest novel The Good Soldier at Amazon.com.