The Walking Dead’s Rick And Michonne Were A Terrible Couple, Why Do They Need A Spinoff?

The Walking Dead won’t end when Season 11 airs its final episode. Even aside from the shambling husk of a show that is Fear The Walking Dead—a show nimble enough to avoid cancellation, but not to offer up a single watchable episode in years—we have several spinoffs in the works.

There’s the Daryl + Dog + Motorcycle spinoff that used to include Carol. Norman Reedus is saddling up alone, however, as Melissa McBride has bowed out. Maybe Season 11’s goofy villain, Leah, will abandon the Dark Side and join Daryl on his new adventure—but let’s hope not.

Then there’s the Negan + Maggie spinoff Isle of the Dead starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan. Guess we know which characters won’t die in Season 11, folks! As much as I’ve grown to genuinely like Negan and JDM’s portrayal of him (at least as Negan 2.0) I’m much less fond of Maggie (badass Season 11 notwithstanding) and I’m totally not convinced that this is a good idea.

Still, the more I think about it the more I think it’s a better idea than the most recently announced spinoff: A limited Michonne + Rick Grimes series starring Danai Gurira and Andrew Lincoln that tells the story of how they finally find each other after all these years.

For one thing, Negan and Maggie have more sexual tension in a single scene than Rick and Michonne ever had in all their seasons together. Frankly, Rick and Michonne—outside of nutty fan shipper forums—never made sense and never worked. They’re both fine characters, but as a couple they go together about as well as toothpaste and orange juice.

Negan and Maggie, on the other hand, well . . . despite some past differences (or maybe in some twisted way because of them) I think they’d snap, crackle and pop.

When Michonne left The Walking Dead I called her final episode ‘utterly ridiculous in every way’ writing. The episode itself was (mostly) quite bad, but her departure—which required her to leave her children behind in the middle of a fight to the death with the Whisperers—was what truly upset me about the character’s exit.

So here’s the problem that this spinoff has to overcome. We need to believe that Michonne would leave two young children behind to go on a wild goose chase to find Rick, who has been missing for several years at this point, somewhere out in the zombie apocalypse, because her love for him is so strong and so pure and so powerful that she had no other choice.

Then, somehow, when she finds her long-lost love, the show needs to convince us that their love is in fact that brilliant and awesome that through every trial and tribulation it will not just survive, but burn even brighter.

The show’s official summary reads:

“This series presents an epic love story of two characters changed by a changed world. 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?”

This does little to assuage my fears over Rick and Michonne’s glaring lack of chemistry or any real romance to speak of. If the show’s creators don’t even know if they are enemies, lovers, victims or victors what can we expect from these six episodes?

Besides, as I noted previously, wrapping up the Rick/Michonne story arc in the main series would be more emotionally resonant. This would allow them not just to reunite with one another, but with all their kids—as well as all their old friends, many of whom we know for a fact won’t die.

Here’s the thing, in the larger story of The Walking Dead Rick and Michonne spent more time (at least on-screen) as traveling companions than lovers. We barely even see how they become lovers to begin with back in Season 6 (Rick does a pretty radical about-face after his obsession with Jessie).

In fact, Michonne spends more time apart from Rick entirely offscreen during the time-jump after his disappearance than she ever spent with him. By many years. They were together for an insanely short amount of in-fiction time, and yet she abandons her children to go find him years later based on a flimsy clue?

I’m not sold, and it will take a great deal to sell me when the time comes. Zero chemistry, a preposterous Michonne departure, years in both the real world and Walking Dead universe passed, presumably none of the other cast . . . what exactly is the point of this beyond fan-service for the Rick-Michonne shipper crowd (who have somehow seen in this coupling all the things I find absent)?

What do you think, dearest readers of mine? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.

P.S. This headline is totally preposterous as well, despite the fact that I wrote it. Clearly the Rick and Michonne has many huge problems to overcome, including the fact that it’s being written and produced by the same people who ran The Walking Dead into the ground, and by a company that seems to not place much value in quality control. If I were its stars, I would go into this carefully and with demands.