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Walking Dead Wiki
Walking Dead Wiki

"What We" is the fourth episode of the first season of AMC's The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. It is the fourth episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 17, 2024. It was written by Danai Gurira and directed by Michael Slovis.[1][2]


Rick and Michonne try to find the love they had.


In an empty lavish apartment, loud music plays while a Roomba cleans the floor. Outside of the window, the CRM helicopter carrying Rick and Michonne flies through a severe thunderstorm. Michonne suddenly grabs Rick and drags him out of the helicopter in mid-air dropping them both into a river. Pulling themselves ashore, Rick and Michonne run into the building and into the apartment which they are shocked to find still has power and an automated voice welcoming them home, presuming Rick and Michonne to be the residents.

Michonne explains that they needed a time out and Rick is shocked by her actions while Michonne is shocked by what Rick had said to her. Wondering what this place is, Rick and Michonne explore the apartment which has power, running water, working toilets, and an empty fridge. Michonne changes out of her consignee uniform and into some of the clothes in the closet while Rick watches his wife with interest, noticing an X scar on her lower back. Rick looks at Michonne's PRB, having lost his own in the fall, and Michonne, well aware of what the CRM does, asks if Rick really wants to call them here, putting the device into her pocket.

Finding a copy of Ramona the Pest on the bookshelf, Michonne reminisces about how she had loved the book growing up, comparing Ramona to Judith. Michonne had loved the book so much that she had thought that she was going to be a writer for awhile there and she takes the book to give to Judith. Michonne recalls how she had also thought that she was a computer scientist once, then an art history major, and creative writing again, before she dropped out. Michonne angrily tells Rick that he's become a bit of a writer too these days, calling his note in the getaway boat poetry. Michonne challenges Rick to write another masterpiece for his children, unwilling to be the one to tell them that she had found their father who had sent Michonne away and chose not to come home to them. Rick is shocked, having picked up on Michonne referring to them having children, plural, while Rick had only known of Judith's existence. Michonne reveals that "his name is Rick. We call him R.J. I was pregnant when the bridge happened. He's -- He's almost 8".

Rick tells his wife that she needs to give him the PRB, angering Michonne that that was his reaction to finding out that Rick has a son. Rick insists that he's just trying to keep his family alive, but Michonne is too furious to hear him out, pointing out that Rick had told her that everything that they have is broken after telling her that they were going to get away. His voice breaking, Rick asks if Michonne thinks that he doesn't want to be with her, he tried everything, but they need to go back. Rick chastises Michonne as he had warned her not to show the CRM who she really is, only to have Michonne break the kill record at the Harvest Point, grab the R-DIM from Thorne, nearly get herself killed in the process, and then pull them out of a helicopter while Rick's trying to get them out alive. Michonne states that it's because she doesn't like who Rick is with the CRM: who they make him into isn't Rick. Rick asks if Michonne really thinks that he wants this, and requests the PRB again.

Michonne asks if they're going to just let the CRM win, but Rick sadly tells her "look at me. They won a long time ago. They won the day Jadis brought me here." Michonne is shocked to learn that Jadis had brought Rick to the CRM, and realizes that Jadis was working for the CRM. Rick clarifies that Jadis was working with them and, while running away from Alexandria, found Rick half dead at the riverbank. Jadis will destroy their home if Rick tries to leave, but he managed to get Jadis to agree to let Michonne go. Rick wants his wife to live, explaining that Jadis is threatened by them because she believes that Rick and Michonne together can do anything. Michonne insists that they can stop Jadis together, but Rick is worried that the same thing that happened to Michonne's friends will happen to everyone that they know, particularly their children.

Michonne suggests that they can get to Alexandria first, but Rick is doubtful that they could hide everyone they know, even if they get there in time before Jadis. Killing Jadis won't work either because Jadis left evidence of who they are and where they're from behind that will be found if she's killed so they'll still be found anyways. Rick again asks for the PRB, and Michonne demands to know why all the bullshit, and Rick insists that he had to get her out, that both of them couldn't go home, pointing out that Michonne wouldn't have gone if he had told the truth. Michonne suggests that they go back, find and destroy Jadis' evidence, before killing her and going home. Michonne asks if Rick thinks that they can do anything, because she believes that they can. Seeing Rick's continuing reluctance, Michonne asks what they did to him, but Rick just reiterates that they have to go back, not answering when Michonne asks what they'll do after that. Rick reassures Michonne that he has never stopped loving her, and she hands over the PRB. As the storm clears up outside and the sun rises, Rick and Michonne notice a burning helicopter crashed into the side of the building nearby. Rick realizes that it's their helicopter, crashed by the storm, and Michonne had saved their lives with her daring escape. Michonne realizes that Jadis and the CRM will believe that they had died in the crash, and that they can go home, but Rick still refuses to go home.

Sadly looking out the window, Michonne tells Rick that his son - the one who Rick hasn't asked about - calls his father "The Brave Man", and R.J. and Judith tell each other the story about what Rick did. As a result, R.J. had started calling himself "Little Brave Man", something that Michonne loves. Michonne recalls Nat telling her "I know how it ends" when Michonne had insisted upon continuing her search for Rick. Nat still had Michonne's back even though he knew how her search would end and while Michonne was so sure that Nat was wrong, he wasn't: Michonne found Rick, but she didn't. This is not how Michonne had imagined things going at all, incredulously pointing out that they just got a way out, and yet Rick wants to stay with an army that has kept him against his will for years. Rick insists that he has to ensure that Michonne is protected and to keep the CRM from coming for their home. Rick admits that he doesn't know for sure that the CRM is coming for Alexandria, but they could one day. Rick has been looking the other way on their atrocities such as killing innocent people, reminding Michonne that she had wanted to stop the CRM too. If Rick stays, he can make sure that Judith and R.J. are protected from them, but Michonne calls her husband out on his bullshit.

Rick explains that the first man that Michonne and Nat had killed was Okafor, the man who had saved Rick's life and wanted him to become a part of the CRM to move up and help Okafor change it. Rick didn't have anything left, so he gave himself over to Okafor's mission. Michonne points out that it's Okafor's mission, not Rick's, and asks if he remembers the life that they had together, telling Rick that what they were building has kept people alive. Michonne saw Rick standing behind Thorne, a soldier at attention for this army, and she thought "he's a prisoner here and we have to break out. You don't choose to stay in prison. When the doors open, you leave". However, Rick states that they've been crawling around in the dirt for a long time, losing people that they love, and this felt like a chance or a way to stop that, not to surrender to it, but to fight for everyone. Michonne insists that the Civic Republic isn't his responsibility and Rick has a family, but Rick feels that it is his responsibility. Okafor's gone and Thorne has gone over to the CRM completely, meaning that Rick is the only one left to carry out Okafor's plan.

Michonne points out that there's a lot of maybes in Rick's argument: Rick is trying to keep them safe by maybe changing the CRM one day, who might come after their home and put it in danger. Michonne asks if Rick really won't come home to his wife and kids, but Rick continues to insist that this is something that he has to do, not something that he wants to do so he won't go with her. Michonne recognizes that Rick is lying, but she declares that it doesn't matter: Michonne is going back to her kids whom she had left to find Rick. Michonne furiously grabs her belongings, a kitchen knife, and breaks off a wooden lamp leg to use as a makeshift spear. "Well, I found you. I fought for you. I tried to reason with you. I pleaded with you, and now, I have to go. You're lying, and you'll see it, and it'll be too late". Michonne furiously leaves, but devastated, stops down the hall to compose herself while Rick does the same in the apartment. After a moment of waiting for Rick, Michonne begins to leave and starts down the stairs. Rick follows her, not noticing the CRM helicopter approaching in the distance.

In the lobby, Michonne finds a large herd wandering around outside and readies her makeshift weapons as Rick runs to join his wife. Outside, the second CRM helicopter fires missiles into the crashed helicopter, destroying it and destabilizing the building. Rick pulls Michonne out of the way of falling debris that shatters the glass windows in the lobby, letting the herd in. Rick and Michonne quickly flee back inside, leaving Michonne's weapons on the floor. Rick and Michonne desperately try to find a way out as walkers storm the crumbling building. Michonne wants to find a place to hunker down until the number of dead thins out, but Rick tells her that they'll only get trapped if they do that and they can't breach from this high up, even if it's a defensible position. Sarcastically referring to Rick as Commando, Michonne points out that she doesn't even have a weapon and asks how they're supposed to fight past all of those walkers. Michonne finds more walkers in a science lab as cracks form in the concrete walls and she leads Rick into an unlocked gym.

Rick ties the doors closed, explaining that the CRM will destroy any evidence that they exist, hence destroying the crashed helicopter. The whole building is buckling, but Michonne finds a suicide note next to a corpse wearing a headset hooked up to a fuse box with a controller in its hand. The note reads "it's just time. When I conceived of Greenwood it was so clear -- like-minded innovators in various fields seeking to live off the grid, to create a new, more sustained, and hopeful tomorrow. Our motto -- Progress and Redemption Through Innovation -- is now like a sick joke to me, but I can't face how much I have failed everyone. I cannot go another day continuing to watch our mission die. I am sorry. Let me be remembered as one who refused to leave the world the same way I found it. Lakshmi Patel". Rick sees that the notices on the bulletin board reads things such as "Trust in Your Ability to Adapt and Overcome. Your Past Doesn't Define You", "Recover Regenerate" and "Keep Hope Alive!"

Michonne notes that when people try to save the world their own way, it tends to go to shit. Michonne compares the CRM to Greenwood, telling Rick that Greenwood thought that they knew it all too, although they didn't kill innocent people like the CRM. Rick tells Michonne that the Civic Republic still stands, promising to find a way to stop the killing, but Michonne just compares Rick to Lakshmi. Michonne is incredulous that Rick is willing to sign up for lifelong duty to the enemy, but Rick states that this is about ending the enemy. Although Michonne believes that this isn't Rick, Rick asks her how Rick's willingness to give up his hand and his life for her isn't Rick. Rick believes that this is what he needs to do to keep Michonne safe, but Michonne tells her husband that the only time that she feels safe is when she's with Rick. Michonne insists that they don't have to be afraid, but Rick believes that they do. Michonne asks if she should tell R.J. that his father didn't want to know anything about him because he was so afraid, but Rick states that he's not The Brave Man and Michonne shouldn't have come. Rick was taken away and he didn't have a choice, but Michonne did. Furious and in tears, Michonne accuses Rick of not knowing anything anymore, and asks if this is who Rick is now: a soldier of the CRM, someone who is moving up and possibly someone that Michonne should be afraid of now. Michonne doesn't know what Rick's capable of anymore, he's lied to her and continues to lie to her. Michonne furiously demands to know if Rick doesn't think that she's not beating herself up for not being with her kids anymore, that Michonne isn't wondering how she'll ever live with herself if something ever happens to herself, but Rick insists that that's why she should go. Calming down, Michonne declares that she doesn't know who Rick is because the Rick that she knew would never talk to her like that.

As the building continues to buckle, Rick declares that they're getting out of here and breaks off a weight bench seat to use as a shield against the walkers while Michonne grabs a bar to use as a weapon. Together, Rick and Michonne force their way out of the gym and battle the zombified Greenwood residents as a seamless team, even inadvertently getting a shared kill at one point that results in Michonne getting splashed in the face with walker blood, much to her annoyance.

In the stairwell, the chandelier breaks loose of the celling and falls on Michonne, trapping her legs underneath. Rick and Michonne attempt to move the chandelier, noticing walkers approaching from the other side of some fallen rubble blocking the door to the next floor. Michonne urges Rick to go, but he just orders her to grab her makeshift spear and handle the walkers while Rick deals with the bolts holding the chandelier together. As Rick works, Michonne dispatches a walker, but her spear gets trapped in the body of a walker behind it which is able to force its way down to her. Rick gives Michonne his knife to stab the walker with and she manages to free her spear as more walkers make their way up the stairs from below and from behind the fallen rubble. Rick again refuses to leave Michonne, telling her that that's never happening, something that she had needed to hear. Dispatching any walkers that get too close, Rick and Michonne finally manage to free her and Rick promises that she never has to thank him.

Rick and Michonne reach the 7th floor, dispatching a couple of more walkers in their way, and take cover in the apartment which is on the side of the building that hasn't started buckling yet. After a moment's hesitation, the couple kisses and makes love on the bed.

Laying together, Rick asks Michonne about R.J., and Michonne tells Rick that it's nuts how much his son looks like him. Aside from the light brown skin and having Michonne's eyes, it's hard to tell that she had anything to do with making R.J. Their son is stubborn like both of his parents, and he has Rick's good, kind heart which is the part of R.J. that reminds Michonne the most of Rick. As the couple kisses, a Roomba cleaning the floor startles Rick, much to Michonne's amusement. Having just gotten one before the world ended, Michonne explains that it cleans the floor on a timer, thus explaining why the apartment is so spotless. Rick notes that the city's intact with no burned out buildings, fallen walls or bullet holes, just walkers who are all rail thin and Michonne guesses that the residents of Greenwood had run out of food and died of starvation. Rick points out that they had kept this place running a good while, but Michonne states that they did more than that: they kept innovating. The people of Greenwood were probably sick of scavenging and wanted to create another way. Michonne is confused that they apparently didn't have crops, but Rick points out that even if they did have them, crops fail which could've contributed to Greenwood's demise. "One bad harvest -- Something has to burn to bring it back," says Rick, recalling what his father did when Rick was a child, much to Michonne's confusion. Rick believes that if he can change the CRM, there will be a real chance for future generations, but Michonne tells Rick that he's still lying to her and more importantly, Rick's lying to himself.

As Michonne sits up and starts getting dressed, Rick asks about the X on her back. Michonne explains that it was an old college friend of hers that Michonne had let into Alexandria. Michonne was searching for Rick every day with Daryl and, with no body and no trace of Rick, Michonne couldn't stop believing that he was still out there needing help, needing her. Everyone thought that Michonne was crazy, but her friend Jocelyn encouraged her to keep looking. Michonne was seven months pregnant with R.J. and Jocelyn, who was sick and twisted, stole Judith and some other kids and branded Michonne and Daryl. Michonne and Daryl stopped Jocelyn, but Michonne doesn't want to go into how, not wanting to reveal how she was forced to kill all of the kids in Jocelyn's Group aside from Winnie. After Michonne confirms that she had killed Jocelyn, Rick is pleased. Following that incident, Michonne stopped looking for Rick because she had to take care of the baby and Judith, but she kept believing that Rick was not gone forever, something that she still believes. As Rick gets dressed, Michonne asks if he cut off his hand to get away and he was trying to come home, both of which Rick confirms. "You're still trying. I see it. Even through the bullshit. You have the button. You could've hit it, Rick. You haven't. You say you can't go home, but... I don't think you can go back". Her voice breaking and touching her husband's stump, Michonne tells Rick that she's sorry for what the CRM did to him.

The apartment shakes as their part of the building starts to destabilize and Rick insists that they have to go as they're running out of time. However, Michonne refuses, telling Rick that they need to decide what's next right now. Even though the building is collapsing, Michonne refuses to leave until they've decided. "Nat used to say "you gotta know when to go". It's not time to go. Not until we know where we're going". Reluctantly sitting on the bed, Rick lays the PRB between himself and Michonne and she asks why Rick had come after her when Michonne had left earlier. On Michonne's prompting, Rick admits that Michonne is the love of his life, and he couldn't just let her go. It felt like Rick's heart ripped itself out of his chest and walked out of the door when Michonne had left. Michonne urges Rick to come home with her, but Rick insists that it's not that easy. Michonne reveals that when the CRM attacked her friends, she got hit with the Chlorine Gas too. Michonne nearly died and she was holed up in a mall for a year with Nat trying to recover. The CRM took a year from her, from Michonne's time with her kids. Michonne admits that she had lied to Rick, and she doesn't know how Judith is or if she's okay because Judith had stopped answering the walkie. With how much the CRM has taken from them, Michonne wants to know why Rick is going to give them any more. The hope that Rick has in the CRM, sacrificing himself, is not real while Rick's family is real. Their love for each other doesn't get denied no matter what Rick keeps trying to tell Michonne or himself. This back and forth is hurting Michonne and making her become someone that she doesn't recognize. Rick is hurting her and Michonne knows Rick well enough to know that that is not how he loves. As Rick breaks down, Michonne asks what the CRM did to him, wanting to know what is really going on here.

Rick tearfully explains that the CRM took Carl and Rick lost his son again. "When I got taken, I fought, and I fought, and I just -- I tried to get away, by -- by -- by how I would dream. I'd meet up with Carl in my dreams. And that's how I survived in here. Kept me alive. And then one day he was just gone. He just left. But then I started dreaming of you. And there you were. You and I fell in love in different ways, and it kept me going. And then you were gone, too. And, I couldn't see your face anymore, just like I couldn't see Carl's. I can't live without you. Without you, I die." Rick admits that he's figured out how to do that, how to be dead and live now. Rick is terrified that if Michonne comes back into his life and he learns how to live again, Rick will lose her again and he won't figure out how to die all over again, the loss of Michonne will be something that Rick won't be able to survive this time. Rick had needed to get ahead of his fears by making her leave before Michonne could help him to live again. Sobbing, Rick explains that if he could just think that Michonne lives on longer than him without Rick knowing for sure, Rick can at least believe that she's still out there somewhere, living her life. If Michonne actually dies and Rick sees it, he won't be able to survive it. As Rick explains, Rick is shown walking with a young Carl at Ross' Farm before Carl vanishes, as well as his dreams of meeting Michonne in the park.

Michonne gives Rick a newly engraved iPhone that she had Benjiro make for him, this one with a portrait of Carl, the one person who Benjiro had been unable to get right for Rick. Rick remembers Carl as a young boy and at Alexandria before his death, finally able to remember his son's face thanks to Michonne's gift. Michonne asks what Carl would say if he was here with them right now and what Carl would want his father to do with this new chance to be with the ones that he loves. Despite all of the odds and all of the years, Michonne found Rick and she came here through all of the hell that they've both been through to take him home. All of that isn't for nothing and it isn't for them to just go their separate ways. "We go home, Rick, and we figure out how to protect it together. That's how we make it all make sense. We love on each other, as hard as we can, while we can." Rick kisses his wife, finally agreeing to go home with her.

The next morning, as the building begins to go into complete collapse, Rick and Michonne prepare to make their escape while the PA system announces that the elevator only has 10 minutes left of reserve power. Together, the couple fights their way through all of the zombified Greenwood residents in the hall and enter the elevator, sharing a passionate kiss as it takes them to the lobby. Rick and Michonne fight their way outside through the herd still streaming into the building and run across the street to a line of electric vehicles hooked up to their charging ports. In the collapsing apartment lies the PRB, smashed by Rick and Michonne before their departure.

Climbing into and disconnecting a converted Nissan Frontier from its charging port, Rick discovers that it's a stick shift, much to his annoyance as Rick can't drive a stick shift with his left hand gone and replaced by a prosthetic. Rick and Michonne switch spots, sharing another passionate kiss in the process, before Rick notices that the car has tanks of ethanol in the backseat despite being an electric vehicle. Michonne realizes that the truck is a hybrid, running on both electric power and ethanol. The truck has enough fuel to get them home which Michonne notes that they have to thank those people for who clearly thought that they could do anything. Rick agrees, optimistically quoting "we can make this whole damn world ours if we want to." A pleased Michonne agrees, noting that it sounds like something that she would say. Rick reveals that he was quoting her, and they drive away as walkers close in on them. Greenwood collapses completely as Rick and Michonne drive away, smiling at each other, heading home to Alexandria together.

Other Cast[]



  • Lakshmi Patel (Confirmed Fate)
  • At least 1 unnamed CRM soldier (Off-Screen)
  • Numerous unnamed Greenwood residents (Alive, Confirmed Fate; Many Zombified)


  • Only appearance of Lakshmi Patel. (Corpse)
  • The title of the episode, "What We", refers to what Rick and Michonne are capable of accomplishing when they are together.
  • The plot of this episode seems to parallel the events of "Say Yes", however, instead of Rick encouraging Michonne to continue surviving if he dies, it is she who encourages him to regain his old self.
    • This episode also confirms that just as Michonne declared that she could not live without Rick in "Say Yes", he recognizes that he also would not be able to survive if he lost her.
  • This episode is written by Danai Gurira who plays Michonne. In the Episode Insider, Scott Gimple reveals that she basically took over as showrunner for the episode as well.
  • Michonne states that R.J. is "almost 8", placing this episode around 8 years after "What Comes After".
    • This likely means that The Ones Who Live takes place during the year-long time skip in "Rest in Peace" as R.J. is 8 by the end of The Walking Dead.
  • Michonne mentions the events of "Scars" which she states took place when she was 7 months pregnant.
  • Rick and Michonne are the only living characters to appear in this episode.
    • This episode is the first in the entire franchise since "Still" to only feature two living characters throughout the entire episode.
  • Matthew Jeffers shadowed Michael Slovis during the filming of both "Bye" and "What We".
  • Although Jadis doesn't physically appear in this episode, it's revealed in "Become" that she was on the helicopter that bombed Greenwood along with a CRM Reclamation Team.

Episode Highlights[]

  • Rick and Michonne end up in a lavish apartment after their daring escape from the helicopter.
  • Michonne talks to Rick about things that have happened whilst he's been at the CRM, including how she got her X scar in "Scars", how Judith has been and informs Rick about their son R.J who Rick didn't know existed.
  • Rick tells Michonne how he ended up at the CRM and Michonne is shocked to learn Jadis saved Rick's life and that Jadis is working for the CRM.
  • Rick and Michonne find the corpse of Lakshmi Patel who committed suicide after giving up hope due to Greenwood's mission failing.
  • Michonne gives Rick an iPhone with Carl's portrait on it that she got Benjiro to draw after Rick reveals that he used to dream about Carl, but the dreams stopped and he can't remember his son's face anymore.
  • Rick finally agrees to go home and escapes the collapsing building with Michonne which is destabilizing due to the CRM blowing up Rick and Michonne's crashed helicopter.