The Walking Dead has never been about romance, keeping some of the most popular characters single throughout the entire series even when it seems like they could use some release in their extreme circumstances. Well, release was the name of the game for Rick and Michonne in the latest episode as they finally had sex after about three seasons of growing closer. Fortunately for fans of Rick/Michonne – or Richonne, as they’ve been dubbed – showrunner Scott M. Gimple said in a recent interview that their night together was only the beginning.
These are two people who have suddenly realized – pretty much at the same time, on that couch – what they already had together and who they already were to each other. This isn’t a one-night stand. And what they have was already there, before they even kissed.
Considering that the episode ended with Rick and Michonne in a naked standoff with the intruding Jesus, Gimple’s chat with EW is encouraging. Getting Rick and Michonne together for one night just for the visual of a naked standoff would be a disservice to their characters and an excellent way to infuriate plenty of fans. Rick and Michonne having sex was a culmination of their relationship rather than a stunt for an episode, and there’s a lot of potential for the rest of the season.
The relatively brief scene as they came to their realizations on the couch was helped by the fact that Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira as Rick and Michonne conjured up more sparks together than Andrew Lincoln and Alexandra Breckenridge did in their entire arc as Rick and Jessie. Frankly, even in a show featuring zombies and cannibals and a baby who never cries at the wrong moment, Rick and Michonne not (at least) making out would have been painfully unrealistic after the looks they were giving each other.
Although Rick spent most of the episode getting into shenanigans with Daryl, and Michonne spent most of it traipsing through the woods after Spencer, the running thread of Rick searching for her toothpaste and Michonne playing mom to Carl and Judith connected them throughout the entire hour. The Walking Dead hasn’t always had the best writing, but Rick and Michonne coming together was handled well. Who knew that a zombie apocalypse version of The Sound of Music could be so fantastic?
Of course, taking into account the gruesome fates of Rick’s last two love interests, Michonne’s future feels much more uncertain than it did just an episode ago. As much of a bloodbath as the midseason premiere was, there wasn’t too much tragedy to the deaths of the Anderson family. We’re almost certainly in for a major death by the end of the season, and Michonne’s odds of survival just sank.
For the time being, however, let’s just think happy thoughts thanks to Scott Gimple’s assurances and assume that Michonne and Rick are going to continue to be two of the most badass survivors of the zombie apocalypse until the series finale. The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.