This post contains mild spoilers for The Walking Dead season 11, episode 12 ‘The Lucky Ones’. Turn back now to avoid spoilers!
It’s been three and a half years since Rick Grimes was whisked off in a helicopter in The Walking Dead‘s ninth season, and even longer within the show itself given the time jump that happened seconds after. The character is never far away from fans’ minds, which is perhaps why everyone was so disappointed when the new season 11 episode missed an opportunity to mention him onscreen.
In ‘The Lucky Ones’, Commonwealth governor Pamela Milton (The Boys‘ Laila Robins) visits Hilltop boss Maggie Rhee, presumably to talk through why Maggie hasn’t joined Pamela’s community – unlike the Alexandria gang. She quizzes Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) on their pasts and asks about their previous leaders.
Maggie mentions Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh), who was in charge of Alexandria before Rick (Andrew Lincoln) took over. But neither Maggie, Aaron, or Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) acknowledges Rick or Michonne Hawthorne (Danai Gurira), who ran the Safe-Zone after Rick went missing.
“How they can talk about Deanna and the history of Alexandria with no mention of Rick?? Idk talking about the past problems and fights really got me feeling nostalgic,” one Reddit user wrote. “At this point, if they aren’t going to mention him how do they plan on hyping ppl up for the movies??”
#twdspoilers there were so many opportunities for a rick or michonne mention when talking about the communities rebuilding and being so successful and they just. didn’t. ?/?;?2?: pic.twitter.com/Csg8SvSo8FMarch 6, 2022
“Geezus they really don’t even want to mention Rick, do they?” one social media user wrote, while another noted: “I thought for sure Daryl would mention him when Mercer asked if he’d been a leader.”
Not everyone agreed, though, as one Twitter user argued: “Everyone is mad Maggie didn’t mention Rick in the leaders who inspired her, but if we’re being honest… why would she? Rick said he was following her lead and then betrayed her a few episodes later. He made her feel like she wasn’t worthy of being a leader.”
So far in The Walking Dead season 11, the likes of Glenn, Beth, and Hershel have been namedropped by Maggie, who left at the same time as Rick, but returned at the end of the previous chapter, while Rick’s daughter Judith remembered her brother Carl in a sweet conversation with Rosita.
While we wait desperately for a Rick or Michonne nod (or maybe even a return), why not check out our The Walking Dead recap.