Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live’s season 1 finale.

Rick Grimes’ return in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live saw the protagonist finally reunite with his family, but this creates a massive plot hole in another Walking Dead spinoff. Fans have been waiting over five years to see Rick return to the franchise, and The Ones Who Live didn’t disappoint. He was given a fantastic character arc, a beautiful love story with Michonne, and even got to reunite with RJ and Judith in the spinoff’s final scene. While Andrew Lincoln continues to deliver as Rick Grimes, the protagonist returning home does create some plot holes.

Although The Ones Who Live never showed what happened after the Grimes family reunion, it can be presumed he headed back to the Commonwealth. Having spent so many years away from the main group, going to the Commonwealth would allow Rick the chance to have some emotional reunions with the main cast. Therefore, it seems likely that The Walking Dead‘s main characters are all aware of Rick’s return after The Ones Who Live. While this leads to a potentially exciting future for the franchise, it also creates a big continuity error regarding another Walking Dead spinoff.

Maggie & Negan Didn’t Mention Rick’s Return In The Walking Dead: Dead City

Rick’s Return Wasn’t Acknowledged In Dead City’s Entire First Season


Maggie and Negan didn’t mention Rick in Dead City, suggesting The Ones Who Live‘s ending left a bit of a plot hole. While their main focus was on trying to save Hershel, Maggie and Negan did have some moments alone where they reflected on the past. Given Dead City takes place years after The Ones Who Live, it seems strange that neither of them would mention Rick’s return. Despite Maggie being closer associated with the Hilltop than the Commonwealth, the communities’ alliance means Maggie will certainly have heard the huge news about Rick being back with the main group.

This creates questions as to why it wasn’t referenced in Dead City. Negan may have left the Commonwealth before Rick’s return, suggesting he didn’t actually know he was still alive. However, this only gives Maggie more reason to mention it, especially when discussing their history. The real reason this wasn’t mentioned was obvious, as the showrunners wouldn’t want Maggie and Negan to spoil The Ones Who Live‘s ending, but Rick’s return being ignored feels strange. Not mentioning Rick is hard to justify from a narrative perspective, highlighting the Dead City plot hole that the latest spinoff has created.

Dead City’s Future Timeline Is Causing Major Walking Dead Problems

Dead City’s Timeline Makes It Even Harder To Follow The Walking Dead Franchise

Custom image of Negan looking sad and Maggie lighting a match in Dead City

Given how complicated The Walking Dead‘s timeline is, Dead City‘s unclear setting causes even more problems. Both Daryl Dixon and The Ones Who Live seem to take place shortly after the main show’s finale. Rick and Michonne’s story may even take place alongside The Walking Dead‘s ending, while Daryl Dixon is within a few years of the big finale. On the other hand, Dead City doesn’t have a clear time frame. Based on Hershel’s age, the spinoff seems to take place at least five years after the main show’s ending, which only causes more problems for the franchise.

Dead City‘s timeline problem means it happens well after the other current projects. Not only does this mean Rick and potentially Daryl’s returns aren’t mentioned, but it becomes hard to gauge where Maggie and Negan fit into the story. Fitting the proposed crossover show into the timeline becomes more complicated, as having the crossover take place before Dead City would leave little jeopardy for these characters, and Negan likely wouldn’t be involved given he left the Commonwealth. However, setting it after Maggie and Negan’s spinoff means the rest of the franchise would need some big time jumps to catch up.

Dead City Season 2 Can Properly Fix Its Rick Grimes Plot Hole

Season 2 Will Offer The Chance To Explain Why Rick Wasn’t Mentioned In Dead City’s First Season

Maggie Rhee, Rick Grimes, Negan from the Walking Dead

The huge plot hole created by Rick’s return can still be properly addressed in Dead City season 2. While The Walking Dead obviously didn’t want to spoil Rick escaping the CRM over a year before it happened, Maggie and Negan can finally talk about it during Dead City‘s second season. Although they ended season 1 in completely different environments, the duo’s dynamic is what allowed them to get their own spinoff in the first place, meaning they will inevitably interact once again. Rather than continuing to ignore Rick’s return, they can finally address it in their next outing.

Maggie telling Negan about Rick would be an impactful way to spice up Dead City‘s second season. Despite everything he did to Rick, Negan would likely want to face him to try and close that chapter of his life. He already knows Maggie can’t forgive him, but he has proven to her that he can change and would likely want to do the same to Rick. It seems unlikely Andrew Lincoln will appear in Dead City so soon after The Ones Who Live, but mentioning Rick in season 2 would help solve the show’s big plot hole.