Why TWD: The Ones Who Live Episode 4 Was Extra Special Explained

Michonne actor Danai Gurira wrote the remarkable new episode.

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live aired a very special episode on Sunday night. It was the fourth episode of the six coming the show's first season and offered all of the Rick and Michonne drama a fan could ask for, plus plenty of walker slaying. However, those things are staples in The Walking Dead franchise by now. What made this episode so special is the fact that it was written by Danai Gurira. Gurira has played Michonne on The Walking Dead since the show's third season and serves as an executive producer on The Ones Who Live, along with her Rick Grimes co-star Andrew Lincoln. However, it was her pen which crafted the many words flying between Michonne and Rick in the well-received episode. 

"Joy is the word -- happy, no," Gurira told ComicBook.com ahead of The Ones Who Live's premiere. "Joy has nothing to do with emotion; joy is something deeper. It was a lot of work, and of course it was going on simultaneously with all the other work that one has to do in this show. We had already arced the series, the three of us, so we knew what this episode needed to be. And of course, there's a process of getting the episode to where you want it to be, and Gimple was like, 'She's the showrunner of that episode, don't come to talk to me.'"

Scott Gimple has been serving as the chief content officer for the entirety of the Walking Dead franchise since The Walking Dead entered its ninth season, formerly serving as showrunner on the flagship show for a few seasons prior. Now, he has entrusted Gurira to put her playwright skills on display with the saga's latest spinoff.

"I was the point person for the episode, which allowed me to have a vision on it, but it was very collaborative," Gurira explaned. "They were reading every draft, they were giving their thoughts, their notes. And also the episode before it was being tweaked, and as that tweaks, I have to tweak because they have to work together. So ultimately it was a process, but I loved what it came to be. And I was in charge of the post of it, as well, with the editor, and the amazing Michael Slovis was the director, and he did an incredible job. It's interesting explaining -- it's such a familiar story, but I was explaining a very different chapter of it to people, in a way that we hadn't explored these narratives as a whole for the series, and this episode was definitely part of that. It was great, it was very collaborative, it was also very solitary, and very little sleep."

The episode scored a 9-out-of-10 score in ComicBook's weekly recap and review video. Fans were clamoring for it on social media. Gurira put her Michonne character through a range of emotions for the zombie drama's latest hour, having her argue with Lincoln's Rick about his stance on the CRM, returning to Alexandria, and more. Not only was the writing impressive, but Gurira and Lincoln also packed impressive performances into the emotional roller coaster of an episode. While it featured plenty of fun zombie kills and life-threatening stakes (like Michonne being trapped under a chandelier and helicopter hurling missiles at a nearby building), the episode titled, "What We," also had major moments like Michonne telling Rick about his son back in Alexandria who has never known about or met. It was a pivotal hour for the series, all crafted by Gurira's script.

Are you enjoying The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live? Share your thoughts in the comment section! The series has two more episodes, airing Sunday nights on AMC.