After four years without clarity, the origins of Rick Grimes’ phone message were finally revealed

The Walking Dead Finally Explains The Origin Of Rick’s Phone 4 Years Later

After four years without clarity, the origins of Rick Grimes’ phone message were finally revealed in The Walking Dead’s latest spinoff show.

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SUMMARY

  •  Revealed: Rick’s phone message origin and meaning was finally unveiled in the latest episode of The Walking Dead spinoff.
  •  Meet Benjiro: The artist behind Rick’s drawings and the Japanese message on his phone has been introduced in The Ones Who Live.
  •  Family Motivation: Other drawings of Carl were mentioned, showing how important family is to Rick’s survival and the storyline in the spinoff.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for episodes 1-3 of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

Four years ago, The Walking Dead introduced Rick Grimes’ cryptic phone message, and The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live has finally revealed the origins of the mystery. While looking for Rick in season 10, Michonne stumbles across a phone with a drawing of her and Judith on it, accompanied by Japanese writing. This was obviously a huge hint that Rick was still alive, but little was known about its origin until Rick and Michonne’s Walking Dead spinoff answered the mystery surrounding the phone. The origin wasn’t revealed straight away, but the spinoff’s trailer provided some details about the message.

The Ones Who Live‘s trailer revealed the meaning of Rick’s phone message, with Nat telling Michonne that the Japanese writing translates to “Believe a little bit longer.” This was the first update that The Walking Dead had provided on the phone message for four years. While it may have simply seemed like an extra bit of motivation for Michonne to find Rick, the spinoff has now revealed more about the phone’s importance and where the drawings came from. The Ones Who Live, episode 3, explained the origins of the drawing and message on Rick’s phone that helped inspire Michonne’s journey.

The Ones Who Live Introduced The Character Behind Rick’s Drawings

The Origins Behind Rick’s Phone Drawings Were Finally Revealed

With the meaning of Rick’s phone message already revealed, The Ones Who Live finally introduced the character behind the drawings. Rick has many talents in The Walking Dead, but art has never been his strong suit. Luckily for him, the Civic Republic has an art stall called Benjiro’s Portraiture And Art, which Rick visits frequently. During Michonne’s journey through the Civic Republic, she recognizes the advertised artwork as the same style of drawing that’s on the phone she found. She approaches the stall, with the man behind the counter recognizing her from his own drawings.

The shop suggests the artist’s name is Benjiro – although he never confirms this – but given he was behind all of Rick’s drawings, the store is likely named after him. Benjiro and Michonne’s conversation reveals that Rick asked him for drawings frequently, with Benjiro stating, “He would come every few months and ask for a new one.” This may be Benjiro’s only cameo in the spinoff, but it adds some context to the phone mystery in a heartwarming scene. It proved that, despite all the challenges Rick faced, he still had hope that he’d see Michonne and Judith again.

Benjiro Also Wrote The Japanese Message On The Phones

Benjiro Was Behind The Important Message On Rick’s Phone

Alongside drawing Michonne and Judith, Benjiro was also behind the Japanese message on the phone Michonne found. After mentioning that Rick wanted the drawings until he saw his loved ones again, Benjiro indicated that Rick slowly lost belief. Benjiro stated, “He knew he’d see you. He knew it. He stopped talking like that. I told him…” Before he can finish, Michonne cuts him off, claiming she knows what he told Rick. This indicates it was the same thing he wrote on the phone, which is confirmed by Benjiro finishing their conversation with “Believe a little bit longer.”

It may have taken four years, but this scene answered any remaining mysteries about Rick’s phone. It confirms that Rick still loves Michonne and Judith in The Ones Who Live, which is something Michonne needs to hear. With Rick’s lack of belief about escaping, Michonne begins to trust him less, but this scene reinforces that he still loves her. It also highlights that Benjiro had a big role in Rick and Michonne’s Walking Dead reunion. They both showed signs of losing hope, but the phone and Benjiro’s message motivated Michonne to fight against the odds and keep searching for Rick.

The Ones Who Live Indicates That There Were Other Drawings

Rick Had Benjiro Draw More Than Just Michonne & Judith

Although The Walking Dead only showed the drawing of Michonne and Judith on the phone, The Ones Who Live indicates there was other art. Benjiro tells Michonne, “There was a boy he asked me to draw, but I could never get it right for him.” Michonne immediately recognizes that he’s referring to Carl, which makes sense that he would also be a motivating factor for Rick. Despite his death, Carl Grimes being mentioned in Rick’s spinoff shows the importance of family to The Walking Dead‘s protagonist, and how key his loved ones were to his survival over the years.

These drawings gave him the belief to keep going, and Carl being a pivotal part of that honors his Walking Dead legacy. Rick even holds onto these phones himself, proving that they aren’t only for his allies to find, but also to keep him going when times get tough. Benjiro being unable to draw Carl correctly may have been a factor that led to Rick slowly giving up hope, as he struggled to hold onto those important to him. Despite being such a small detail, the artwork is clearly significant to Rick and Michonne’s journey in The Ones Who Live.

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