It’s Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) last episode of The Walking Dead. In “What We Become” we get a glimpse of what Michonne’s life might have been like if she never found Team Family.

RELATED: Recap the Previous Episode of THE WALKING DEAD, “Walk With Us” 

Michonne first appeared at the end of season two when she fately crossed paths with Andrea (Laurie Holden). On that day, Andrea was running from a few walkers and ran out of bullets.  She killed two, but got injured in the process. The third walkers almost got Andrea, before Michonne cut him down. So what would have happened if Michonne just ignored Andrea’s cries? 

ISLAND OF HOPE

Michonne left with Virgil (Kevin Carroll) to take him home to his family and gather weapons.  Virgil said he came from an island that was an old naval research facility. Which is true, but Virgil lied. First of all, his family is dead. And secondly, he doesn’t know if there are any weapons on the island.  He just wanted to go back to the island because he promised his wife he’d give her flowers everyday. I knew it was too good to be true. 

Virgil tells Michonne that others showed up on the island and caused some trouble. He locked the dead inside of the infirmary and that’s where his family. He needs her help to clear it out so he can give them a proper burial.  In return he will help her find the weapons he promised her. 

They go to the infirmary and Michonne clears the walkers easily…all by herself.  They walk into a room where a group of people have hung themselves, not knowing that they would turn.  Virgil’s family is among that group. They release the dead and bury Virgil’s family. Michonne is ready to look for the weapons, but Virgil is stalling.  He tries to talk about his family, knowing Michonne can relate because she has a family of her own. And then says he needs to ask her something. Michonne isn’t having it, but Virgil says it’s too late in the day and the island isn’t safe. He promises they will search first thing in the morning. 

THE REAL STORY
Virgil introduces Michonne to his island on The Walking Dead

Danai Gurira as Michonne, Kevin Carroll as Virgil – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Eliza Morse/AMC

Michonne settles in for the night and tries to contact Judith (Cailey Fleming). There’s no answer, but she hears a thud outside and goes to investigate.  She finds a building with cells. There are some markings on the wall, Group 1, Group 2…I wonder what that’s about? She finds boxes, thinking there might be weapons inside, but finds nothing of use. Michonne hears a man speaking, telling someone to stay still and be quiet. 

Michonne follows the voice, looking around in the building.  She walks into a cell and hears the people talking. Virgil shows up behind her and sighs.  She turns to look at him as he shuts the door, locking Michonne inside. Virgil is angry that Michonne couldn’t wait until morning and says she ruined it. 

Michonne tries to get out, but grows tired.  She falls asleep and the next morning, her katana and backpack are gone. There is a tray of food.  She starts banging around, trying to find a way out when the people next door tell her to calm down. There are three of them, two women and a man.  They tell her that the building is booby trapped. Virgil doesn’t come around often because he doesn’t like to see them.  

The three captives were Virgil’s research partners and the cleaning lady. They tell Michonne that they did take in some stragglers.  One night a fight broke out because the food supply was low. Someone was killed and turned. Virgil panicked and told everyone to lock the doors to the infirmary.  He didn’t know his wife and kids were in there. That’s when he snapped and locked up the other three people.

JIMSON WEED

They tell Michonne to take it easy and eat something.  Michonne starts to eat and abruptly wakes up later that night.  Virgil comes to check on her, but he won’t open the door because he knows Michonne will kill him.  He says the island has a gift that he thinks will help her the way it helped him. She can’t stand up and things start to get weird.  

Michonne starts hallucinating. Virgil says he put Jimson Weed in her tea.  He knows she’s in pain, like him and needs peace. She tries to appeal to him to let her go but apparently they’ve had the conversation three times.  She wants him to think about her family. He says everything he did was to protect his family.

That’s when Siddiq (Avi Nash) shows up and asks about his family.  He says Michonne was supposed to protect them. She let him, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl (Chandler Riggs) die. He asks what happens now to Coco and his family. Michonne starts crying saying he is her family.  Siddiq points out her bloody hands and says this is what it’s like to be her family.  

WHAT IF
Michonne faces the consequences of her choices on The Walking Dead

Danai Gurira as Michonne; single – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Michonne sees herself in a cloak, holding a chain.  Virgil tells her not to fight it, so Michonne takes a hold of the chain.  She is taking back to that day she met Andrea. She watches the walker devour Andrea and she goes through her things, taking a knife and a water canteen. 

Next, she is walking down a road when she sees Rick, Carl, and Daryl (Norman Reedus) drive by. (Season 3 Episode 12 – Clear). Michonne is the hitchhiker that yells for help when they drive by.  Their car gets stuck in the mud trying to go around another car. She runs to catch up with them, but they drive away before she can reach them.  

Next she fights off walkers in the woods when Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors find her.  At first she’s defensive and swings at Negan. She says she doesn’t want any trouble. He laughs and says she probably should be taking swings at him. She laughs saying she probably shouldn’t have missed.  Negan likes Michonne and her massive lady nuts. He gives her an apple and introduces himself.

Fast forward to the satellite outpost massacre (Season 6, Episode 12 – Not Tomorrow Yet).  Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Heath (Corey Hawkins) sneak into a room where two Saviors sleep. This was the night they both made their first human kill.  Glenn quietly kills Laura (Lindsley Register) and Heath approaches the second sleeping Savior. It’s Michonne. She turns over and shoots both Glenn and Heath, killing them.   She runs out and there is a gun fight going on. Rick almost shoots Michonne, but she gets away. 

WELCOME TO THE NEW WORLD

We go to the night Negan caught Rick and his people. (Season 6, Episode 16 – Last Day on Earth/Season 7, Episode 1 – The Day Will Come when You Won’t Be).  Negan taunts the group, but then hands Lucille to Michonne and lets her finish the job. She struts in front of the group, saying they didn’t know who those people were or where they were from.  They came in the dead of night and slaughtered them in their sleep…like cowards. She looks at them one by one, excluding Glenn of course. When she chooses her victim, she tells them to remember they did this.  What happens next is their fault. Michonne kills herself.

Later, she’s running in the woods away from gunfire.  She kills a couple of Rick’s people before she is shot with an arrow, courtesy of Daryl. Michonne reaches for her sword, but a familiar boot steps on her arm. Rick stands above her with a gun pointed at her face.  He stares at her intently before shooting her.

MAY MY MERCY PREVAIL MY WRATH

Virgil isn't who he appears to be on The Walking Dead

Kevin Carroll as Virgil, Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Eliza Morse/AMC

Michonne throws up the last of the Jimson Weed when Virgil returns to check on her.  He bends down near Michonne to give her some water. The food tray is still on the floor, so she takes the fork and stabs Virgil in the leg.  He reaches for a knife, but she grabs his wrist, making him drop the knife. He gets up and runs away. The others in the next room heard the scrimish and yell for Michonne to let them out.  They run out of the building and to the dock. Virgil set the only boat off the island on fire. 

Michonne and the others chase Virgil down.  He says he wanted to let the others go, but he knew they would kill him. That’s why he wanted Michonne there. He was going to ask her to protect him, but she found them first.  He apologizes. Virgil says his wife always told him to do the right thing but now that she’s gone, he doesn’t know what that is. The other three are eager to kill Virgil and ask MIchonne to move. 

They all have good reasons to kill him, but Michonne says they are going to let him live.  She tells the others that he owes them more than he can make right. They will lose more of themselves if they kill him. It doesn’t settle the score, but mercy will give them peace.  They all settle down except for the cleaning lady who hits Virgil in the head, knocking him out.

THOSE BOOTS

Virgil wakes up in the cell. Michonne brings him water and is upset. She checked for weapons and there’s nothing there. He says found shells so he knows there are weapons on the island but they are in places he doesn’t care to go.  He tells her to take whatever she wants to clear is debt to Oceanside.  

Virgil reminds Michonne that she took the risk, but only because she had to find out. Michonne is angry and asks what he sees when he’s tripping? He sees his family, so he probably drinks that tea a lot.  He wanted Michonne to see it too, but all she saw was Hell. Virgil says he doesn’t know how to live in a world without his family. Michonne says he has to try… and try to find her stuff.

Virgil takes her to a closet of random things. She finds her katana, radio, backpack and a pair of familiar boots. She takes them and smells the boots. Michonne knows…these are Rick’s boots.  She attacks Virgil wanting to know where he got the boots.  

SIGNS OF LIFE
Michonne makes an interesting discovery on The Walking Dead

Kevin Carroll as Virgil, Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Eliza Morse/AMC

Virgil takes her to another side of the island where there is another boat in the bay.  He says it washed up on the shore. He doesn’t know where it came from. She pulls him onto the boat and looks through the log of stops.  The last stop was in New Jersey. 

Michonne also finds a cell phone with Rick’s name etched in it.. There is also a picture etched into the screen.  It’s Michonne and Judith. Rick was there! Michonne gets emotional, thinking maybe Rick is alive. Virgil can see the picture and recognizes the picture is of her and her kid.  Michonne gets angry again, accusing Virgil of trapping them. She demands to know what he did with Rick, but Virgirl doesn’t know who she’s talking about. 

Michonne believes him and looks around for more clues.  Virgil says maybe it wasn’t an accident that they met. He says with help from the others, he can get the engine running.  If Rick was on the boat, she could find him again. Michonne packs up and Virgil gives them food and supplies. She says it will take some time for the others to forgive Virgil, but they want to.  She asks him to go with them. Virgil doesn’t want to leave. He promised his wife flowers everyday. Michonne and the other leave and Virgil watches them sail away. 

SHATO AND LITTLE BRAVE MAN

Michonne cries as she looks at the phone and decides to call Judith.  When she reaches her, RJ (Antony Azor) takes the radio, eager to talk to his momma. Judith reminds him to use call signs and he calls Michonne by hers…Daito. RJ’s call sign is Little Brave Man.  SO CUTE!

Michonne asks about the others and how everything is going back home. Judith pauses but then tells her mom that they got most of the horde. She says Alpha (Samantha Morton) can’t hurt them anymore. Michonne starts to cry in relief. 

Michonne tells Judith about finding signs that The Brave Man, her dad was on that island. Judith asks if he’s alive, but Michonne doesn’t know.  The girl encourages Michonne to go find her dad. They are okay there and Rick might need her more. He might be trying to find his way home and no one will help him. 

The boat is reaching the coast, so Michonne has to go. She tells them to listen to Uncle Daryl. And she plans to call Judith every morning for as long as the radio lasts.  Michonne says goodbye to Judith. Judith gives her one last boost, saying go get him. Both are crying after they hang up.  

SEARCH FOR THE BRAVE MAN

Michonne makes new walker pets and starts walking.  She comes across two people, a man and a woman, wearing some kind of animal hide. The man is injured and the woman is trying to carry him. Michonne approaches them. The man asks for help and says they will leave without them.  She asks who and the point to a nearby valley. There is a large caravan of people, like hundreds of people travelling in wagons, on foot and on horseback.

Michonne thinks about the day she showed up at the prison. (Season 3, Episode 7 – When the Dead Come Knocking).  Rick and Carl took a chance on her and helped her. She extends her hand and tells them to come on! They pick up the man and start walking toward the caravan. 

RELATED: Catch Up on Season 10 of THE WALKING DEAD Here!

THOUGHTS

This is a bittersweet goodbye. Michonne has become such an important figure in The Walking Dead universe.  She represents a strength in women not often portrayed on television. Even in the face of scrutiny, she stands tall with her head held high.   She loves fiercely and fearlessly.  Michonne is cautious, yet warm and accepting of new people and ideas.  She became an amazing leader and a force to be reckoned with. 

I do have one issue with this episode, other than Michonne always being abused in some way.  The picture in the cell phone of Michonne and Judith.  That was Judith as she is today.  The last time Rick saw Judith, she was four years old and had curls.  Shouldn’t he have drew the baby Judith instead of the young lady back in Alexandria?  Continunity goes a long way in story telling.

I did enjoy the “What If” scenerio because is shows how one choices in life can lead them on a different path.  And it also shows that even when Rick’s people were the good guys, they were the bad guys too.  What happened between them and the Saviors made them both wrong. Even though Rick and Negan believed their side was the right side. It reminds me of when Aaron asked Michonne if they were the good guys.  And how they could be the villains in someone’s story.  What if the Savior War never had to happen.  Where would everyone be now?

There will never be anyone like Michonne again on this show.  The Walking Dead will be very different from here on out.  I’m glad the writers didn’t kill her off.  But I have so many questions now about where she’s headed, who’s she’s travelling with, and if it will lead her to Rick.  

Farewell Michonne.  I hope to see you again real soon. And thank you Danai Gurira! You’re Amazing!

 

 

 

Noetta Harjo
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