Going into Sunday night’s episode of The Walking Dead, most fans knew that this would be the final appearance of Michonne (Danai Gurira), as the show has been publicizing her exit for a while. But conjecture about how she would exit has been running wild. Would she die, be kidnapped, or maybe miraculously find Rick (Andrew Lincoln)?
The Walking Dead Recap
In the end, her departure leaned closer to the latter scenario, but she certainly had one of the best exits to date. The show opened by rewinding to Michonne’s first appearance at the end of Season 2. She spies Andrea (Laurie Holden) in the woods being hunted by zombies, only this time, the katana-wielding hero lays back and Andrea dies.
Back in the present, Michonne and Virgil (Kevin Carroll) finally get to the abandoned Navy research facility and while she’s in a rush to find those weapons he promised her, he wants to first see his family. However, we quickly learn his so-called family is dead, and he needed Michonne to finish off their Zombie bodies so he could bury them.
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Michonne does what she does best — slicing and dicing — and clears out an entire room of Walkers, saving Virgil in the process. But he’s still not ready to help her and wants to spend the night before moving onward. She reluctantly agrees but sneaks off in the middle of the night to the research facility. Big mistake!
The Crazy Is Unleashed
Virgil locks Michonne in and we learn how crazy this man really is. She discovers three of his former researchers being held captive in an adjoining room, and then Virgil sends her on an acid trip by way of a poison apple.
The flashbacks continue with this alternate reality of how Michonne’s life could have gone had she not saved Andrea. Turns out, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors are there to help her and she becomes his right-hand, responsible for the deaths of Glenn, Heath, and Abraham. And what’s worse, she’s wounded by an arrow shot from Darryl and then she’s shot in the head by none other than Rick Grimes!
Back in the present, Michonne manages to trick Virgil and take his keys. She releases the prisoners but has mercy for Virgil, who she sees as being just a broken man and spares his life.
Returning to her mission of looking for weapons, she is shocked to find Rick’s cowboy boots! Virgil takes her to an abandoned boat where he found them, and more evidence of her man being alive is found—most notably a broken cell phone with his name and carved pictures of Judith and Michonne. She realizes what viewers have known all along—Rick Grimes is alive!
She returns to the mainland and quickly relies on old habits – slicing the arms and teeth out of two nearby Walkers to use them as her shield. Two strangers pop up asking for help, claiming “they will leave without them” and she does, and sees a huge caravan of people, horses, and carriages not too far away. Michonne leads the two away towards a more positive herd and starts her new journey.
Oh, and she did find time on her boat ride back to the mainland to radio into her kids, letting Judith know “The Brave Man” may be alive. It’s Rick’s daughter who convinces her to go find him and not worry about her or R.J. Explaining how Michonne would leave without the kids was always going to be problematic, and while not the best parenting here, at least it works a bit.
We may not know where Michonne goes for quite some time, because even if she does appear in the Rick movies as hinted now, those still have no firm dates and rumors are they are still a year or so away. Farewell for now Michonne. You will be missed. The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. Check your local listings for airtimes.