The cat (statue) is out of the bag.
We knew ahead of Season 10 that Gurira was leaving the show, but the exact plan wasn’t quite clear until the latest episode, “What We Become.” It was a trippy, confusing exit, remixing some of the show’s most infamous moments and ending with Michonne riding off into the sunset after Rick (Andrew Lincoln).
In the episode, Michonne is traveling with Virgil (Kevin Carroll) to take him back home to his family and retrieve weapons from his home island. To be honest, it seems a little foolish of Michonne to leave with the newcomer based on his word, and ― who would’ve thought! ― it turns out it is. Virgil’s family members are zombies. He just wants Michonne to help put them down. Also, he’s secretly keeping some other people captive. Whoops!
Virgil briefly captures Michonne and drugs her, causing her to hallucinate about past “Walking Dead” moments while struggling with the show’s age-old question, “Are we the baddies?”
The episode features new and old footage. In Michonne’s original introduction to the show, she saves Andrea (Laurie Holden) from zombies. In the drug-induced scene, she lets her die and takes her stuff.
Other scenes show Michonne joining the Saviors instead of Rick’s group, shooting Glenn (Steven Yeun) and actually taking Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) place at the infamous lineup scene from the Season 6 finale.
This was that shot of Michonne holding Negan’s bat, Lucille, from the Season 10 trailer.
After she hallucinates Rick shooting her in the head, Michonne comes out of it. She and the other prisoners eventually overtake Virgil, who was apparently going to release everyone the whole time. He just wanted Michonne’s protection from the other people. OK. Whatever, dude.
Everyone lets him live because it turns out they are the goodies after all. Yay!
Michonne’s exit comes when she finds Rick’s boots among Virgil’s stash of stuff. He points out a boat where he found the boots, and she also discovers a cellphone with pictures of her and Judith (Cailey Fleming) etched into it, along with Rick’s name.
Even though that’s clearly not how to use a cellphone, the drawing seems to be enough proof for Michonne that Rick is alive. With her daughter Judith’s blessing, Michonne heads off to find him.
Is it weird that Michonne is essentially abandoning her kids to search for Rick? Sure. But she had to leave somehow, and it’s better than tripping into a bunch of zombies, a la Carl (Chandler Riggs). If she has the possibility to show up in the future Rick Grimes movies, that’s probably the best-case scenario.
Until next time, Michonne. It’s not farewell for good; it’s just goodbye for meow.