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Like Andrew Lincoln before her, Danai Gurira just said goodbye to “The Walking Dead” … the TV series at least.

AMC has confirmed Sunday night’s episode, “What We Become,” was the final episode for her character, Michonne. But while her journey on the television show is over, there’s no way this is the last time we’ll see her in the “Walking Dead” universe. Instead of killing her off, the hour ended with her on a new quest to find Rick Grimes, all but confirming rumors she’ll appear in the upcoming theatrical movies continuing his story.

Keep reading to find out what went down.

We’ll circle back to the cold open later in this recap, as it wasn’t immediately clear what was going on here. Instead, we’ll begin with Michonne and Virgil finally arriving to his mysterious island, after a five-hour boat ride. He gave her the lay of the land, showing her his garden and a nearby lab … but all Michonne cared about was getting the weapons she was promised for bringing him back.

Virgil brought Michonne to the island under false pretenses, however, and showed her three graves he dug for his wife and their two children. They got trapped inside one of the buildings as the island became overrun by walkers. He wanted her to put them down, as they had turned.

They hack and slashed their way through the base, with Michonne easily taking out at least 20-30 walkers on her own. What they found inside was worse than they imagined, as Virgil’s family had committed suicide by hanging, their reanimated corpses still dangling from the ceiling. Michonne, however, did what she had to do and they were laid to rest.

After they agreed to explore the area for possible weapons caches the following morning, Michonne couldn’t sleep. She heard voices and started investigating the building, despite being told not to. With that, Virgil locked her in a room. She later learned she wasn’t the only one held captive, as three people trapped in the room next door explained what was really going on.

Apparently, Virgil was a researcher at the lab and, after the dead began walking, they kept taking in stragglers who would wash ashore the island. Eventually, a fight broke out over rations and someone was killed. They turned, panic set in and Virgil locked down the lab, with his wife and kids inside. He was never the same after that.

Things took a turn for the trippy after Michonne ate one of the meals prepared for her by Virgil. He had apparently dosed it with Jimson weed, which caused hallucinations. What followed was a “What If” sequence that showed what could have happened to Michonne had she not been taken in by Rick and the other survivors at the prison.

First, she left Andrea to die, instead of saving her. This, as you might recall, was her big introduction on the show, when she was still roaming with two walkers chained to her. She then ran into Negan and his Saviors, he complimented her “lady nuts” and made her one of them. We then saw her kill both Glenn and Heath during the survivors’ siege on the Savior outpost, before Negan handed her Lucille to seek revenge. The sequence ended with Daryl shooting her with an arrow, before Rick shot and killed her.

Virgil explained that when he gets high, he sees his family and hoped she would have pleasant visions too. Michonne said she only “saw hell.” She then got the jump on him, knocked him out and demanded to know where the weapons were stored. He lied, there weren’t any.

While searching the area, however, she did come across something even more shocking: Rick’s boots. Virgil explained he found them on a boat which washed ashore, but he didn’t know where it came from. She was skeptical.

The two searched the boat, where she found a ledger suggesting they were headed to a shipyard in New Jersey. Alongside it was a cell phone with Rick’s name etched into the screen, along with what appeared to be kanji writing and drawings of both Michonne and Carl. She exploded on Virgil, accusing him of laying a trap for Rick and possibly killing him, but he truly had no idea who she was talking about.

“Maybe it wasn’t an accident that we met,” he told her, “if this person was on this boat, maybe you can find him again.”

With the others from the base freed, they were able to fix the boat. Virgil stayed behind, as he promised to bring his wife fresh flowers each day, and Michonne made a very important walkie-talkie call to Judith.

“We got ’em mom, Alpha can’t hurt us anymore,” Judith told her, barely filling her in on the craziness that happened at Hilltop. “I found something,” Michonne said in return, “something that could be really important for all of us. I found something that belonged to the brave man and places he might have been recently.”

“Mom, is he alive?” Judith asked, before telling her she needed to go find him. “Mom, you have to go. You have to. We’ll be okay. What if he’s trying to come home too and no one will help?”

That’s what Michonne needed to hear and with that, she decided to head North to try and find him. Promising to try and talk to Judith and RJ everyday, she said, “I love you and your brother so much.” Replied Judith, “I love you too, go get him.”

Knowing Michonne would be leaving this season, we were very interested to see how the show would handle her two children. Since there were rumors she’d be in the movie, we all suspected she wouldn’t be killed off, but would she abandon her kids? Or would they leave the show too?

With Alpha out of the picture, Michonne believed they were safe and, thanks to Judith’s blessing and walkie-talkie updates that will happen, presumably, off-camera going forward, this was a relatively clean way to send her off without killing her. Can we also once again give props to Cailey Fleming for her work as Judith? She killed it.

The episode ended with Michonne taking the boat at least some of the way north, before finishing her trek on foot. Along the way, she came across an injured couple who were trying to catch up to a massive caravan of people. Seeing the literally hundreds of humans in the distance, Michonne offered them her hand and off they went.

Who are these people? Are some of them from the boat? And where are they heading? Those are questions probably won’t be answered until the “Walking Dead” movie drops, release date TBD.

In a January 2020 interview with EW, franchise chief content officer Scott Gimple said the script for the first movie was still being refined and a director hadn’t yet been chosen. He added that they are still planning on making three movies which will “continue to tell Rick’s story” and point to a much bigger world.

Not gonna lie, we’re definitely going to miss Michonne on the flagship series. Gurira was an incredible find and has become a bonafide star since she made her debut. Can’t wait to see what she does next!

“The Walking Dead” airs Sunday on AMC.



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