Following Rick Grimes’ exit last week, The Walking Dead season 9 has jumped forward six years and yesterday’s episode, “Who Are You Now?” showed us just how much things had changed for the characters in that time. Judith’s all grown-up and is as cool as you’d expect given her parents, Father Gabriel and Rosita are a thing (for some reason) and Eugene’s got himself a beard. But the biggest development was saved for last.
It turns out that Michonne is not just the mother to her adoptive daughter Judith, but she also had another child after Rick left. The young boy was seen hugging his mom towards the end of the episode, with it left to us to put the pieces together and work out that he’s the son of Rick and Michonne. In fact, this boy – whose name we don’t yet know – is the only biological descendant of Rick left on the series. Carl passed away back in season 8 and Judith, though Rick loved her as his own, is biologically Shane’s.
Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira have actually teased the possibility of the couple having their own kids before. Lincoln, in particular, seemed very keen on the idea. Perhaps his enthusiasm for the concept influenced the writers, as this is another move that’s a stark departure from the comics. Rick and Andrea – who becomes his second wife in the source material – never had a child together before her death in issue #167.
The realization that Rick has a son out there that he doesn’t know about could have a big impact on the upcoming movie trilogy that Andrew Lincoln’s set to star in. If those films wrap without ol’ Grimey reuniting with Michonne and finding out about his boy, then you can bet that fans will go wild.
In the meantime, The Walking Dead season 9 continues on AMC every Sunday.