Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead was a huge one, as it saw the exit of Danai Gurira as Michonne. Not to mention that it featured some major set-up for those Andrew Lincoln-starring movies, as the character discovered that Rick Grimes was alive, after all. She’s now starting off on a cross-country quest to locate her former lover, which is why she’ll no longer be on the show. But the revelation that Rick survived will still have an impact on the rest of this season.
In an interview with Deadline, showrunner Angela Kang promised that the fallout of Michonne’s farewell will be keenly felt for the remainder of the episodes of season 10. Not only emotionally, but also because she’s yet another leader of the communities who’s left them in the lurch. This will leave Daryl having to step up.
“I think that certainly Michonne leaves a gaping hole in both the emotional lives of Judith and these other characters that love her, but also, she is the head of security for Alexandria and she has been such a leadership force since the loss of Rick. So that really puts Daryl in a particular position. It really demands more of people like Gabriel and Aaron, but also asks our other communities like Hilltop, how do they come together because they’ve lost a stream of leaders.”
Kang also added that the last three installments of this run will be all about exploring the ramifications of the events that have unfolded over the past few weeks. Though she doesn’t spell it out, we can surely expect one of these to be Daryl and the others realizing that Rick is still out there somewhere.
“I think that’s a big part of kind of the landscape of what’s going on in these final few episodes as they deal with all of the fallout from the Hilltop battle, the death of Alpha and now Michonne gone.”
In the timeline of the series, Rick has been presumed dead for over six years, with the survivors long having had to come to terms with his supposed death. Michonne knows the truth now, though, and so does his daughter Judith, as her mom told her what she’d found out before she set off on her journey. This is big news for Judith, as she may finally reunite with her dad, but it’ll be equally massive for Daryl. He’s lost a lot of friends across the course of the show, but this time he’ll get some good news.
We’re all suspecting Michonne to appear in the films now, but will Norman Reedus’ Daryl likewise return and get to meet Rick again? We’d all hope so, and there’s been talk of it happening in the past. Before we get to that, though, first we have to see how he takes the revelation that he’s alive.
The Walking Dead season 10 continues for the next couple of weekends before going on indefinite hiatus. The season finale will then air sometime later this year.