The Walking Dead finally reveals Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) fate, and points the show in an exciting new direction. “What We Become” has Michonne and Virgil (Kevin Carroll) arriving on the island. Virgil’s behavior leads Michonne to become suspicious. Her instincts are correct. Instead of weapons for The Whisperer War, Michonne discovers something completely different. She will endure a mind-bending odyssey into an alternate past. Then find a pivotal clue that shapes her future.
“What We Become” opens in the past at Michonne’s introduction to the story. She walks in the woods with two armless and mouthless walkers on chains. Michonne sees Andrea (Laurie Holden) running away from walkers. Andrea stumbles and is overcome by a walker. But instead of saving her, Michonne turns away. Andrea screams as she is devoured.
In the present, the sailboat lands on the island. Michonne uncuffs Virgil and immediately asks about the “munitions.” Virgil takes her to a garden where he picks flowers. He can’t return to his wife “empty-handed.” They walk past buildings as Virgil babbles on about his family. She doesn’t see any signs of other people. Michonne draws her sword, “Stop the bullsh*t. Where the hell is your family?”
Virgil takes her to three empty graves. He made a promise to his wife when they married. He would bring flowers every day. Michonne is furious at his lies, ” Are there any weapons here at all?” Vigil tells her he was never good at killing “rippers.” They took in strangers on the island. Violence broke out. His wife and children got sick. They are still inside a building. That’s why he asked Michonne to come. He needed her to kill them.
Michonne enters a building in the compound. She dispatches a walker at the door. Virgil walks fearfully behind her down a corridor. They come to a walker stuck at a barricade opening. Michonne kills her, then pulls the body through. Virgil is next, but loudly dislodges the barricade and traps them. The noise attracts the remaining walkers.
Michonne grabs a stretcher as a shield. She pushes the walkers into an open room. She goes into ass-kicking mode, shredding walkers. Virgil hides behind the stretcher. He’s about to be knocked down, but Michonne kills them all. They go into another room where everyone has hung themselves. Virgil sadly puts his wife’s shoe back on her foot.
Virgil puts flowers on the newly filled graves. He continues to talk about his wife. Michonne feels sorry, but she needs to find the weapons and leave. Virgil swears he will take her in the morning, “It’s dark and the buildings aren’t safe.” Michonne lies on a cot. She tries her walkie, but gets static.
Michonne ventures out into the compound. She enters another building and searches through crates, no weapons. She sees cages of dead lab animals. She hears whispering in the dark. People are talking quietly, “It might be him.” She enters a room and puts her ears to the wall. Suddenly Virgil is in the doorway. He locks her in. Michonne pounds on the door angrily. Virgil laments, “You couldn’t just wait until morning? I trusted you. And you ruined it.”
Michonne tries to use her sword to escape. It’s no use. Water drips from a pipe. She falls asleep. When she wakes up, her sword is gone, “Sh*t!” A food tray, apple, and drink lays before her. She bangs on the door. Voices call from the other room. Two women and a man are imprisoned inside, “Don’t try to escape. The whole place is booby-trapped. He doesn’t like to see us.”
They were researchers with Virgil. Strangers arrived. Food ran low. “A newbie pulled a knife.” Virgil locked them all inside. He didn’t realize his wife and children were with them. “He snapped.” They’ve been imprisoned ever since. The other prisoners convince Michonne to eat, “You can’t kill him if you don’t have your strength.”
Michonne gets up in a delirious state. Virgil is at the door, “I know you will kill me. I want you to know. The island has a gift.” His head starts to rotate. Michonne has been drugged, “What did you do!” She starts to hallucinate. “Jimsonweed…it makes a nice tea,” replies Virgil. He knows she needs “peace.” He wants her to “see.” Michonne pleads for her daughter and her son. Virgil instructs her “to let the medicine do its work.”
Siddiq (Avi Nash) appears in the room. He chastises her for not protecting him, Rick (Andrew Lincoln), or Carl. Michonne goes wild-eyed as her doppelganger from the past replaces Siddiq. She gives her the chains. Michonne is transported back to the forest. She takes Andrea’s knife from her carcass.
Michonne is walking down the highway. The green Hyundai SUV drives by. It gets stuck in the mud. She races towards it, screaming for help. But Daryl (Norman Reedus) drives away. Michonne is then injured in the woods fighting walkers. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Laura, DJ, and the Saviors find her. She slashes out at Negan, but he knocks her down. Negan’s impressed by “her massive lady nuts.” Laura tosses her an apple. Negan introduces himself.
The scene changes to the attack on the Savior satellite station. Glen (Steven Yuen) kills Laura in her sleep as Heath watches. Michonne wakes up and shoots them both. She hides as Rick guns down other Saviors. We hear Negan whistling. We’re now in the woods where Negan bludgeoned Glen and Abraham. But in this alternate reality, he hands Lucille to Michonne. She calls the Alexandrians “cowards” for killing them in their beds. She kneels in front of Rick. Then walks toward her doppelganger, who’s also kneeling in terror. “What happens next is your fault,” Michonne says to herself.
Michonne is running through the woods. She’s shot through the chest by Daryl. She struggles to get her sword. Rick steps on her hand, then shoots her in the face. Back in the room, Michonne vomits in a bucket. Virgil hands her a cup of water. She sips it slowly, then stabs him in the leg with a spoon. She knocks a knife out of his hand. Virgil hobbles away. In the adjacent room, Lucy, Jeremiah, and Celeste beg for her not to leave them.
They escape into the night towards the boat, but Virgil has set it on fire. They chase Virgil. Michonne pounces on him. Virgil swears he wanted to let them go. He needed Michonne there, “So they wouldn’t kill him.” An angry Jeremiah steps on his wound. Virgil sobs. Celeste wants to finish him off, “Do it or move.” Michonne calms down. She tells them to show him mercy and find “peace.” Lucy knocks Virgil out.
Virgil awakens in the room. Michonne tosses him water. She searched the island. There are no weapons. Virgil promises he did not lie. He will show her “spots.” He takes her to retrieve her sword and supplies. Michonne freezes in amazement. Rick’s boots are on a shelf. She embraces them, and then throws Virgil against the wall, “Where did you get these?”
Virgil takes her to an abandoned ship. She searches the log book. The last entry reads “New Jersey, Bridgers Shipyard.” Behind the log she finds a cell phone. Etched in the phone is a drawing of her and Carl, along with “Rick” and strange symbols. “Holy sh*t, that’s you!” exclaims Virgil. Michonne begins to weep. She turns to attack Virgil, “What did you do? What did you do to him!” A terrified Virgil has no idea who she’s talking about. Michonne realizes he’s telling the truth. She cradles the phone. Virgil believes he can get the boat working, “If this person was on the boat, maybe you can find him again.”
Michonne puts Rick’s boots in her pack. She and the other researchers are leaving on the boat. Virgil decides to stay. He promised his wife flowers every day. The boat sails away as Virgil looks on. Michonne radios “Shoto” on her walkie. It’s me, “Daito.” Judith (Cailey Flemming) responds. Michonne cries as she talks to her daughter and RJ. She reminds them to use the call signs. RJ is “Little Brave Man.”
Judith updates her on the Whisperers, “We got ’em Mom.” They destroyed most of the horde. Alpha “can’t hurt us anymore.” Michonne tells Judith, “I’ve found something that belonged to the Brave Man…in a place that he might have been recently.” Judith tears up, “Mom…is he alive?” Michonne doesn’t know. She wants to get back to her children. Judith says no. Her mother must find him, “What if he needs you more? What if he’s trying to come?” They both cry over the radio. Judith promises to listen to Uncle Daryl. Michonne promises to contact her every day on the radio, for as long as she can.
Michonne chops off the arms and mouths of two walkers. She chains them by the neck, and begins her journey on the road. Two people, a woman and an injured man, come stumbling out of the brush. They are pleading for help, “They will leave without us.” Michonne turns around. In the distance, thousands are marching in formation ahead. “They won’t wait for us,” the woman pleads. The scene cuts back to the chain fence at the prison. Rick stares at Michonne as Carl asks, “Should we help her?” In the present, Michonne kills the walkers. She offers her hand to the strangers. They lift up the wounded man, and walk towards the convoy.
“What We Become” was Danai Gurira’s last episode on the show. Her exit was known from the beginning of season ten, but Michonne’s fate remained unclear. She leaves with the mysterious strangers to find Rick. The writing on the phone must hold a major clue, as well as the shipyard in New Jersey. I found it hard to believe she would leave without seeing Judith and RJ first. But their tender moment over the radio was well done. Judith is a warrior. Her mother has trained her well. Michonne leaves to find Rick with her children in safe hands. Her character will undoubtedly be a part of the feature films starring Andrew Lincoln. The Walking Dead returns with “Look at the Flowers”, next week on AMC.
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