There was really never going to be a good way to write Michonne off the show. Considering last week’s epic cliffhanger it was going to be even harder for this episode to succeed. While I hate grading on a curve, factoring in the degree of difficulty What We Become was a strong if at times disjointed farewell for one of the series’ most enduring characters.
Easily the biggest hurdle for this episode was the notion that Michonne would leave her kids and the communities with a stranger on the eve of a big showdown with The Whisperers on the promise of a major weapons cache. The Walking Dead has never been a Resident Evil style show where characters acted against their established decision-making for guns. Or maybe that’s just the way I play RE?
Michonne had to be separated from everyone else of course to allow the writers a way to get her away from everyone with the possibility of returning say for the series finale.
She helps Virgil reunite with his family even though he neglected to mention they’re walkers. Michonne learns their tragic fate after Virgil locks her in a room. Luckily she can communicate with the three people Virgil imprisoned next door. Turns out security got a little lax when Virgil wasn’t around and to prevent an outbreak, Virgil closed off most of their community without realizing he’d locked his family away as well. Well, that explains his dodgy behavior for sure.
Virgil dopes Michonne’s food taking her on an acid trip take of It’s a Wonderful Life TWD style starting with her choice not to save Andrea. This leads to a brief hallucination involving Siddiq, which doesn’t really have the desired impact since Michonne and Siddiq weren’t exactly BFFs.
The real fun occurs when Michonne continues playing out her let Andrea die scenario. In this walkthrough she gets taken in by Negan and The Saviors and is actually the bat woman who avenges her friends’ murders when Rick and company decided to go after Negan. Ultimately this leads to Daryl shooting her with a crossbow bolt and Rick finishing her off. This was a fun sequence with some seamless effects to put Savior Michonne in the old scenes.
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Michonne gets the drop on Virgil, who rationally reacts by burning the boat. Initially, Michonne seems ready to kill him, but opts not to and convinces Virgil’s former prisoners from taking him out either.
While scavenging for supplies, Michonne finds Rick’s old boots and a drawing of Judith and herself. Understandably emotional, Michonne finally allows herself to hope that Rick might still be alive and she has to find him. Or does she?
But this would make Michonne a terrible mother so she radios Judith and eventually tells her Rick might be alive. Judith instantly tells her she has to try and find Rick. With the added bonus of knowing Alpha is dead, Michonne can guilt free begin the Quest for Grimes.
That search might get delayed as she stumbles onto two people emerging from the woods trying to reconnect with a convoy. Seems like a good place to start and a great way to say farewell to Michonne…hopefully for now.
This ending also has the added bonus of creating the ultimate happy ending whenever the series wraps with Rick and Michonne making a last minute rescue to help the others against whatever depraved bad guys they’re facing at the time.
It sucks to lose another pivotal character who can recall Terminus and The Governor, but this is as smart a way possible in a nice recall of the past as Michonne heads to her future.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: AMC