In the latest episode of The Walking Dead, the show waved farewell to one of its longest-serving characters, Michonne. Airing to mixed reviews, “What We Become” turned from strange to downright weird when Michonne was put on drugs by Virgil, causing her to hallucinate images of what could have been had she not chosen to save Andrea from zombies at the end of season 2, a decision that eventually led to her joining the group of survivors we know and love. Now, star Danai Gurira has spoken to Variety about her experience with her final episode.
“As an artist it was very satisfying,” Gurira said of Michonne’s final bow. “But in another sense it was very chilling because it really does raise the idea of how one choice could make someone such a different person. She made one choice to help one woman, and that choice puts her on a journey.”
And she’s right. Watching this episode was almost like watching a representation of the butterfly effect. In her first hallucination, Michonne doesn’t save Andrea’s life, which in turn means that she never makes it to the prison. Things get even stranger when she meets Negan and works her way up to be his most trusted partner. Then, when Negan has all our heroes on their knees in season 6, Michonne turns out to be the one who kills Glenn and Abraham.
As for how you get Michonne to a place where she’s experiencing this, the only way, apparently, is to “drug the heck out of her.”
I had never heard of [jimson weed] before. Then I looked it up and I read some stories from people who had taken it and I was like, ‘Holy goodness, what we show is very mild.’”
It looks like the writers allowed Gurira to have input on the episode beyond just acting. Gurira expressed gratitude to showrunner Angela Kang for allowing her to collaborate. “The writers came up with the whole architecture,” Gurira said. “Angela [Kang] talked me through it and then she was very generous in letting me collaborate with her on aspects of it.”
As for a potential return to the series, which I think is likely, Gurira remained coy. “We’ll see,” she said. If not the series, I think she is all but guaranteed to play a key role in the upcoming Rick Grimes movies.
Speaking of Rick, Gurira’s former Walking Dead costar Andrew Lincoln recorded a lovely musical farewell message for her. After changing the lyrics of a Paul McCartney song, he offers us a little anecdote about Danai’s first day on set:
“What We Become” netted the show its highest ratings since the season 10 premiere, so plenty of people were interested in sending off Michonne right. Hopefully we won’t have to go without her for too long.
The Walking Dead season 10 continues on Sundays on AMC. However, the show has confirmed that, thanks to the coronavirus, the season finale has been delayed and will air later this year. But there are still two episodes left before this season “ends.”