SEASON 9; EPISODE 14
For a few episodes now, viewers will have been wondering how Daryl and Michonne procured their nasty looking branding (and matching) scars on their backs. Who did it to them? Why? How? When? Well, in tonight's episodes we got some answers... Michonne hasn't had too much screen time since the mid-season finale, however episode 14 was all about her and her realisation that perhaps she wasn't honouring the memory of the Grimes boys as much as she's like.
This week the narrative was divided between two timelines; in one - set a few months after the mid season finale, we had a pregnant Michonne welcoming an old friend named Jocelyn into Alexandria. Jocelyn convinced her to head out to find her 'children' and it didn't take long for Michonne and a search party to locate the little brats and bring them back. However, whilst everything seems be going swimmingly upon their return - it turns out that Jocelyn and her brood have actually pulled some kind of Trojan Horse scam on them. During the early hour, they steal most of the supplies, kill one of the Alexandrians and make their escape. What's worse, is that they'e taken the Alexandrian children with them - including Judith! In the morning, Michonne and Daryl head out to find them...
Meanwhile, in present day, Daryl, Lydia, Henry and Connie arrive at Alexandria seeking refuge before they head back to The Kingdom. Michonne doesn't really hesitate to let them in but is suspicious of Lydia from the get go. She tells her that she has and will do anything to protect 'her people' - a sentiment which is illustrated quite forcefully as the stories progress. Daryl and the gang head off but Judith, unhappy that her mother isn't escorting them back safely, decides to offer her own services and sneaks out after them. When Michonne discovers this she grills Negan, who chastises her for not 'shooting straight' with her child. Negan may be a smart-ass but he's bang on in this instance. So mirroring the first story thread, Michonne set out once again (although this time on her own) to find Judith.
At times the two narratives do become a little blurred and it feels as if the only way to guide you through where and when certain scenes are set, is to hone in on Michonne's bump (or lack thereof). Apart from that minor gripe, the two stories compliment each other quite effectively and whilst one shows us how far she is willing to go to protect her children - the other shows us her levelling with her daughter and seeking to re-establish bonds with former friends and allies. Just in time really. Because you really think that to stand any chance against The Whisperers, the separate settlements are going to have to be on good terms.
Michonne has been through a lot, it's fair to say. And the loss of children is high up there on that list. Which is why it made it even more galling that she basically had to slay about 8 of them to save Judith. Killing walker children is one thing, but real life kids? That's another kettle of fish. Sure, if they're coming at you with knives and machetes then it puts you in a difficult position but Michonne will have known that the children she despatched were victims themselves. We also saw 'the branding' too. I won't lie, I was hoping the 'mystery' would be a bit more consequential than this, but hey. A bunch of bloodthirsty kids hasn't really been done on the show yet so I'm ok with it. Jocelyn's betrayal will have also stung. They used to know each other at school for goodness sake. See, this is why I don't maintain contact with more former schoolmates. If you add all these things up and it's easy to see why Michonne has become harder and more uncompromising as a leader. And despite initially being adamant that she couldn't rest until she knew what happened to Rick, her priorities changed and the safety of her children became number one. Which is fair enough. However, Michonne's rumoured impending exit from the show may see her decide to go looking for her long lost love one more time.
In the closing scenes we saw that the Whisperers had tracked Daryl and Michonne (And the rest of the crew) to The Kingdom - and they obviously intend to alert Alpha. With only a couple of episodes left, expect the foundations of a 'siege' situation at The Kingdom to be laid.