Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn't yet seen tonight's episode of The Walking Dead.

Since its earliest days, The Walking Dead has been great about shaking things up as the stories travel from the comic books to the live-action drama, and tonight's episode somewhat subtly introduced a major element from the source material, with Michonne as the beneficiary. "Service" brought Negan into Alexandria for the first time, and the episode also gave Michonne an important aspect of Andrea's character from the source material: her sharpshooting skills.

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TV Andrea has been gone quite a while, but her death is still somewhat surprising, considering how deep her comic book storyline went beyond that point in the comics. The Walking Dead's creative team has talked in the past about splitting her story up among other characters, which has happened a time or two in smaller doses. And now that Michonne has seemingly made a mental juke from her sword to her rifle, it appears we'll see her becoming the star marksman within Alexandria, and it should be an interesting look. Well, assuming she finds another rifle to use, that is. Seeing how mad she got after seeing all the mattresses burned up, she looks like she could make one out a tree trunk.

michonne andrea walking dead

Another piece of this change that's interesting is that Michonne was doing her training in secret, without Rick's knowledge. Well, without knowing that Rick knows. (It's kind of similar to when Sasha took a mental vacation and went on her "I'm gonna kill all the walkers" mission, and I actually thought she was going to end up taking on Andrea's sniper skills.) Since she's apparently been doing this kind of thing for a bit, Michonne is getting a chance to show off just how good she is with all manner of dangerous objects, and one can only hope that she will trade off the secrecy of her target practice with some more of her own private history. I mean, Rick got pretty open tonight.

Speaking of, one of Andrea's other noteworthy characteristics from the page is her relationship with Rick and Carl, and Michonne already took on that romantic element last season, with both it and her motherly role over Carl developing over the past few years. Still, even with those elements already in place, Michonne wasn't the most obvious choice to take on Andrea's talents with weapons. The character and her sword aren't so mutually exclusive, and that was seemingly made clear by how short-lived the blade's stay above her mantle was.

Now, I'm not questioning the practicality of long-range projectiles over something that requires up close and personal interactions, but there are many other characters on this show that could have filled that slot. Now that Rick took the rifle from Michonne, it's possible someone else could do that, with her getting back to her sword-wielding duties in the future. But setting Michonne up out there with the rifle would be way too random if they end up porting Andrea's gun prowess to someone else now.

With more of Michonne's new locked-and-loaded attitude hopefully coming soon, The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC. Head to our fall debut schedule and our midseason premiere schedule to see what else is coming to the small screen.

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