Warning: spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead Season 7. If you haven't caught this weekend's episode, yet, we suggest you check out one of our other lovely articles.
Season 7 has been a bad time for romance in the zombie apocalypse, and the most recent episode of The Walking Dead revealed that Rick and Michonne are the latest couple to hit a rough patch. In fact,they're on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to dealing with Negan. This perspective led to The Walking Dead including a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment from earlier in Rick and Michonne's relationship, showing just how much has happened since they got together. In a recent interview, Danai Gurira had this to say about the state of Rick and Michonne's relationship in Season 7:
In the beginning of the episode, if you look at it, it's the same shot that you saw them in after they first made love, but now they're fully dressed and their backs are to each other. It's a whole different energy between them. I don't think they've probably even really had much physical contact since this has happened, and they're really on different sides of how to handle it.
Considering all that happened only a few days before, it makes sense that neither Rick nor Michonne were feeling particularly cuddly. Physical affection might be the last thing that they need if they want to keep on keepin' on in the zombie apocalypse at this point. Danai Gurira's reveal to ComicBook.com that there's been some distance between Rick and Michonne makes sense. Even if they had been on the same page about Negan, they may not have felt too amorous for a while after the events at the beginning of the season. All in all, the image of Rick and Michonne sleeping with their backs to each other and plenty of space in between is definitely a far cry from their first morning after when they were naked and draped all over each other.
According to Danai Gurira, the disconnect between Rick and Michonne in Season 7 goes further than distance between them in bed. She said this about how they're dealing with the Negan situation:
I don't think they processed it. I don't think they talked about it, and the fact that he is really choosing to not to go into action and deal with this the way they usually would is something that is causing her to retreat into who she used to be, which is someone who does things on the sly. She's now going off by herself and practicing her own methods of how to handle the situation because she has to in a solo way.
Rick and Michonne individually were never the most communicative survivors in the zombie apocalypse, although they made more and more progress as they fell for each other. News that they're defaulting back into doing their own thing without talking about it could bode poorly for their future as a couple. Negan may have broken Rick and Michonne's relationship on top of everything else he's done to the Alexandrians.
Personally, I can't blame either of them for doing what they're doing. Rick isn't exactly at his most heroic right now, but he also has a lot of people he cares about to take care of. Negan could kill any of the Alexandrians if he suspects Rick isn't 100% on board with their deal. He watched Negan beat Glenn to death in retaliation for Daryl punching him in the jaw; Negan could do the same to Carl or Judith if Rick rebelled. On the other hand, Michonne is a fighter. Even when she's shut down emotionally over the years, she's still been ready to swing her katana and decapitate a horde of zombies if necessary. She's just not built to endure Negan. Hopefully she brings Rick around to her way of thinking. A broken Rick might be hard to watch for the rest of the season.
Tune in to AMC on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET to see what's in store for Rick and Michonne on The Walking Dead.