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Major spoilers for anyone who hasn't yet watched The Walking Dead's midseason finale.
After so many seasons of being shocked and chagrined by The Walking Dead's major deaths, it's been strange to witness some of the show's biggest stars making heavily promoted exits without their characters' fates being sealed. It first happened with Andrew Lincoln and (the soon-to-return) Lauren Cohan, and the Season 10 winter finale bid farewell to Danai Gurira's Michonne, who went off on a mission (sans Judith) to help a new character.
At least that's what we assume is happening, since Kevin Carroll's newly discovered survivor Virgil isn't exactly the most sure-footed or trustworthy character. Michonne may think she's heading out to find a new source of weaponry and more, but for all we know, she could be ensuring her own doom.
Showrunner Angela Kang, however, has revealed that Danai Gurira's Michonne is not yet done with this universe, and that her story will indeed continue in the back half of Season 10. In Kang's words:
There’s more story to tell with Michonne within the season coming up, but that’s been one of the things that’s been really fun to work on. We spent some time mapping this out, because she only had limited episodes with us this year. We examined what are some of the journeys that she’ll take that have both plot resonance but also just personal resonance for her. Also, Michonne’s struggling with the death of her friend, Siddiq. He was so tight with Carl, and after Carl’s death, I think Siddiq took on a lot of significance, and that definitely plays into her story going forward, as well.
As comforting as those words may be for Michonne's most diehard fans, Angela Kang curiously never comes out and says how much of Danai Gurira is left to watch, at least not in her interview with Deadline. After all, wording is always key when it comes to The Walking Dead's cast and crew, who have been forced to talk around show spoilers for ages now. And while MIchonne did show up several times in the trailer for the back half of Season 10, it's hard to gauge how sizable that final arc will be.
It's certainly more than possible that Michonne will return to The Walking Dead for a full standalone episode, especially if we're meant to see how she remains affected by Siddiq's death. After all, it's not clear how viewers would get any kind of update on the Virgil situation if Michonne isn't around to share it with anyone. Perhaps Virgil also has access to radio equipment that would keep her in contact with Alexandria and beyond.
Angela Kang offered THR a slight explanation for why this is the way Michonne's story got detoured once Danai Gurira announced her desire to exit the show. In her words:
I’ll say that there’s a piece of her story left to tell this season, but we’ve been planning for her to make an exit. We thought it would be interesting to tell a story with her, at this point in the season, about deciding to help somebody who’s a little complicated.
If you ask me, Michonne could stand to meet someone that isn't plagued by complications. After losing Rick, Michonne came across an old friend whose survivor group ended up torturing Michonne and Daryl, and she later lost a bunch of people to Alpha's Whisperers for the Big Fair massacre, beyond other tragedies. (The kiss with Ezekiel is better left undiscussed.) So while it was an odd choice for her to leave her children and everyone else she knows behind in order to head off with a stranger, that kind of distance might actually be exactly what Michonne needs to recenter herself within the post-apocalypse.
Of course, she's seen killing walkers in the trailer without either Virgil or his family around, so I dare say her mission may not have gone fully as planned. I suppose we'll have to wait and see where things will go next for Michonne. Fans are hoping for Danai Gurira to make a heavy appearance in the upcoming Rick Grimes standalone movies, so that we can get that long-awaited reunion between the two lovers. Will her final Season 10 moments go towards setting that up? It depends on how big Gurira's movie career gets in the immediate future, I'd imagine.
The Walking Dead is currently in its extended winter hiatus, but Season 10 will be back on AMC for its next eight episodes in February 2020.