Before The Walking Dead wraps up its Whisperer-heavy tenth season, the cast and crew will be saying goodbye to longtime star Danai Gurira, who is heading off to different creative pastures. The character is currently absent from the main storyline, but fans know she'll be returning before too much longer. Though it won't be for very long, Michonne's final episodes will no doubt be hugely memorable to viewers, as well as to the actress herself. Though her memory will probably be influenced by the massive prank the TWD crew pulled.
The Walking Dead cast and crew keep up with traditions when cast members shamble out the door. It doesn't sound like Michonne earned one of the famous Death Dinners that other former cast members got, but it was still a powerful farewell for Danai Gurira, both in a genuinely emotional way and in a completely ridiculous (and potentially horrifying) way, thanks to that prank. Here's how Gurira explained it to EW.
It was very emotional. I was really blown back by how much love I received from everybody. . . . I go back to my trailer after having this amazing reception, and there were about 50 zombies in my trailer! [Laughs.] They were all over — lying on my couch, on my chair, in the shower. They were everywhere!
I wish I'd gotten that level of care and silliness at any point when I'd left a job in the past. Even just a single zombie laid out on a chair would have been nice, although it admittedly never would have made much contextual sense, especially for restaurant jobs.
The Walking Dead has long been celebrated by fans for the bonkers pranks that have been pulled behind the scenes. For years, a playful (and possibly miserable) rivalry existed between Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln, although that obviously had to end whenever Lincoln's Rick exited the show in order to bring the franchise to the silver screen. (Though nothing has happened on that front just yet.) It's awesome that Gurira got to experience a huge dose of that prank love before she bid everyone farewell. Now if only former Punk'd host Ashton Kutcher would join The Walking Dead.
Although can we all agree that The Walking Dead creative team pulled off the biggest prank of all by making viewers watch Negan and Alpha get dirty, and then by giving Jeffrey Dean Morgan that Whisperer mask for Negan. We've all been had!
For Danai Gurira's final stretch of filming The Walking Dead, she was at times paired with the show's newest (and still mysterious) cast member Kevin Carroll, with the Leftovers vet playing Virgil. He is presumably supplying Michonne with weapons to take down the Whisperers, but that's assuming they even get back before all the protagonists' bodies are strewn from one end of Alexandria to the other end of Hilltop. Or, you know, from one end of Gurira's trailer to the other.
For all the fun and games that are played when the cameras aren't rolling, Danai Gurira and showrunner Angela Kang wanted to make sure that Michonne got a Walking Dead exit that honored the character's legacy while also maintaining her continued importance within the current narrative. According to Gurira:
You’re carrying your character’s soul at this point of the show. And Angela embraces that about those of us who have been on the show a long time — the knowledge and the nuance and understanding of everything the character has gone through. And that just made it even more special that I got to be a part of it that way.
The Whisperers War has commenced, and we have lots of questions about it, so check those out and don't forget to tune into AMC on Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET to see when The Walking Dead will bring Michonne back for a final round of episodes.