AMC’s The Walking Dead
10×13: “What We Become”
Directed by Sharat Raju
Written by Vivian Tse
* For a recap & review of 10×12, “Walk With Us” – click here
* For a recap & review of 10×14, “Look at the Flowers” – click here
We’re stepping back in time a while to see Michonne, when she first came upon Andrea in the woods. She saw Andrea struggling with a zombie and turned her back, walking away with her own mangled zombies on leashes instead of helping. Skip to current day and she’s helping Virgil, arriving by boat to the island where he’s been staying. They go deeper inland. Michonne’s not thrilled by Virgil and his nonchalant attitude, traipsing their way through a garden so he can pick a few herbs and flowers on the way. She keeps asking more questions about the place while they walk. And the place looks a little deserted. Seems Virgil’s family’s dead, not alive, as he made it sound, and the place isn’t quite all he cracked it up to be— plus, he’s basically lured Michonne there to help get his dead family back because he’s not used to killing zombies.
The pair wind up in a shadowy building where their situation gets pretty precarious after Virgil makes a bunch of noise accidentally, forcing Michonne to get them on the offensive. While Virgil tries to fend off zombies Michonne slices them apart one by one with her samurai sword. This guy is all but useless, whereas she’s an ass kicker to the very last. Once they clear the hallway they find a room where a bunch of zombies hang from the ceiling. It’s a shocking sight, especially for Virgil, who places his wife’s shoe back on before he leaves Michonne to put his family out of their misery.
They’re stuck for the night, so Michonne has a look around the place before settling in for the night. She’s looking around a dark building when she hears voices somewhere hidden in the dark. Then she gets locked inside a room by Virgil who tells her: “You ruined it.” Oh, shit. Michonne tries using her sword on the door and banging on the walls, but nothing works. She falls asleep and eventually wakes up to find a tray of food waiting for her, knowing she missed an opportunity to possibly escape. She bangs on the door more and hears people talking to her from another room. They tell her the place is “booby trapped” and they go on to explain they were “friends with Virgil” until everything went haywire. Someone new they took in ended up dying during an altercation and Virgil arrived afterwards, saying they had to lock the building down, not knowing his family was inside. That led to Virgil losing his mind.
Things are getting worse for Michonne. She’s starting to hallucinate from the Jimsonweed that Virgil put in her food. She’s spiralling down a psychological rabbit hole, already feeling parts of her past bubble up unconsciously to torment her. Virgil thinks he has to help Michonne find “peace” like him, believing they’re the same. The hallucinations send Michonne into a nasty headspace. She sees Siddiq, who yells at her for not protecting him, chastising her for letting others like Rick and Carl die. After that she’s transported back to when she saw Andrea in the woods. Except she lets Andrea die. We see another moment with Michonne on the road, calling to Daryl driving by but getting no help.
We see her meet Negan and his Saviors. He’s impressed with Michonne’s “big ole massive lady nuts” and urges her to join them. It’s all a hallucination, but it’s like what would have happened to Michonne had she not found her humanity and become friends with Andrea, rejecting that horrific life of being alone and wandering with mutilated zombies. We see what would’ve happened if Michonne was among the Saviors when Rick’s people came to kill them, as she guns down Heath and hides from Sheriff Grimes firing his assault rifle. Then, most heartbreaking of all, we see Rick and his people kneeling at the end of Negan’s bat and how Negan passed the honour over to Michonne— she uses the bat on her own head, in two places at once. It all leads to Daryl putting an arrow in Michonne when they meet in the forest, right before Rick puts a bullet in her head. Then Michonne wakes up back in her cell again.
“We reap what we sow, asshole.”
After a struggle, Michonne gets the keys from Virgil to let herself and the others out.
But they discover Virgil’s set the boat on fire.
Michonne chases Virgil down, putting a knife to his throat. He blames his mental state on not having his wife around anymore. Pretty pathetic. Michonne decides to choose mercy rather than killing the man. She’s seen what those violent decisions lead to, and she knows you “lose more of yourself” by killing someone to whom you can show mercy. Remember what Rick said? “My mercy prevails over my wrath.” This is a lesson Michonne had to learn on her own. She sees it clearly now. That doesn’t mean the other former captives want Virgil up running around, so they lock him away.
One positive? Virgil wasn’t entirely lying about there being useful things on the island. He takes Michonne to a building full of all sorts of various items, including her own. She then notices a pair of cowboy boots. She picks them up, smelling the leather, smelling the scent of Rick on them. This makes her think Virgil may have come across Rick, and that something bad could’ve happened. He brings her to a boat docked nearby and she rifles through everything left inside, hoping to find some kind of answers. She finds a phone that has Japanese writing on it, the name Rick, and a couple drawings, one of which is wearing a cowboy hat, looking potentially like Michonne and Judith. This makes Michonne believe Virgil came looking for her purposefully, but he denies that, telling her the boat washed up there. She’s sure he laid a trap for Rick. Virgil thinks it’s a matter of fate that they came together.
They’re able to get the boat running, though Virgil remains behind on the island while Michonne and the others leave. Michonne’s able to get Judith on the radio on their way, talking to RJ, as well. It’s a sweet moment, particularly for mama while she’s away dealing with just uncovering evidence that Rick is probably still alive (of course, we know). Also great for Michonne to hear news of the victory against the Whisperers. She then tells Judith about remnants of “the brave man” and her daughter feels hope that her father might actually be alive. Judith suggests that, maybe, her mother needs to stay out there looking for him. Michonne plans to head north. Is this how she leaves the show? She’s already planned to be in a couple of The Walking Dead movies. Maybe she WILL find Rick again and we’ll see them together. Fingers crossed. Either way, it’s a big change. And for that change, Michonne has to somewhat revert to her old self, finding a couple zombies to mutilate and tie to leashes. She soon comes across a couple people who are part of a much larger group. She decides to kill off her leashed zombies and remain connected to the land of the living. The spirit of Rick keeps Michonne connected to the living world, and the more people she meets, the more faith she accrues.
“Sometimes the most injured are the most forgiving”
Wow. Just, wow. An incredible episode that had a lot of emotional weight. But it also tied together many things going on with Michonne, as well as suggests her path beyond the series. Hard to say goodbye to a character, yet there will still be adventures for her even after she’s separated from Judith and the rest.
“Look at the Flowers” is next and it looks like it’ll be a doozy!