Did 'The Walking Dead' Really Just Set Up Michonne's Exit?

The Walking Dead may have set the narrative stage for Michonne to leave the series without being killed off. Word first came out that Danai Gurira would exit the role in the upcoming tenth season which may or may not have been known late in the production of the currently airing Season Nine. If a flashback conversation is any indication, Michonne's exit may indeed be on the horizon.

Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 9x14 follow. Major spoilers!

After an apparent ghost from Michonne's past showed up at Alexandria after being separated for 15 years, a conversation seems to indicate Michonne will leave Alexandria to look for Rick. Jocelyn, who used to be very close with Michonne prior to the apocalypse, recognized a "look" in Michonne which indicated she would never give up on finding her man.

"I need to know," Michonne told Jocelyn in regards to Rick's fate. "Judith, this baby, they deserve to know."

Earlier in the same episode, Michonne and Daryl were seen in the woods months after Rick left Alexandria on a helicopter with Jadis. To these characters, Rick was last seen blowing up a bridge and is thought dead. However, having never found a body, Daryl and Michonne have refused to accept the theory of Rick having been killed in the explosion.

Now, it seems the show might be setting up a story for one or both of the characters eager to find Rick after never seeing a body by the bridge to head out and look for him. With Gurira set to exit The Walking Dead, it appears she might carry out a storyline where Michonne heads out of town to search for Rick Grimes.

Just one week ago in Episode 9x13, Daryl Dixon informed other characters that he would not stay in Alexandria with Lydia. While the Whisperer story is still playing out, the statement paired with his desire to find Rick also seemed to be setting a stage for an all out search for Rick to be on the horizon -- at least for Daryl and Michonne. Daryl actor Norman Reedus is not expected to exit the AMC series, though.

"I'll reserve my thoughts on that for now," Gurira told ComicBook.com regarding her future with The Walking Dead in September in of 2018. "But of course, all things ultimately wound up. Of course it'll be really hard. This will be like, the day it happens, whenever it is for me, this is family. I've grown as a human being, as a professional. I've got family and friends here that I will have for the rest of my life -- which is a beautiful thing."

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Do you think Michonne will leave Alexandria in search of Rick? If Gurira does in fact leave The Walking Dead, is it a smart play for the story to keep her alive for a possible return and reunion with Rick? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.