The Walking Dead fans were left shaken Sunday night after learning the unsettling backstory behind Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) matching ‘X’ scars. The harrowing episode, simply titled ‘Scars,’ revealed Michonne reconnected with old college friend Jocelyn (Rutina Wesley) almost nine months after Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) disappearance when pregnant with their son, RJ (Antony Azor).
But Jocelyn betrayed Michonne, kidnapping daughter Judith and other Alexandrian children before raiding the community’s supplies and disappearing in the night. When Daryl and Michonne tracked Jocelyn and her nomadic band of feral underlings to a school, the unsuspecting pair were captured, strung up, and horrifically branded by the brainwashed children.
After narrowly winning their freedom, Michonne was ambushed by Jocelyn and beaten with a wooden plank. A distraught Michonne then cut down Jocelyn with her blade, before engaging with a particularly ferocious child who viciously slashed her pregnant stomach. Despite her best efforts to avoid harming Jocelyn’s pack — who had taken on a survival of the fittest philosophy, marking to kill before killing their mark — Michonne was outnumbered six-to-one, and was forced to slaughter the children to rescue the young Judith.
The episode, echoing Season Four’s ‘The Grove’ — in which Carol (Melissa McBride) was forced to execute the mentally ill Lizzie (Brightin Sharbino) — has unsettled viewers calling the episode “traumatizing,” “intense,” and “hard to watch,” amid calls for Gurira to be nominated for an Emmy.
Former Abraham Ford star Michael Cudlitz, who returned to set this season as director, previously warned the revelation behind the mystery — first introduced in November’s 906, ‘Who Are You Now?’ — belonged to “a really f—ed up story... It was bad.” Now audiences are agreeing.
“This whole episode is disturbing,” tweeted one viewer. Wrote another, “This episode was so dark, holy sh-t.”
Yup... one of the most messed up episodes in the series #TheWalkingDead— Kyle Dorr (@thatdorrk) March 18, 2019
The walking dead has become so intense recently I can't. #TheWalkingDead— Mia| (@Mia_Wakefield_) March 18, 2019
i can honestly say, tonight’s episode of #TheWalkingDead is the first episode that has ever gave me chills like this.— Danika Dozard (@DanikaDozard) March 18, 2019
These kids are insane .... ok, they shot Daryl & hit a pregnant lady... yup... time for these kids to meet the end. Sorry, they gotta go. #TWD #TheWalkingDead #TWDFamily #TWDFam pic.twitter.com/DFR7w9BIP7— Nerdy Nicole Cosplay (Candiss Nicole) (@CandissNicole) March 18, 2019
Man, this episode is hard to watch! #TheWalkingDead ☠️— Fat Man Scoot (@sc00ter614) March 18, 2019
Michonne is the baddest bitch and this shit is heart breaking. #TheWalkingDead— Alvia Jones (@SoffBoiled) March 18, 2019
OMG this episode is BRUTAL— Cheeky?? (@RealCheekybelle) March 18, 2019
Oh man I'm fucking crying. This a lot. And this is a lot for Daryl to even see too #TheWalkingDead— Rosé Witch ? (@ALoveLikeLiz) March 18, 2019
So confused by tonight’s #TheWalkingDead and this whole episode is disturbing— Brandon Myers (@hackerhog) March 18, 2019
Holy fuck this episode is dark af ? #TheWalkingDead— marielita (@mearlita) March 18, 2019
#TheWalkingDead this episode was so dark holy shit— deadly lanie (@rowlinski) March 18, 2019
Thought maybe it was an exaggeration on how dark this episode was going to be. I was very mistaken. #TheWalkingDead— TWDThoughts (@SomeTWDThoughts) March 18, 2019
She should have said "look at the flowers" with every Slice #TheWalkingDead— J.R. Fields (@504KiingFields) March 18, 2019
I'll be real with yall that was sooooo difficult to watch, they forced her hand and now we are forever reassured Michonne would kill for Judith and the boy!!#TheWalkingDead— ??Rae????? (@hiddenMagicShop) March 18, 2019
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.