The Walking Dead: When Does Michonne Return?

When is Danai Gurira’s Michonne back on The Walking Dead? We last saw Michonne and daughter Judith (Cailey Fleming) heading from Hilltop to Oceanside in episode 10x04, “Silence the Whisperers,” where Michonne answered a distress call over the radio. Judith, having proved a capable warrior when Hilltop was invaded by walkers after a sneak attack from the Whisperers left the farming colony exposed, happily went along for more mommy-daughter bonding time, with Luke (Dan Fogler) tagging along to reconnect with romantic prospect Jules (Alex Sgambati). This Sunday’s 10x07, “Open Your Eyes,” looks to put a focus on the mentally unwell Siddiq (Avi Nash) as he confronts his trauma from the night of the Whisperer murders, while Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) deal with a Whisperer hostage while an unknown sickness infects Alexandria.

Michonne is expected to next return in the mid-season finale, “The World Before.” According to its official synopsis, “A fight causes tensions in Oceanside while the Alexandrians set out on a high-stakes mission.”

Oceanside is the latest community to come under attack from Alpha (Samantha Morton) and her Whisperers: they previously directed a stream of walkers towards Alexandria as part of an attack that lasted 49 hours, upended a tree to take out Hilltop’s gates, and Gamma (Thora Birch) was seen tainting the river — the likeliest explanation for the growing number of bedridden Alexandrians.

Whatever happens next at Oceanside, it will be part of a goodbye tour of sorts for Michonne and Judith: Gurira will be exiting the show by the end of the season.

“[Michonne is] dealing with the massive threat for her community, and that involves taking a lot more comprehensive responsibility,” Gurira said on a past episode of Talking Dead ahead of Season 10. “And at the same time, really feeding into her daughter. There’s a lot of great stuff that connects her and Judith, into Judith really becoming her mother’s daughter. That’s a very beautiful thing, in terms of, ‘How do you deal with an enemy, and how do you raise a daughter in this world?’ It’s a very cool sort of journey they’re taking together.”

In April, showrunner Angela Kang noted Gurira would have a “reduced” role this year because of outside commitments, but would nonetheless have a “significant” role to play in Season 10.

“Well, we are going to be doing some creative things with the order in which we write and shoot things so that she’s sort of woven in a little bit,” she told Deadline. “With Black Panther, Avengers and plays of her own and everything, I think Danai obviously is having an amazing career moment. She’s like an international treasure.”

TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple has since hinted Gurira could transition to the coming movie series, where Michonne could be reunited with long-missing lover Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).

How that might happen remains a closely guarded secret. Executive producer Denise Huth earlier teased Michonne’s exit “will ultimately be very satisfying and also raise a whole bunch of other questions.”

Could Michonne’s departure have anything to do with the so-far unseen Virgil (Kevin Carroll)? The character, described as a “resourceful” survivor who is “desperate to get home,” was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con in July alongside Birch’s Gamma. How Virgil comes into play remains to be seen, but he’s expected to be introduced before TWD goes on winter break.

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Episode 10x07, “Open Your Eyes,” airs Sunday, Nov. 17. “The World Before” premieres Sunday, Nov. 24 at 9/8c on AMC. The back half of Season 10 will premiere in early 2020.

For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.