How Does Michonne Leave The Walking Dead?

How does Michonne leave The Walking Dead? One of many questions raised after Michonne star Danai [...]

How does Michonne leave The Walking Dead? One of many questions raised after Michonne star Danai Gurira announced her departure after eight seasons, confirming Season 10 would be her last at San Diego Comic-Con in July, answers were revealed in Sunday's 1013, "What We Become," where Michonne returned stranded survivor Virgil (Kevin Carroll) to his mysterious island to reunite with his family after making a deal with him in 1008, "The World Before." In exchange for a boat borrowed from Oceanside, where Virgil was captured by Michonne's daughter Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming), Virgil would supply Michonne with weapons he promised would turn the tide of the Whisperer War.

Upon reaching Bloodsworth Island in "What We Become," Michonne inquires about the promised munitions. "There's a lot of lives at stake," she tells Virgil, who picks herbs from his wife's garden. "Where are these munitions depots you spoke of?" Spotting a restricted area warning of unexploded ordinance, the increasingly impatient Michonne is told it's an old lab too risky to enter due to structural damage.

Moving through what used to be a U.S. Navy research facility and seeing no signs of life, a suspicious Michonne unsheathes her sword. "Stop the bullshit. Now where the hell is your family?" At three empty graves, Virgil confesses they were killed when strangers reached the island, bringing violence and sickness. The island has never seen a lot of "rippers," Virgil's term for walkers, so he never became proficient in killing them.

He confesses again: "My family's still in there. My wife. My babies. That's why I asked you to come. Needed you to come."

In the facility, the katana-wielding Michonne slices her way through two dozen walkers, cutting through the dead to reach a room where seven people — now reanimated as walkers — have hanged themselves. With the deed done, and Lisa, Jasmine, and Bobby laid to rest, Michonne urges Virgil to uphold his end of the deal. But it's getting late, he says, and the tide is low, making it difficult for the boat to make it through the channel. It's getting dark and some of the buildings aren't safe, Virgil warns, saying they'll hold off their search for the weapons until morning.

Poking around at night, Michonne enters into the restricted area and finds empty ammunition cases. Hearing hushed voices, she steps into a cell and is locked in by Virgil, who tells her, "I trusted you, and you ruined it!" Through her cell wall, the captured Michonne is introduced to Celeste (Eve Gordon), Lucy (Olivia Stambouliah) and a former researcher (Taylor Nichols) who once worked with Virgil.

The three prisoners tell Michonne the place is booby trapped, and Virgil only comes around as little as possible. Ever since the island took in stragglers who stumbled on the remote survivors, Virgil has exerted caution: when a fight broke out over rations, a "newbie" survivor was stabbed and died. A late arrival to the scene, a panicked Virgil ordered all the doors locked, not knowing his wife and children were inside. "He snapped," Michonne says, his colleagues admitting he was "never the same."

After suffering through a drug-induced nightmare where she envisions a horrific alternate history where she never fell in love with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), instead falling in with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors, Michonne manages to escape by overpowering Virgil. When the prisoners find the only boat burned, Virgil swears he was going to release them when they were found by Michonne, who Virgil hoped to use as protection.

Recalling the mercy inspired by late loved ones Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Siddiq (Avi Nash), Michonne lets Virgil go. She searches every building, even the ones said to be dangerous, not finding a "goddamn thing anywhere." Virgil never lied about the weapons, he says, offering to show her one last place they might be found.

In a supply room, Michonne comes across boots that undoubtedly belonged to the supposed-to-be-dead Rick Grimes. Pouncing on Virgil, she interrogates him: "Where the hell did you get these?" He takes her to a boat washed ashore by a big storm, not knowing where the hell it came from.

Thumbing through a log book, Michonne reads various locations — Tampa Bay, Florida, and Hopewell, Virginia among them — and the final entry: Bridgers Shipyard, New Jersey. Behind the book, she finds a cell phone with a carved doodle of Michonne and Judith. Atop some Japanese lettering is a name: "rick."

Virgil denies Michonne's accusations he set a trap for Rick or Michonne, professing he knows nothing about the person once a passenger on the boat.

"I don't know what it is you think I have, or who you're looking for, but maybe it wasn't an accident that we met," he says. "If the others will help me, I think we can mod the engine and get it working again. If this person was on this boat, then maybe you can find them again."

The boat is repaired, and the four travellers set sail without Virgil, who stays on the island to bring his wife flowers "every day" as promised. Radioing Judith, Michonne reports she found "something that could be really important to all of us." Telling her she found something belonging to "the Brave Man," their nickname for Rick, Michonne admits not knowing whether Rick is alive or dead.

"If you think he's alive," Judith tells her mom, "then you have to go find him." But Judith and little brother RJ (Antony Azor) need her, Michonne says, and Alexandria has not yet fully extinguished the Whisperers, even after the death of leader Alpha (Samantha Morton).

"Mom, you have to go. You have to," Judith says. "We're okay. What if he needs you more? What if he's trying to come home to you, but no one will help him?"

Michonne's group have reached the coast. Judith knows to listen to Uncle Daryl while Michonne is gone.

"I'm gonna try," Michonne promises. "I'm gonna head north." After Michonne and Judith promise to keep in touch over walkie talkie for as long as they can, Judith tells her mom: "Go get him."

Headed north, Michonne comes across a pair of stragglers (Breeda Wool and Andrew Bachelor) who have fallen behind a caravan made up of thousands of other survivors headed the same direction. Michonne helps them, and they move towards the migrating herd of people together.

Gurira and Lincoln next reprise their roles in the Walking Dead feature film trilogy.

New episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 premiere Sundays on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.