Michonne (Danai Gurira) uncovered clues about the long missing Rick Grimes' (Andrew Lincoln) whereabouts in Sunday's "What We Become," learning for the first time Rick didn't die in a bridge explosion more than six years earlier. Rick appeared to perish when halting a walker horde in Season 9 episode "What Comes After," a supposed death witnessed by Michonne, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and other members of Rick's family. But he survived, and the gravely wounded Rick was secretly scooped up by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh), formerly Jadis of the Scavengers, who begged for a helicopter belonging to the Civil Republic Military to rescue Rick. Rick was flown out of Virginia, far from Michonne and children Judith (Cailey Fleming) and RJ (Antony Azor), who have long believed the "Brave Man" to be dead.
In "What We Become," Michonne returns Virgil (Kevin Carroll) to his home on Maryland's Bloodsworth Island in search of weapons he says are capable of eliminating the threat of Whisperer Alpha's (Samantha Morton) walker horde. She's almost left empty-handed, but a desperate search in a supply room turns up a familiar pair of worn out boots.
When Michonne grills Virgil about the boots and where he got them, he takes her to a boat he says washed ashore during a big storm. Inside she finds a log book filled with various locations: Tampa Bay, Florida, Hopewell, Virginia, and most recently, Bridgers Shipyard in New Jersey. Behind the book is a cell phone with Japanese markings etched into it, along with a signature — "rick" — and a carved out doodle that is undeniably Michonne and Judith.
"Holy shit," Virgil says. "That's you. And the kid?"
A furious Michonne believes she's been led into a trap, suspicious he lured her to Bloodsworth Island from Oceanside. "I have never seen that before in my life, I swear," he says, but Michonne doesn't buy it. "But why are his things here? What was he doing here?!"
"You knew there were no munitions! Were you setting up a trap for us? Did you set a trap for him? What did you do?!" she yells. "What did you do to him?!" But he doesn't know who she's talking about.
"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," Virgil says of their chance meeting. "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."
When the boat is repaired, Michonne radios Judith.
"I found something. Not what I was looking for on the island, something else," Michonne says. "Something that could be really important to all of us. I found something that belonged to the Brave Man. And there are places he might have been. Recently. I don't know what any of it means yet, or if it means anything at all." When Judith asks if her dad is alive, Michonne tells her, "I don't know, baby, is what I'm saying. I don't know."
"But if you think he's alive," Judith says, "then you have to go find him." Michonne says she can't. Her children need her. Alexandria needs her.
"Mom. You have to go. You have to. We're okay," Judith tells her. "What if he needs you more? What if he's trying to come home to you, but no one will help him?"
Michonne promises she'll try, telling Judith she's heading north.
"Love you too, mom," Judith says. "Go get him."
Michonne's mission could take her to Philadelphia: as hinted by the teaser for the first Walking Dead feature film, where Lincoln reprises his role as Rick Grimes, Rick was relocated to the City of Brotherly Love.