Following a six-year time jump, Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) has a new baby brother on The Walking Dead: 907, “Who Are You Now?,” revealed R.J., or Rick junior, the son of Michonne (Danai Gurira) and the believed dead Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).
“That is Rick junior, R.J., who’s scampering around,” showrunner Angela Kang confirmed with EW.
R.J. is the first child birthed out of the Richonne romance and the second biological son for both Rick and Michonne, who lost their respective first sons Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Andre Anthony.
“We thought that was a fun thing, because we had this big reveal of Judith, so we felt like: Let’s give Judith her moment in the sun. But we started setting up really at the beginning of the season that this was something that Michonne and Rick [were interested in],” Kang said.
“In episode 3, they go, ‘Well, let’s maybe start planning for the future in other ways.’ That was part of their hopefulness, that they believed that they could build a world where children could thrive. The kind of tragedy of it is that Rick was not around to see this happen. But for Michonne, it’s just another person that she is fighting for, and that she wants to keep safe, but it’s part of what plays into some of the philosophy and decisions behind how Alexandria is run, which is a big part of the story going forward for the season.”
Michonne has since become hardened and isolationist following the “death” of Rick, who was secretly whisked away on a helicopter by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) to parts unknown — a story that will play out in a trilogy of television movies to star Lincoln, who will not be returning to the mothership series.
“We saw Rick and Michonne attempt to add to the future — well, it worked. There’s a little boy,” Gurira noted on live aftershow Talking Dead.
“When Angela told me we were going to do that — first thing, I was stunned, because I never expected that to be where we would go. But I thought it was very beautiful, about the idea that he left her with their son. It’s heartbreaking, but it’s beautiful, because there’s a new little Grimes.”
Rick’s journey began with him fighting his way back to and ultimately reuniting with Carl and then-wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) following his presumed death in an Atlanta hospital — and Rick’s story could end the same way.
Though Rick hasn’t returned in the six years that has passed since his apparent death at the bridge, Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple hinted the films — which will reveal answers behind the helicopter group — will tell the story of Rick’s attempt to return to Judith, Michonne, and the son he doesn’t yet know he has.
“We know Rick Grimes,” Gimple told THR. “He would want to be home.”
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.