A sneak peek look at The Walking Dead Season 10 reveals Carol (Melissa McBride) inherited a comic book story that belonged to the comic book counterpart of Michonne (Danai Gurira), which could mark King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) for death.
Set several months after the Season 9 finale, which explored the aftermath of Carol and ex-husband Ezekiel (Khary Payton) learning son Henry (Matt Lintz) was murdered by Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton), Season 10 reveals Carol has been away at sea performing back-breaking work as a fisherwoman.
When Daryl (Norman Reedus) asks if she found what she was looking for, Carol denies an accusation she was in pursuit of Alpha. "No. Honestly, no," she says. "I tried to forget everything that happened. It was good. If we're lucky, we never have to think about those skin freaks ever again."
In creator Robert Kirkman's comic books, Michonne was an unattached woman who set sail on the high seas after abandoning ex-lover Ezekiel. In issue #139, she returns after a two-year disappearance as a freewheeling "pirate" working with Oceanside.
A line said by Michonne in issue #139 also makes its way into a similar line of dialogue spoken by Carol: "Everyone has a job and that job never stops," Michonne says. "You work until you feel like your back is going to break and then you collapse and sleep like you've never slept before."
Michonne, like Carol, takes pleasure in a worker's life filled with distractions away from haunting troubles. Her breezy time away ends when Rick Grimes chastises her for disappearing without a trace.
"We thought you were dead. You left your sh-t with Ezekiel and just vanished," Rick says. "We spent so much time looking for you... people could have died."
After admitting she could no longer live at the Kingdom, Michonne confesses she abandoned her two children at the outbreak of the apocalypse. Haunted by her failure to save her kids, Michonne expresses guilt over the happy "do-over" she was getting with Ezekiel, who was deeply wounded by her disappearance.
The former lovers never reconcile before Ezekiel's death, which comes when a devastated Michonne discovers the king is one of a dozen victims decapitated by the Whisperers.
In Season 10, Ezekiel is the leader of Hilltop — nicknamed "Kingtop" after the Kingdom is forced to relocate its people to the farming colony — amid his separation from his queen. He'll also share a kiss with Michonne, further entwining the remixed stories of the comic book and television show.
Because Payton's Ezekiel has already outlived his comic book counterpart, the king finds himself in uncharted waters as he navigates a brewing darkness — one that could ultimately lead to his death.1comments
"I think Ezekiel, he's definitely dealing with issues of leadership and what his place in the world is. I think Khary is doing an amazing job with the journey that he's on this season," showrunner Angela Kang said at San Diego Comic-Con. "I don't want to say too much about it, because I think it will be a surprise left turn for people, but a lot of deep and touching work by our wonderful Khary Payton."
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with its Season 10 premiere Sunday, October 6.