The Walking Dead Showrunner Hints Daryl Will Learn Rick Grimes Is Alive

The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang confirms the last remaining episodes of Season 10 will address the fallout from Michonne (Danai Gurira) leaving to follow a lead on the missing Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), suggesting Daryl (Norman Reedus) and other characters might soon learn Rick is alive. Michonne's mission to collect weapons Virgil (Kevin Carroll) said could turn the tide in the Whisperer War left her empty-handed until she uncovered evidence Rick survived his apparent death in a bridge explosion some six years earlier, something she confided in children RJ (Antony Azor) and Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming). With the blessing of their children, Michonne headed north to bring the Brave Man home.

"I think that certainly Michonne leaves a gaping hole in both the emotional lives of Judith and these other characters that love her, but also, she is the head of security for Alexandria and she has been such a leadership force since the loss of Rick. So that really puts Daryl in a particular position," Kang told Deadline. "It really demands more of people like Gabriel and Aaron, but also asks our other communities like Hilltop, how do they come together because they’ve lost a stream of leaders."

Alexandria council members Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) might first have to survive the final battle of the Whisperer War being carried out by Beta (Ryan Hurst), out to avenge the death of leader Alpha (Samantha Morton) after she was killed by Whisperer infiltrator Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) under orders from Carol (Melissa McBride).

"I think that’s a big part of kind of the landscape of what’s going on in these final few episodes as they deal with all of the fallout from the Hilltop battle, the death of Alpha and now Michonne gone," Kang added.

Kang echoed these comments in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where she said Michonne's mission taking her away from her children is "part of the emotional story we have that will still carry forward."

"We have these last few episodes in the season without her," Kang said. "There are people who are definitely missing her and feeling the loss. But they're also trying to move on and get done what needs to be done. Michonne's spirit carries on with these people. She's such a crucial part of their community."

"As we work on Season 11 in the writers room remotely," she continued, referring to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on development of the new season, "that's something we continue to talk about. There's a legacy there with that character, with her children who are left behind. It's very much part of the emotional landscape we're exploring with all of these characters."

The Grimes children will be in the care of such characters as Tía Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Uncle Daryl, who was already forced to step up as more of a leader in Rick's absence.

Like Michonne, who has long had a gut feeling Rick was alive, Daryl has had suspicions Rick never died at the bridge. Daryl and a then pregnant Michonne were seen desperately searching for Rick's body over an eight-month period in Season 9 episode "Scars," not knowing he was shuttled away aboard a Civic Republic Military helicopter.

"I think he's been looking for this body. 'If he died, where's his body?'" Reedus said on a past episode of Talking Dead. "'And he's a master tracker, he can get you from here to there no problem, he's very intuitive and he's very observant, and he just can't find it. It makes no sense to him. Michonne's doing it a little bit, and she kind of even says something to the effect of, 'We have to go forward.'"

"I don’t know, I think it's hard for him to swallow. I think he needs closure," Reedus added. "There's a piece of this puzzle missing."

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That puzzle piece will be filled in over the course of the planned Walking Dead feature film trilogy answering what happened to Rick Grimes in the more than six years he's been missing.

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