Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 4 follow.
Part of what hooked fans to AMC's The Walking Dead in its inaugural season back in 2010 was the love triangle between Rick, his wife Lori, and police partner Shane Walsh. Sure, violent zombie killing on television was new and fun, but the complexity added to it by Rick and Shane's strained relationship with Lori in the middle of it was a major factor which made us all need more.
As the world fell apart, Rick laid in a hospital recovering from a gunshot as his partner protected Lori and his son Carl. Everyone thought Rick dead as zombies took over the world which, in their eyes, made it okay to start sleeping together.
As a result, fans of The Walking Dead have been wondering Rick's opinion of Judith's true parentage for years. Rick has not acknowledged the controversy but in Sunday night's Service episode, he opened up to his new love Michonne in one of the series' most emotional moments.
"I had a friend. I don't talk about him," Rick said. "He was my partner. He got Lori and Carl to safety right after it all started. I couldn't. I was in the hospital. I didn't know what was happening. My friend, his name was Shane. Him and Lori, they were together. They thought I was dead. I know Judith isn't mine. I know it. I love her. She's my daughter but she isn't mine. I had to accept that. I did so I could her alive. I'll die before she does and I hope that's a long time from now so I can raise her, protect her, and teach her how to survive. This is how we live now. I had to accept that, too, so I could keep everyone else alive."
Rick continued to plead with Michonne, hoping she would see his rationality in accepting difficult situations and applying the story to their current situation with Negan.
"You have to accept this," Rick said. "All of us do or it won't work."
Speaking to ComicBook.com about the heartbreaking moment, Michonne actress Danai Gurira shared her character's perspective.
"It's heartbreaking and it's astounding and it's painful and it's really a painful mixed bag, because on the one hand she loves him and sees more of the beauty in him, but he has been holding this inside, and that he made the decision that he did, and that this is what makes him a beautiful leader," Gurira said. "To hear him share that, it does change her entire demeanor about everything. She's got a certain degree of rage and frustration towards him before he reveals that information, but when he puts it that way and you realize, firstly, the burden that he carries."
MORE WALKING DEAD:
Negan's Five Most Outrageous Lines In 'Service' / Christian Serratos On Potential Rosita And Eugene Love Story / Eugene And Rosita Love Story Ahead? / Danai Gurira On Michonne Filling Key Comic Book Role / 'Go Getters' Sneak Preview Released / What Did Michonne Find? / Austin Nichols Say Spencer Wants To Be A Leader
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.