'The Walking Dead' Slowly Reveals Michonne's Endgame — and Alpha's Plan (RECAP)

Emily Hannemann
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Spoiler Alert Eliza Morse/AMC

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 8, "The World Before."]

Remember when everyone thought Michonne (Danai Gurira) was going to leave to find Rick? As it turns out, that theory might not have been correct. Or it might still be true. But as of this episode — which featured a huge hint about where she might end up when Gurira’s time on the show expires — Rick Grimes isn’t her primary motivator, nor does she know he’s still around.

Elsewhere, Aaron (Ross Marquand) gains intel on Alpha (Samantha Morton)’s herd and wants to put a group together to figure out if Gamma (Thora Birch)’s telling the truth. Daryl (Norman Reedus)’s concerned about Lydia (Cassady McClincy), so he’s not doing great. Carol (Melissa McBride)’s still, as she has been for the past seven episodes, not doing great. Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), who’s stressed about the whole Dante thing and the council and the Whisperers, is really, really not doing great. All of this not-greatness leads to some surprising decisions, some explosive violence and one heck of a cliffhanger.

Jace Downs/AMC

At Last, Answers

Rosita (Christian Serratos) checks on Siddiq: She saw his light on, and knows he hadn’t been sleeping well. Dante (Juan Javier Cardinas) answers the door, and although he tries to deflect, Rosita knows something’s wrong. While Rosita and Dante talk — and then Dante attacks her — Siddiq’s been slowly reanimating. Walker Siddiq almost kills Coco while Rosita struggles with Dante, but she manages to get the upper hand over him and is forced to put down the reanimated father of her child. Yikes.

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Later, after a few good punches to the face courtesy of Daryl, Dante spills about Alpha’s plan. By the way, the episode explained Dante’s origins pretty well; he was new to the Whisperer order around the time of the barn, and because Lydia didn’t know him, Alpha put him in charge of infiltrating Alexandria. Cruel, but smart. As it turns out, he was the one writing “Silence the Whisperers” around Alexandria, along with other horrible stuff (he killed Cheryl!). “Places like this are cruel promises to their people, and they crumble at the slightest nick,” he says.

Jace Downs/AMC

Eugene to the Rescue

Aaron talks to Daryl and Carol and tells them he has the herd’s location. Gamma’s desperate to meet her nephew, and earlier, she told Aaron where he could find the walkers if he could bring him to her. They plan to get a group from Hilltop to accompany them, and then, after verifying Gamma’s info, they’ll search for Lydia.

Gabriel delivers an emotional speech at Siddiq’s funeral, and afterward, Rosita heads outside the wall to take down a few walkers. But in her current state, taking down walkers is no simple feat: She keeps having flashbacks of how Dante almost killed her and walker Siddiq almost killed Coco. One of the walkers nearly kills her, but Eugene, freshly arrived from Hilltop, swoops in to save the day.

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Gabriel, Unhinged

Rosita returns and tries to talk to Gabriel about how she’s feeling, but much to her annoyance, he’s says he’s too stressed out about everything to listen to her. “You needed help with a walker and you think you’ll keep needing help, and I’m saying the feeling will pass,” he snaps.

From there, Gabe heads to Dante’s cell. He lets himself in, telling the man Siddiq was like a brother to him and that their family will never be the same. He asks Dante if they deserve a second chance, and then answers that question for him by throwing him against the wall and stabbing him, over and over again, until he’s very dead and Gabe’s covered in blood.

Jace Downs/AMC

Meet Virgil

Michonne, Judith, Luke and a few others head for Oceanside. They find some semi-recent tracks, and, thinking it could be a Whisperer, Michonne suggests that everyone stay quiet and keep moving. Luke, however, suggests they make a stop at the library for Judith (she’s writing down the history of their people).

When they’re at the library, Luke nearly gets killed by two walkers that manage to sneak-attack him, but a mysterious man (who we know, from promotional materials, is named Virgil) saves him and then runs away. Michonne also gets the horrible news that Siddiq is dead, and, hearing that, decides it’s time for them to move on. But — surprise! — when they get to Oceanside, Virgil is there, being restrained by some of the residents for trying to steal a boat. They don’t have time to interrogate him before a herd of walkers attacks, forcing them all into action.

Jace Downs/AMC

Goodbye, Michonne?

While Michonne takes down the dead, Judith takes down Virgil, who was trying to escape. Later, after the threat has been neutralized, the Oceansiders tie him up. Michonne then gets to talk to him, and he, after some prodding, tells her he’s trying to get back to his family. Virgil’s from Tangier Sound, a Navy base on Bloodsworth Island. Michonne makes a deal that if she brings him back to his family, they can have the weapons inside the base, which will be extremely useful against the Whisperers. But… she’s going to have to leave Judith and RJ to get them.

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Thankfully, Judith and RJ are in good hands; the Oceansiders and Luke will take care of them for the time being, and then, it appears “Uncle Daryl” will be stepping in. “I’m only a couple days behind you,” she says before heading out to sea with Virgil, but since we know Danai Gurira is leaving this season, that’s somewhat hard to believe.

Jace Downs/AMC

Carol, Please Listen to Daryl

Carol, Daryl and Aaron meet up with Magna, Jerry, Kelly and Connie, and together they all make it to Alpha’s border. The group crosses but Carol breaks off; she abruptly pulls out her bow and arrow but nearly steps on a trap. Daryl stops her, and when she insists she saw something, he says, “Will you stop this s**t?”

He realizes Carol wants Alpha dead so badly that she no longer cares what happens to her, and he says he knows she’s not all right. “I’m the one you tell,” he says, encouraging her to open up. Tearing up, Carol says she doesn’t know how. They hug, and Daryl tells her that they have a future, and Alpha’s a dead woman anyway. “She’s not worth it,” he says. “She’s not.”

Jace Downs/AMC

Have Fun Worrying About This Until February!

The group makes it to the field where Gamma said the horde would be, except… the only thing in that field is grass. That endeavor proving unsuccessful, they head out to find Lydia, but after seeing Alpha across a field, Carol takes off. Daryl sprints after her. Carol follows Alpha into a cave, and Daryl tells the rest of the group to follow her and “get her a** out of there” while he takes down a few walkers at the entrance. He eventually makes his way into the cave and falls down a ledge, where he lands next to the rest of his group… and right above hundreds of walkers. Uh-oh.

Jace Downs/AMC

Other Observations

  • I don’t know how I feel if this is how Danai Gurira is leaving. On one hand, it was said that she’s contracted for five episodes, and she’s only been in four. But I thought Michonne would leave to find Rick, not getting supplies for the Whisperer war. Maybe she’ll find something at Tangier Sound that leads her to Rick? Him being brought up again this episode can’t be a coincidence.
  • Okay, I’ll eat my words from last week: The show did manage to explain how Lydia didn’t know Dante in a way that made sense and didn’t feel like a fix-it kind of thing. You were right, Angela Kang. I was wrong.
  • I still love Carol. Even when she’s making reckless decisions that put people in danger, I still love Carol and I will defend Carol. Plus, Melissa McBride is incredible — her acting in this episode, whether she was annoyed with Daryl calling her out or on the verge of crying when he said he’s the one she can talk to, was so good.
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  • This show needs to pick a side regarding who Rosita’s going to be with and stick to it. Last episode before Siddiq died it seemed like she might get back together with him (RIP). Now it seemed like she might be pining after Eugene, and her and Gabe are having issues. I could not possibly care less about this and want Rosita to have something to do given that she’s one of the characters with the most seniority on this show. I want her to have more character traits than “mom,” “the pretty one” or “annoyed girlfriend.” Please.
  • Okay, where’s Negan? Where’s the comic Negan-Whisperer arc, specifically? They teased it so hard in the first half of the season and now it’s just… on pause. He’d better be back right away in episode 9. I need more Negan and Beta, darn it!
  • So, are we expecting the Whisperer war to last all season? More Samantha Morton as Alpha is never a bad thing, but man, this show is risking stalling its momentum if it doesn’t get things moving soon. Well, even if it’s slow, there’s no way it can be as slow as All Out War was.

The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC