In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, Daryl and his group arrive at Alexandria and we discover why Michonne has shut off the community from the rest of the world…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
With only three episodes remaining in ‘The Walking Dead’ season 9, the latest offering goes back in time to the weeks and months just after Rick Grimes disappeared and Michonne was left to move on without him while raising their daughter and awaiting the birth of their son.
In the second half of the season that skipped ahead six years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in the way that Michonne has behaved towards the other communities and seemingly shut off Alexandria from the outside world.
There has never been an explanation bout why that happened until the latest episode, which delves into that story as Michonne let the wrong person through the gates in Alexandria six years earlier and why she will never let anybody else in again.
The story in the present-day deals with Daryl bringing his group to Alexandria seeking help after they survived a fight with Beta and the Whisperers. Daryl doesn’t want to burden Michonne, especially knowing why she shut off the community from the rest of the outside world, but he needs help.
Ultimately that leads to Judith Grimes behaving a little bit like her older brother Carl — a little too impetuous but coming from the heart when she desperately wants to help people.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ titled ‘Scars’…
The Children of the Corn
In the present day, Daryl, Henry, Connie and Lydia show up at the gates of Alexandria asking for help. When Michonne comes to advise the security guards what they should do, she spots the people she knows and then one stranger amongst them.
Lydia is the outsider and that means she shouldn’t be allowed behind the walls at Alexandria but Michonne says that she trusts Daryl and she will extend that to the new person he’s brought along with him.
Inside, Henry gets patched up from his wound and Daryl reconnects with the little asskicker Judith as she quizzes him about what happened and what he plans to do next. She wishes that Daryl would return home to Alexandria but he’s made a promise that he won’t stop searching for Rick until he’s found something.
Meanwhile, Michonne has a conversation with Lydia as she constantly stays by Henry’s side and it appears she can be trusted enough for now because she obviously has legitimate feelings for her new-found friend. The entire situation still brings Michonne back to a nightmare she lived through six years ago in the aftermath of Rick’s disappearance.
That’s when we flashback to those days when Michonne was very pregnant with Rick’s child and still wandering outside the walls to search for him. She does manage to find his revolver, which she cleans up and hangs from her belt but it’s still not the man she loves.
It’s getting more and more dangerous for Michonne to go out now because she’s so pregnant but Daryl understands why she continues to do it.
Back in Alexandria, the scouts have returned with a group that they found nearby looking for help. It’s one adult, some teenagers and a bunch of children and the gates to Alexandria open wide to allow them inside. That’s when Michonne is struck by a blast from the past when she recognizes the adult leading the group — her name is Jocelyn and they were close friends in high school some 15 years ago.
It seems Michonne and Jocelyn haven’t seen each other since high school, which means they obviously haven’t seen each other since the world fell apart and zombies started walking the Earth.
Jocelyn gets treated for her own wounds as she reconnects with her friend and Michonne is happy to have someone around that knew her from before the time she was a katana wielding zombie killer. Over time, Jocelyn and her group are welcomed more and more into the Alexandria community and they even allow her to stage a play date with her kids and all of the children from around town — including Judith.
When Michonne goes to pick up her daughter after hearing from another member of the community that his son hadn’t returned home, they arrive at the house where Jocelyn was staying but the entire place has been emptied out.
A hunt around Alexandria reveals that the food pantry and the infirmary have been raided and the guards have been murdered. Michonne follows the last trail — stained in the blood of a child’s shoes — to the manhole cover that leads down into the sewers.
That’s when Michonne realizes that her friend Jocelyn has kidnapped all of the children of Alexandria and she’s even made murderers out of the kids she’s been keeping safe.
Daryl joins Michonne on the hunt to find Judith and the other children and they eventually arrive at an abandoned school where the trail leads them directly to Jocelyn and her group. Inside, Daryl and Michonne are shocked to find that the kids are all wielding weapons of their own and ready to kill to protect Jocelyn if that’s what it takes.
The entire situation is so bizarre that Daryl ends up catching an arrow in the shoulder because he can’t pull the trigger on a bunch of kids and Michonne is equally overrun by this child army.
When we next find Michonne and Daryl, they’ve been bound and gagged and hung from hooks inside the school. Jocelyn leads some sort of ritual where she has one of the kids grab a red-hot brand and mark both her former high school friend and Daryl with giant ‘X’s on their backs.
That explains those scars that Daryl and Michonne had when the second half of season 9 of ‘The Walking Dead’ started — it appeared that they were surgical scars but instead both of them were branded in some kind of sick and twisted rite of passage as Jocelyn teaches these children that only the strong survive and this is how they prove it.
After both are branded, Jocelyn tells Michonne that her daughter Judith will be better off with her because she’ll teach the little girl to be strong. Before she can get away, Daryl is able to fight off his guard and break free before doing the same for Michonne as they give chase to Jocelyn and her child army.
The children are fiercely loyal — willing to kill to protect their surrogate mother — and that includes one of them slicing Michonne across her pregnant belly with a knife. Michonne is forced to fight back as she grabs away her sword and goes after the children.
As soon as she exits the door, Jocelyn attacks Michonne with a piece of wood and begins pounding away as she instructs the children to get into the camper as they will be leaving soon enough. When Michonne finally fights back, Jocelyn changes her instructions — she tells her ‘children’ to kill the kids from Alexandria.
Michonne then stabs her former friend to death with her blade and she turns her attention to the last remaining children in Jocelyn’s army. She tries to reason with them but there is no hope of that working so Michonne is forced to cut them all down, one by one until almost everybody is dead.
The last person remaining is a kid named Winnie and Michonne is able to convince her to abandon the plan to murder all of the other children from Alexandria tucked away inside that camper. Daryl finally arrives after eliminating the other teenagers and children from the gang as he finds Michonne wounded and distraught after she was forced to kill a bunch of brainwashed kids.
Finally, Michonne makes her way to the camper when Judith emerges. At first the little girl just stares back at her blankly before erupting in ‘mommy’ and running to give Michonne a hug. The three of them along with the rest of the children from Alexandria return home as the gates open to welcome them back.
From that day forward, Michonne declared that Alexandria’s gates would stay closed to anybody not already living there. She trusted the wrong person once and she would never be fooled again.
Back in present day, Judith wants her mother to help Daryl and the other communities deal with this new threat from the Whisperers but more than anything she just wants her to reach out to the people she cares about the most.
Judith has wanted nothing more than to do what her father and brother would have done when Daryl came knocking on the front gates asking for help. Michonne may have patched them up but ultimately she sent them back on their way without any signs of support beyond that lone gesture.
In the midst of her memories about the tragedy surrounding Jocelyn and her child army, Michonne realizes that Judith has gone missing for the second time and she can’t find any trace of where she’s gone.
Michonne pays Negan a visit to see if he’s had a recent conversation with her daughter and perhaps he knows where she’s going.
Negan then reveals that he’s told Judith answers to every question she’s ever had for him — including the stories that her mother refuses to tell her. He even tells her about bashing in the heads of both Glenn and Abraham and all the other nefarious things he did while leading the Saviors. Negan even explains how Rick and the survivors finally defeated them and the end of the war came with his throat being slashed before being thrown in prison for the rest of his days.
Michonne is shocked and somewhat horrified to find out that Negan has been telling Judith everything but then he reminds her the kind of strong will that Carl had and how that same kind of personality followed his little sister. Ever since the tragedy with Jocelyn, Michonne has been on a mission to protect Judith from harm, but she’s also done everything possible to keep the girl from knowing the entire truth as she attempts to give her a real childhood despite growing up in the zombie apocalypse.
Negan tells Michonne that Judith is definitely her daughter because there’s no way she would take this kind of shit without facing the problem head on. That’s when Michonne realizes where Judith has gone.
She runs to her daughter’s room and finds Rick’s revolver is missing with a note in its place saying that she’s gone to help their friends.
Michonne tears off on horseback, tracking down her daughter until she finally finds Judith surrounded by walkers, fending off an attack all by herself. Michonne rushes in and saves the day by chopping down the zombies one by one until she’s finally reunited with her daughter.
Following that traumatic encounter, Michonne realizes that she can no longer shelter her daughter — Judith is too much like Rick and Carl to keep hiding things from her. Judith then reveals that she remembers the encounter with Jocelyn and the other children but she never brought it up to her mother because she knows how much that hurt Michonne.
From that moment on, Michonne promises to be up front and honest with Judith about everything and maybe it’s time to finally trust people again. The two of them board a horse and buggy bound for the Kingdom and they even pick up Daryl, Connie, Henry and Lydia along the way.
The group will all travel together to the Kingdom where they will meet for this massive community fair that will hopefully bring everyone closer together again.
What they don’t see on the outside of the Kingdom are two Whisperer scouts, who have been tracking them this entire time. They now know that the communities are all connected — and they are protecting Lydia — and Alpha needs to know.
Michonne finally learned to trust again — but at what cost?
‘The Walking Dead’ returns for the penultimate episode in season 9 next Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on AMC and you can check out a couple of previews below: