Just like its primary existential threat, the ubiquitous swarms of undead walkers, AMC’s The Walking Dead simply refuses to die an easy death. The series has gone through some major changes along the way, and while the ratings aren’t quite what they once were, the long-running zombie drama remains popular and now we’re in the middle of The Walking Dead season 10. In fact, it was recently renewed for an impressive 11th season, complete with one surprising return.
But before we get to season 11 of The Walking Dead, we still have eight more episodes of season 10 to contend with. New episodes don’t return for a few weeks, but there’s no time like the present to look forward and dig into what we know about those upcoming chapters.
What Happened To The Season Finale?
The Walking Dead Season 10 returned to its traditional time slot on Sunday, February 23 at 9 p.m. on AMC to air the second half of the season. That run should have continued until the show reached the season finale… but now you won’t get the season finale.
Instead The Walking Dead season 10 finale has been delayed indefinitely. The show’s producers are blaming the Coronavirus for their failure to deliver the season’s penultimate episode.
Here’s how showrunner Angela Kang explains their delay in delivering The Walking Dead season 10 finale.
“I think it’s disappointing for all of us that work on the show. Everybody works so hard, our post production team, all of our vendors who are partners with us, everybody was really kind of racing against the clock. But as everything was unfolding worldwide, we have people around the world that work on our VFX and so people were having to start moving things remotely. But there’s just certain parts of the post-process that are very difficult to move remotely, and everything that moves remotely works slower because it’s like rendering these giant effects. If you don’t know that technical language, it’s like once they finish the stuff, the machines basically work on it to spit out a beautiful version of it, which we drop into the show.”
So just when will The Walking Dead season 10 finale actually air? At this point, no one seems to know.
Saying Goodbye To Michonne
The Walking Dead said goodbye to Michonne as actress Danai Gurira departed the show in Season 10, Episode 13. Michonne has the distinction of being one of the few characters to leave the show without being killed. She headed off in search of Rick and won’t return, at least not on the series. Most believe that instead, she’ll end up in The Walking Dead movie with Rick.
As for why she left, it wasn’t for story reasons. Apparently Danai Gurira simply quit the show. Talking to EW she explains why saying, “there are aspects of my work as a writer, and I needed to allow it to have space. To really let it have its space in my life and in my artistic pursuits as well. And I just had to let the space come to pass.”
Danai Gurira has a new job as the showrunner of HBO’s upcoming series Americanah. It makes sense that would end up taking most of her time. The series is about Nigerian immigrants and their struggles coming to America.
But Danai leaves with a lot of good vibes towards her past on The Walking Dead. She says, “It was incredibly hard to even imagine leaving. I loved that show. I loved the family that I had there, and that I always have. The beauty of coming to work and loving the people you’re around and the work that you’re doing and the things you get to do and call it your job, is like nothing I could have imagined.”
As an ode to his former Walking Dead co-star (and future Walking Dead movie co-star), Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) wrote and performed this amazing ode to Danai…
Addressing Daryl’s Sexuality
Norman Reedus as Daryl is one of the longest surviving cast members of The Walking Dead going into season 10. But strangely, he’s also one of the only cast members never to have an actual, official, romantic interest on the show.
Daryl’s MIA love life has prompted many fans to speculate that he might be secretly gay or even totally asexual. It’s not something the show has addressed before, but they’re ready to now.
In an interview with Peter Travers, Norman Reedus had this to say about the show’s plans to address Daryl’s sexuality: “I’ve heard some rumors that they may address some of that. [The showrunners] talked to me a little bit. It’s funny how much they talk to me and don’t say much. I could spend hours with our bosses and they’re like, ‘I can’t tell you that.’ But it’s weird on that show, because in the beginning they told us everything. We’d get six scripts before we even started the season, and now everything is just in secrecy. Because some of the zombie extras will go through the trash, and that stuff will be online, it’s like everything has to be shredded. It’s so top secret now.”
It actually sounds like Norman Reedus himself may not know the details of Daryl’s sexuality. If he doesn’t know now, it seems like we may find out soon. Maybe not in The Walking Dead season 10, but if he lives to see it, probably in The Walking Dead season 11.
What’s The Walking Dead Season 10 About?
Now that season 10 of The Walking Dead has returned, what’s it all about? The official synopsis is pretty vague on specifics, though it sets the stage for major clashes to come:
“The survivors are still dealing with the Whisperer’s horrific display of power, reluctantly respecting the new borders imposed on them, all while organizing into a militia-style fighting force, preparing for a battle that may be unavoidable.”
Again, short on details, long on ominous set up that teases large scale violence between the various groups of survivors. Which is more or less how the series operates, and definitely enough to keep fans interested.
The most recent mid-season trailer digs a bit deeper into the actual plot mechanics of what the final eight episodes of season 10 will look like. And yes, it is, as you likely guessed, quite grim.
As is so often the case, the first half of season 10 ended on a major cliffhanger.
Episode eight, “The World Before,” ends with a group of core characters falling into a clever trap set by Alpha (Samantha Morton). When looking for her pack of walkers, a group led by Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) do indeed find them, but not where they expected. As a result, the show went to break with them trapped in a cave, surrounded by a swarm of hungry undead, with dwindling hope.
They’re not alone, however. Daryl and Carol are joined by Aaron (Ross Marquand), Connie (Lauren Ridloff), Kelly (Angel Theory), Magna (Nadia Hilker, and Jerry (Cooper Andrews). Unfortunately for our stranded crew, they’ll probably have to find their own way out, as no one else knew their plan or knows where they are.
Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) killing Dante (Juan Javier Cardenas) in a fit of rage is sure to cause fallout, even though he was a spy. And with Dante killing Siddiq (Avi Nash), they’re without a doctor for the time being, which, if you’re gearing up for war, is a good thing to have.
And really, everything appears to be heading for war. Tensions continue to build and escalate until something has to give. It’s all leading to an all-out battle for survival between the Whisperers and the combined forces of Alexandria, Oceanside, and Hilltop.
Who Will Survive?
Over the previous 10 seasons, The Walking Dead has never been coy about killing characters fans love (and some they can’t stand). Lori, Carl, Glenn, Jesus, Abraham, Beth, Andrea, so many others.
Given that predilection, no one is ever safe. Also given the predicament at the end of “The World Before,” it’s a decent bet at least one, if not more, of the folks trapped in Alpha’s cave is going to die. Who, however, remains to be seen. (If Daryl dies, people might literally burn things.) And with the burgeoning war with the Whisperers, there are bound to be casualties, probably significant ones on both sides. Maybe they finally rid themselves of Alpha or Negan.
We’ll have to wait to watch the carnage for ourselves starting in February, but one major question looms above all others when it comes to the rest of the season of The Walking Dead. What about Michonne?
In February 2019, Dania Gurira revealed she will leave the show following season 10. Under her current contract, the Black Panther star is currently also operating in a limited capacity, not appearing in every episode.
So, what does this mean for her character? Many speculate that Gurira will join fellow Walking Dead ex-pat, Andrew Lincoln, for his reported trio of Rick Grimes spin-off movies. That would make sense, given their committed relationship, and if they were to reunite, they’d probably want to stay together.
Michonne’s exit could also set the stage for another character’s return. With her leaving, something of a leadership void remains. And you know who was a badass leader? Maggie Rhee.
At New York Comic-Con, AMC announced season 11 of The Walking Dead, and with it they dropped the news that Lauren Cohan, Maggie herself, will also return. We’ll get to find out about her life with Georgie’s community and surrounding adventures. Maggie and Michonne have some ill-defined beef, so it also makes sense for only one of them to be around at a time.
While Cohan is slated to return as a series regular in season 11, she’s also listed in the IMDb credits for the final episode of The Walking Dead season 10. If we had to hazard a guess, there won’t be a ton to her appearance. It’s easy to imagine she shows up at the very end, we get a good look at her face, cheer, and they leave the season hanging on that note. It may very well resemble Michonne’s first appearance at the tail end of “Beside the Dying Fire,” the final episode of season three.
How The Walking Dead Apocalypse Began
Robert Kirkman, who created The Walking Dead comics, as well as worked on the series, has never revealed how the zombie apocalypse came to be. After a car accident, Rick Grimes wakes from a coma to find himself in an end-of-days nightmare. It just kind of goes from there.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for adding a bit of additional sci-fi to The Walking Dead. That said, a space spore causing the worldwide zombie pandemic seems…unlikely. In reality, Kirkman was probably just having some fun.
But who knows? It’s also not the first time he has teased that the root cause might be more science fiction-based. A few years back, answering questions on Tumblr, he said:
“I know… but it’s a crazy sci-fi thing that would make the story all that much weirder. Maybe years after it’s all over I’ll just casually mention it in an interview. That seems like a very J.K. Rowling thing to do. It couldn’t be less important to the story and the lives of these characters. It would be completely out of place in the story. Honestly if a scientist from Washington came to the character and told them what happened the characters would just shrug and say ‘Oh… okay…’ it wouldn’t change their lives at all… and… I’ve said too much.”
In the big picture, he’s right. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t change daily life for the characters much, if at all. They have to contend with the walkers and other survivors no matter what. Still, that’s not going to stop anyone from wondering, speculating, and tossing out random guesses now and again.
The Future Of The Walking Dead
Lauren Cohan returned as Maggie in season 10 of The Walking Dead. And now it seems that was all part of a plan to give Maggie her own spinoff show.
Word is that AMC is developing a spinoff series centered entirely around Maggie. The series will be a prequel of sorts to Walking Dead season 10 and will tell the story of what happened to Maggie while she was gone from the show.
What we know about her absence is that she left Hilltop to help Georgie establish a new community. So presumably the series will explore those efforts. Since it’s The Walking Dead universe, it’s safe to assume things did not go well.
When Michonne left The Walking Dead midway through season 10 most assumed she was leaving to join Rick Grimes in his upcoming feature film. But there could be another plan too. According to this source she’s getting her own spinoff series.
They claim AMC is developing a limited run series centered entirely around Michonne. The goal of the series would be for it to act as a prologue to the upcoming Rick Grimes movie. Those movies are supposed to be a trilogy of sorts, so it makes sense that AMC would want the build-up to them to be as huge as possible.
If that is the plan, then expect to see the Michonne series sooner than later, since they’ll have to get it out on TV and seen before the movies release.