Caution: Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead.
After the dramatic departure of Rick Grimes last week, The Walking Dead continued with "Who Are You Now?" and delved headfirst into the show's future, leaving viewers with plenty of unanswered questions. The episode essentially acted as the genesis of a brand new show and focused primarily on re-orientating the audience with the characters of Alexandria and the Kingdom, as well as introducing some significant new faces.
Alexandria has advanced greatly in Rick's absence and is now run by a council, although Michonne still appears to be very much in charge, and Judith Grimes is following her older half-brother's example by bringing home Magna's group after she saved them from a horde of walkers at the end of last week's episode. Meanwhile, Gabriel continues his romantic hot streak and is now involved with Rosita, much to the annoyance of Eugene. Over at the Kingdom, Carol has grown her hair, married Ezekiel and adopted Henry as a son but anyone who thought that familial bliss would calm Carol's temper is gravely mistaken, as she revisited a preferred method of execution in this offering.
"Who Are You Now?" may have served as a general post-time jump overview of The Walking Dead season 9's new landscape but it still managed to tease several new plot threads and mysteries. Here are the biggest unanswered questions from this week's episode.
- This Page: The Walking Dead's Big Unanswered Questions
- Page 2: Questions About The Walking Dead's Time Jump
8. Why Were The Walkers Talking?
The climax of "Who Are You Now?" featured a scene that was previously shown in the trailer for season 9. Rosita and Eugene head out on a mission to set-up a radio booster but are quickly set upon by a large horde of walkers and, true to character, Eugene manages to make the situation even worse by both hurting his leg and scaring away the duo's horses. As they hide in the mud, Rosita and Eugene hear the zombies talking among themselves, uttering phrases such as "don't let them get away" and "where are they?" in a low deathly growl.
At first glance, it might appear that after years roaming the Earth, the undead are beginning to evolve and this certainly appears to be Eugene's hypothesis judging from recent trailer footage. The truth, however, is far grimmer.
As readers of the The Walking Dead comics will know, and likely many non-readers by now too, the voices are not coming from the undead, but from the show's next big villains, the Whisperers. Led by the intimidating duo of Alpha and Beta, this kooky bunch are dealing with the zombie apocalypse by regressing to a more primal lifestyle and dressing up in zombie skins, a disguise they use to integrate themselves with and manipulate the undead. This is almost certainly why the horde that attacked Eugene and Rosita wasn't headed in the direction it should have been.
7. Does Rick Have Another Child?
The Walking Dead's latest installment included a scene where Magna willingly hands a concealed knife over to Michonne in order to gain trust, but this moment was entirely overshadowed by the appearance of a mystery child in Michonne's house. As the youngster is never seen or spoken of again in the episode, viewers are left to wonder exactly where he came from.
Helpfully, The Walking Dead's showrunner, Angela Kang, gave same insight into this new character in an interview with EW. Kang revealed that the young boy is, as many would have suspected, the offspring of Rick and Michonne and went on to confirm that his name is R.J., short for Rick Jr. This bombshell perhaps wouldn't be entirely unexpected. In Rick's final episodes, he and Michonne certainly hinted at a potential bun in the oven, although it appears that the man himself had no idea that his partner was expecting.
Unfortunately, there could be a more harrowing explanation for this scene. Since no other character mentions or interacts with R.J., and with Michonne obviously in a fragile state of mind, it's entirely possible that the child is a figment of Michonne's imagination. "Who Are You Now?" leads viewers into thinking that when Michonne talks to herself, she's picturing Rick, but what if this is actually a way of coping after the pair's unborn baby tragically didn't survive?
6. Why Is Daryl Living Alone?
As was suggested by recent trailer footage, Daryl appears to be living separately from the other communities, although exactly why and when he began this nomadic existence is currently unknown. Throughout the beginning of season 9, Daryl repeatedly made it clear to Rick and other characters that he was uncomfortable with the thought of re-building society and would prefer to take a small group of trusted friends back out onto the open road, surviving day-to-day and not getting involved with strangers.
It's also worth remembering that Daryl's immediate reaction to Rick's "death" was simply to slink off into the forest alone. Perhaps the intention of that image was to suggest that Daryl retreated into the wild as a direct result of losing Rick and has been living there in the years since, only having sporadic contact with Carol, who apparently knows how and where to find him.
Due the popularity of Norman Reedus' character, it's highly likely that Daryl will re-join the main group at some point in the near future and if an army of murderous, skin-clad assailants threatening his friends doesn't do the trick, surely nothing will.
5. How Did Michonne Get Her Scar?
Yet another subtle plot thread planted in "Who Are You Now?" was the presence of a large, X-shaped scar on Michonne's lower back. Considering both the fact that this blemish has never been mentioned before and the lingering camera shot that allowed the audience to get a good look at it, it's safe to assume that not only was this scar acquired during The Walking Dead's recent time jump, but that it has some kind of future importance to the narrative.
This story behind this scar might also help to explain why Michonne seems so guarded and is reluctant to let newcomers into her community. Both Rick and Carl were willing to give their lives to help rebuild a civilized place that sought to bring people together and so it seems odd that Michonne would close Alexandria to strangers. Perhaps her scar holds the secret.
While it's possible that Michonne could have suffered some kind of accident or that Alexandria has been forced to battle some unknown human enemies after last week's time jump, there could be a far darker explanation. If Rick and Michonne's child is indeed a hallucination, then the scar could be from some kind of surgery performed as a result of a pregnancy complication.