‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 9, Episode 14: “Scars” Recap

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 9, Episode 14, Scars, Michonne, profile

[Image via Gene Page/AMC]

Did we finally find out why Daryl and Michonne have scars? Yes, we did. Was it a horrible, tragic story. Yes, it was.

Here’s what went down in Episode 14 (titled “Scars”) of Season 9 of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

The Present Day

Episode 14 of AMC’s The Walking Dead shows Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) turning up with Henry (Matt Lintz), Connie (Lauren Ridloff), and Lydia (Cassady McClincy), at Alexandria. Michonne (Danai Gurira) doesn’t want to let the group in, mainly because Lydia is an entirely new face. However, she trusts Daryl and he is vouching for Lydia — regardless of whether or not I think this is a good idea yet or not.

So, with the group inside and Henry getting patched up, Judith (Cailey Fleming) is getting increasingly pissed off that her mum seems unable to help others. She is so pissed, in fact, that she eventually flys the coop and Michonne has to go looking for her.

This stirs up all sorts of shit for Michonne.

CF: We now have conformation that Judith really is Rick’s kid, because she shares the same genetic code as Carl and is incapable of staying in the house. I don’t think Carl got that from his mother.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 9, Episode 14, Scars, Daryl Dixon, crossbow

[Image via Gene Page/AMC]

Back When Shit Got Real

So, we discover in Episode 14 of The Walking Dead, that Michonne was looking for Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) well after his disappearance. Daryl is there too, and they both lean on each other as they come to terms with the fact that Rick is never coming back. As Michonne’s pregnancy develops, a new group turns up on Alexandria’s doorstep — and this group contains a lifelong friend of Michonne’s called Jocelyn. And, boy, didn’t I squeal when I realised Jocelyn was being played by True Blood‘s Rutina Wesley!

CF: First off, as I said when I PMed you, I felt the opening to this episode was damn near perfect.  You have moody music and time jumps, a pregnant Michonne looking for Rick and finding only his gun, Daryl saying he’s searched the whole length of the river to the ocean and hasn’t found anything–and finally Rutina showing up looking in need of help. If nothing else, The Walking Dead tends to get their cold openings right. I was excited to see where the episode was going after this.

Also, a little bit of trivia: Rutina Wesley almost got the part of Michonne.  She was considered before the part went to Danai.

RT: I agree that the opening was divine. It set viewers perfectly on edge. Also, I did not know that about Rutina!

Jocelyn is doing poorly which means that she and Michonne catch up while she heals. It turns out Jocelyn is looking after a group of children and Michonne, with Daryl’s help, brings a bunch of them back to Alexandria.

As Jocelyn heals, the kids of Alexandria mingle with Jocelyn’s kids and many sleepovers are had. Everyone is having so much fun. And, we know what that means in The Walking Dead

CF: We can’t ever have good things?

There was also something Jocelyn said that made me wonder what year it was in The Walking Dead time line.  She said she hadn’t seen Michonne in 15 years, so I had to figure out the year to discover when they last met.  And…

We know that Fear the Walking Dead established that the Zombie Apocalypse began in Fall, 2010, probably September.  This is confirmed in a way with someone saying at the start of Season 3 of TWD that they made it through the winter.

Two years pasted from the time TWD began until they discovered Alexandria and they finished the All Out War segment about six months after arriving, which then put the show at late 2012, perhaps early 2013, though this later seems unlikely. The first big time jump in the show to the Bridge Building fuckup was a year and a half, so now the show is quite likely up to late 2013, maybe getting ready to move into 2014. Jump another six years ahead and the we’re in either 2019 or 2020.  Given that we are well into harvest season from the looks of things and there is talk of a major winter storm coming to the show, I’d say the current frame for the story is probably around September of 2019, nine years after everything first went to hell and about half a year into our future.  Now if you run backwards from the back time in this episode, It likely is early 2014 when Michonne is getting ready to drop, so the last time Michonne and Jocelyn hooked up was around 1999.  As in party like it’s.  And they probably did.

See how easy that is?

RT: That’s awesome detective work!

Which means that it comes as no surprise when Jocelyn kidnaps the kids during one of those sleepovers. Michonne pretty much loses her mind with fear when she realises that Jocelyn is not really the friend she once remembered.

So, her and Daryl go on a mission to retrieve Judith and the other kids from Alexandria who were taken by Jocelyn’s group.

CF: You know this shit is gonna end in tears…

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 9, Episode 14, Scars, Daryl Dixon, classroom

[Image via Gene Page/AMC]

They end up at an old school and viewers find out just how fucked up Jocelyn really is. She has been training these kids up like there will literally be no tomorrow and is making them into little assassins.

Not very good ones, but quasi-assassins none the less.

Oh, and Jocelyn also likes to brand her victims with a cattle iron before she gets the kids to kill them. So, that’s how Daryl and Michonne got branded.

As I said, Jocelyn is some level of all fucked up by this point in the apocalypse.

CF: In terms of people we’ve met on TWD she has to be right up there with the most fucked up ever. I mean, even cannibals aren’t that much worse.

After Daryl and Michonne are branded a guard is left to watch them. Which gives Daryl an opportunity to break free and knock that guard out. Michonne goes looking for the kids and still doesn’t realise how much danger she is in with the mini-assassins and crazy-town Jocelyn.

But, this soon becomes apparent to her after one of the little assholes slashes her belly and she has no choice but to fight back. She also kills Jocelyn after she beats Michonne pretty badly. But, that’s nothing compared to what is about to come.

CF: And major props to Danai Gurira throughout this scene, but mostly right here at the start when she starts confronting the kids. She doesn’t want to harm them, but you already see it in her eyes and notice it in her body language that she knows how this is going to end. She’s trying to disarm people and convince them to lay down their weapons, but by the time she skewers Jocelyn, the writing is on the wall.

RT: Danai’s performance throughout this was fantastic. That scene where she gets branded and leans right into Jocelyn, the emotion on her face was exquisite.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 9, Episode 14, Scars, Michonne, katana

[Image via Gene Page/AMC]

Now, if you were pissed off when Carol (Melissa McBride) killed a child in “The Grove” you might just want to sit the rest of this recap out. Otherwise, strap yourself in because Michonne is going to murder some kids in order to save some kids.

So, yeah, I get now why she is all sorts of messed up in the present time and why she is not so welcoming to guests as she used to be.

Luckily, Michonne manages to kill all the kids before any of the Alexandrian kids are really threatened. However, I have no idea how I feel about that so we’ll just move along while I continue to process it all.

CF: There was a moment, just a moment, where a look of horror passed over Michonne’s face as she faced what she was about to do while having not yet done it, then when she got down to business the look was still there, but it mingled with the understanding that she had to kill those kids, as it was her or them. And killing with a sword is personal: it hasn’t to be. Not that killing Lizzy wasn’t personal for Carol, because she elected to put someone down for whom she’d cared for a great deal, but with Michonne is was being placed in a situation where if she didn’t kill every last kid, they were for sure going to kill her and, I should point out, the last remnant of Rick Grimes. There was no way she was gonna let that happen.

With Michonne you have to give her a big enough trauma so that she’s completely messed up to the point where she internalizes it for a long time into something unhealthy. It’s the way she was when we first met her, because of how she had to deal with the fall of civilization and what she needed to do to survive. By her own accounting “I was almost out there too long” and she was probably a few months away from becoming completely feral herself.at the time she was taken in at The Prison. Here she is again, maybe seven or eight months after Rick “dies” and she has to murder a shitload of kids to save the ASZ kids. It’s a shitty choice and one that eventually put her right back out in the wilderness, trying to survive. And in the process, she takes the rest of the ASZ with her.

I now “get” why she’s been so fucked up since the start of this half of the season. And really, more props to Corey Reed and Vivian Tse, the writers of this episode, for convincing someone this was the story that needed telling.

Fast Forward Back To The Present Day

So, Michonne is just working out that Judith has gone missing from Alexandria and she heads on over to check to see if she is chilling with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Unfortunately, it’s not that simple and Judith isn’t there. However, before Michonne can leave, Negan gives her some home truths that makes me want to see Negan giving advice in every episode from now on.

Because, let’s face it, when you are siding with Negan over Michonne, it’s probably time for Michonne to sit down and have a little chat to Judith about why people are not allowed to visit Alexandria any more.

CF: If nothing else you gotta love that Negan has decided not to put up a bullshit front any longer. In the comic he didn’t have to tell Carl of all the shit he did that was bad, because Carl knew.  But Judith? Well, in the comic she wasn’t alive, so it’s a moot point, but you really can see him telling her, “Yeah, honey, I’m not a nice guy. I killed Glenn and Abraham and a whole lot of other people and, oh yeah: I was gonna make your dad cut off your brother’s hand.” But he’s also right in that Michonne is Judith’s mother and, yeah, you’re doing a shitty job there, so maybe you wanna get your shit together a bit, huh?

Michonne finally leaves Negan and heads on out into the world to find Judith. And, the searching is not nearly as important as the finding so nothing much really happens other than Michonne has to kill some walkers and Judith nearly gets bitten so that Michonne can save her.

Then, they have the chat that should have probably been had years ago. Except that Michonne finds out that Judith remembers what happened with Jocelyn and still wants to help people so Michonne literally has no choice now but to be nice again.

Which means, if fans of the comic books are correct, and the Fair goes pear-shaped, then Michonne will likely have an “I told you so” moment coming up — so long as she is one of the survivors!

CF: First, you know she’ll survive. I mean, we know she’s in at least a few episodes next season.

And yeah: get ready for the Red Wedding next week.  Though it won’t be quite like that…

Let us know what you thought of this episode of The Walking Dead by commenting below!


Season 9 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 15 (titled “The Calm Before”) on Sunday, March 24. AMC lists the following synopsis for this episode.

“The fair at the Kingdom is underway, with all four communities coming together in celebration for the first time in years; while some pacts are renewed, other deals will come at a much steeper price.”

[Featured image via Jace Downs/AMC]

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