"Scars" is the fourteenth episode of the ninth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and twenty-ninth episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 17, 2019. It was written by Corey Reed & Vivian Tse and directed by Millicent Shelton.
In a flashback to moments after Rick's presumed death, Michonne returns to the riverbank and digs up his gun, but finds no sign of his body. At least eight months later, a now pregnant Michonne returns and runs into Daryl. He tells her he followed the river to the ocean but still hasn't found Rick. Michonne asks when he's going to return to Alexandria, only for him to declare "when I find something."
In the present, Michonne cleans Rick's gun and puts it in a box marked "Judith." Suddenly, Aaron arrives at her house to inform her that Daryl's at the gates with Henry, Lydia, and Connie. From a guardpost, Michonne tells Daryl she's skeptical of Lydia but he assures her she's on their side. From another flashback to a later time in Alexandria, Michonne watches some strangers arrive and discovers among them her friend from school, Jocelyn.
In the present, Henry gets his leg stitched by one of the town doctors. Daryl tells Michonne they should head to the Kingdom soon. In the past, Jocelyn panics and tells Michonne she needs to get back to "them." Michonne calms her down and offers help. Later, Michonne, Gabriel, Rosita, and Eugene follow Winnie to a factory where they find several kids hiding out.
In the present, Michonne tells Lydia she's done things that she's not proud of. She suggests that Lydia would make Alexandria a lot safer if she just walked away. By the lake, Judith tells Daryl she's happy he helped Lydia and suggests they could all defeat the Whisperers if they came together since it's what her dad would have done.
In the past Alexandria, Jocelyn's kid group enjoys a bonfire with a younger Judith and the community kids. In her house, Michonne tells Jocelyn she's impressed with the kids' hunting skills, with Jocelyn telling her the kids are capable of anything.
In the present, Daryl, Henry, and Lydia leave for the Kingdom at night. Michonne and Aaron say farewell as Judith watches. Michonne tells Daryl Judith's still mad at her so he suggests he tell her the truth. "That's not just a little kid you got there," he says. After they leave, Michonne stares at the sewer manhole cover, which is bolted shut.
In the past, Michonne and some residents go to pick up their kids from a sleepover only to discover that Jocelyn and the children are gone. Michonne and Scott search Alexandria and find a resident murdered by the pantry, which has been raided. Frankie rushes over to them and informs them that the infirmary has also been raided and all their supplies are missing. Michonne finds some bloody footprints leading to a manhole which is wide open.
In the present, Michonne sits down for dinner with her kids. Judith refuses to eat and goes to her bedroom. The next morning, Michonne can't find Judith in her room, so she asks Negan if he's seen her and demands to know what Judith talks to him about. He says homework, stories about Rick, and how she's as much of a badass as Carl was. He also says he is straight forward with her, and maybe if Michonne did the same she'd know where she is. She asks if he told her what he did to Glenn and Abraham, with Negan acquiescing. He reveals Judith hates that she's not letting Magna's people in and believes things should be like Carl wanted them to be. Michonne yells that Judith is her daughter, and Negan reminds her that means she'll take matters into her own hands. She rushes back home and finds a note from Judith saying she had to go to help their friends.
In the past, Daryl joins Michonne in her mission to find Judith and the missing Alexandrians in the woods. During a break, Michonne laments how stupid she was to trust her old friend, but Daryl reminds her some people just have too much evil in their heart. A while later, Michonne and Daryl spot one of Jocelyn's kids outside of an abandoned school. They chase him until they're met by all of the kids in a hallway. Daryl gets shot in the shoulder with an arrow while Linus knocks Michonne unconscious.
Sometime later, they wake up bloodied and tied to a pipe. Linus painfully brands an iron X on Daryl and Jocelyn tells Michonne the kids can't be soft. Winnie then brands Michonne as she shrieks in pain. When they are left alone, Daryl and Michonne break free and split up. Michonne sees Jocelyn in the hallway and demands to know where Judith and the rest of the kids are. As they argue, Gina points Michonne's own katana at her. Jocelyn leaves and orders her and Linus to kill her. Armed only with a pipe, Michonne says she doesn't want to kill them. Linus slices a massive cut on her pregnant stomach and Michonne screams again. She grabs her katana as the kids flee.
Michonne finds an exit and is immediately beaten over and over with a wooden plank by Jocelyn. Michonne summons the strength to stab her in her leg and the chest, killing her. Michonne gets up and tells the kids they can all return to Alexandria, but Mitchell instructs the kids to kill the Alexandrians as he deals with her. She's forced to kill him as the other kids close in. Michonne begs the kids to stop but they all attack her and she's forced to kill them one by one until Winnie remains. She runs away as Daryl emerges from the school and watches in confusion the massacre. Suddenly, Judith emerges from the trailer and happily embraces her mom.
In the present, Michonne kills several walkers in the woods and finds Judith, saving her from a walker in time. They sit by a log and Judith tells her she remembers how the kids were nice to her but Jocelyn was bad. She then tells Michonne that loving someone means keeping them safe and asks why they stopped loving Daryl, Maggie, Carol, and the King. Michonne says they haven't, and the two hug again.
In the past, Michonne and Daryl return to Alexandria with the kids as the parents rush up to greet them. Back in the present, Michonne tells Judith how she changed Alexandria's mission to protect their own so she can keep her kids safe, but she admits she was wrong, and that they have to protect the people they love.
In the woods, Michonne and Judith ride off towards the Kingdom and pick up Daryl, Connie, Henry, and Lydia along the way. Meanwhile, two Whisperers watch as a caravan arrives at the Kingdom. "We must tell Alpha," one says smiling.
- Matt Mangum as D.J.
- Chloe Garcia-Frizzi as Young Judith Grimes
- Anabelle Holloway as Gracie
- Antony Azor as R.J. Grimes
- Elyse Nicole DuFour as Frankie
- Joey Simon as Mitchell
- Luke David Blumm as Linus
- Jessi Goei as Gina
- Elle Graham as Winnie
- Jonathan Billions as Marcus
- Emma Coulter as Female Whisperer
- Russ (Flashback)
- Michonne's Mother (Confirmed Fate)
- Jocelyn (Flashback)
- Mitchell (Flashback, Off-Screen)
- Linus (Flashback, Off-Screen)
- Gina (Flashback, Off-Screen)
- P.J. (Flashback, Off-Screen)
- 8 unnamed members of Jocelyn's group (Flashback, Off-Screen)
- 3 boars (Off-Screen)
- First appearance of Alex.
- First appearance of Alice. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Marcus. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Jonah. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Mitchell. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Jocelyn. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Gina. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Linus. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of P.J. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Winnie. (Flashback)
- Last appearance of Russ. (Flashback)
- The title of the episode, "Scars", refers to the origin of the "X" scars that were branded on Michonne and Daryl by Linus and Winnie.
- It also references Judith asking Michonne if her injury will scar and Michonne doubting it but telling her that it would be fine if it did.
- It may also refer to the mental scars left on Michonne and Daryl after their encounter with Jocelyn and her group.
- The song used when Michonne goes out searching for Rick is "Souvenir" by Boygenius.
- The relationship between Jocelyn and Michonne closely parallels Shane and Rick's of how they were friends before the apocalypse and one had to kill the other as they became a threat to their groups.
- Chloe Garcia Frizzi reprises her role in the flashbacks as Judith Grimes for the first time since the timeskip.
- Jocelyn is the first named living character that Michonne has directly killed since Farron all the way back in "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life".
- She was however part of the group that killed Lance all the way back in "Wrath".
- The location used to film the abandoned school is the same one used in Season 5, in which Gareth and other members of Terminus consumed Bob's leg.
- The walker that grabs Judith near the end is played by Chris Hardwick, the host of Talking Dead.
- Aaron jokes that Daryl has basically become a dad due to his current role in the lives of Connie, Henry and Lydia.
- This is the first episode to feature Halloween.
- Due to the Jack-o-Lanterns, paper ghosts, and costumes that Judith and Gracie were wearing, it's possible that the flashbacks took place during Halloween.
- The note written in Judith's lockbox is written on a page from the book Game Day. This was the same book that Michonne read to Judith in "The Obliged".
- Strangely, Tara didn't make an appearance in the flashbacks of this episode, as she only left Alexandria after Michonne shut down the community due to the events in the flashbacks.
- When Aaron tells Michonne they can't trust Lydia, she replies "but I trust Daryl." This is somewhat reminiscent of Rosita's words regarding Dwight in "Something They Need" - "I don't trust him... but I trust Daryl."
- Michonne reuniting with college friend Jocelyn is a slight nod to Michonne reuniting with her daughter Elodie in Issue 176.
- Henry being embarrassed by his scar and Lydia saying that she likes it is a reference to Lydia calling Carl's eye socket sexy in Issue 137.
- This episode shows Michonne during her pregnancy with R.J. Grimes.
- It is revealed that Michonne recovered Rick's Colt Python from the riverbank while searching for him.
- This episode marks Frankie's return, who has not been seen since "Wrath".
- It is revealed that Jocelyn's Group kidnapping Alexandria's children frightened the community so much that they chose to focus on protecting their own rather than helping others.
- It is shown that Negan's cell now contains a shelf with several books. He also has a small cushion he can sit on and read next to the bookshelf.
- Judith mentions Maggie Rhee, indicating the she hasn't been told that Maggie has moved away from the Hilltop Colony.
- Despite extra Thomas Downing being killed off in this episode, he reappears alive after the timeskip.