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"What We Become" is the thirteenth episode of the tenth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and forty-fourth episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 22, 2020. It was written by Vivian Tse and directed by Sharat Raju.
In an apparent flashback, Michonne walks through the Georgia woods with her "pet walkers", when she spots Andrea fleeing from the undead. This time, however, when Andrea gets pinned by a walker, Michonne doesn't save her, resulting in Andrea getting devoured.
In the present, Michonne and Virgil have finally arrived to Bloodsworth Island after 5 hours of travel. Virgil complains about being tied to the railing during the trip, but Michonne pays him no mind. Virgil takes her inland, where he claims both the weapons and his family are located. On the way, he stops to pick flowers and herbs to make tea, much to Michonne's annoyance. Wishing to retrieve the weapons as soon as possible, Michonne asks if there are any in the building adjacent to them, but Virgil says this is just an old lab, adding that it's best to stay away due to the wildlife infestation. Further on, the pair arrive to an empty camp. Suspicious, Michonne notes that none of Virgil's family is there. When Virgil becomes evasive, Michonne pulls her sword on him and threatens him into telling the truth. Virgil obliges and takes her to three empty graves, revealing his family to be dead. Angry at Virgil's half-truths, Michonne storms off to find the weapons herself, but stops when Virgil blurts out the island isn't clear. He claims that the island was invaded by a group who brought violence and disease, the latter of which killed his family. He asks for Michonne's help to put his family down, explaining that he never really got good at killing walkers since the island is quite isolated. Michonne reluctantly agrees.
The pair sneak into the walker-infested building through a back door. It isn't long before they are forced to squeeze through a makeshift barricade. While Michonne is successful, Virgil gets stuck and accidentally knocks the barricade over, alerting the walkers to their location. Michonne pushes the walkers back with a stretcher, before instructing Virgil to stay behind it while she takes care of the walkers. After Michonne successfully kills all of the undead, Virgil finds his reanimated family hanging from the ceiling in another room with a bunch of others, having committed mass suicide. Virgil tearfully puts his wife's shoe back on, then allows Michonne to put his family down.
After Virgil buries his loved ones, Michonne expresses her condolences, but is anxious to resume the search. Virgil says that it's late, meaning the tide is too low for the boat to travel though the channel. When Michonne remains adamant, he adds that it's getting dark and some of the buildings aren't safe. He offers to resume the search in the morning, which Michonne reluctantly agrees to. As night falls, Michonne finds herself unable to sleep. She attempts to contact Judith, but only receives static. She then ventures outside and goes to explore the lab building Virgil told her to stay away from. When she enters a room, Virgil suddenly appears behind her and slams the door, locking her inside. He chastises Michonne for breaking their trust, before slamming the shutter on the door's window and walking away.
Michonne tries in vain to pry the door open, but eventually tires out and falls asleep. When she wakes up, she finds a tray of food on the ground and her sword missing. She continues to bang on the door, when a strange voice from a cell next to hers tells her to calm down. Shocked, Michonne asks how long she has been in the cell and why the people on the other side didn't answer her before. They tell her that it's been roughly a day since she arrived, and that they didn't answer her out of fear, since Virgil was in one of his moods. They also dissuade Michonne from trying to escape, as the whole building is booby-trapped. The trio introduce themselves as Virgil's former colleagues who worked as researchers on the island before the outbreak, while Lucy was a janitor. They explain that after the outbreak, people kept arriving to the island via boat, but food supplies soon dwindled. Eventually, a fight broke out over the rations, which resulted in a resident getting stabbed to death. Virgil arrived to the scene too late and panicked. He ordered his colleagues to lock all the doors, but didn't realize his family was still inside. Driven insane over causing their deaths, Virgil locked his friends in the cell so they wouldn't leave him. One of the captives, Jeremiah, encourages Michonne to eat, so she has the strength to kill Virgil. Another captive, Celeste, asks for Michonne's name, so she introduces herself before biting into an apple.
Later, Virgil opens the shutters and tells Michonne he is glad she ate. Michonne orders him to open the door, but Virgil declines, as he knows she will kill him if he does so. He tells her that he doesn't want to fight, just wants her to understand, explaining that the island has a gift and that it can help her the same way it helped him. At this point, Michonne begins to hallucinate. When asked what he did to her, Virgil reveals that he made her hallucinogenic tea using Jimsonweed. He believes Michonne to be in pain like himself, and wishes to cure her. Michonne denies being like Virgil, but the latter cuts her off, revealing that they've already had that conversation three times. Michonne pleads with Virgil to think about her daughter and son, but Virgil says that no one listened to him when he said the same thing, and goes on to state that everything he did was for his family. Michonne laughs at this and makes a snide remark, but is stunned when Siddiq replies to her instead and asks about his child. As Michonne's hallucinations continue to get worse, Virgil smiles and tells her she is no angel. When Michonne starts to shiver, Siddiq tells her to picture the sun. Michonne is at first glad to see him, but he starts blaming her for his death, as well as the deaths of Rick and Carl. Siddiq then asks what will happen to his family with him gone. Michonne tearfully states that Siddiq is her family, but the latter replies "this is what it feels like to be your family". A split second later, Michonne's hands are covered in blood. She screams in horror before she is confronted by a past version of herself, who hands over the chains to her walkers. Prompted by Virgil, Michonne takes the chains.
She is violently yanked into a vision where she watches Andrea get devoured instead of helping her. She loots Andrea's body before moving on. Later, Michonne finds herself in place of the hitchhiker she and Rick left on the road. As she walks down the road, a Hyundai Tuscon speeds past her. She yells for it to stop, but is ignored. Later, she catches up with the car after it is stuck in the mud. Once again, she begs for help, but upon spotting her, Daryl tells the others to move on. Michonne is once again abandoned. She then finds herself in the aftermath of a walker attack. Just as she finishes the last one off, she is approached by Negan and the Saviors. Michonne takes a swing at Negan with her sword, but he dodges and knocks her down with Lucille. Despite Michonne's aggression, Negan takes a liking to her and offers her a chance to join his group, which she accepts. Michonne then finds herself present at the outpost that Rick and his group initially attacked in an attempt to wipe out the Saviors, but this time on the other side. As Glenn and Heath sneak up on Laura and kill her in her sleep, Michonne is able to wake up in time and guns them down. She successfully escapes the outpost. Later, during the infamous line-up, Negan begins his "eenie-meenie-miney-mo" chant to pick which of the survivors will be executed, but then decides to hand the bat over to his "right-hand-gal" Michonne, allowing her to chose instead. Michonne admonishes Rick and his group for slaughtering the Saviors in their sleep, despite knowing nothing about them. After picking her victim, Michonne states that what happens next is their fault. The victim turns out to be Michonne herself, as "Savior Michonne" tells the survivors "Welcome to the new world", before swinging. Finally, Michonne finds herself being chased through a forest by the Militia. She kills two of them, before she is abruptly shot in the chest by Daryl with his crossbow. As she lay dying, Rick approaches her and shoots her in the head with his Colt Python.
Finally sobering up from the tea, Michonne throws up in a bucket. Virgil asks if she is feeling better while offering a glass of water. Michonne drinks, before grabbing a fork off the tray and suddenly stabbing Virgil in the calf. As they struggle, Michonne is able to disarm Virgil, but he is able to get away. Michonne quickly frees the other prisoners. Together, they run to the boat, only to find that Virgil has set it ablaze. It isn't long before the former captives catch up with Virgil. As Michonne tackles him and puts a knife to his throat, Virgil explains that he was originally going to ask Michonne to help him release the prisoners, as he wanted to let them go but needed Michonne to keep them from killing him. Once Michonne discovered them on her own, however, Virgil realized she would join forces with them to kill him, so he needed to take her captive as well. Virgil apologizes, but Jeremiah doesn't accept his apology and spitefully steps on his injured leg. Virgil goes on to state how he was lost after his wife died and couldn't let the prisoners leave, but didn't want to kill them either. The prisoners urge Michonne to kill Virgil. Michonne considers it, but seeing the sorry state of her former captor, she ultimately relents. She tells the others that Virgil owes them more than he can ever repay, but by killing him, they will lose more of themselves. Showing mercy, however, will bring them peace. Lucy proceeds to knock Virgil out.
Virgil wakes up in one of his cells. Michonne brings him some water and angrily tells him that she checked every building on the island and found no weapons. Virgil points out that he never lied to her about the weapons, and only said that he'd show her the spots where they could be stored, although he admits he never went inside these buildings because he didn't need to, adding that he never found anything other than a stray shell here and there. He offers Michonne a chance to take anything else she wants instead. Michonne spitefully throws him a bottle of water, before asking him what he sees when he is tripping on his tea. Virgil says that he sees his family alive again, which he describes as heaven. He tells Michonne that he wanted her to experience something similar. Michonne, however, reveals that the tea took her family from her, and she saw hell instead. Virgil apologizes, explaining that the only world he ever wanted to live in was the one with his family in it, but doesn't know how to go on without them. Michonne tells him he needs to try, like everyone else, before ordering him to show her his stuff. Obliging, Virgil takes her to a closet with various equipment inside. As she looks through the shelves, she spots a pair of boots, which she immediately recognizes as Rick's. After a moment of shock, Michonne suddenly pins Virgil to the wall and interrogates him about where he got the boots.
Virgil takes her to a boat that washed up ashore during a big storm. Michonne frantically searches through the journals aboard, before discovering an iPhone with an engraving of her and Judith. Michonne cries tears of joy upon realizing Rick survived the explosion, but turns her attention towards Virgil a few moments later. She thinks he came to find them at Oceanside because of the engraving, despite Virgil's claims that he'd never seen it. Furious, Michonne interrogates him about what he did to Rick, but Virgil has no idea who she's talking about. After Michonne relents, Virgil offers help restore the boat to working order if the others would help him. Later, as the others pack up, Michonne informs Virgil that the others are willing to let him come along. Virgil is surprised by this, and considers it for a moment, but ultimately decides to stay on the island to be with his family.
As the boat sails north, Michonne cries over the realization that Rick might still be alive. She then radios Judith. Judith says that she'd been trying to reach Michonne. She apologizes and informs her daughter that she found three people on the island, whom she is bringing home. R.J. joins in on the call to say hello to his mother, but Judith tells him they need to use codenames for security, so R.J. chooses "Little Brave Man" as his codename, much to Michonne's delight. Michonne asks about Rosita, before switching the topic to the Whisperers. Judith informs her that the Whisperers are finished, as they eliminated most of the horde, while Alpha can't hurt them anymore. Michonne then reveals that she found something that belonged to the "Brave Man", and where he might have been recently. Choking back tears, Judith asks if Rick is still alive, but Michonne doesn't know. Judith then urges Michonne to go find Rick if she thinks he is alive. Michonne initially declines, reasoning that Judith and R.J. need her right now, but Judith insists, telling Michonne that Rick could be trying to come home and might need help. Michonne accepts her mission, and tells Judith that she will try to contact her on the walkie for as long as she can. They then say their goodbyes.
Later on, Michonne sneaks up behind two walkers and amputates their arms and jaws. She then continues her journey dragging the walkers behind her on a leash, similar to what she did with Mike and Terry. She travels until she happens upon two survivors, one of them injured. She approaches them, blade in hand. The survivors plead with her to help them, as "they" won't wait for the pair. When Michonne asks who "they" are, the pair point to a large column of survivors moving in the distance. Remembering how she and Rick first met and how he decided to help her, Michonne ultimately decides to do the same, and offers a hand to the survivors after decapitating her "pet walkers". Together, they make their way towards the convoy.
- Laurie Holden as Andrea (Archive Footage)
- Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee (Archive Footage)
- Corey Hawkins as Heath (Archive Footage)
- Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes (Archive Footage)
- Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee (Archive Footage)
- Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes (Archive Footage)
- Michael Cudlitz as Abraham Ford (Archive Footage)
- Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha Williams (Archive Footage)
- Austin Amelio as Dwight (Archive Footage)
- Steven Ogg as Simon (Archive Footage)
- Nathan Hicks as Keno (Archive Footage)
- Erin Leigh Bushko as Erin (Archive Footage)
- Denisha Gillespie as Lisa
- Moses J. Moseley as Mike
- Theshay West as Terry
- Lisa (Alive, Confirmed Fate; Zombified)
- Jasmine (Alive, Confirmed Fate; Zombified)
- Bobby (Alive, Confirmed Fate; Zombified)
- 27 unnamed Bloodsworth Island survivors (Confirmed Fate, Alive; Zombified)
- 2 unknown animals (Confirmed Fate)
- First (and last) appearance of Bloodsworth Island.
- First (and last) appearance of Lucy. (Unknown)
- First (and last) appearance of Celeste. (Unknown)
- First (and last) appearance of Jeremiah. (Unknown)
- First (and last) appearance of Aiden. (Unknown)
- First (and last) appearance of Bailey. (Unknown)
- First (and last) appearance of Lisa. (Zombified)
- Last appearance of Michonne Hawthorne. (Unknown)
- Last appearance of Rick Grimes. (Hallucination, Flashback)
- Last appearance of Carl Grimes. (Hallucination, Flashback)
- Last appearance of Andrea. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of Siddiq. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of Glenn Rhee. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of Heath. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of Abraham Ford. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of Sasha Williams. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of Dwight. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of Simon. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of Laura. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of D.J. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of Keno. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of Erin. (Hallucination, Corpse)
- Last appearance of Mike. (Hallucination, Zombified)
- Last appearance of Terry. (Hallucination, Zombified)
- Last appearance of the Saviors. (Hallucination)
- Last appearance of the West Georgia Correctional Facility. (Flashback)
- This episode marks Ross Marquand's 50th appearance on the TV Series.
- This is the tenth episode to share the same title of a Comic Series volume, after "Days Gone Bye", "Made to Suffer", "This Sorrowful Life", "Too Far Gone", "No Way Out", "A New Beginning", "What Comes After", "The Calm Before" and "Lines We Cross".
- Avi Nash is re-added under "Also Starring" in this episode due to Michonne's hallucination sequence.
- This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on March 20, 2020.
- This episode was filmed as the 12th episode of the season, and "Walk With Us" was being filmed as the 13th. The two episodes were switched.
- This episode has callbacks to "Days Gone Bye", "Beside the Dying Fire", "Hounded", "Clear", "Not Tomorrow Yet", "Last Day on Earth", "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be", "Mercy", and "Wrath".
- During the hallucination sequence, where the camera points on Rick when he shot Michonne, is the exact same way he shot Sophia in "Pretty Much Dead Already".
- It's hinted through Judith that Alpha's death is now public knowledge.
- It's hinted that D.J. may have been present during the events of "Last Day on Earth" and "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be".
- This may not be the case, however, as Michonne's memories are very warped during her hallucinogenic experience, so several characters are present where they weren't originally, like Laura dying at the Satellite Outpost. It is most likely that Michonne was simply imagining these events with Saviors she was most familiar with, such as D.J. and Laura, who joined Alexandria after the Sanctuary fell.
- The scripture on the iPhone engraving is Japanese, and translates to "Believe a little bit longer".
- Michonne's and Judith's codenames, "Daitō" (大刀) and "Shōtō" (小刀:しょうとう), mean "Long Sword" and "Short Sword" respectively in Japanese.
- Judith states that most of Alpha's horde was destroyed in the battle for the Hilltop.
- Michonne uses her old walker trick to blend in as she did before meeting the Governor and then after the prison fell.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Talking Dead for this episode was done through video conferencing.
- Both Rosita Espinosa and Eugene Porter have lasted 100 episodes as of this episode.