By all accounts, The Walking Dead appears to be getting better after Rick Grimes’ exit, and not worse as some expected. Many attribute this to Angela Kang taking over as the showrunner of the show.
The latest episode of this post-apocalyptic zombie drama is being called one of its best ever, and it is not related to the ongoing war between Alexandria and the Whisperers.
Titled Scars, the show switches between the present and the past in a Lost-like style and tells us why Michonne has been so harsh towards newcomers to the Alexandrian community. Something happened in the six-year time jump. We had earlier seen mysterious scars on the lower back of Michonne and Daryl, and sensed that the two characters shared a secret.
And the Scars episode reveals the secret behind the scars. Apparently, it had to do with Michonne’s old (pre-apocalypse) friend Jocelyn. She arrived at Alexandria with several children. Michonne is happy to see her and let Judith and other children of Alexandria mingle with them.
The next morning, Jocelyn and the children she brought with her were gone, along with the Alexandrian children. Daryl and Michonne track them, only to be lured into a trap set by Jocelyn.
They are successful in saving the children, but Michonne is forced to kill Jocelyn and all the older children. The Walking Dead has featured children’s deaths before (Samuels sisters’ deaths in The Grove remains the most traumatic), but this is a step up even by this show’s really bleak standards.
Also, the scars? Michonne and Daryl were branded by the children at the behest of Jocelyn. Jocelyn was teaching the children under her care (if it can be called that) to not trust anybody — in a fashion similar to how the Whisperers operate. Jocelyn had made a sort of cult around herself. Her arrival in Alexandria was just to presumably increase the strength of her cult.
Back with the community, Michonne declares that they will not accept any new members, and has since been uncharacteristically harsh towards newcomers to the community.