The Walking Dead revealed how Michonne and Daryl got their scars, and also made us question what it means to raise children in the apocalypse. Here’s our review of “Scars”!
A lot can be said for “Scars”. It’s eye-opening in the trauma that Michonne and Daryl both went through after Rick’s “death”. In how they learned to close people out to protect themselves, but also how their bond strengthened due to a secret that no one else knows but them.
The audience sees that in the days and months following Rick’s disappearance, Michonne and Daryl are still out looking for him. Michonne finds his gun on one trip and keeps it stashed away in a box.
As her pregnancy progresses, it becomes clear that they aren’t going to find him. Daryl even makes the comment that she won’t be able to come out with him to look for Rick much longer.
He tells her that he won’t return to Alexandria until he finds something. I feel like this is a good lead in to Daryl going in search of Rick outside of The Walking Dead. Before they go their separate ways, Michonne asks Daryl:
“You okay being alone?”
The tone of the episode changes when new people show up at the gate. Unbelievably, the woman who’s hurt is Jocelyn, an old friend of Michonne’s. This is when the first mistake is made: trusting someone after several years and a world ending apart.
Jocelyn seems okay. She’s hurt, and we find out that she keeps orphan kids safe. A group from the ASZ go and bring back the kids so that Jocelyn won’t worry about them, and she’ll have time to recover in the ASZ.
We’ve seen this before in The Walking Dead where someone from a character’s “before” enters the picture again, but they’re changed. It was most recently done with Rick and Morales. Obviously, they weren’t as close as Michonne and Jocelyn, but the connection is there.
While they seem to be settling in okay at the ASZ, Jocelyn and Michonne have a conversation that, any other time, I feel like Michonne would have picked up on. Jocelyn tells Michonne that the kids take care of her.
“None of the adults in our group made it. They just broke. But children, they grow. They learn. They’re capable of anything.”
The following morning, the ASZ is rocked by tragedy. Jocelyn and her kids have stolen all their food and medicine, killed someone, and kidnapped the other children. Daryl and Michonne pursue them and locate them in an abandoned school. However, things go from bad to worse when Jocelyn tells her kids to kill them. Daryl is shot with an arrow and Michonne is knocked out.
She wakes up, and she’s being suspended from a pipe in the ceiling, so is Daryl. Throughout the scene, Jocelyn coaches her kids through branding them both with an X on their backs.
Somehow they escape and tie up the man that’s left to keep watch over them. They split up to try and find Judith and the other kids before they’re taken away. It’s this separation that forces Michonne into one of the darkest moments in the The Walking Dead.
When she finds the kids and Jocelyn, Jocelyn reminds the kids:
“You know what’s next, Linus.”
“Marked our kill, kill our mark.”
Michonne fights off the kids as best she can without killing them, but when she runs outside, Jocelyn beats her with a piece of wood until she’s on the ground. Finally, Michonne is able to fight back, and she stabs Jocelyn in the chest, killing her.
All the children see and take position to fight Michonne and keep her from getting Judith. In the end, Michonne has no choice but to kill all the kids that stand in her way. It’s tragic and heartbreaking, and we finally understand why Michonne has become so closed off to new people. We also finally know the secret that she and Daryl have been keeping for so many years.
While “Scars” is told through flashbacks that are interlaced in the present, it’s all connected through the theme: help your friends.
Michonne has a heart-to-heart with Lydia, and Daryl talks with Judith. In between, Henry thanks Michonne for allowing people to go to the fair, and Michonne tells him had she known about the Whisperers, she wouldn’t have allowed it.
Michonne’s conversation with Lydia is very short, and to the point.
“I’ve done things to protect this place. Things I’m not proud. Some I try to forget. To save my people, I’ve had to risk others. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s what I had to do. And I’ve made my peace with that. It might be easier if the only life I had to risk was my own. If i could just, walk away and take all the risk with me. If that could somehow make everyone safe, it wouldn’t be so hard. Think about that.”
AKA: Lydia, you should bounce because you’re the person who’s putting everyone at risk, and if you left, the risk would leave, too.
Meanwhile, Judith asks Daryl what her dad would do. Would he isolate the ASZ or keep the lines of communication open? I think we all know that Rick would behave rashly and get people killed, but Daryl doesn’t say that because he’s a good guy.
In our current timeline, helping friends means attending the Kingdom’s fair and opening up the lines of communication with other communities again. This is addressed most eloquently by Judith after Michonne catches up to her when she runs away to help Daryl, Connie, Henry and Lydia after they’ve left the ASZ.
“Our friends need our help.”
“Oh, Judith, it’s not that simple.”
“Yes, it is.”
“You’re my mom. You chose to be. Because you love me, and I love you.”
“And loving someone means doing whatever it takes to keep them safe, right? But when did we stop loving Daryl? Aunt Maggie? Carol? The King?”
“Then why does it feel that way?”
Judith’s innocence is still in tact, even after we realize she has always remembered her kidnapping by Jocelyn. This all ties back to Lori last words to Carl:
“You’re gonna be fine. You are gonna beat this world. I know you will. You are smart, and you are strong, and you are so brave, and I love you. You gotta do what’s right, baby. You promise me, you’ll always do what’s right. It’s so easy to do the wrong thing in this world. So don’t– so if it feels wrong, don’t do it, all right? If it feels easy don’t do it. Don’t let the world spoil you. You’re so good.”
And if you didn’t get emotional reading that, you’ve got a stone heart.
In the end, Michonne and Judith meet Daryl and the others and escort them to the Kingdom for the fair. Of course, there are Whisperers watching, and say that they need to go tell Alpha.
In addition to all this, “Scars” saw Negan continue his uphill battle to redemption. He owns his past to Michonne and Judith. In previous episodes, he has literally walked through his past to realize his former life was gone.
Look for Negan to make a huge move in the last two episodes that cement his turn from Savior Negan to a Negan The Walking Dead can prop up as a main character who isn’t wholly evil.
After all, another theme of this episode was that people change…sometimes for the better and sometimes for the bad.
What do you think will happen in this Sunday’s episode? The fair is going down, but will the Whisperers make an appearance? Will Lydia take Michonne’s advice and remove the risk from the people around her?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC at 9/8c.