It feels so good to finally announce what we’ve all been hoping for all along: Rick and Michonne are officially together! The evolution of their relationship has many layers, and because Rick could entrust his children to her in a way that he could with few others, one of the most important layers is the bond that Michonne has with Carl. In the spirit of celebration, here are some key moments in the development of Michonne and Carl’s relationship that helped make Richonne happen:
Their First Meeting
Fresh off an escape from Woodbury and an attack from Merle, an injured Michonne finds the prison and delivers the baby formula left by Glenn and Maggie. Season three is a time when Rick and company are quite distrustful of outsiders, so when Michonne arrives everyone is hesitant to rush to her aid, despite the growing horde of walkers surrounding her. As she falls over and is unable to fight for herself, it’s Carl that shoots the two walkers threatening Michonne’s life.
“I think she might be one of us.”
After Michonne led Rick’s group to Woodbury and subsequently ditched them to tend to her own mission, Carl is wary of her place in the group. As Carl goes on a run to find a crib for Judith, Michonne follows him. Their interaction may be tense, but it’s immediately clear that their relationship is different than the child/parent relationship Carl has with Rick. Michonne opts for allowing Carl to make his own choices, but is also prepared to come to his aid if necessary. Bolstered by the confidence Michonne showed in him, Carl later tells Rick, “I think she might be one of us.”
The Crazy Cheese Incident
Separated from their group after the botched siege of the prison and assuming Judith is dead, Carl is in very low spirits. In a failed attempt to induce a laugh from him, Michonne squirts some canned cheese into her mouth. But what ultimately brings Carl comfort is later in the episode, when Michonne tells the story of her son, and through it he understands that his grief can be shared with someone else. This is also the episode in which Rick acknowledges the importance of their relationship, and refers to Michonne as Carl’s best friend.
“I was gone for a long time.”
Right before they enter Terminus, Michonne explains to Carl how the anger over her son’s passing, and how it led her to do things that were “sick” and “insane,” and that she had become a monster. Carl feels a similar way about himself, and shares things with Michonne that he can’t bring himself to share with anyone else, including (and especially) Rick. “I was gone for a long time,” she said, until Carl brought her back. Ending with a hug, this interaction solidifies their mutual respect for one another.
“I’d do it for you.”
Funerals are obsolete in the present world of The Walking Dead, so one of the most respectful things someone can do for their deceased loved one is take the initiative to make sure they don’t turn. Carl did it to Lori in season three, and he allowed Spencer to do it to Deanna once she had already turned. After, Michonne expresses how dangerous it was for Carl to lead a walker so far, Carl tells her, “I’d do it for you.” As Michonne agrees, they recognize their love for each other as a mother and son.