Mrs. Carter: Tonight, The Walking Dead season 9 officially delivered quite a shocker — at least when it comes to babies.
As it turns out, Rick Grimes was a father to a baby that he didn’t quite know about prior to his departure from the series! This big surprise was unveiled near the end of tonight’s new episode, and it is yet another clever way that the writers are trying to honor his legacy through the surviving characters. We’re already seeing that to a certain extent with Judith, who is not a baby anymore and is in full-on rambunctious kid mode. Now, there’s another vessel to try to tell some more of these stories.
Will this kid be the new Carl? Probably not, but it is certainly still a shake-up for the to have someone else to grow up within this new normal of the apocalypse. This kid especially has a tough time given they never actually had a chance to meet their father. They will probably learn about him through other people, and that’s probably enough to keep Rick’s essence alive on the show. (Remember: Rick is actually still out there, but that’s not something that anyone within the world of the communities is altogether privy to.)
Speaking in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, here is what showrunner Angela Kang had to say about the big reveal — while also confirming that the baby is a son who goes by the name of RJ (or Rick Junior):
“[We] started setting up really at the beginning of the season that this was something that Michonne and Rick [were interested in]. In episode 3, they go, “Well, let’s maybe start planning for the future in other ways.” That was part of their hopefulness, that they believed that they could build a world where children could thrive. The kind of tragedy of it is that Rick was not around to see this happen. But for Michonne, it’s just another person that she is fighting for, and that she wants to keep safe, but it’s part of what plays into some of the philosophy and decisions behind how Alexandria is run, which is a big part of the story going forward for the season.”
Basically, this kid is another way to push the story of Michonne forward and give her another important person to fight for. I do like the way that this character was introduced, mostly because the writers didn’t set out to try and make it an enormous deal through the lens of what they were doing or trying to tell. It was a nice little reveal that still raises questions for the future.
New episodes of The Walking Dead are going to be airing on AMC Sunday night.
What do you think about tonight’s The Walking Dead episode, and about Rick and Michonne having a baby? Be sure to share right now in the comments! (Photo: AMC.)