The Walking Dead went there. There being a romantic hookup between two fan-favorite characters. Warning, spoilers.
Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) held hands, made out and then got it on. Like, full on naked getting it on. And then Jesus (Tom Payne) disrupted their cozy post-sex cuddles. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lincoln revealed Gurira had read the script before him and was acting "a bit strange."
"She said read the script. I sat there and screamed when I read it. I ran to her trailer, banged on her door and screamed, ‘Why didn't you tell me?!' It's insane and I loved it! It is a strange experience because their relationship for so long—as friends and as actors—we've been playing a certain complicated, difficult, respectful and loving almost familial relationship," Lincoln said. "And to step through the portal into this new place was really trippy."
In "The Next World," several weeks have passed since the events of "No Way Out." Carl has adjusted to life with one eye and is healing. The walls are being rebuilt, life has moved on. Michonne still lives with Rick, Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Judith and after an arduous day outside the walls of Alexandria involving Daryl (Norman Reedus), Jesus and a lost truck of supplies, Rick and Michonne have a moment on the couch. That moment makes its way into the bedroom.
Gurira said it makes sent to her, especially since the "Clear" episode from season three, and she had conversations with current showrunner Scott M. Gimple about the relationship.
"She's willing to align and open up and be her better self as a result of [Rick's] insistence that she be not who she was when she first got to the prison gates with that baby powder and formula. It was like being in a world where her ex had betrayed her and the world had men like The Governor (David Morrissey) and Merle (Michael Rooker) in it and then meeting someone like Rick and deciding this is who I'm going to align with. Michonne respects him, what he's trying to do and how he's trying to keep his and other people's children safe. That made sense to me as someone who she could ultimately connect with this way," she said. "And there is such an intimacy that's grown between them over the course of several seasons that [this romance] seemed well-earned."
The relationship is just another deviation the show has taken away from the comic book source material. In Robert Kirkman's comic series, Rick is with Andrea. But viewers all know Andrea perished in season three.
"It feels absolutely normal, it feels right," Lincoln said of the new pairing when asked about comic fans. "It does mean massive repercussions for everybody else. And there is a small matter of Carl in all this and how he's going to react. You'll see that play out quickly. Comic fans, I hope, will love it just as much as I did when I read it because it is one of the great and important things we have to do with our show: separate ourselves from the comic book."
Gimple told EW Andrea's story from the comics "has been broken up and given to several different characters," and added, "This is one of those instances."
As for what's ahead, well, it's The Walking Dead. Expect the unexpected.
"These are two people who have suddenly realized—pretty much at exactly the same time, on that couch—what they already had together and who they already were to each other," Gimple said. "This isn't a one-night stand. And what they have was already there, before they even kissed."
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The Walking Dead airs Sundays, 9 p.m. on AMC.