The Walking Dead does not often return to storylines from years past, or even dwell too much on deceased characters, but after a 90-minute episode that felt necessary but that didn’t offer much in the way of surprises, showrunner Scott Gimple must have felt obligated to drop a bombshell in the last 10 minutes to justify the runtime.
A bombshell is exactly what he dropped, harkening back to a secret that most fans of The Walking Dead never assumed would be addressed again: The paternity of Judith.
Way back in the fourth episode of the second season of The Walking Dead, “Cherokee Rose,” Lori took a pregnancy test, and when it came back positive, there was some question about who the father of the baby was. The question hovered in the background of the show and colored some of the subsequent interactions between Shane and Rick, but the show never really addressed it until 5 seasons later.
Most in The Walking Dead fan community assumed, based on the math, that the baby was Shane’s. The pregnancy test was taken only days after Rick and Lori reunited, after Lori had spent months with Shane. It wasn’t impossible that it was Rick’s baby, but the odds were in Shane’s favor. The timeline was sketchy, and here the comics provide no help, either.