One of the buzziest moments from the season 10 trailer for The Walking Dead, which debuted at Comic-Con back in July, was the big kiss between Michonne and Ezekiel. It might not have been that surprising for readers of the comics, where Michonne and Ezekiel were romantically involved, but on the television series, things are wildly different. For one, Ezekiel is still alive on the comics (his head was one of many placed on pikes by Alpha in the comics), and he’s recently broken up with Carol after the death of Henry (whose head actually was placed on one of those pikes). Moreover, in the comics, Michonne never had a relationship with Rick (that was Andrea), but on the television series, not only has Michonne’s romantic partner exited the series, but so, too, will Michonne in season 10.
However, before she exits the series, she will at least share one kiss with Ezekiel, and perhaps more. Some had speculated that the kiss between Ezekiel and Michonne in the trailer might have been part of a dream sequence or another red herring, and while showrunner Angela Kang admits that season ten may involve “illusions or flashbacks or dreams — things like that,” the romantic twist between Michonne and Ezekiel is real.
“We are seeing a moment. This really does happen,” Kang told TVLine. “The characters have always had a respect for each other. They like each other. [And their relationship] feeds into the journeys they’re on this season.”
Michonne’s journey, of course, will lead her away from the series, but as far as Ezekiel is concerned, his relationship with Carol is not necessarily over, in spite of a potential romance with Michonne. Carol and Ezekiel “will have a really interesting ongoing storyline this season,” Kang says. “The two of them are kind of in their own realms, both alone in their grief [over son Henry’s beheading], yet it’s like they need people — and each other.
“I don’t want to say too much beyond that,” she continues, “but there’s some real loveliness and complication that’s very human between them that hopefully will be satisfying for people to see unfold.” Could Ezekiel’s relationship with Michonne generate some of that “complication”? Perhaps. Some have speculated, hilariously, that when Carol says “bitch has to die” in the season 10 trailer, she’s not talking about Alpha, but rather Michonne (that seems unlikely).
However, when Michonne does leave The Walking Dead in the upcoming season, her exit “will obviously have some fallout and emotional consequences,” Kang told TVline. “But there’s a very particular way in which it all happens, so hopefully it’ll be surprising and interesting for our fans.” Given the fact that Michonne survived until the end of the comic book run — and even became a judge in the future — her exit will necessarily be a surprise, because it won’t come from the source material.
In the meantime, here’s a behind-the-scenes shot of Khary Payton and Danai Gurira, which illustrates that, not only will the two characters kiss this season, but the two actors clearly also get along well on set.