Warning: Comic spoilers for The Walking Dead will be found below.
After the completion of The Whisperers’ War in the Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comics, Michonne and several others make their way west, where they eventually encounter The Commonwealth, a civilization of 50,000 people in Ohio with their own standing army, with concerts, and many pre-apocalypse amenities. The big initial surprise in the comic books is that Michonne discovers that her long-lost daughter is living in the Commonwealth, which is obviously a hugely emotional reveal.
As the television version of The Walking Dead closes in on The Commonwealth storyline, it’s also going to want a few big emotional moments to coincide with what will be a first for the series when they encounter a massive civilization. Unfortunately, because Michonne is leaving the series in the back half of season 10, we won’t see her reunite with anyone, much less her daughter. We will get to see Maggie again, and see how Hershel has grown in the intervening years. It’d also be nice to believe that another one of the characters on The Walking Dead will find a loved one in The Commonwealth with whom to reunited.
One other storyline that Angela Kang already appears to be seeding ahead of The Commonwealth arc likely involves Ezekiel’s cancer. Recall that, in a conversation with Siddiq, we learn that Ezekiel — like his grandmother and father before him — has thyroid cancer. Both his grandmother and father were able to fight it off — the survival rate is pretty high. However, Ezekiel basically gives up, knowing that Alexandria does not have to tools necessary to cure his cancer. Instead, Ezekiel keeps it hidden from those who he loves, including Carol. With Siddiq dead now, Ezekiel cannot even rely on him to come up with some last-minute solution to save him.
However, there are clues in the midseason trailer that Ezekiel will at least clue some others — including Carol — in on his cancer diagnosis.
I expect that at the end of this season, we will get a a brief visit from Maggie, who will tell the Alexandrians about The Commonwealth. She will inform them that they are a modern civilization, and that they have the modern amenities, like hospitals. I also expect that the reason many will choose to travel to the Commonwealth is to seek treatment for Ezekiel’s cancer. It may be the very thing that jumpstarts The Commonwealth storyline. When Ezekiel arrives, if The Commonwealth can cure his cancer, it will also provide the story arc with one more major emotional moment in the 111th season.
If anything, however, it shows again what a terrific job Angela Kang is doing as showrunner. She’s not just writing and overseeing great episodes, she’s also planning well into the future, even when she doesn’t necessarily have Robert Kirkman’s comics as a guide.
The Walking Dead returns on February 23rd.