Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 23’s Judith & Daryl Moment Explained


Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Walking Dead season 11, episode 23The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang opened up about the importance of Judith and Daryl’s closing moment in the show’s penultimate episode. The final minutes of The Walking Dead season 11, episode 23 saw Pamela Milton shoot Judith Grimes in the shoulder, forcing a panicked Daryl to carry her to safety. After Daryl and other core survivors make it to the streets of the Commonwealth, they learn the community is being overrun by a herd of Walkers, including climbing variants. As survivors cut a path so Daryl can get an unconcious Judith to the infirmary, the young Grimes girl awakens, saying, “Daddy?” before passing out once more.


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kang revealed the importance of The Walking Dead‘s second-to-last episode ending with the moment between Judith and Daryl. She explains Judith misses Rick and Michonne, and that her words reflect not only her inner grief, but also the responsibility Daryl feels for her safety. Check out Kang’s full statement below:

“For Judith, mom and dad — Michonne and Rick — have been on her mind this entire time. And remember, she has this secret of why mom actually went off and what she’s doing. She’s the only one that knows that Rick might be out there. She has not shared this with the adults in her life because she’s scared. And so that’s what she’s thinking.

“And B, when she kind of loses consciousness and she’s in Daryl’s arms, she feels like somebody is trying to keep her safe, and is that dad? Did he come home? But also, Daryl is her father figure. Either way for Daryl, he’s looking at this child that’s in his care and he’s like, ‘I f***ed it up. I have to save her. I can’t let anything happen to this child that I love and that is my best friend’s daughter.’ Whatever’s happened to him, Michonne made me promise he was gonna take care of these children. And so for both of them there is this kind of emotional tie moment because Daryl is the closest thing to a parent that she has right now. And that puts a lot of responsibility on Daryl.”

Related: The Walking Dead Teases The Return Of The Best Rick Grimes

Will Rick Grimes Return In The Walking Dead Finale?

Cailey Fleming as Judith and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in Walking Dead

Judith thinking about Rick during the final moments of The Walking Dead season 11, episode 23 makes it known that, despite being physically absent from the show, his presence is still strong, even after being gone for so long. With Daryl making his way to possibly help despite the onslaught of zombies in the streets of the Commonwealth, it shows that even he continues to think of Rick when looking after Judith. Unlike Judith and Daryl, however, audiences know that Rick is alive and will be returning in an upcoming spinoff alongside Michonne. However, Judith’s mention of him in the latest, penultimate episode could be a hint that viewers will see Rick return in the show’s final episode.

If Rick were to return during The Walking Dead‘s series finale, it would make for a touching reunion between him, his daughter, and friends like Daryl and Carol that have missed him for so long. However, while a happy homecoming would be touching, it doesn’t appear as though Rick will show up to help combat the zombie herd in the Commonwealth. The last audiences saw of Rick, he had been captured by the CRM, a group Kang formerly confirmed is not connected to the Commonwealth, despite fan theories that Lance Hornsby was allied with them. It appears this story thread will be picked up in Rick and Michonne’s upcoming spinoff, meaning the most viewers could possibly see of Rick in the finale would likely be a post-credits scene.

Why Judith Will Survive The Walking Dead Series Finale

Judith Grimes The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 23

While Rick may not reunite with Judith and Daryl in The Walking Dead finale, Kang’s comment asserts that Rick’s spirit will remain strong in Judith and how much Daryl cares for her. Despite taking a bullet, it would be all too tragic to have Judith die in the series finale, especially since the group has already lost three members of her family in recent seasons. It’s probable that Judith will survive, perhaps even telling Daryl that Michonne went to look for Rick, setting up the upcoming Daryl Dixon spinoff show alongside Rick and Michonne’s series. Given her importance to the narrative as the next generation of youth coupled with her Grimes heritage, Judith will probably survive The Walking Dead series finale, possibly leading to another touching moment between her and Daryl before the series bows out.

Next: The Rick Grimes Series Ends Walking Dead Reunion Hopes

Source: EW


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