The Walking Dead ‘Scars’ is Danai Gurira’s master class in acting

Danai Gurira as Michonne, Jessi Goei as Gina - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
Danai Gurira as Michonne, Jessi Goei as Gina - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC /

Danai Gurira dazzled The Walking Dead viewers with a masterful performance in “Scars,” proving that she’s a bona fide Hollywood treasure.

She’s a playwright, a television star and a box office dynamo. At this point, there’s nothing that Danai Gurira can’t do, and if The Walking Dead episode “Scars” is any indication we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Gurira’s full range as one of the most talented actors around.

From this point forward, “Scars” will be shown in acting classes across the country. It’s not enough to say that she delivered an incredible performance. Gurira took fans along for a ride on Michonne’s roller coaster emotional journey of the highest highs and the lowest lows, and it was breathtaking.

There’s a moment when Michonne realizes that the stranger outside the gates is her old friend Jocelyn (brilliantly portrayed by Rutina Wesley) and you can see the weight lift from her shoulders. Here’s someone from her past, someone who knows her. Someone who can anchor her while so many things around her are so uncertain. When she realizes that her friend betrayed her and kidnapped her daughter, Michonne doesn’t have time to be devastated because she has to spring into action to save her child.

Meanwhile, in the present-day story Michonne’s terror at discovering that Judith left leads her to an emotional confrontation with Negan, who sees through her from the start and pokes at the raw pain of her biggest fear: Losing Judith…again. But Michonne rallies her pain and channels it to find Judith and reveal her big secret.

It’s hard to put into words just how raw and visceral Gurira’s performance was, but the power behind it is undeniable. The TWD Family has said for years that Andrew Lincoln was robbed of several Emmys; if Gurira isn’t nominated for this episode then the Emmy nominating system is seriously broken.

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Season 9 has featured many huge moments for the series, but “Scars” was a game-changer for Michonne and it will go down as one of the most powerful episodes of the entire series. Let’s hope the Emmy committee is paying very close attention right now.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.