Spoilers ahead for
The Walking Deadepisode “A Certain Doom”
It seems like years have passed since Connie and Magna were trapped in Alpha’s walker-filled cave. Magna eventually resurfaced during the Hilltop attack but Connie’s fate remained unknown until now. “A Certain Doom” reveals that Connie did not face her own certain doom in a dark and dusty cave; she somehow survived it all and opened the door for so many new ways to keep building her character arc. In fact, Connie might be the key to the group finding out about Rick, and her pre-apocalypse career could lead to some Commonwealth conflict.
In the episode, Connie is seen stumbling in the woods and she doesn’t look good. Her body is covered in dust, her head is bleeding from an injury, and she can barely stand. She’s likely gone several days without food or a good water source so she needs immediate assistance. Connie manages to fall down on a road just as someone approaches on a horse. She looks up and stares right into Virgil’s face before passing out. Unfortunately, that’s all we get to see with Connie for now. However, pairing Connie with Virgil sets her up for an interesting narrative as she tries to make her way back home.
A Connie and Virgil Adventure
There’s also a communication barrier between Virgil and Connie. She’s a person who is deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. She can also read a person’s lips. It’s possible that Virgil could know some ASL but there’s nothing to indicate that he’s fluent. Connie is usually able to write out messages for hearing people, but she may not be able to do that right now. So, they will have to learn how to effectively exchange information.
Virgil did return to Oceanside but found the community empty. It’s highly likely that he went there to tell them about Michonne leaving to find Rick. At one point, there were signs in that area directing to communities like Alexandria. Assuming they are still in tact, Virgil may have been heading to Alexandria or the Hilltop. Virgil has been on Bloodsworth Island for a while so he wouldn’t know which community to choose. And Connie is not aware of the Hilltop’s destruction. They may end up traveling there first, seeing the destruction, and then going to Alexandria.
A Connie/Virgil episode would be a great way to see how they get to know each other and what happens on their way back. We could learn more about both of their backstories and what they want in the future. Connie has a way of bringing out the best in people so maybe she can help viewers see Virgil in a new light. And of course, it would be even better to have it end with her embracing Daryl, Kelly, Yumiko, Magna, and Luke.
Connie’s Potential Connection to Rick and the Commonwealth
Someone from Oceanside will likely recognize Virgil as the man who went off with Michonne. And he might recognize Judith from the sketch on that mystery phone. Virgil can tell the community about Michonne’s mission to find a man named Rick. This won’t mean anything to Connie, but it will ease some of Daryl and Maggie’s guilt behind Rick’s “death.” It remains to be seen what Daryl will do with that information (if anything), but it is a way to still keep a Rick connection in the current storyline.
If Connie’s reunion doesn’t come in the extra episodes, then it will happen in season 11. The final season will focus a lot on the Commonwealth arc and it would make sense for Connie to head that way. Yumiko is there with Eugene and Ezekiel right now so Connie will be eager to see what’s going on. Like our survivors, her group has been through several communities and lost a lot of people. They want to be in a place that is secure and thriving. If Connie goes to the Commonwealth, she could easily take on a prominent role in this community. Connie was an investigative journalist before the apocalypse who exposed corrupt politicians.
If the show even loosely follows the comic’s Commonwealth story, then we will meet Pamela Milton or a version of this character. She was a pre-apocalypse politician turned governor of the Commonwealth who serves as an antagonist. This could set up a very, very interesting dynamic between the two characters. Connie may be suspicious of the Commonwealth leader and use her journalistic skills to uncover some secrets about the community. Maybe the Commonwealth is working with the mysterious CRM, the organization that has Rick. It would be incredible to see her play a role in removing a corrupt Commonwealth leader from power and dismantling a class system.
Or the show could flip things around and have a benevolent Commonwealth leader. Connie could still work as a journalist documenting how society is rebuilding itself. She could interview people, write down stories, and put together a collection of experiences from people about their lives for the future. Most people only think of Connie in terms of her dynamic with Daryl, but her character is and can be so much more than that.
The Connie and Daryl Conundrum
This is not to say their relationship isn’t a point of interest. Connie and Daryl a.k.a. Donnie is the fandom’s current favorite ship. Daryl has yet to have a love interest in the show and many fans want Donnie to become canon. But the future of Donnie looks murky. “A Certain Doom” shows Carol and Daryl reconciling and revisiting their plans to head to New Mexico again after tying up loose ends from the Whisperer conflict.
This heavily hints at how they will exit the show for the Carol and Daryl spinoff series (2023). In the context of the show, it makes sense for them to do this. Daryl hasn’t really been an active part of any community for a while. He shows up randomly and helps when he can. And Carol has been trying to run away or die for several seasons. Daryl and Carol are just as tired of the continuous fighting for their home cycle as viewers are at this point. They have known each other longer than anyone else so why not stick together on an adventure?
Actor Norman Reedus recently appeared on a PaleyFest Fall TV Previews panel. He says he envisions Carol and Daryl going through new towns, getting wrapped up in drama, and changing those whom they meet along the way. Reedus has worked with writers for years to shape his character so his wants and desires are taken seriously. This means their story will take them on the road to a new place. It’s great for them but doesn’t seem like good news for Connie.
If Daryl forms a romantic bond with Connie, it wouldn’t make sense for him to leave her behind. This means she could possibly die, which would certainly make him want to leave. There’s far too many instances of great women characters dying to advance a white male character’s story. This choice would be a great disservice to Connie.
Or maybe they simply decide that they want two different things out of life. Daryl is a natural drifter but Connie seems to want stability. She might want to stay in the Commonwealth or Alexandria (if it is still standing) in the end. She’s not the type of character who would impose her will on another person. If Daryl wants to go, she’s not going to try to hold him back. They may form a close friendship bond, wish each other well in the end, and go their separate ways. It’s not a riding-off-into-the-sunset romance but at least everyone would be alive and happy, right?
There is a slim chance that Connie could come along for the ride. Maybe she wants to see the world with them. This would tie back into her journalistic spirit and allow her to collect more stories about this time in human history. But Connie probably wouldn’t leave Kelly behind, so the only way she would go is if Kelly dies.
It could also be a bit odd to have Daryl, Carol, and Connie as a traveling trio. Surely someone would feel like an awkward third wheel. It might work if Kelly or someone else came to balance things out. Right now, Carol seems to be Lydia’s surrogate mom, so that would work. But if too many characters come over to the new show, then it sort of defeats the purpose of a spinoff in the first place.
What could work (but probably won’t happen) would be if Daryl and Carol aren’t really together in the spinoff at all. Perhaps the show could have Daryl and Connie going in one direction while Carol (and maybe Lydia) are in another place. If not, then Connie could get their own time to shine in the
It will be interesting to see exactly how everything plays out for Connie in general. She brings a different perspective to the apocalypse with a lot of brilliance and heart. There’s always the possibility of romance but even if it doesn’t happen, Connie could be the key to a lot of great stories.