Ever since the traumatic birth of baby Judith on The Walking Dead's third season, the question of just whose baby she is has been one of those things the characters and show creators just don't talk about.
Which is fine, of course. As we all know, there's a zombie apocalypse on; in the world of The Walking Dead, paternity tests, like cell phones and air travel, are pretty much a thing of the past. But on Sunday, November 13, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) spontaneously resolved the mystery once and for all, in the aftermath of a traumatic visit from the show's newest villain, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
"I know Judith isn't mine," he said. "I know it. I love her. She's my daughter. But she isn't mine. I had to accept that. I did. So I could keep her alive. I'll die before she does, and I hope that's a long time from now so I can raise her, protect her, and teach her how to survive. This is how we live now. I had to accept that, too, so I could keep everyone else alive."
Needless to say, Rick seems awfully chilled-out about raising another man's child (although considering that he stabbed Shane, the real father, to death, it's kind of the least he can do). Fans, on the other hand, have not quite reached the same level of equanimity about the whole thing — which is to say, they've been flipping out on Twitter ever since. Below, we round up the range of reactions, from stunned tears to Maury Povich references.
We've been waiting so long for this.
Who's got emotions? We've got emotions.
We've also got a clever pop culture reference or two.
And let's be honest: this explains a lot.
Meanwhile, several viewers pointed out that certain dudes could stand to follow Rick's example of responsible fatherhood.
But at least one remains convinced that Rick is completely missing the point.
Tell Us: What did you think of the big baby-daddy reveal?
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.