I really didn’t intend to do more than maybe one review of The Walking Dead, but last night’s episode was SO FUN y’all! So I’m going to write a bit about it. Not a deep dive, because another show requires most of my brain cells, but I kinda loved “The Next World” and wanted to share my enthusiasm.
Let’s get into it.
The One True Pairing Has Been Revealed!
Am I talking about Michonne and Rick? Am I talking about the bromance between Rick and Daryl?
Hell no. The show’s One True Pairing, the friendship to end all ships, is Daryl and Denise, the Doctor Lady. Yes, I learned her name this episode. It only seemed right since I’m now OTP-ing her with Daryl.
We need a new Walking Dead spin-off that AMC immediately should start shooting: Daryl and Denise Conversate About Stuff and Things.
I’m absolutely in love with this silly little scene, with Denise over-explaining and over-sharing. The bit where Daryl mirrors Denise talking with her hands? It is THE BEST.
If you’re not down with this One True Pairing and absolutely on board with my spin-off show, well, I don’t know what to say. Except that you probably have no soul and think green apple Skittles are better than the original lime flavor. Booooo!
The Wacky Misadventures of Rick and Daryl!
This episode was light on the drama and killing and difficulty of living in a zombie-filled world and heavy on the fun. I really dig what they did throughout the episode, giving us a bit of a breather from last week’s blood fest. That’s not to say there weren’t some heavy moments, but by and large, this episode was a treat.
Rick singing along to a CD in the car while Daryl protested is one of those very human moments of fun that we don’t get to see much of on post-apocalyptic TV, and I loved every second of it. These little glimpses of people just being normal and relaxed, even if they’re fleeting, add so much more heft to the characters. They’re relate-able when singing in their cars or expressing their toothpaste preferences or adorably rambling on about a supply shopping list.
These quieter moments and exchanges help get us invested in people who share the same characteristics as we do. The same weird little quirks and sense of fun. And down the road, the big, dangerous, harrowing aspects of the show pay off huge when we’re holding our breath, hoping against all hope that the people we identify with on the show make it out okay.
On Rick and Daryl’s quest to find supplies, we get to meet an intriguing new character, a guy with a forgettable name, but his friends call him “Jesus” because of his long hair and beard, so we’re going with Jesus. And Jesus takes off with their truck full of supplies. This turns into a foot chase, with Rick and Daryl hoofin’ it to recover their booty. Which they do. Then promptly lose again when the truck rolls into a lake. Waaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Eventually they make their way back to Alexandria, with a captive Jesus in tow, not quite sure what to make of him or what to do with him. Let me say, I’m all-in on Jesus. I have no idea if he’s a good guy or bad guy, but he’s kinda weirdly charming and has some ninja fighting skills. That’s pretty much all I need from a character to fall instantly in love. God help me when I see Deadpool…I’ll probably have to buy a Trapper Keeper just so I can scribble “Jen *hearts* Deadpool” all over it like I’m in junior high again.
Something clicked in my brain while watching Rick and Daryl’s day trip…I don’t know if this was an intentional nod to “Boondock Saints,” but I really love it!
Serious People Do Some Serious Stuff
Coral and Annoying Emo Girl go wandering in the woods and stumble across a zombie and it’s Alexandria Leader Lady. This is kinda sad. But it gives Coral a chance to lead Zombie Leader Lady back to her son and Michonne, who are also, by chance, wandering in the woods. And Coral’s reason for this is simple: it gives Leader Lady’s Son the chance to put her out of her zombie misery. Her son was wandering the woods every day, searching for her because he had spotted her before. That’s just sad. Looking for your dead zombie mom.
You know what Coral , I’m going to give you some props for this gesture. That was a true act of humanity. I actually didn’t completely hate Coral this episode. Maybe all his annoying traits were housed in the eye that got shot out.
And Then The Thing Happened (I Call Sex “The Thing” Instead of Sex Because I’m Ridiculous)
So, up until now, I thought Rick and Michonne had a nice little bramance going. Is “bramance” right? SERIOUSLY, what are we supposed to call male/female non-sexual pairings?
“FRIENDSHIP! It’s called friendship.” – rational adults everywhere scream.
So, anyway, I didn’t see the Rick and Michonne hookup coming. Am I the only one who was surprised by this? They certainly deserve something nice in this “next world,” but I was a bit blindsided, and you know what, I dig this relationship. It was especially cute since they acted like a married couple just minutes before, with Rick getting home and Michonne asking him about his day, and he responding in kind. And Rick really tried to get her the spearmint toothpaste with baking soda she jokingly asked for, but she’ll have to make due with breath mints. Which shows he was listening to her. And listening equals caring, right kids?
Somehow, Jesus slipped both his bonds and his guard and poof! There he is in Rick’s bedroom, staring down two armed but very naked people. I love you, Jesus. You are my new favorite. I will likely start calling him Sexy Jesus to differentiate him from, you know, the other Jesus.
I want to give TWD some props. Like another post-apocalyptic show I may or may not be totally obsessed with called The 100, TWD doesn’t really give two shits about sexuality, race, or gender. At least not at this point in the show…one could argue this wasn’t always the case, but I don’t have the time or will do go back and examine earlier seasons. These current writers realize that the people living in this world don’t have the luxury of clutching pearls about stuff that doesn’t have to do with survival, and it’s nice to see on such a popular show.
- Where’s Carol?
- Do you realize if you switch the vowels in Carol’s name, it becomes Coral? One day I will make this horrible mistake.
- I used to say “pop” too, then I moved down to Texas. Everything is Coke now. EVERYTHING. Except for Dr. Pepper. Texas is weird. And wonderful.
- I need Negan. I’m getting plenty of that Jeffrey Dean Morgan charm over on The Good Wife, but I’m excited to see what he does on this show. Which will probably be horrible things. He will do horrible things.
“No Way Out”: 8.5 out of 10 breath mints
Obligatory Rick and Coral meme: