Jesus Lives! See, I bet you thought I wasn’t going to make a funny Jesus name reference with my tittle, but I couldn’t resist.
The Next World episode of the Walking Dead jumped us forward in time. Carl is recovering and the town is getting back to a normal routine. It was an interesting choice to jump forward in time after the mid-season premiere. From a viewer perspective it would have made more sense for last week’s episode to have been the finale and open with this one. I’m curious if they originally planned it out this way and inserted another episode to extend the original cutoff. Maybe they thought there wasn’t enough action in the back half of the season, and they needed to keep the audience hooked. I hope this isn’t the case.
The best parts of the episode are with Rick and Daryl. It was fun to see them go out and look for supplies, basically on a buddy road trip adventure. I would have been fine to spend the entire hour with them and not flashback to Alexandria. The introduction of Jesus was well done and instantly intriguing. He used diversions and sleight of hand to steal the supply truck form Daryl and Rick. He obviously knows how to survive and does so without killing. He could have easily just taken out Rick and Daryl if he had chosen too at several points. Maybe he didn’t have a gun, but I have little doubt, with the way he handled himself, that he could have devised a plan to ambush and kill them if he wanted too. The scene where Rick and Daryl caught back up to Jesus was my favorite of the episode. He easily handled Rick at the start and was able to take Daryl out before Rick recovered. Now the fight I want to see happen, even if it is just sparring, is Jesus vs Morgan. Aikido vs whatever the hell Jesus practices. This of course is all mute if Carol walks up behind either of them and shoots them both. Look at the flowers boys.
This might be my biggest disappointment of the episode, no Carol or Morgan. I know we are going to go back to their storyline, but I would have liked to have seen what two months have done to their relationship or lack of one. Having the episode focus on Rick and Daryl wasn’t a bad choice since Daryl seemed to take a backseat for most of the first half of the season. It still would have been nice to see just a brief moment of Carol or Morgan, maybe instead of the awkward request Denise made before Daryl left on the scavenging trip.
I didn’t care for the awkward Carl and Enid trip into the woods. I understand why they needed to be in the woods, and the payoff with Michonne at the end was fantastic. They could have handled the initial buildup to fit into the episode better overall. Instead we just get Carl and Enid going into the woods to be “kids.” I did like where the trek into the woods takes the characters. I like that they found Deanna, and that Carl wanted someone who loved her to be the one to end her walker existence. It made for a surprisingly touching moment at the end of the episode.
Then the big surprise everyone will be talking about is Rick and Michonne. I refuse to use the combined name. I never really thought about the two of them becoming a couple, they just seemed too closed off for anything to develop. Two months of prosperity in Alexandria apparently let them explore more of each other… I don’t mind the idea (like my thoughts really matter), and it seems right for the characters to develop feelings for each other with everything they have gone through. My only hesitation with this new relationship is how long can it last? People don’t stay happy in the zombie apocalypse, because someone ends up dying. Glen and Maggie might be the exception, but even this might come to an end once Negan shows up.
What is going to happen next? The town seems back in order. What camp is Jesus from? Can he be trusted? I think he can to a degree. He didn’t try and kill Rick and Daryl, only steal from them. It seems from the promo of next week’s episode we will get a few answers. I know Jesus is part of the comics, but I haven’t read anything to enlighten me on what group he belongs to. I’ll wait for next week to find out.
It was a fun episode overall. Nothing profound happened, unless you count Rick and Michonne. The introduction of Jesus was handled well, and the mystery built around him keeps anticipation high for next week’s episode. How the hell did he get on top of the truck, and escape in Alexandria? His capabilities alone excite me for what is to come in the next few weeks. He is already become someone I want to stick around on the show for a while.
What did you think of Jesus, and the new hookup of Rick and Michonne? Was it as much of a surprise to you as it was to me? Were there parts in the episode you didn’t like? Was it a letdown after the excitement of last week? Comment and let me know.