The Walking Dead: The Next World

"If this is the next world, I hope it's good for you guys."

What a lovely way to give the fans of this show some respite after last week's super intense blow-out. And we didn't just get respite.

My ship came in! What a perfect way to do it, too. No big passionate scene, just a quiet moment on the couch at the end of a crazy day. Rick and Michonne have been so close for so long that it made sense. Of course, if this were a Joss Whedon show, one of them would die at the end of the season. I'd worry about Michonne, since every woman Rick has been with has died horribly, but Michonne is a lot tougher than Lori or Jessie. She's Rick's partner and friend as well as his equal. In fact, she might be more of a bad ass than he is. Maybe we should worry about Rick.

The scene on the porch with Carl and Judith was wonderful, too. Michonne loves Carl like her own family, and he loves her the same way, right back. In the woods, Carl felt strongly that it should be Spencer who took out the Deanna walker because of what Carl had to do for Lori. While they were talking on the porch, Carl said he'd do it for Michonne, and she said the same thing back to him. Appropriate that Carl was holding Judith at that moment, wasn't it?


Carl seems calm. Has he accepted the loss of an eye, much like he's accepted all of the other crazy stuff in his life? He still needs the freedom, or possibly rebellion, of risking his life in the woods outside the gate. He said he was still doing it because he's a kid. Enid responded, quite accurately, that they were not kids. Enid has changed. She's ready to give up her trips outside the walls. It's nice that after that huge megaherd mess, she believes in Alexandria now.

Spencer has changed, too. The fact that he was going out with a shovel looking for his mother's body without telling anyone was a strong character moment for him. I kind of like him now.

The Rick and Daryl buddy movie run was great, too. The Walking Dead doesn't often do funny, but those scenes kept making me laugh out loud: Rick turning up the rockabilly music over Daryl's complaints, sharing a Kit-Kat, and pretty much all of the scenes with Jesus. Especially when Jesus saved Daryl from the walker and Daryl yelled at him, "Thanks! That's my gun", and took it from him. And I loved that Rick thought of grabbing mints out of the candy machine for Michonne, and Daryl went to so much trouble to get soda for Denise to give Tara. Much of the Rick and Daryl scenes in particular felt like what this show would be like if it were about an apocalypse without zombies.

So now we have Jesus, a.k.a. Paul Rovia. He stole their truck full of food, but didn't hurt them in the process. He doesn't carry a gun, but he has impressive martial art skills and got out of that rope pretty darned quickly. He flew off the roof of that truck without breaking any bones. He's not a Wolf, he doesn't act like one of Negan's nasty motorcycle gang, and he didn't let Daryl die when he had the opportunity. I'm guessing Jesus is probably a relatively good guy from yet another faction. (If you're interested in getting spoiled, do a search for the character on the web. I'm told he's in the graphic novels.)

Loved that final minute. That shot of Rick and Michonne sleeping with the sword on her side and the gun on his, right before Jesus woke them. Have we ever gotten a nude scene on this show, much less a nude scene with weapons?

I doubt Jesus got the best of Daryl. Must have been "the next guy".

Bits:

-- Weeks have passed since the megaherd invasion. Alexandria is having a food shortage; Rick had to put a new hole in his belt. (That truck of food going into the water was sooooo frustrating.)

-- In the opener getting-ready-in-the-morning scene, Rick put on his watch, but left his wedding ring behind. He and Michonne began the day with a low five, a little precursor of the hand holding scene at the end.


-- Tara and Denise are living together now. How lovely. It was also sweet, pun intended, that Denise asked Daryl for soda pop because Tara mentioned it in her sleep.

-- Maggie is reaching out and trying to connect with Enid.

-- The comic that Carl was reading in the woods was Invincible. It was written by Robert Kirkman, of course.

-- Michonne carved a D in a tree trunk as a grave marker for Deanna.

-- There was a walker whose neck you can actually see through. Another interesting visual. Talking Dead called it "swiss cheese walker".

-- What was going on with those walkers tied to trucks in the middle of a field?

-- Alexandria has a sign on the gate now. "Welcome to Alexandria Safe Zone. Mercy for the lost. Vengeance for the plunderers." The names of the dead on the wall now include Deanna, Jessie, Sam, Ron, Maya, Ted, Pascal and Lucy.

-- What was on the note that Rick left Jesus?

-- In this week's hair report, Carl's is looking so much better. More curly than hangy. Maybe because he's been able to wash it regularly.

-- I was just thinking that they should have saved the Governor's eye patch.

Notes from Talking Dead

This week's guests were Danai Gurira (Michonne), Austin Nichols (Spencer) and Nathan Fillion. Much of the early conversation centered on the obvious, Rick and Michonne, and the double entendres were flying, like, is that a roll of mints in your pocket or are you just happy to see me, and so on.

There was a taped interview with Andrew Lincoln, who said re: Rick and Michonne, "My mom is going to be thrilled." Gurira said that she didn't know it was going to happen until she got the script, but it was an "expected surprise" because she could see it coming in the storytelling. Fillion said that everyone who sleeps with Rick dies and he's worried about Michonne. Chris Hardwick said, "You could say technically the experience was so good they saw Jesus."

Yvette Nicole Brown, Richonne shipper extraordinaire, was in the audience and came up to ask a fan question; they also showed a Skype of her reacting to the love scene by shrieking with delight. Gurira also said that it was a relief that it finally happened so that everyone would stop asking her about it now.

Austin Nichols talked about working one last time with Tovah Feldshuh, and that he loved what Carl did for Spencer. And we saw the set-up for the scene where Jesus flew off the top of the truck.

Quotes:

Eugene: "Even if they've been cleaned out, my bet is that the sorghum would be untouched. That there is a criminally underrated grain that could change the game with our food situation from scary to hunky dunky."
Sorghum, the envy of all corns. Who knew.

Rick: "We could track him. Watch him for awhile, get to know more, see if he's really alone. Maybe bring him back."
Daryl: "Nah. Guy calls himself Jesus."
It's funny how life in Alexandria has reversed Rick's and Daryl's opinions about recruiting. More change.

Jesus: "Do you even have any ammo?"
Rick and Daryl lifted their guns simultaneously and shot the walker behind Jesus, almost as if they'd rehearsed it. Laugh out loud funny.

Spencer: "I never knew my way."
Michonne: "You loved your family. Then you know your way. It's home."

Rick: "It is pretty stupid of us to go out there, isn't it?"
Daryl: "Yep. Do it again tomorrow?"
Rick: "Yep."

Completely different from last week's blow-out of an episode, but in its way, nearly as wonderful. Four out of four cans of Orange Crush,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.

9 comments:

Lydia said...

Can TWD continue on with episodes like this? It would be such a dissapointment if all of this positivity is wiped away by the end of the season as usual. This episode felt so refreshing after the horrors of the last one, and rightly so, everything was changing. The whole episode felt like it had a different, lighter, calmer air to it. I just love watching these characters genuinely laugh and smile and joke around. These are people who have been through so much, lost so much, sometimes they forget that they're living, not just surviving. I think so many seasons in, the show needs to divert it's focus to building a new world out of the ashes of a broken one, because isn't that what the show is really about? (aside from human persistence, nature and the primal need for survival, it's also about how we can always come back from tragedy and begin anew).

RICK AND MICHONNE!! OH MY GOD. THAT WAS SUCH A PLEASANT SURPRISE I ACTUALLY YELPED SO LOUD MY ROOMMATE JUMPED UP AND ASKED ME IF EVERYTHING WAS ALRIGHT. I really did NOT see that coming. I've been shipping this for a long, long time but I'd given up on it, I thought it was a doomed ship and the writers wouldn't give us what we want, but then this happened and it felt so natural and perfect and well-earned. Now let's just hope this little bubble of happiness sticks around for awhile, I really don't want either Michonne or Rick to die, I know Rick's love interests usually meet a grim demise but I think I would start a riot if Michonne died, to be fair though I know the writers are too smart to get rid of a character as strong as Michonne.

The best part about this ship that FINALLY, after years of people's complaints about racism on the walking dead, we get an interracial ship, a strong, independent black woman and the white male lead. This is a big leap for television! Especially for a show that doesn't have the best track record when it comes to poc characters.

Carl and Michonne's little scene was also wonderfully done, I actually haven't read the comics and I thought that Carl was a goner in that last episode, and I was so glad he didn't die, he definitely isn't my favorite character, and he can come off as whiny and annoying, but he is a teenager after all, and what he symbolizes on this show is very important. After all the kids that have been killed off, we need some hope for the possibility of a next generation. I loved everything with Jesus, TWD should do funny more, TWD is good at funny. I hope he turns out to be a good guy and has a frenemy thing going on with Daryl lol. I also liked the Spencer beats with his mom, they finally made me care about him!

Yay yay yay! I am loving these new episodes, let's just hope the writers keep up the quality. Oh, and great review as always. :)

Anonymous said...

The note said: "You were hurt. We brought you here. You’re safe. Talk soon, Rick." (http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/walking-dead-recap-funny-ep-packs-hoodwinks-hook-ups-article-1.2537653)

Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Anonymous! That was a much nicer note than I thought it would be. Rick really has changed.

Lydia, loved your comment. As is probably obvious from what I said in my review, I am also really happy about what a positive interracial relationship they just gave us, and I was thrilled about how positive the internet reception to it was.

But even though I don't think this little bit of happiness and normalcy will last because things always go to hell on this show, I don't think they're going to take back this particular romantic relationship. It feels like now that they went there, they're going to stay there. I hope I'm right.

Gracie said...

They seem to be going there with Abraham and Sasha, too -- they make a very cute and weirdly interesting couple.

I'm wondering if maybe giving us Rick and Michonne means we're going to lose Maggie and Glenn?

Docnaz said...

I would argue Michonne has always been more of a bad ass than Rick. That.being said, the two are awesome together.

Docnaz said...

Also, if there was a beauty pageant for zombies, Deanna would be the winner.
Thanks for the great review. I am used to waiting impatiently for days. However, this time my DVR didn't work, so I missed TWD and Downton. Luckily, AMC is great about replays.

Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Docnaz. And btw, I am posting my Walking Dead reviews on Monday, as early as I can, and doing reviews the next day for my other shows, too. Not everyone on the writing staff here can do that, though. I wish we could get screeners, but we're just not a big enough site. Maybe some day, fingers crossed.

Docnaz said...

Billie, I think the site is perfect. I don't mind waiting. It"s like waiting for Santa. You know he eventually will come. When I check the site and one of my shows has posted, I am as excited as if Christmas morning has come!

Billie Doux said...

That's so sweet. Thanks, Docnaz. :)

You know, the more I think about this episode and what happened with Rick and Michonne, the more I like it and the happier I am.