Last week on The Walking Dead, we left off with Rick being surrounded by a new, heavily armed group. He smiled, and the episode ended. With this week’s episode titled “New Best Friends”, did this foreshadow the possibility of a new group to help join the fight against Negan and the Saviors?
Fans teem with excitement when The Walking Dead introduces a new community. The garbage community live in an impressive communal fortress of garbage mounds (I wonder how bad it smelled). From the bird’s eye view, it appeared to be organized and safe from walker intrusion. Their leader, Jadis, is tall with striking features, interesting wardrobe, and curious lingo. The most incredible feature of this community was the armored garbage monster named Winslow. Once again, I am impressed by the creativity of the walkers by Greg Nicotero and his special FX team. Winslow took four weeks to create, and it showed. He was one of the most impressive walkers I’ve seen on the series so far.
While Winslow was impressive in his looks, his fight scene with Rick, as well as the entire interaction with the garbage community as a whole, was lacking. I felt that the battle arena could have been more grand and exciting. Remember the arena that the Woodbury community used for their zombie battles? That looked pretty cool. Winslow deserved an arena of Thunderdome proportions to match his extraordinary armor. This one just dumped Rick into a hole of trash to fight. No one could really see what was going on except for the view through that conveniently placed porthole. With such an abundance of trash about, there could have been a plethora of melee weapons to choose from. But what does Rick grab? A computer keyboard. (Insert eye roll here.) Rick manages to defeat him fairly quickly (and how many times are the writers going to tease us with Rick’s hand?), and Jadis agrees to help Rick just as quick. While her willingness to participate does come with stipulations (bringing her lots of guns), she seemed pretty quick to agree to help. As a viewer, I felt this to attempt to move along the storyline was a convenience brought on by poor writing.
The scenes incorporating the “ugly” this week were not lacking in acting or content. The “ugly” comes from the deceptions, lies, and untruths that are being told, and how they are going to play out in future scenarios.
Richard told Daryl of his plan that involved taking out some Saviors to lure them onto a trail to kill “some loner” in a cabin as a sacrifice to convince Ezekiel to join the fight. Once Daryl figured out that loner was Carol, and that Richard was committed to using her as bait, we knew it was going to get ugly. There is no way that Daryl is going to let anything happen to her, and he will destroy anyone that puts her in harm’s way.
Once Daryl realized that Carol was nearby, he treks off to find her. There was nothing more that fans wanted than to see this reunion happen (except maybe seeing Daryl take a shower). And when it did, social media blew up with the reactions. Even though we were all waiting on the edge of our seat to see how Carol would react to the news that two beloved members of the group were killed at the hands of Negan, Daryl did not reveal to her what has been going on. He saw how broken she already was, and chose to protect her from even more emotional distress instead. She is bound to find out eventually. How will she react to this news? What will she do about it? How will see react to the fact that Daryl lied to her about it?
Tara is also lying in a bed of lies. We are all waiting for her to finally crack and reveal to Rick that there is another community, one with lots and lots of guns, not too far away. But she made a promise back in “Swear” that she would never reveal their existence. And so far she has help up that promise. What will it take for her to finally crack and reveal this crucial information – information that could be the catalyst for the success of the overall plan to defeat Negan?
The second half of the season is slowly building. Next week we will have the return of Negan, who has only appeared as a voice over the walkie talkie in the back half of the season. We get to see how Eugene will come into play at the Sanctuary, and how his personality type interacts with that of Negan’s. It should be interesting.