Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Walking Dead 'The Next World' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS for the episode to be discussed, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.

After the grim events of last week's episode The Walking Dead jumps forward in time (two weeks within the show) and takes the time to tell a lighter episode that even included a little humour after 'No Way Out's grim events.

The change in pace is a welcome one, and lets us avoid some of the banality of the post-horde events.  We know that they'd have to get rid of all the walker's bodies, but it was nice to not have to see that.  We know that they'd have to rebuild their walls, and again, it was nice not to see that.  And it was nice that they didn't inject false tension around Carl, and simply showed us that he is healing and adapting to his wound and is almost back to his old self.

It meant that the show has been able to keep its pace without having to cover these more dull moments.  We don't need to be shown them recovering immediately after the events of the last episode.  We can see them back to normal a few weeks later and believe it.  It's a pleasant turn that the writers don't feel the need to spoon feed the story as they have had a tendency to do in the past.

The episode sees Daryl and Rick going on a quick supply run, and judging from the casual manner in the way they act on the road, and the fact that Daryl begs Rick not to put his CD on before he's even done so implies that this isn't the first time the two of them have been out together since the last episode.

It feels like the past seasons, where the two of them spent a lot more time together than they have recently and they slip easily back into that comfortable relationship.  It feels very natural and relaxed as they try and enjoy this time of calm.

Whilst on the road the two of them find a truck filled to the brim with supplies that they need for the citizens of Alexandria, unfortunately things don't go according to plan when they run into another survivor on the way back home.

Readers of the comic book series will be jumping for joy as we're introduced to Jesus for the very first time, the wisecracking kung-fu prankster that looks like the son of god.  A lot of people knew that Jesus was going to be introduced this season, and were expecting him to be brought in as a way of saving Glenn during the first half of the season when we were led to believe he'd been killed.  Bringing him into the show now, after the dark and dramatic events of 'No Way Out' is a much better decision, as it allows him to bring some lightheartedness to the show without it feeling out of place.

Jesus steals the truck from Rick and Daryl and lead the two of them on an almost comical chase around the surrounding countryside, with Daryl running after him through a field as one point in a scene that has since been recut with Benny Hill music to great effect.  

All of the scenes with Jesus are great fun to watch, and despite the fact that our heroes lost a massive pile of supplies because of him you just can't quite bring yourself to hate, or even dislike the character.

As this is still The Walking Dead, there was some dark to counterbalance the fun Rick and Daryl were having, as Michonne and Spencer find a zombified Diana in the woods outside of Alexandria after Carl leads her towards them.  It's a sad moment that reminds us of some of the losses the community has been through recently, and makes the audience miss Diana again.  It also helps to resolve some of Spencer's story and will hopefully make him a better part of the community then he was in the past.

Michonne confronts Carl as to why he didn't just kill Diana himself, knowing that he's more than capable of doing it.  Despite maybe trying to make us think that being shot in the face may have resulted in Carl going a little disturbed, his reasoning was almost touching.  He felt that it should have been someone who loved Diana who killed her.  It's in this moment that Carl tells Michonne that he loves her and would do it for her if the time ever came.

Despite the weirdness of telling someone you love them enough to kill them if they become a zombie it's a very sweet moment, and one that helps to show how much of a family they have become.  This developing relationship between the Grimes' and Michonne reaches a boil this week as Rick and Michonne finally kiss on screen for the first time.  I say on screen as I have a feeling this isn't the first time these two have done so.

With all of the loss that Rick has suffered through it's a rewarding moment to see him become close to someone again, and unlike Jessie it just feels right and natural with Michonne.  The two of them work brilliantly together, and Michonne is closer to Rick, Carl and Judith than she is with any other members of the group.  They already felt like a family, I guess now they really are one.


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