In the 10th episode of The Walking Dead season 7, titled “New Best Friends,” Rick goes to great lengths to gain new recruits for his fight against the Saviors, and we learn why Gabriel suddenly disappeared in the previous episode. Meanwhile, Daryl has quite a time of it at the Kingdom. He is approached about a plan to fight the Saviors, he makes friends with Shiva, and he learns that a member of the Kingdom is planning to sacrifice someone he cares about. Also, there is an emotional reunion that will make some fans very happy.

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Rick Makes Some New “Friends”

The previous episode ended with Rick and company being surrounded by a large group of weapon-wielding strangers. These strangers lead Rick and company to a junkyard that is clearly their home base. This new group is never given a name, but their leader is a woman named Jadis. Jadis says her group now owns their lives, but Rick’s group can buy them back. Before he makes any kind of deal with these people, Rick wants to see Gabriel. Jadis has Gabriel brought out, and he looks mostly unharmed. Rick then begins his pitch about the Saviors, but Jadis isn’t interested, and the two groups begin to fight. Luckily, this is when Gabriel intervenes.

Gabriel takes one of Jadis’ people hostage and threatens to kill her if Jadis doesn’t hear him out. He tells her that the Saviors have all the supplies her group could ever want. Jadis is intrigued enough to listen to Gabriel. He tells them that if her people fight with them and beat the Saviors, they will be rewarded. He also says that Rick is capable of anything and their group can get them anything they want. Jadis then has Rick taken to a spot where they can look out over the junkyard. She explains that her group has been there since the beginning and their motto is “We take. We don’t bother.” She wants Rick to prove that he’s true to what he says, so she pushes Rick off a trash heap into some kind of fighting pit.

In order to prove himself to this new group, Rick has to fight a creepy spiked walker in the fighting pit. (This walker even has a name: Winslow.) Rick manages to kill the walker but not without sustaining some nasty injuries himself. He gets a large gash on his leg and one of the spikes ends up going straight through his hand. (At first, I wondered if the show would have Rick lose some function in his hand, as a slight nod to the comics, but his hand seems functional enough when he kills Winslow.)

Rick’s prowess against Winslow impresses Jadis, so much so that she agrees to a deal. If Rick brings her group some guns and lets them keep half of the food they stole from Alexandria, her group will join the fight against the Saviors. She also tells him to get the guns quickly because their deal has an expiration date. Despite his injuries, Rick leaves with a huge smile on his face.

(I know Rick is desperate to increase their numbers before going up against the Saviors, but I am not sure why he is so quick to trust this new group. They could just take the weapons he gives them and back out of the fight. They could also switch sides and join the Saviors since the Saviors have more to offer them.)

Richard vs. Daryl

As the episode begins, Ezekiel and the Kingdom crew are meeting with the Saviors again. The same guy Richard got into a fight with at their previous meet-up is there. He and Richard get into it again, and the Savior demands that Richard hand over his gun. When the Savior tries to go after Richard, Morgan intervenes and uses his stick on the Savior. The Savior gets the stick away from Morgan, and things continue to escalate. Ezekiel and the Saviors’ leader, Gavin, manage to calm things down, but tensions are clearly high. The Saviors leave with Richard’s gun and Morgan’s stick.

Later, Richard gives Daryl a new crossbow and tells Daryl that he needs his help. Richard has a plan to go after the Saviors. He also has a stockpile of weapons at the ready. Richard leads Daryl out to a road the Saviors are known to use. His plan is to attack the first group of Saviors to come along and leave their bodies behind for the next group of Saviors to find. When the second group finds their people dead, they’ll follow the trail Richard left back to his weapons cache. If they keep following that trail, it will lead them to a cabin of someone Ezekiel cares about. Yes, that’s right. Richard intended to set Carol up to be attacked by the Saviors so Ezekiel would finally take up arms against them.

Daryl is not pleased to learn that Richard’s plan includes putting an innocent life in danger. He is even less impressed when he realizes who that person is. Once Richard admits that it’s Carol, Daryl instantly shuts things down. Richard keeps insisting that this needs to happen and maybe Carol will survive. Daryl tells Richard to stay away from Carol.

Just then, the Saviors are coming down the road. Daryl ends up tackling Richard to keep him from attacking the Saviors. They fight for a bit and end up in a stand-off. Richard says they need to move against the Saviors soon and that the fight will require sacrifice. Daryl tells Richard that if anything happens to Carol, he will kill him. Before Daryl leaves, Richard says he is willing to die for the Kingdom, and Daryl responds with, “Why don’t you?”

(Does anyone else see Richard as the new Spencer? Like Spencer, he makes some good points, but he goes about things in all the wrong ways. I hope someone takes him out before his recklessness gets anyone killed.)

A Long-Awaited Reunion

Caryl fans, the time has finally come. After almost a season apart, Daryl and Carol are finally reunited. Sadly, their reunion doesn’t last long, but it does give us some much-needed insight into Carol’s state of mind.

When Daryl shows up at her cabin, we see a dozen different emotions cross Carol’s face before she pulls him into a hug. Daryl doesn’t tell Carol anything about Richard’s plan. He merely claims he was out in the woods when he spotted Carol. He asks her why she left, and she whispers that she had to.

Later that night, Carol makes Daryl dinner and talks more about why she left Alexandria. She tells him that she couldn’t lose anyone else, and she knows that if the Saviors hurt any of their people she’d have to kill them and there wouldn’t be anything left of her. She then asks if the Saviors came to Alexandria, and when Daryl says they did, she tearfully asks him if all of their people are okay. At seeing Carol near tears at the thought of anyone being hurt, Daryl lies and says they’re all fine. He also claims they made a deal with the Saviors like Ezekiel did. Carol practically melts in relief, and I am reminded once again at what a gift this show has in Melissa McBride. (It is also nice to see that while Carol can keep up a front with everyone else, she can’t hide her true feelings from Daryl.)

As Daryl digs into his food, he asks if Ezekiel is “okay,” and Carol says she thinks so. Daryl leaves after dinner but not before hugging Carol again and telling her to watch out for herself. (While I understand Daryl not telling Carol about Richard’s plan, I do not understand why he didn’t tell Morgan. Sure, Daryl threatened to kill Richard if he so much as touched Carol, but it’s not like Daryl is sticking around to make sure Richard leaves her alone.)

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Daryl Leaves the Kingdom

Earlier in the episode, Morgan and Daryl have a brief chat after Morgan and company get back from their exchange with the Saviors. Daryl sees that Morgan’s injured and asks if the Saviors did it. When Morgan confirms they did, Daryl tells Morgan that he knows what the Saviors are. Daryl also says that if Carol were here and knew what the Saviors had done to Abraham and Glenn, she’d be leading the charge against them. Morgan doesn’t disagree but points out that that’s why Carol left.

Later, after leaving Carol’s cabin, Daryl returns to the Kingdom just long enough to make a new friend in Shiva. (He even gets to pet her!) Morgan and Daryl have their second chat of the episode, as Daryl tells Morgan that he found Carol. Morgan explains that he lied about her leaving because she asked him to. Daryl says they need the Kingdom when they go up against the Saviors, so Morgan needs to make that happen. When Morgan says he can’t, Daryl tells him that whatever Morgan thinks he’s holding on to, he has already lost. Morgan points out that Daryl didn’t tell Carol what happened to Abe and Glenn because if he had, Carol would be with him. He says they’re all holding on to something.

The next day, Daryl leaves the Kingdom for the Hilltop to help get the people there ready for the upcoming fight. (Daryl also leaves with a better opinion of Ezekiel because Carol likes him, and anyone who has a tiger “can’t be that bad.”)

What Happened with Gabriel?

Early in the episode, we learn that Rick was right to be suspicious about Gabriel’s supposed betrayal. It turns out that someone from this new group ambushed Gabriel and forced him to steal Alexandria’s supplies. This new group had been staking out the boat and they were mad when Rick and Aaron made off with the loot.

Gabriel admits that he was beginning to lose faith, but it’s been restored because Rick knew he hadn’t turned against them, and they have now made a deal with Jadis’ people. Gabriel then asks why Rick was smiling when he saw this new group. Rick says it was because “someone showed me enemies can become friends.” He also claps Gabriel on the back for a job well done. (Once again, Gabriel steps up in this episode and proves himself as a player in this fight.)

In Other News…

Ezekiel pays Carol another visit when he and his men are out clearing the “wasted” near her cabin, and one of them stumbles on her trip-wire. Before they leave, Jerry presents Carol with a cobbler, and I get the feeling that Ezekiel isn’t the only Kingdom member who is fond of Carol.

Rosita is still very angry about the situation they’re in. She’s intent on going out to look for the guns right away, but Tara points out that they need to go back to Alexandria first because their people need the supplies they just got back. Though everything Tara says makes perfect sense, Rosita ends up taking her anger out on Tara for no real reason. (I like Rosita, but her attitude in these past two episodes has bothered me. She is not the only person who lost someone or who wants to fight back, yet she’s the only one being truly reckless about it. I hope that changes soon.)

Since Tara’s failed supply run with Heath took her further than any of their group has been, Rick asks her if she can at least tell them where not to look for guns. Tara says of course, but we know she is thinking of the Oceanside community. Will Tara break her promise and tell her people about Oceanside?

Before they leave the junkyard, Rick gives Michonne a new cat sculpture to replace the one she lost. It’s a cute moment and a nice callback to season 3.

What did you think of this episode of The Walking Dead? Is Rick making a mistake in trusting this new group? Should Daryl have told Morgan about Richard’s plan to sacrifice Carol? Was Winslow the coolest walker we’ve seen on this show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Walking Dead
season 7 airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of AMC)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV