After an action-packed winter premiere, The Walking Dead calms down a bit in this episode, “The Next World.” It’s two months later and the community of Alexandria is rebuilding and moving on, hopefully bringing to life the expansion Deanna thought of before her death. Rick and Daryl let their hotheads get the better of them when they head out on a supply run. Maggie tries to understand Enid, who it seems is just trying to figure out her place in this world. And Michonne helps Spencer get some closure.

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Daryl and Rick Meet Jesus

Our favorite pair of walker-killers heads out on a supply run. Before they leave, Denise asks Daryl to pick up some soda pop for Tara. Daryl seems determined to fulfill this request as he and Rick head out.

They first encounter a big shed. Inside is a truck filled with food and supplies. They get the truck running and head back out. They then stop at a gas station, where Daryl finds a vending machine with pop. As the two get distracted with the clunky machine, someone jumps them. He seems sketchy but acts innocent. Daryl, of course, doesn’t trust him. Rick starts to ask three questions to see if he’ll be good for the group. The guy says he goes by the name Jesus, a big character from the novels, before he runs off.

Jesus sets off fireworks to distract Rick and Daryl in order to steal their truck. However, they manage to run after him, get Denise’s soda pop and reach the truck. They manage to get it back from him. They leave Jesus tied up on the side of the road, but as they turn off to a farm, they hear Jesus on the roof. After a scuffle with Daryl, including when Jesus saves him from a walker, the truck rolls into a pond and sinks.

Despite Daryl’s protests, they bring Jesus back to Alexandria with them, as he was injured during the scuffle and needs medical attention.

Finding Closure

During one of her watches, Michonne sees Spencer walking through the woods with a shovel. She follows him, but he won’t reveal why he’s out there. She continues to follow him, until he explains that he has some unfinished business before he can move on with his life in Alexandria. It’s then that walker Deanna comes out from behind some trees, and we see what Spencer wants to do. Together, he and Michonne give Deanna some peace and give her a proper burial.

Bratty Teens

Enid is still being pouty. And Carl is being Carl. But it’s good that he’s back to normal and in good spirits after losing his eye. Maggie tries talking to Enid to no avail. Enid seems to take to Carl, but after some time together in the woods, she wants to go back to Alexandria.

They encounter a walker. She wants to kill it, but Carl doesn’t. She runs back, while he lets the walker go.

Back at Alexandria, Michonne tells Carl that she saw him let the walker go and asks why. It turns out that the walker was Deanna, and Carl explains that he felt a loved one should have killed Deanna. Then it all makes sense.

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A New Romance?

The banter over toothpaste at the beginning of this Walking Dead episode between Michonne and Rick is foreshadowing of what’s to come. After their long days, they reconnect in their home and discuss what happened. Then they hold hands and kiss.

And in perhaps, maybe, the third “love” scene, Michonne and Rick wake up naked in their bed. They both jump up ready to fight, though, when Jesus comes in.

Final Thoughts

I’m pleased that they finally introduced Jesus. He’s a big character from the novels. And it means that we’re even closer to meeting Negan.

Despite the lack of walkers and deaths, the episode was a good way to show how everyone in Alexandria is working together to bring some normalcy back into their lives. Of course, that’s tough, but they seem to be doing a good job. And the fact that Michonne and Rick actually let their guards down to each other is a great example of just how “normal” things can be in crazy times.

“The Next World” is completely different from previous nail-biter Walking Dead episodes, but it is needed after the intense winter premiere.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.

(Image courtesy of AMC)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV