The Walking Dead is back again this week, and what an episode. After last week's cliffhanger, the show still managed to leave us with an even bigger one. What did we think of "The Next World"? Let's find out.
Jameson C. Smith
Well. There's a lot to discuss from “The Next World,” isn't there?
My sister and I were just discussing last week how the show had reached the point of being able to make Michonne and Rick a couple without it seeming too forced, so to see that in this episode was an interesting surprise. I've enjoyed seeing their friendship develop over the last three seasons, and I'm glad it was allowed to develop on its own for a while before they officially became a couple.
(Note to Gimple and Kirkman: Please don't kill Michonne.)
Carl has had a lot of character development in the last couple of seasons, but this episode had me guessing for a while as to his motives. At first, I didn't understand his reluctance not to dispatch Deanna's walker for the sake of everyone's safety (flashback to the circumstances surrounding Dale's death in season two), but when he brought her to Spencer and Michonne, I liked how the pieces fell into place. After having been in a similar situation with Lori's death, his ideas made sense. (Parallels are some of my favorite parts of this show.)
I'm really curious to see how this goes. When the show started, Daryl hardly trusted anyone while Rick was inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt. By the beginning of season six, we saw those roles completely switch, so it's interesting to see the characters almost back where they started. Both have valid viewpoints and plenty of good reasons for them. I'm wondering what that will mean in the long run.
Other stuff and things:
- This episode had so much humor. (Especially from Rick. Have we even seen that before?)
- Nice character development for Spencer in this episode. I hope they keep him around on the show.
- So this Paul/Jesus guy—I can't say I trust him. I do want to know more about who he is and where he's from. (I'm wondering if he is one of the people Deanna mentioned who had to leave Alexandria...)
This was one of my favorite Walking Dead episodes ever. From the very beginning, I was hooked and laughing my head off.
I loved seeing how comfortable Michonne, Rick, and Carl were as a tight-knit family. The time jump surprised me, but it was so perfect. It was such a breath of fresh air to see everyone able to relax and have some time off from... you know, dying and pain and gore and stuff. My brother and I looked at each other wide-eyed about the fact that they actually had time to care about toothpaste.
Some of my favorite moments were when Eugene said "hunky dunk" (I'm totally using that now), Denise and Daryl's awkward but hilarious conversation (even though it came out of nowhere, I like the idea of Denise and Tara), and Rick and Daryl roadtripping ("Please don't..."). Honestly, this episode was basically like a fluffy Walking Dead fanfic come to life.
I loved seeing Maggie and Enid together. I'm still hoping so much that Glenn and Maggie adopt her. It was also good to see Maggie--I missed her so much! Glad Maggie, Glenn, and Enid are all alive and flourishing.
As soon as we met Jesus, I had a gut feeling that he was a good guy. Even after he stole their supplies, I still think he is. I feel like he's one of those characters like Michonne where their motives aren't clear at first, but they end up being a good part of the team. I mean, look at where Michonne ended up after her awkward and uncertain introduction where her motives were unclear.
Speaking of Michonne... oh my gosh. Rick and Michonne. What?
Richonne has been a relationship I've been so happy about, particularly since the episode "Clear" and the end of season 5 when they became deputies together. I thought I would maybe ship it romantically, but I wasn't sure. Halfway through the episode, I jokingly said to my brother, "What if Rick and Michonne got together?" I never thought it would happen, and my brother and I both agreed that it would be a little weird since their friendship has been so strong.
What I didn't expect was for it to happen at all--or so quickly. This was one of the biggest plot twists in Walking Dead history, and it didn't even include a character death.
However, one thing I'm extremely concerned about now is Michonne's life. I love how Carl said he'd kill Michonne if she turned, but I just know that that scene will come back to hurt us someday. I also worry that Michonne will die by the end of the season, considering Rick's track record with love interests. (It's a big part of The Walking Dead's mythos, apparently. If you kiss Rick Grimes, you die.) I desperately hope I'm wrong.
That being said, I loved the character arc with Carl in this episode. His point about Spencer being the one to kill his mom really resonated, and it made sense. It's such a good piece of symbolism and character development, and I loved it. I also loved getting to see Carl and Judith. It was overwhelmingly adorable. The feels.
And finally, I really liked Spencer's character development in this episode. I felt like we'd never gotten a chance to know him, but now I have. I hope he sticks around. I also was glad we got to see zombified-Deanna, but it was honestly more sad and horrifying to see than I expected.
Honestly, I can't wait until next week when we find out why on earth Jesus is creeping on a naked Rick and Michonne. (I never ever thought I'd say that sentence.)
I love a good time jump! I was just telling my parents that we might not get to meet Negan until the end of this season (which might still be true), but the time jump will help this show not turn into an apocalyptic house repair show on HGTV. That would be an interesting show...but not for The Walking Dead. I did enjoy the lighter feel to this episode, though the music always sets me on edge. That sounds like such a cold-hearted opinion as if they weren't allowed to enjoy a small remnant of what life was. I'm sure someone else out there understands what I'm saying. This episode was almost a breather, besides the run-in with Jesus. In the end, it was nice to see that everyone got to take a breath, close some wounds, and realize what they really want.
I loved Rick being with Michonne. I feel that many people are reading this as they were together for a bit, considering she was in her robe at their house, but she's been living there since they came to Alexandria. She has a downstairs room, and the Grimes family is upstairs. They both have that moment of realization that they work so well together at the end of the episode after he gives her the mints. Their interaction would have been one of normalcy if they had been together previously.
I'm in support of Richonne. They are the ULTIMATE power couple. I also love that she was already a part of the family and Carl loves her. He loves her enough to kill her if she turned. There was another grown up decision Carl made in this episode. Him leading Deanna to Spencer was beautiful. He knew it wasn't his place and that Spencer needed that closure with his mother. I also enjoyed hearing that Spencer feels like Rick's group is his family now, and that means that the walls are breaking down between who "really belongs" and who has recently come to help.
Rick and Daryl going out was a back and forth between good and bad decisions. Again with the upsetting music--not that the music is bad in a normal situation, it's just hard to get comfortable with it being on this kind of show. I guess Tara and Denise are a couple now; I'm not a big fan of that. I'm all for finding someone that loves and cares for you, but if you remember Denise's first moment with Tara, she basically said that the world has gone to hell and she might as well. That's my issue.
*Random thought* Wouldn't it be interesting if we got to have an episode or two that took place during the winter? That would mean slower walkers and possible food supply shortages. I just want to see cool scenes where they slay walkers in the snow.
Jesus has arrived! A polite thief (from the comics I might add) who had Rick and Daryl on a wild goose chase throughout the episode. It's weird to see how the tables have turned, and Rick now wants to recruit him. Rick will soon regret this when he is awoken from his post-sexy time bliss by Jesus. This wasn't a death-filled episode, but I'm sure that the producers won't leave us hanging.
We won't find out what Jesus wanted to talk to Rick and Michonne about until next week. I'm going to assume that he does runs for someone. Who that is...I'm not sure if I want to find out.
What did you think of "The Next World"? What about that ending scene?!? Leave your reactions, thoughts, and feels down in the comments!