We pick off where we left off last week: with Rick and his crew surrounded by dozens of dour, black-clad unknowns. Now, though, we finally get a good look at this mysterious new group. They may bedirty, but they’rearmedand not to be underestimated. Having already singled Rick out, their leader finally saunters to the forefront. Shes tall and thin, picking her words as carefully as her steps. Finally, she smiles. Its a smug grin, and rightly so; she has Rick and his people exactly where she wants them.
We own your lives, she says with the friendly matter-of-fact tone of a neighborhood pharmacist. Wanna buy them back?
The Walking Dead has always been interested in relationships that are forged in extreme circumstances. Hardship can make bonds brittle, but it can also strengthen frayed onesor forge new ones altogether. In the past, meetings like this would have almost certainly ended in bloodshed; this time around, it feels like the start of an unlikely partnership. As Rick explains later to Gabriel, enemies can sometimes become friends.
All the King’s Men
For now, though, theres business to be taken care of at the Kingdom. The Saviors, led by exasperated-dad-at-a-laser-tag-party Gavin and his lapdog Jared, have come to pick up their tribute. Now, this has no bearing whatsoever, either on this episode or the show in general, but Jared reminds me a lot of my cousins boyfriend who listens to death metal and collects knives from mall kiosks. Also much like my cousins boyfriend, Jareds antagonistic anticspicking fights, stealing weapons and generally being a Grade-A Dickare starting to push some members of the Kingdom closer to Ricks side than Ezekiels. A small scuffle ensues, causing both Gavin and King Ezekiel to threaten to Turn This Car Around. Regardless, something has become very clear to both parties: Their arrangement is not sustainable.
While all the Kings men are shaken by the encounter, its enough to send Richard straight to Daryl. Having lost the use of his gun in the scuffle, he asks Daryl to show him how to use a bow-and-arrow; as concerning as Richards sudden change in attitude may be, we still get to enjoy a brief but sweet reunion between Daryl and a relatively clean shirt (and his crossbow).
But Daryls not ourconcern. Richard is bent on a slipshod plan to kill a gang of Saviors and frame Carol for it, hoping that her inevitable death will help him force King Ezekiels hand. Daryl, obviously, is not down with this, and threatens to kill Richard if Carol so much as comes down with a bad case of the sniffles. Richard counters with his own declaration of loyalty: hed rather die for his kingdom. Seeing as how The Walking Dead loves foreshadowing more than my ninthgrade English teacher, we may well see that opportunity come to pass.
Seeing as how The Walking Dead loves foreshadowing more than my ninth grade English teacher, we may well see that opportunity come to pass.
Meanwhile, Rick, Rosita, Aaron, Michonne, and Tara or R-MART, or RiRoTaMiAa, or whatever clumsy portmanteau you prefer for Alexandrias Finesthave found themselves in the midst of a Mad Max/Slab City/Junkyard in The Iron Giantsituation. The mysterious junkyard residents are led by Jadis, a woman whose bangs tell us she recently received her MFA for photographing tampons staged on various pieces of fine china. Rick manages to hammer out a shaky truce with Jadis and her people, but only after facing that spike-covered weaponized walker we keep seeing teased in promos inside a trash labyrinth. (So much for that smile, Rick.) Rick survives, if a bit dinged up, which once again raises the question ofwhether tetanus and bloodborne diseases are just no longer a thing in Zombie Apocalypse. Maybe those raw vegans are onto something.
Elsewhere in the Kingdom, viewers finally get the long-awaited reunion between Carol and Daryl. While there is much (much, much, much) debate over the exact nature of their relationship, its nevertheless a deeply touching moment, complete with a tearful embrace, between two people who have lost everything but each other and the fact that their names rhyme.
If youre like meand of course you areyouve been waiting for the moment Carol would learn what happened to her friends. Surely shed come back, guns blazing, ready to tell Negan exactly where he could shove Lucille (spoilers: nowhere nice), right? But thats hardly what happens. Daryl, clearly unable to break Carols heart again, tells her that everyone is fine and safe at Alexandria. A secret that big cant be kept for long, and when it does eventually come out, its bound to send Carol straight for Neganwith or without Ezekiels aid. Or tiger.
While enemies can become friends, though, there are some questions that refuse to turn into answers. Who are Jadis and her people? Where did Hypeman Jerry learn to make cobbler? When will Carol find out about Glenn and Abraham? (And damn, Rick, how are you supposedto find a tetanus booster after that spiked walker?) In the past, those uncertainties might have been resolved through tragedy; now, though, for the first time in a long time, Im not dreading learning the answers.