TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 10: The Next World | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 10: The Next World

By Megan Wilde

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 10: The Next World

After a stellar midseason premiere, things slowed down a bit this week to focus on character development. When we left the group last week, Alexandria had been reclaimed from the dead, and it looked like Carl was waking up and would recover.

This episode opens after some time has passed, which is revealed by a photo of Carl, with patched eye, and Judith. But wait, what? How is there a new photo of Carl? Were darkroom and camera supplies high on the priority list when going out on runs? One wouldn’t think so, especially given Denise’s downplaying her sweet request for soda from Daryl.

But that request for soda, which is a surprise gift for Tara, actually drives a fair amount of the action this week. This episode follows two main plot lines: Daryl and Rick are out on a supply run, where they find some cans of orange Crush (which surprisingly are pretty pivotal); and Michonne follows Spencer into the woods as he searches for something he’s being cagey about.

Daryl and Rick’s story is the more exciting one, because there’s more action — but more importantly, because Jesus makes his first appearance! He is a bad-ass fighting machine, just like in the books, and the actors all look like they’re having fun in these scenes. Norman Reedus even gets to throw in one of his famous bird flips. Jesus, Rick and Daryl spend most of the episode chasing each other and playing keep-away with a truck loaded with food that Rick and Daryl found. The truck and food end up at the bottom of a lake, and Jesus ends up knocked out and in the custody of the Alexandrians — or does he? But we’ll get to that.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 10: The Next World

“My friends call me ‘Jesus'” – Jesus

Let me take a moment to say how excited I am to see Jesus (Tom Payne). He is a welcome addition to this show, he’s full of surprises and secrets, and there’s a certain sense of fun to him. He’s playing with Rick and Daryl, and maybe it’s because I know him from the books, but I don’t feel a threat from him, so I am loving his scenes.

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Meanwhile, Michonne sees Spencer heading out, alone, into the woods, so she abandons her post and follows him (let’s hope she brought in a replacement!). It turns out he’s looking for his mom, Deanna, because he thought he saw her as a walker the night of the Big Stand. They find her, with a little help from Carl, who leads her close to them so that Spencer can be the one to do what needs to be done. It’s very sad as Spencer says his final goodbye. Deanna gets a nice burial by a tree, on which Michonne has carved a “D.”

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 10: The Next World

Spencer and Michonne, dealing with some extreme behavior.

And just as we think the show is winding down, we get to a major development: Rick and Michonne! I am not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, this is not what I meant last week when I said that they have a more familial relationship in the comics; I feel like it’s watching a brother and sister make out, and it’s weird. On the other hand, I do get it, since they’re both fighters and they respect each other, and it makes sense. They’ve been together for a long time, and they’re comfortable with each other. We will just have to see where this goes. I don’t hate it; I just don’t know if I’m totally on board yet.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 10: The Next World

RICHONNE IN FULL EFFECT!

But Michonne does obviously care about the Grimes family, all of them. There is a nice moment between her and Carl where, in the language of this post-apocalyptic world, they give each other the highest compliment they can: They promise to kill each other if they turn. And she obviously is very comfortable around them all and cares for them a great deal. So in that, it also makes sense for her and Rick to be together.

The episode ends with a surprise: Jesus got knocked out by the truck on its way into the lake, and stayed out till after they got back to Alexandria. At the end, there’s a slow shot of Rick and Michonne, post-coitus in bed, and we hear a voice: “Rick.” Out jump naked Rick and Michonne, grabbing their weapons on the way, and there is Jesus. It’s a funny moment and another surprise from him. I can’t wait to see what he will do next.

There’s a lot more subtle laughing and ribbing in this episode than usual, which is fun. Rick teases Michonne in the beginning, and they both tease Carl. Then when he and Daryl set out in the car, Rick puts in a CD that he knows will annoy Daryl (“Action Packed,” by Ronnie Dee), and smiles, whistles and snaps (like, where did THIS Rick Grimes come from?) when Daryl groans about it. It’s a nice change, and it shows that Rick is letting down his guard a little and trying to see the positives. And speaking of changes from the norm, there’s a lot more recognizable music in this episode than usual. It’s almost nonexistent in this show usually, but this week we get “More Than a Feeling,” by Boston, the aforementioned Ronnie Dee, and later, “If My Heart Was a Car,” by Old 97’s. It all serves to highlight an interesting change in focus for the group: from survival to really living.

FBI SCORE: 7.5 out of 10. “The Next World” represents a shift in focus for everyone in Alexandria. It is an appropriate breather after the last episode, and it does introduce a big character and some major changes for some fan-favorites. Still, I took points off for pacing, because it got a little too slow at times.

Megan Wilde

I'm an editor, wife and mom of two. I love to read and watch good TV and good (OK, and bad) movies. I like pop culture, sci-fi, zombies, comics, Neil Gaiman, Miyazaki movies, Star Wars, '80s nostalgia and all things geeky.

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