It may have taken 6 and a half season, but The Walking Dead finally turned itself into the family-oriented comedy that we were all expecting it to be from the very start.
Okay, so that’s a little false, but this past week’s episode was by far the funniest episode of TWD we’ve ever been handed. Sure, there were a few heavy moments, but there were a couple of times while watching that I couldn’t get “Yakety Sax” out of my head. While it may be a bit of a relief for some to get a lighter episode, it felt somewhat disingenuous to me. Maybe it’s because last week’s mid-season premiere was so violent and somber, and maybe it’s because the show has made it clear that Negan is coming, but peppering humor throughout the show just didn’t feel like the best choice. The time jump worked, because who really wants to watch the months of nothing happening aside from cleaning up the town, but the rest of the episode felt incredibly weird, tonally. If it had any real connection to the episode that had come before, it’s that we were asked to ignore things that had already been shown to better serve a small aspect of the greater story, and the moments that we were supposed to just accept stuck out as unnecessary. When one of the most logical parts of the episode is the romantic pairing, that points to some problems with the rest of the story. But hey, this is The Next World. We should enjoy it, while also finding more stupidity to shake our proverbial sticks at.
Okay, I kinda get it. It’s been a few months, clearly, so Rick wouldn’t be quite in rebound-mode after watching Jessie become lunch. And both Rick and Michonne have been proven to be strong survivors. But how does Michonne not remember that Rick’s track record with his loves? Unless there’s someone out there who magically survived and is part of a different group of survivors, everyone Rick has, um, gotten freaky with is dead. And not in pretty ways, either. Really, this is just an angry moment because there shouldn’t be a any “Richonne” shipping being done. Michonne actually makes the list for just abandoning her post on the guard tower to go galavanting after Spencer through the woods. It’s been quiet, but maybe still giving a heads up so that people can keep an eye would have been nice.
Take a good portion of the above paragraph, flip the characters, and it still applies. Yes, I’m not thrilled with this, even if it’s probably one of the more logical pairings that COULD have happened through the apocalypse. But I’m not going to rail on it again. And, truth be told, I appreciate that the show is bringing a little more diversity into their romantic pairings. *breath* Anyway, what gets Rick on this list? So much could have, but let’s talk about shortly after he and Daryl begin their scavenging expedition. Rick drops a CD into the player, and blares the radio, despite Daryl’s protestations. Clearly, they’ve got a safe zone from walkers, so noise isn’t much of a problem, but has it really been that long after the apocalypse that Rick has forgotten that Daryl, riding shotgun, would be the person in charge of the radio? Car etiquette, dude.
3. Paul “Jesus” Monroe
A lot of what Jesus does through the episode is actually fairly smart. After all, he got the jump on a couple of experienced survivors, not once, but a few times. That said, yeah, he felt that he needed to speak to Rick. And he wasn’t willing to wait until Rick just happened to stop by. But it certainly appears that he broke in, quite possibly heard the sexy times, and then stood at the foot of the bed before announcing his presence. Hopefully it won’t be intimated that he was lurking much like Eugene did with Abraham and Rosita, but tit was just terribly important for him to address his point. Still, at least knock and let people get some pants or something.
Carl expresses a rather interesting honor code in this episode, and it’s the reason why he foolishly decided to lead WalkerDeanna on his little chase through the woods to where Spencer is. See, Carl has decided that, when possible, the reanimated dead should clearly be destroyed by “someone who loved them”, and it actually allowed for a nice moment with Michonne. However, he’s bringing Deanna, who somehow as a walker, made it through a gigantic horde AND all of the people destroying said horde, to end up in the woods, wandering around, where she was somehow hidden from everyone’s searching eyes for months. Oh, and Carl brings her to Spencer, who hadn’t really proven himself to be the most competent before. Oh oh oh, and Carl only has one eye, and therefore probably shouldn’t be leading anything by himself. It all worked out in the end, and yes, sweet moment with Michonne, but it was a completely unnecessary risk, especially given the fact that it clearly upset Enid.
1. Rick and Daryl
This is the pairing that stuck “Yakety Sax” in my head, and also kept me picturing a certain cartoon coyote and bird pairing. Rick and Daryl, who have clearly reversed positions on recruiting anyone new, find a truck full of goods, which seems to support Rick’s belief in the Law of Averages. Now, with as full as this truck is, the smartest thing would have been to drop it off in Alexandria, so that others could start unloading it while you go back out to try and find more. Not our fearless heroes, though… they’re going to get as much as they can in one run. This leads to them getting jumped (and robbed) by Jesus. Now, maybe you can even chalk up that loss to a learning experience, but oh no. Clearly we chase the guy down (remember, he’s currently in a truck, and they’re on foot). They then catch up with him, mess that up, and another comedy of errors leads to the truck rolling backwards into the lake. So much for your supply run. But hey, you gained another mouth to feed. Good job, guys!
That does it for this week’s rundown. The sneak peaks seem to show that maybe next week won’t be quite the leisurely walk in the park that we got this week, but only time will tell. It’s not like this would be the first time that The Walking Dead slowed things down for a span of a few episodes.