After last week’s bloodbath of a battle, things appear to have calmed down a little in Alexandria; weeks have passed, the walls have been rebuilt, and the townsfolk seem to have found some much needed peace and quiet.

As the dulcet tones of Boston bring us into the everyday, there’s an almost pre-apocalyptic feel to the beginning of this week’s episode, The Next World, with a nice family breakfast amongst the Grimes family. Indeed, family seems to very much be the theme this week, with real walls being built around the town, and metaphoric walls finally being broken down.

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Carl’s eye is beginning to heal up, and he takes the opportunity to go for a wander in the woods with the sulky Enid. Spencer, meanwhile, having lost every member of his own family in the epic fight, has taken to stalking the forest with his own agenda; searching for the reanimated corpse of his mother Diana. With Michonne in tow, the newly-orphaned young man finally gets some closure, and, being The Walking Dead we get another inspirational “what it means to be family in the zombie apocalypse” speech, this time from everyone’s favourite sword-wielding child slayer.

Rick and Daryl meanwhile go off on a supply run, inadvertently garnering the attention of cheeky escapologist Jesus. These scenes are much needed light relief after the last few episodes’ utter tension, and while it’s nice to finally see Daryl this season, it’s even nicer to have some Rick/Daryl buddy-buddy time, something that this fan has certainly been missing of late. The discovery of Jesus is also sure to ruffle a few feathers amongst fans and Alexandrians alike. The cheeky chappy has exploded into the show like few others before him, and I guarantee that a fair few viewers will find themselves with a new favourite character. Added to this, having another gay character within Alexandria’s walls is sure to rock the boat between Aaron and Eric (I mean, frankly, is Eric really doing anything? Genuinely thought he would get it during the Wolf invasion, or even in the walker herd… oh well…). Also, with rumour abound of Daryl’s demise this season, have we found a possible replacement…? Only time will tell.

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The Next World could easily have been a filler episode, and sure, in some ways it is, but it’s a great one, with some beautiful character moments and the introduction of the show’s most intriguing new character since the appearance of Abraham, Rosita and Eugene. Oh, and Rick and Michonne sex? About freakin’ time!

4/5

 

Dir: Kari Skogland

Scr: Angela Kang, Corey Reed

Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Michael Dudlitz, Lennie James, Sonequa Martin-Green

Music: Bear McCreary

Year: 2016

Country: USA

Episode Number: 10 of 16

Run time: 45mins

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