The mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead season 7 showed us that Rick is really going to work hard to create a strong allegiance with other communities to take down the Saviors. At the Hilltop, he failed to convince Gregory, but some people want to join them. At the Kingdom, he failed to convince King Ezekiel, and also had to leave Daryl behind so the latter can try to convince his highness.
It wasn’t an adrenaline-filled episode, except for the highway scene, of course, but it raised a lot of questions. Did Father Gabriel betray Rick and Co.? Who is this new group that our heroes encountered at the end of the episode? Most importantly, are they going to be friends or another problem that our heroes have to deal with?
In this episode, we will finally meet this new group and maybe find out if Father G did betray his people. Most importantly, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, Caryl reunion! Will Carol finally join the fight when she finds out about what happened to the Saviors? Will Daryl even tell her about the things that went down? Grab a tissue as you read on!
Dumpsite Parasites (or The Garbage Pail Kids)
“Boots” isn’t the girl from Oceanside, it isn’t Richard, and it most definitely isn’t the guy who owns that boat that Rick and Aaron looted in “Hearts Still Beating.” “Boots” is a member of the new group that our heroes encountered in this episode whose mandate is “We take, we don’t bother.”
While I think that the addition of the group to the storyline is a little unnecessary, I want to believe that they could be used as a huge plot instrument to make the war more interesting for all the communities, interesting as in we get more redshirts so some of our heroes don’t have to die immediately. It’s also annoying how many Survivors there are in this area of America because back in Georgia, everybody seemed dead, and it took months, or even seasons before our heroes could encounter a new group. It’s understandable, but I think adding another group is just really unnecessary.
It’s a little weird, because although I find the group annoying, I am drawn towards Pollyanna Macintosh’s Jadis. Who doesn’t love a strong alpha female right? Also, that hair, when will your faves? Anyway, I have a feeling that Jadis is going to be a really polarizing character and her group will be among the first casualties of the all-out war whether they take ASZ’s side or the Saviors’ side.
Rick Proves Their Worth
“We own your lives. You wanna buy them back?” WRONG! The Saviors sorta own them Jadis, so better luck next time. When Ricks asks them to help them defeat the Saviors, Jadis says no, and a fight breaks out. Thanks to Father Gabriel for his ballsy move, something that rarely happens on the show, the dumpsite parasites decided to give them a chance by making Rick fight with Winslow.
Winslow is a spiked walker, and also one of the greatest members of the dumpsite parasites. His life is short-lived however because Rick managed to defeat him. I mean, from an audience’s perspective, it’s a no brainer. They’re not going to kill Rick, so you can throw him into any arena that you want. He’ll fight his way out using computer monitors, broken glass, and whatever he could pick up. This fight scene, in my opinion, was the only thing that really gave life to the dumpsite parasites part of the episode, because as I have mentioned, I find the group unnecessary.
This fight also seemed to impress Jadis because she made a deal with Rick that they will fight with them in exchange of half of the things they stole from Alexandria and our heroes also need to find guns for them. *Whispers* She’ll stab you in the back Rick, you can’t trust women leaders in the Zombie Apocalypse. *Looks at Dawn*
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Richard Will Be Done
Meanwhile, back at the Kingdom, Morgan decided to be annoying once again because he still thinks that lives must be preserved although the lives that he’s preserving kills people just for fun. It’s annoying because at the season 6 finale, you would think that Morgan has changed, but we still see no development from him, in my opinion. Maybe Benjamin dying could change his mind? I love the kid, but Morgan needs a push.
Morgan protects his people, you can give him that, and he’s not afraid to face the consequences. He defends Richard when a Savior attacked him, and his stick gets taken. I find it immature how the Savior took his stick as if it’s difficult to find a new one. LOL. The Saviors are so despicable, immature, and just really ridiculous.
Richard has something big planned, which involved attacking the Saviors with Molotov cocktails and making them think that Carol did it and his reasoning is because Ezekiel would only act on the Saviors if Carol gets hurt. Daryl doesn’t know about Carol when the plan was laid out to him, but when he found out, ooh Richard, you better run!
Kidding aside, I think Richard is a really strong character but I don’t think the writers are using him wisely. It is sort of obvious that he’s going to die soon based on the King’s decision to not help immediately to push the plot for the Kingdom’s involvement with the all-out war. Daryl stopped him from attacking the Saviors, and tells him that he will kill him if anything happens to Carol.
It gets emotional for all of us when Carol explained why she had to leave. She says that if the Saviors kill any of her people, she would have to kill them, and by doing so, there wouldn’t be anything left inside of her.
Carol is a really empowering character, we saw how she transformed from a loving and caring mother who’s afraid of everything into a killing machine who would tell you to look at the flowers before shooting you in the head. It was a quick transformation for Carol, and I think the way she changed affected her psychology big time. It’s a wise decision for her to leave because that way, she would be able to keep her sanity.
Her isolation raises a lot of question, of course, like when is she going back to the group? Where does she stand in the group now that Daryl doesn’t want her to get involved anymore? Where does she stand in the show and how is her confinement going to help the plot progress? Are they trying to make Carol unlikable like they did to Andrea and Lori to make her death less painful?
Others will probably say that Carol has the right to know about her dead friends, but Daryl’s decision to not tell her is the wisest thing he’s ever done. Daryl knows what the Saviors are capable of and cares a whole lot for Carol, and after she revealed her reasons for leaving, Daryl realized that it may be better to not let her get involved anymore for the sake of her mentality and, most importantly, her safety. She’s already broken, and it’s going to break her even more if she’s going to witness her friends die.
‘New Best Friends’ seems like two episodes put into one, something that they could have done in the first half of the season. I don’t have a clue if the new best friends are Rick and the dumpsite parasites, or Daryl and Shiva, because as Morgan observed, Daryl is really good with Shiva. It’s the subtle moments that really got me in the episode, like the Caryl reunion and Rick finding a cat sculpture for Michonne – if you can still remember, she found one in ‘Clear’ but she may have already lost it after the Governor attacked the prison.
A new group, a great fight scene, and an emotional reunion, ‘New Best Friends’ gave us beautiful moments. with managed to make up for the underwhelming mid-season premiere, and because of that I would rate this episode an 8 out of 10.
Eugene Gets Tucked In
On the next episode of The Walking Dead, we will follow Eugene as he navigates “the mysterious, confusing, and terrifying world within the Saviors’ compound.” Unlike Daryl, however, it seems like Eugene will be treated well, and there’s nothing Eugene wants more than feeling that he is important and useful. SPOILER ALERT! Looks like he’s going to side with them for a while, even during the war. As for Dwight, the promo suggests that we’re going to see the beginning of the change like the one in his comic arc.
You can watch the promo The Walking Dead season 7, episode 11, “Hostiles and Calamities” below:
What do you think about this week’s episode of The Walking Dead? Sound in the comments below!
Header Image: Gene Page/AMC