Will anything ever be the same on “The Walking Dead”? Fans of the AMC series were left with their jaws on the ground following the midseason premiere last week. However, the ending of the episode left viewers with a bit of hope, and this Sunday’s installment followed up on that.
Episode 10, titled “The Next World,” begins with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) getting ready for his day while listening to music. A black-and-white photo on the table of baby Judith and Carl (Chandler Riggs) with his eye bandaged hints that some time has passed since the walkers invaded Alexandria. It’s almost as if life is normal. Carl’s working on some physical therapy. Meanwhile, Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) walking around the house in a bathrobe, playfully asking Rick to pick up toothpaste when he goes out on a run with Daryl (Norman Reedus).
The fall of the wall appears to have breathed new life into the people of Alexandria. They’re working on rebuilding and expanding the safe haven. But, of course, they can’t do that without more supplies — and people. That’s right, a lot has changed between the first and second half of Season 6. While Rick previously wanted to stop searching for other survivors, he’s now encouraging Alexandria to open their gates to more people. But Daryl’s hesitant. And after his recent experience with Negan’s people, “Walking Dead” viewers can’t blame him.
Fortunately for Daryl, they haven’t spotted another human in weeks. Rick’s optimistic, though. He’s certain they’re going to find food and other essentials, along with more people — and he’s right! The duo find a truck full of supplies, including Michonne’s toothpaste. Score! Right? Nothing is ever that simple on “The Walking Dead.” Rick and Daryl decide to leave their car behind and take the truck on a couple more stops before returning to Alexandria. That plan doesn’t exactly hold up, though. While attempting to get into an overturned vending machine to get a can of “pop” for Denise (Merritt Wever) to gift to Tara (Alanna Masterson), a man comes running up behind them.
The mysterious man knocks right into Rick and claims he’s running from a group of walkers headed their way. He introduces himself as Paul, but explains that everyone calls him Jesus (Tom Payne). When Jesus asks about a camp, Rick and Daryl lie. Jesus lies in return, but Rick knows he must have some safe haven to return to because he’s clean looking and put together. Curious about this new stranger, Rick begins to ask him the “three questions” to see if he would be a good fit at Alexandria. Daryl doesn’t want the guy to come back with him, and it appears as if Jesus isn’t interested in learning more. He ignores Rick’s questions and runs off, insisting he has to go before the walkers catch up to them.
But unfortunately for Rick, Jesus’ run-in with him was simply a trap. He stole Rick’s keys when he knocked into him and set up firecrackers behind the building to distract them. When Rick and Daryl finally figure out what’s happening it’s already too late.
“Sorry,” Jesus yells as he peels out with their truck full of supplies.
Rick and Daryl are not ones to give up though – especially when there is plenty of toothpaste to go around in that truck. The two take off, pounding the pavement to catch up to Jesus. The good news is that Jesus is leaving them a trail. He ditched the vending machine that was attached to the truck at one point, and Rick and Daryl are able to steal whatever is left inside. Then it’s back to the chase.
It looks like a flat tire forces Jesus to stop. Rick and Daryl manage to corner him, but Jesus knows some martial arts that can put even Morgan’s (Lennie James) bo-staff wielding skills to shame. Guns top karate every time, though.
“Do you even have any ammo?” Jesus questions Rick and Daryl when they both pull a gun on him. They answer that question by shooting a walker behind him. But Rick and Daryl have no plans to turn their guns on Jesus, despite how obnoxious he is for stealing their truck. Instead, Daryl ties him up and leaves him on the side of the road. Cruel? Perhaps. But Daryl insists that the knots aren’t that tight.
“Maybe we should talk now,” Jesus says, trying to get them to stay. However, Daryl’s not interested in talking. He throws him a broken can of soda in case he gets thirsty on the side of the road.
Rick and Daryl hit the road again, but they’re still not done with Jesus. Along the way home they discover that he somehow got on the roof of the truck. Rick slams on the breaks to knock him off and is ready to leave him behind for good. But Daryl has had enough. He jumps out of the truck to chase after Jesus.
While Rick and Daryl are engaged in a little war with Jesus, the good folks at Alexandria are learning how to lean on one another. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) confronts Enid (Katelyn Nacon) about being more social and open at the safe haven. It’s tough for the teen, as she can’t seem to overcome her fear of getting close to anybody. Spencer (Austin Nichols) is in a similar situation. Michonne follows him when she spots him entering the woods with a shovel. She wants to know what he’s doing, but Spencer won’t answer.
“Your mom told me I had to figure out what I want for my whole life,” Michonne tells him, trying to get him to open up.
“Have you?” he asks her.
“ I’m working up to it,” she explains. “Right now I just want to find out why her son’s wandering around the woods with a shovel.”
As Michonne and Spencer walk through the woods in silence, Carl and Enid are on their own hike through the unprotected area. The two teens have a secret and special spot in the woods where they sit and read comic books. But Enid isn’t sure she wants to keep coming out there with Carl. Is she finally ready to integrate into the Alexandria community?
Carl and Enid are circling back when they come across a walker. Enid wants to kill it. Carl, on the other hand, whistles for it. The two fight over what to do with it, and Enid ultimately leaves Carl alone. The reason Carl doesn’t want to kill the walker is because it’s Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh). After spotting Spencer in the woods, he leads walker Deanna to her son, knowing that killing her is something that he should do. That’s exactly what Spencer was looking for in the woods.
“I thought I saw her that night,” he explains to Michonne. “I thought I did.”
With Michonne’s help, Spencer is able to kill his walker mother and give her a proper burial in the woods. And while that certainly helped a little, he’s still torn up about the situation. He tells Michonne that he has no family, and that Alexandria is simply a place where he stays. But Michonne feels very differently about that.
“I’ve been out here chasing you all over the woods,” she argues. “You still got family. And you still got a home.”
It looks like things are going to work out with Spencer, but what about Rick and Daryl? Daryl is chasing after Jesus when some walkers tied to a truck get loose. He’s so distracted by the thought of getting Jesus that he doesn’t even notice when a walker comes dangerously close behind him. Fortunately for Daryl, Jesus is more friend than foe.
“Duck,” he tells him, stealing Daryl’s gun and killing the walker.
That’s not enough to buy a “pass” in Daryl’s book, though. The fight continues and the truck accidentally shifts into neutral. Daryl and Jesus manage to get out of it right before it rolls into a lake and sinks to the bottom. Goodbye, toothpaste!
Jesus is unconscious thanks to getting clocked in the head by the truck door, but now they’ve completely lost their supplies. So, what comes next? Knowing that Jesus helped Daryl and didn’t pull a weapon on them, Rick decides to take him back to Alexandria.
Rick and Daryl bring Jesus to Denise, who gives the still unconscious stranger a quick look over before they lock him up in the cell. Rick heads home and leaves Jesus with a note, food and water. Daryl is still uncertain about their new addition, though, and decides to stand guard.
Back at Rick’s house, Carl is rocking baby Judith to sleep when Michonne approaches him about what happened in the woods. She thinks that Carl’s decision to lead Deanna to Spencer was a dangerous move that could have resulted in him getting bit.
“You should have left her or killed her,” Michonne argues with him, angry that he was out in the woods in the first place. But Carl insists that he had a good reason for bringing Deanna to Spencer.
“It should be someone he loved her,” Carl says of why he didn’t kill her. “Someone who is family. I’d do it for you.”
It’s a sweet sentiment that Michonne appreciates.
As Carl and Judith go to bed, Michonne joins Rick on the couch when he finally returns home. She shows him the baby monitor of Judith, who is beginning to practice crawling and rolling over in her sleep. When Michonne asks about his run it’s almost as if it’s just a normal, day-to-day routine. However, their playful nature teases that there is much more to their relationship.
Rick tosses her a roll of breath mints and explains that it’s in lieu of toothpaste, which is currently at the bottom of a lake. The two laugh and their hands interlock — leading to a kiss! And things don’t stop there. The camera cuts to them sleeping naked in bed. But forget about bliss. Rick and Michonne are woken up by Jesus, who somehow managed to break out of the cell and into Rick’s home.
“We should talk,” he tells him.