REVIEW: The Walking Dead, S7 Ep10 – New Best Friends

This week on The Walking Dead, Rick meets a trashy group of survivors and has to undergo a bloody gladiator-like match with a walker, while we have a heartfelt and touching reunion between two characters who haven’t seen each other for a while.

The Walking Dead, S7 Ep10 – New Best FriendsSo Rick’s smile was all about meeting this weird group of survivors who have somehow chosen to live in a trash dump during the zombie apocalypse. I’m glad I wasn’t the only reviewer who was so reminded of the Mad Max movies, from the trashy (literally) way the group dressed themselves to their strange way of speaking. And when Rick was thrown into the trash pit to fight a spikey armored walker, it felt very Thunderdome.

But, as the IGN reviewer pointed out, this group was a bit much, even compared to the people in the Kingdom, since they at least all agreed to go along with King Ezekiel’s theatricality. It’s like the trash people created a weird, isolationist culture of their own in the few years that the events in The Walking Dead have taken place, and why they insist on staring eerily at people and speaking in monosyllables is beyond me. Also, why did they decide to test Rick by making him risk his life with the gladiator zombie when he will be risking his life getting them the guns they want anyway?

The Walking Dead, S7 Ep10 – New Best FriendsSure, there’s the advantage of numbers, but I’m not quite sure that these are the best allies Rick could hope for against the Saviors. They’re certainly the strangest. But hopefully they don’t turn on him and his group as soon as the Saviors are defeated. Anyway, for now, though battered and bloody, Rick has a reason to smile, and he doesn’t do that often.

Tensions were high at the Kingdom when another exchange with the Saviors almost resulted in catastrophe, with Richard continuing to play the disgruntled rebel and this time, Morgan stepping in. Richard was okay in my books (and probably Daryl’s) until he decided to use Carol as a catalyst for Ezekiel to take action. Daryl, of course, was having none of this. Ezekiel continues to care for (woo?) Carol by checking on her and bringing her cobbler.

The Walking Dead, S7 Ep10 – New Best FriendsBut it was the reunion between Daryl and Carol that was the real highlight of the episode, as they two had not seen each other since before Negan’s brutality. The way Daryl asked “Why’d you go?” with his voice breaking, was nothing short of heart-wrenching. You realize how close these two really are and how important they are to each other. Carol opens up completely to Daryl about her fears of succumbing to the urges of killing others to protect the ones she loves. She wanted to distance herself from others so that she would not descend into this abyss of endless murder, and Daryl understood that.

So he kept the painful truth from her about Glenn and Abraham’s deaths, if only because he knew it would hurt her too much. I suspect she knew that he was holding back but still, she understood that he was only trying to protect her. They shared a meal together and spent some time before Daryl left. Hopefully, this will not be the last time they ever see each other.

Daryl leaves the Kingdom but only after a grave discussion with Morgan (and a cute scene with him petting Shiva) about what needs to be done. They both realize that they were trying to protect Carol from the newest horrors of the world but that this might not be enough. At some point the Saviors are going to get their comeuppance, and by the way things are progressing on The Walking Dead, the day is really coming soon.