Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Walking Dead 7x10 Review: "New Best Friends" (The One Where The Gang Meets Another New Group) [Guest Poster: Nora Williamson]

"New Best Friends" 
Original Airdate: February 19, 2017 

The Walking Dead is on a roll this second-half of the season with another episode without Negan. This time, we didn’t even hear a peep from him. Thank goodness. “New Best Friends” is another solid episode with some tender moments, character development, and an incredible action sequence. The episode also shows us that The Walking Dead is capable of juggling several storylines and more than one group of characters. “New Best Friends” features Daryl at the Kingdom and an emotional reunion with Carol; plus we see Rick, Michonne, Tara, Rosita, and Aaron with a new group.

This new group, who don’t have a name yet, are insane. No wonder Rick has a crazy grin on his face as he looks around at them. Is that Rick smiling or is it Andrew Lincoln thinking that The Walking Dead has gone off the rails a little?

Some quick thoughts about the newbies:
  • Why do they all make such a production of gathering around our gang? They are seriously moving in circles. Is it supposed to be intimidating? It’s not. It’s just weird, guys, and no one walks like that.
  • Although their outfits are a little worse for wear, I could totally see some of the designs on an unconventional challenge on Project Runway. So much black and gray! I must admit that I am kinda into it.
  • The newbies are quite tall and so many look related, but related in that first cousin/brother/sister way. 
  • Jadis seriously looks like she is an extra for Star Trek. She has a weird speech pattern but also just looks... otherworldly. She has amazing bangs, though, for the apocalypse. Tres chic!
  • If we are supposed to be scared of this new group, or worried about our Alexandrians, then The Walking Dead missed the mark. I never thought that Rick and co. were in any real danger or had any doubt that the two groups would join forces.
  • Who was Winslow?!
I’m glad that we didn’t get a whole episode just about this group, because honestly — been there, done that. We would have gotten a little background as to who they were and then been introduced to characters who would probably be killed in the fight against the Saviors. We only really need to know Jadis and then maybe her Number Two. The Walking Dead can barely maintain all of its characters’ plots now, so they don’t need to add any more characters unless they are going to be pertinent in episodes (or seasons) to come.

(Aside: Who is actually back at Alexandria and taking care of Judith? I guess Carl is there, but who are the responsible adults? The Alexandrians need more survivors to join them so they have built-in babysitters for Judith. End aside.)

“New Best Friends” takes us back to the Kingdom and has a brief moment with everyone’s new best friend, Jerry. Jerry is a National Treasure and he had better not get clubbed to death by Negan. Everyone else at the Kingdom is up for grabs, though.

Things are tense as Morgan, King Ezekiel, Richard, Benjamin, and some people I don’t know meet with the Saviors. It’s any day now when Ezekiel will realize that the Saviors have to be stopped. He will listen to Morgan, who is maybe closer to war as a Savior makes off with his stick. There is only oh so much Morgan will tolerate. Richard is ready for war NOW and tries teaming up with Daryl, only to be beaten up by him instead. Richard’s plan involves angering the Saviors, who will want to retaliate and will end up following a planted trail to Carol’s. Ezekiel has a soft spot for her, so her death will certainly spark his desire to fight against the Saviors.

Little does Richard know that Daryl and Carol are BFFs, and Mr. Daryl Dixon is not going to let Carol be a sacrificial lamb.

The reunion between Carol and Daryl is an emotional, earned one. I’m not exactly sure how long they have been separated in the show’s timeline, but Carol definitely doesn’t know that Glenn, Abraham, and Spencer are dead. Carol and Daryl’s relationship is one of my favorites because they are both amazing and strong, but struggle with killing. They also prove that platonic relationships exist on TV and don’t need to tease a will-they-won’t-they aspect to make things interesting.

Although Daryl doesn’t tell Carol about those who have died at the hands of Negan, we all know that she’s going to find out eventually. And when she does, she better not be mad at Daryl. Will she be angry enough to fight the Saviors? I’m not sure. Who knows, maybe Carol will live out the rest of her days reading books, eating cobbler, and getting friendly visits from Ezekiel.

The previews for the next episode show what is happening with Eugene, who was taken by the Saviors. Eugene on his own is not very compelling, so I’m hoping that Dwight has some interesting stuff going on and more evidence that he will be the one to turn on Negan. I’m also preparing myself for endless Negan monologues.

Overall, “New Best Friends” is a good, solid episode despite its awful title. Things are definitely heading in the right direction for a big battle against the Saviors and I can’t wait.

Final Thoughts:
  • Rosita is at the top of my They Can Die and I’ll Keep Watching list. Now she’s giving attitude to Tara. Nope, Rosita. I’m not having it.
  • How amazing is that gladiator scene with Rick?
  • Michonne and Rick are so touchy-feely and I’m loving it. They really seem like a legitimate couple and I couldn’t be happier.
  • Is Tara going to tell the gang about the all women group she met? They certainly have enough guns.
  • Daryl and Shiva, the CGI tiger? Precious.


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