The Walking Dead Episode 6.10 “The Next World”
Directed by Kari Skogland
Written by Angela Kang, Corey Reed
Starring Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohen, Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, Michael Cudlitz, Lennie James AMC
Air date: Sunday, February 21, 2016, 9pm
Warning – SPOILERS for The Walking Dead Season 6…
Last week saw a lot of loss, with the Walker attack that killed young Sam and his mom Jessie, the latter of whom seemed to be a nice love interest for Rick. Then there was Carl’s grave injury — shot in the eye by his teen nemesis Ron, who was cut down by Michonne — and it seemed like he wouldn’t pull through. Lastly, there was the death of the Wolf guy, who seemed to actually make a surprising change when he risked his life to save Denise.
But in light of all this loss came a uniting of all the residents of the Alexandria Safe Zone, who bravely faced the invading Walkers and beat them to finally come together as one people, a group under the leadership of Rick, who now sees clearly the good the future holds for his son and his people.
Unfortunately, this future includes some unforeseen elements, namely the coming of the villainous Negan, who, no, still hasn’t physically shown up yet. But, a new character did on Episode 6.10 “The Next World” — Paul, aka Jesus, who is a character from the comics. In his debut episode, Jesus proves that he’s a formidable character, but there’s obviously more to him than meets the eye after we see him toying with Rick and Daryl. But more on that later, because oh man did something outstanding happen in this episode!!!!
Let’s get to that first, the moment we’ve all been waiting for — Rick and Michonne hook up!
Looks like Michonne finally figured out what she wanted — Rick, and a real family, which she, Rick, Carl, and baby Judith have really been for a long time now anyhow. But, it appears like tonight’s episode has sealed the deal.
Both Rick and Michonne had trying days separately. Rick and Daryl went out on a supply run, and managed to find, then lose a supply truck after they encounter a man called Jesus (pronounced like the biblical figure). Michonne helped Spencer get some closure, as well as take another look at what she herself “wants,” which is something that Deanna had told her to do. At the end of the day, Rick, after losing all the supplies, is exhausted, so much so that he doesn’t want to go into what happened to Michonne. She, too, feels the same way about her day. But, even with all that, Rick managed to snag something special for Michonne — a roll of mints. They laughed about it, and then their hands intertwined. That’s when they turned to each other and started kissing. Right there, you know it’s going all the way!!! YES!!!!!
In the morning, Rick and Michonne lie naked, sleeping in bed together. We hear someone say “Rick, wake up”; Rick and Michonne jump from the bed with weapons in hand to find Jesus at the foot of the bed with his hands up. “We should talk,” Jesus tells them, ending the episode.
It’s clear that Jesus is not a deadly threat. He appears as more of a benevolent trickster type. At the start of the episode, Daryl and Rick go out on a supply run, expressly searching for the grain Sorghum at a nearby storage facility, at Eugene’s request (it means a lot for the sustainability of the community). As luck would have it, the duo find a huge supply truck, and then a candy and soda vending machine. This is when Jesus shows up. He sneaks up on Daryl and Rick, pickpocketing Rick for the truck’s keys and then drives off with the vehicle. But Jesus never pulls a weapon on Rick or Daryl, and never attacks them.
Miraculously, Rick and Daryl manage to catch up with the truck and ambush Jesus, tying him up (with loose bonds — they’re not monsters) and leaving him with a can of soda, and then they drive off. As they approach a barn, they hear banging on the roof of the truck, and bam! There goes Jesus, loose from his bonds, on the roof. Daryl chases him, while Rick takes care of the surrounding Walkers. At one point, Jesus snags Daryl gun, and once again, instead of turning it on him, Jesus kills a Walker with it, and allows himself to be captured again. This time, though, they lose control of the truck, which goes rolling down into the lake, sinking to the bottom. All that effort wasted.
In the end, Daryl is fed up and wants to abandon Jesus, who’s now unconscious after getting hit by the runaway truck, but Rick has had a change of heart about bringing new people to the Safe Zone to join their community. He can tell that Jesus does not intend harm. They bring Jesus back home with them and have doctor Denise tend to him. Rick leaves Jesus, still unconscious, resting with some water and a note.
Back at his home at the Safe Zone, Rick sits on the couch with Michonne. As previously mentioned, they are both too exhausted to go into detail about what happened during their respective days. Michonne had followed Spencer, Deanna’s slacker son, into the woods outside the gates. He was carrying a rifle and a shovel. Michonne wants to know what Spencer is up to, but he doesn’t want to reveal it. He’s searching for something. He confesses to Michonne that he feels like he has no one, no family, and that the Safe Zone doesn’t feel like home yet.
Nearby also in the woods, Carl and Enid are hanging out being teenagers, reading comics as if they aren’t in a massively dangerous situation (being outside the gates, vulnerable to Walker attacks). They hear a Walker approach, and are shocked when they see who it is — it’s Deanna, the former leader of the Safe Zone who, with her dying breath, killed as many Walkers as she could to help protect her people. But, her body was never recovered, and that’s what Spencer has been doing going out into the woods frequently — he’s been searching for his undead mother so he can give her a properly burial.
When Carl and Enid see zombie Deanna, Enid thinks Carl should put her down, but he can’t and won’t. He tells Enid to leave — just before this she had said that she didn’t want to take these risky trips out into the woods anymore — and she angrily does so. Carl stays behind, leading zombie Deanna back towards where he earlier saw Spencer and Michonne walking. Once he reaches them, he leaves Deanna behind and takes off without a word. Now, Spencer can properly lay his mother to rest. As he does so, he tells Michonne that Deanna had left him a note telling him that he knows his way, but he doesn’t feel like he does. “You loved your family?” Michonne asks him, “Then you know your way.” She tells him that he does still have a family and a home. This is what Deanna wanted — that Rick’s group and the original Alexandrians would come together to become a big family. And it seems like this is finally happening.
Which leads us back to Rick and Michonne!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For years, fans of The Walking Dead have wanted Rick and Michonne to get together. But, she had been closed off — more so than a lot of the other characters — since her entrance. Rick had to deal with his unfaithful, pregnant wife Lori, and then her death. Then, when they arrived at the Alexandria Safe Zone, Rick had an instant attraction to Jessie, who was married to the dickish, abusive Dr. Pete. Then, Rick and Pete clashed and beat each other, and Rick eventually killed Pete under Deanna’s orders (after Pete killed Deanna’s husband, Reg). Jessie’s children resented Rick for all this, with young Sam retreating to his room, and teenage Ron wanting both Carl and Rick dead. All of this would make a Rick-Jessie romance extremely complicated. But, what Jessie did was make Rick realize that he could move on after Lori.
While Rick and Michonne have been extremely platonic all these seasons, they really have been a family with Judith and Carl ever since the group became divided after the battle with the Governor at the prison. Carl and a very injured Rick made their way to another town and holed up in a residential home, where it seemed like a comatose Rick might not pull through. Stuck on her own, Michonne followed their trail to the home and the trio were reunited, much to their relief (and ours!). Once they got to the Safe Zone, Michonne shared one of the residences with Rick, Carl, and Judith, and became Sheriff Rick’s deputy in their new community. It’s clear they are close and trust each other immensely. So, it seemed only a matter of time before they’d get together. But, there had been no flirting, no sexual tension, nothing! They were too busy surviving and being the alpha members of the group to even think about sex, love, or relationships.
In tonight’s Episode 6.10, the “new world” in the episode title can have several meanings, one of which is definitely Rick’s new outlook on life after finally taking Deanna’s advice and having Carl pull through after being shot for the second time. The new world is the one he’s making at the Safe Zone, where, in the last episode, we realized that Rick and the community now have a new hope. Once Rick and Michonne have that moment on the couch before they kiss, it’s like a husband and wife who come home after a long day’s work and telling each other about their day. Except here, each day is a strenuous one of survival, even without supply runs, zombie killings, and new people who may or may not be malevolent showing up. Rick and Michonne don’t have the energy to talk about their day, but they find enough to get together for the first time.
Michonne is an obviously love interest for Rick (again — fans have been clamoring for this to happen for years now), but it couldn’t be forced. It had to come natural. Rick first needed to get over what happened with his wife Lori, and then with Jessie; plus, he needed to open his heart to the community to be its new leader, and that’s what he’d done. Michonne, who was all about being part of the community, was still a closed book; she’s not one to just hook up with just anyone. In all these seasons, she hasn’t been with anyone, and it didn’t seem like she wanted to be. But, after having that heart-to-heart with Deanna about finding her way, and then helping Spencer lay his sagacious mother to rest, she seemed like she could open her heart.
When Michonne first arrives home after burying Deanna, Carl is on the porch with baby Judith. He talks about how he knew that Deanna needed to be handled by someone who loved her — this is what he had to do for his own mother. He then tells Michonne that he would do the same for her and they hug. It’s clear: They are family now. Although Carl might not have been thinking of Rick and Michonne together, it’s clear he would give his blessing for the union.
But, it’s likely that there won’t be much time for romance, as Rick and company still have to figure out what Jesus is all about, and then there’s the coming of Negan, which is expected to bring a world of hurt.
Even so, this episode, which had so much frustration in it — Rick and Daryl’s escapades, Jesus’s hijinks, Enid’s flip-flopping, Carl’s inner conflict, Michonne’s digging into Spencer’s motives, and Spencer’s searching for his undead mother — ended with the fulfillment of a long-time wish for fans of the show.