Each week, we comb through the guts of The Walking Dead, much like a horde of hungry walkers, to bring you the episode’s best moments, surprises, and other post-apocalyptic curiosities. This week: Daryl and Rick share a moment, Carl and Michonne share a moment, and Rick and Michonne . . . share a moment.
Season 6, Episode 10: “The Next World”
Worst programming decision: If AMC had decided to bring back TWD one week earlier, this episode would have aired on Valentine’s Day. Between Rick and Michonne hooking up and Denise wanting to surprise Tara with her favorite soda (Orange Crush, no less), this was by far the most romantic episode to date. Come on!
Most optimistic: Carl, who doesn’t seem all that depressed about losing his eye. He’s accepted it, moved on, and is seemingly doing fine. Good job, Carl, keep your eye on the . . . nevermind.
Best doublespeak: Rick adding another notch in his belt at the beginning of the episode could just be a sign that life is more prosperous in Alexandria. Or it could be a thinly veiled reference to what happened at the end of that night.
Praise Jesus! This week’s episode introduced comic book character Paul, who goes by the nickname “Jesus.” Between the ridiculous chase through the farmland with Daryl and making a naked Michonne and Rick jump out of bed, this guy sure knows how to make an entrance.
Best new car: Will Chrysler become the new Hyundai? Let’s keep an eye on how clean they keep that brand in the next few episodes.
The Walking Suits: While we didn’t see hordes of walkers this week, we did see Capitalism run amuck. Between the licensed songs, prominent Chrysler logos, and Crush, there was a ton of promotional consideration this week.
Shameless self-promotion: And one promotion you might have missed—the comic Carl reads in the woods is Invincible by Robert Kirkman (aka the creator of The Walking Dead comics.) The comic has popped up previously in several other episodes as well.
Best crop: Sorghum. It’s the envy of all corns.
Best closure: The writers simply could have left Deanna’s midseason finale death open; let the fans assume either the walkers tore her apart or she wandered into the lake fire with the other Alexandria walkers. But instead, we watched as Michonne and Spencer buried her, complete with a grave marker. Fitting for a character who made such an impact in her final (living) episode.
Best episode for shippers: Tonight’s episode was absolutely perfect for anyone shipping Rick and Michonne, and, with the bromance finally back, for anyone shipping Rick and Daryl!
Biggest omen: Yes, Rick and Michonne are adorable, but we can’t help but be a little concerned for our favorite samurai given the current status of Rick’s last two loves.
Biggest “Oh no!” moment: When the truck slowly rolled backwards and sank into the pond, much like a Top Gear bit.
The cutest: Carl teaching Judith about the constellations. This show needs more adorable baby moments to balance out the bloodshed.
Michonne: You could have killed [Deanna].
Carl: No, I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.
Michonne: Are you playing some sort of game out there? Did you think that . . .
Michonne: Then why?
Carl: Because it should be someone who loved her, someone who’s family, and I’d do it for you. I would.
Michonne: Come here. Me, too.
Best kill: Spencer finding and putting Walker Deanna out of her misery. It’s good to see some growth in one of Alexandria’s slowest (surviving) learners.
Most disturbing image: Well, it wasn’t in the episode, but Carl lives in the same house as Rick and Michonne. He probably heard some . . . stuff and thangs.
Episode MVP: Carl for giving the “step-parent blessing” to Michonne. After all, if Carl didn’t like her, what kind of parent would Rick be for getting and staying with her? Regardless, some time in the next two seasons, Carl will yell, “You’re not my real mom!” before running out in tears.
And once again, where exactly does Rick fall this week on the calm/crazy scale?