TV Show Review

TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD: Season 6, Episode 10: The Next World [AMC]

Paul Rovia Norman Reedus Andrew Lincoln The Walking Dead The Next World

AMC’s The Walking Dead The Next World TV Show ReviewThe Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 10: ‘The Next World,’ took us on a quick tour of the kind of world that Rick (Andrew Lincoln) had wished for a gravely injured Carl (Chandler Riggs) to see. In this world, there was no mourning for the previous ep’s losses; no long road to recovery, for Carl; no awkward courtships, or roller-coaster love connections being discovered/ established; no growing pains for Judith, even. ‘The Next World’ was a world of tomorrow, flash forwarded to us as a world of today. Say, why don’t you just pull up a sit down, ‘n lemme point out a few highlights for ya.

“Welcome to the World of Tomorrow!”

First of all: thank you, Futurama. If I had to say anything about the flash forward gimmick being applied here, I’d say thanks for sparing us the massive recovery effort – physical, emotional, infrastructural – in the wake of ‘The Battle of the Burning Pond,’ that would have taken the rest of the season to get through. Either nothing would’ve happened during this time, in order for Alexandria to restore itself to a-prize-worth-fighting-over status, or Wolves & Saviors would’ve made the effort futile. Turns out, it was the former that took place; so we didn’t miss much, and thanks go out to the showrunners, for a merciful reset.

In ‘The Next World,’ new relationships were old news, and Alexandrian life was all toothpaste & soda pop. It was about as familiar as Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) likely ever wanted it to be. Of course, familiarity does still breed contempt; so it seemed pretty understandable that Rick & Daryl (Norman Reedus) wanted out – for supplies, was all, really. I assume the events of the ‘Last World’ left a lasting dent in the Wolf & Walker population, since things had been uneventful enough for Rick to blast the car stereo, like he did (though I’m not sure how the Saviors hadn’t noticed any of the town’s flash-bang moments). They weren’t the only ones wanting out, however.

Beyond the walls of tomorrow.

Enid (Katelyn Nacon) was still restless, but not in the same manner as in the previous world. She was originally wary of staying inside a giant caged target; but now she seemed at least as wary about the surrounding woods. Not helping matters: Carl. It would be logical to assume they were kinduva ‘thing,’ now; in which case, Carl’s emotional detachment could just pass for him taking her for granted… or he had gone into a jerk phase, during & since his recovery. Carl was expected to go dark, after losing an eye, but this was a whole other lack of depth perception. Even if he did turn out to have a noble reason for his reaction to their Walker encounter, it shouldn’t have been that hard for him to communicate some of that to Enid.

Something similar could’ve been said about Spencer (Austin Nichols). His solo adventuring skills seemed better, now (considering a previous foolhardy attempt, during the mega herd siege), but not good enough to get him away from Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) maternal minded attention. Not only did their running (evasive, in Spencer’s case) discourse parallel Carl’s impromptu action, it amounted to ‘speaking of the Devil.’ The ‘Devil,’ in this case, was in surprisingly good shape – given her presumably gruesome end – but this beyond-the-wall walkabout was about closure to the Last World. It was about as familiar as Deanna likely ever would’ve wanted it to be.

Them Hazard Boys may have found a friend in Jesus.

With the law of averages serving as their running theme (or gag), the Dukes of Z Hazard County, Rick & Daryl, likely understood that there would be some swing to their fortunes. Hitting a Storage Wars jackpot should have been heads-up enough; but trading positions, on the subject of scouting for more talent, became the front-and-center to their run-in (literally) with a guy nick-named Jesus (Tom Payne). For his first (and second) miracle, Jesus managed to make fools of the Hazard Boys. The boys acquitting themselves, in-between, but it eventually became clear (to Rick, anyhow) that he could have been much more trouble had has intent been more malicious.

Jesus, Walkers, and water.

Jesus pulled off a number of memorable feats – including returning from being left for dead (but not really), and ascending to the top of a speeding truck – but drew the line at Walkers & water. Proving himself to Rick, by way of saving Daryl, cost them all the prize (not to mix Messiahs, but watching the truck go down was as sobering as seeing an X-Wing disappear into a Degobah swamp). Maybe it was the pleasant demeanor of their rival, or the fact that Jesus did, in fact, save, but Rick seemed to take the whole thing with some optimistic humor. He even teased Daryl a bit, over their reversed views on bringing in more people, and Daryl not hanging Jesus up in a tree, after all (just as well – would’ve been bad if his getting hung up inspired passers-by to start a new religion, or something).

Do people in ‘The Next World’ ever get to go back home again?

At the end of this day-in-the-life, for ‘The Next World,’ an unexpected house guest was dropped off at one new domestic situation, while another compared notes. Carl & Michonne came to a new understanding, in their new relationship, while Michonne & Rick went biblical with theirs. Viewers should have already known they were an item, by that point, so was the ‘uh-oh, I think we’re crossing a line, here’ moment necessary? Sure it was – the showrunners weren’t going to wait for three rooster crows to deal with deniers & haters. ‘Pic, or it didn’t happen’ is still the order of the day, after all. Besides, how else were they going to get the pair to a stand naked before the Lord moment? Yeah, turns out that Jesus has a knack for re-emerging from bound confinement. Who knew?

Stop ‘The Next World’ – I wanna get on!

Closure moments aside (distracting, but useful, I guess), this may have been the best transitional episode of the series. Payne’s Jesus kept things interesting, from intro to hanger, and may have left the best first impression since Morgan helped start the ‘Last World.’ Rick & Daryl’s road show, gone good cop-bad cop, helped. I gotta say, I don’t think I ever noticed this level of chemistry between them, before. They make a nice team. I’m hoping there will be more to Carl & Enid, than self-pity & teen angst; but Michonne & Rick just makes sense. Given all the ways such a transitional episode could’ve gone (especially after some major highlights), I’d say ‘The Next World’ did us a real solid, going into the Saviors arc.

Thank you, Jesus.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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