The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 10 “The Next World” Review

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Rick and Daryl Find Jesus in “The Next World” (Spoilers Ahead)

If last week’s mid-season premiere came across as a season finale, the follow-up episode entitled “The Next World” is like a new beginning. A new important character is introduced and two of the show’s main characters start a new romantic relationship.

The other reason why “The Next World” feels like a fresh start is that usually a time jump occurs in between seasons or after the mid-season break. Several weeks have gone by since Carl got shot in the eye.  It’s a little surreal at first seeing Carl up and about, joking about toothpaste. But overall, the time jump worked to bypass story beats that didn’t need a whole lot of screen time and transitioned right into setting up the next major arc.

With a few weeks gone by and Alexandria back to being a safe zone, “The Next World” aimed for a lighter tone. Sure, there were zombie kills and close calls but the vibe overall was less tense than we are typically accustomed to. Some characters were smiling and joking for the first time in a while. Daryl was sort of playing cupid when asked to find soda pop to help Denise get her groove on with Tara. Also, parts of chasing Jesus around had a playful, almost amusing tone to it. If this episode was a bloody kill fest the quieter moments and the romantic scene at the end could have really felt out-of-place or at least more than it could have.

The strongest scenes as expected belonged to Daryl and Rick. It’s been half a season since the two spent quality time on-screen together and their brotherly bond is always great to watch. Their role reversal with Daryl now being the more pessimistic of the two makes sense I guess since the last few times he’s met new people it didn’t end well, most recently he had to blast a bunch of bad guys with a rocket launcher.

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Aside from his noticeable wig, Paul “Jesus” Monroe’s introduction is a good mix of fun and intriguing mystery. Jesus is clearly lying that he doesn’t belong to a camp as Rick points out he’s clean and the beard is neatly trimmed. But Jesus is likely telling the truth that he’s not a bad guy. His actions back that up; for example, Jesus saved Daryl when he didn’t have to. He’s also a really good escape artist and fighter, taking on both Rick and Daryl without throwing a single punch. The way Jesus said “we need to talk” is as if it wasn’t an accident that he met Rick on the road and that he has now made his way into Alexandria without technically breaking into the safe zone.

Casting British actor Tom Payne to play Jesus is an interesting choice. I had envisioned someone a little more mature, like a grizzled veteran who has a strong physical presence. I’m also not sure that Payne pulled of the beanie, trench coat and gloves ensemble, probably few actors could.  What I do like is that his agility and speed is very believable which lends well to him being a superior fighter, one of his defining traits.  Payne also brings a good-natured and likable presence which is a good fit for the role.

Usually the most talked about scene is a crazy action sequence or a memorable death. “The Next World” switches things up by hooking up Michonne and Rick. I really like the potential of this relationship. It’s not really a spoiler to say (since it happened on the show) that at this point in the comics Rick starts up a romantic relationship with a lead female character. The TV show writers are keeping the essence of that relationship from the comics but taking it in a fresh direction by having Michonne take the place of the girlfriend.

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Michonne and Rick have always had a strong connection. She’s basically like family already as Carl mentioned. As for the timing, since several weeks have passed since the last episode it puts distance between Rick and Jessie’s relationship, not that any of the survivors are mourning for her or her sons. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs also applies to the post-apocalypse; once the basic needs for food, shelter and safety are achieved, Rick can move on up the hierarchy to fulfill his need for love and feelings for Michonne.  

When Rick brushed his hand against Michonne’s at the start of the hour it was rather unexpected. What might have helped sell the scene at the end is dropping more hints of attraction between these two in previous episodes although it would lose out on that surprise factor which worked nicely here.

We can understand why Michonne would be drawn to this refreshed, hopeful Rick compared to the crazed Rick that she had to knock unconscious last season. She’s searching to figure out what she wants in life, maybe she hopes she’ll find it through Rick and his family.

Transitional episodes like “The Next World’ are more about laying the groundwork than containing pivotal, game changing moments. But overall, it’s an enjoyable oddity that throws a curve ball at the end. It should be interesting to see how Rick & Michonne’s relationship plays out and whatever Jesus wants to talk about will likely form the foundation for things to come.

What are your first impressions on Jesus? What do you think about Rick and Michonne getting it on?

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About Eddie@Jaccendo

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on February 22, 2016, in Comics, Television, The Walking Dead, TV Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. i liked the episode. the relationship was a pleasant shock to me and I am VERY curious as to where this is going with Jesus.

    great write-up

    • Hello Rob, nice to hear from you. Yeah, I didn’t see the relationship coming before this episode but I liked it. Jesus is a very intriguing guy and he should have interesting info for Rick!

  2. It’s strange, for the first time in long time, I felt this ep to be an epic filler. I understand it’s a set up for bigger things but this episode didn’t grab me in the same way other eps have. I’m intrigued by the Jesus character who looks like he can perform miracles! However if it wasn’t for Rick and Michone at the end, the episode would have been a total waste.

    I love that Rick and Michone got together. To me it shouldn’t come as a surprise given how much she’s been involved in Rick and Carl’s life. She’s been a mother figure for Carl and before she became a badass, she had a family too. My only worry is that Michone is a fav character of mine and Rick and women don’t seem to end well. It will be interesting to see how that develops over the course of the series.

    • I can see how this ep could come across as filler, it kinda was. I mean not much happened to advance the season’s story. It was pretty uneventful until Jesus arrived. He’s a character that I wouldn’t underestimate and if Daryl was guarding him, how did he escape? If they did an episode of this day from Jesus’ point of view, it might be interesting to see what he’s really up to.

      Michonne’s a good fit for Rick. She already lives with the Grimes when she probably could choose any of the other vacant houses. Unlike Jessie, I see Michonne as Rick’s equal. She’s a badass like you said and in some ways she has her head in the game better than Rick at times. Good point about Rick and his women. Hope this works out and that this means Michonne should get more scenes compared to last season.

      • Yeah it just felt very uneventful. I think the ep would have been better if it was done from Jesus’ point of view and then he encounters Rick and Daryl.

        It’s funny watching social media blowing up about Rick and Michonne. There’s nothing wrong with them getting together. They’ve been together for a while as friends since a couple of seasons ago and I have no doubt in my mind that if Rick goes off the deep end again, Michonne will knock him out like last time 😂.

        Along with Rick and women concern, I think for some that Rick and Michonne happened so quickly in that ep. We have to quickly adjust that she’s living there, sharing toothpaste and all of a sudden they are hooking up at the end. Just would have been nice if there was more of a build up towards it, especially when most to the ep was just filler. Those characters deserved that. I’ll reserve judgement until the end. Hopefully it will pick up next week.

        • I usually write my reviews first before reading other’s peoples thoughts. I didn’t know about the social media reaction I mean, I didn’t expect Rich and Michonne to get together but it actually makes sense to me since she’s closest to the Grimes family.

          It was kind of weird seeing them on the couch and laughing, the show doesn’t really do lighter scenes that often. And like you said there wasn’t a build up towards it. Maybe they could have built the episode to lead up to that moment better. But overall, I think this is a good direction as long this doesn’t mean Michonne’s days are numbered. 😀

          • Agreed – on reflection it is nice to see the lighter scenes. Plus maybe it just gets a bit boring if it’s constantly just killing walkers left, right and centre.

            The social media reaction to Rick and Michonne was OTT. My issue is purely based on build up and pacing. Personally it’s great to see a black female become the centre of attention and a love object. Doesn’t happen often on some shows and for once, Michonne deserves some love. After losing her own family and even Andrea, people should be happy and I’m happy she’s with Rick.

            • Hey there. Yeah, I think an episode with lighter scenes works better here in the earlier part of this half of the season. I’m sure the focus will go back to walker killings and fighting off dangerous people in no time.

              What also works is that Michonne and Rick can talk about things that get us into their heads in a way that Rick and Daryl or Rick and Carl’s dialogue can’t. Yeah, it’s no big deal that a black female character is the romantic interest for Rick but that there could have been a better build up. I guess we’ll see how things play out. 😀

  3. I liked the episode except for the Benny Hill chase in the field. The only thing missing was Yakkety Sax. And then they lose the truck. It made me so mad. And there was no point to it. Jesus is pretty cool. I liked the fact that he kicked both of their asses without working up a sweat. So when they’re chasing him I’m sitting there thinking, “He’s just gonna beat you up again.” He takes Daryl gun away. He could have easily ended their lives at any time. Any time at all. So he’s interesting. I liked all of the other stories. I liked the Deanna cap. I liked that Carl let her son do it. He had to end his mom’s walker. So it’s fitting. They couldn’t have started the new half season with this episode though. It would have been awful. So I see why they put the first half finale at the beginning of the second half. Also the first half was just one big battle after another so they’ve killed everything in the immediate area. I could go on and on. I enjoyed the ep except for that stupid chase. Seriously Yakkety Sax that was all it needed.

    • I didn’t think of Benny Hill during the chase in the field (since I never watched that show), but it’s funny that you pointed that out. Jesus looked like a football receiver try to evade a tackle. Haha, Sax song would have put it over the top. I didn’t like that that food in the truck and the truck itself got wasted. I guess it related to the law of averages that Daryl was talking about, but isn’t really true. Meeting Jesus may be worth more than what was in the truck, or possibly lead to worse things. I liked Carl’s reason for not being the one to give mercy to Deanna and his scene with Michonne was a nice quiet moment. Yeah, this wouldn’t have made for a good mid-season premiere but as a set up episode which had a lighter vibe it was enjoyable enough.

  4. A really good episode for one of the more quiet-ish ones. Rick and Daryl together was entertaining. I was a little unsure about the stuff with Michonne and Carl in the woods, but I liked the way those weaved together by episode’s end. And Rick and Michonne works for me too. The Jesus character is intriguing. Good episode. Good review. Looking forward to seeing where this goes next.

    • Nice to hear you thought this is a good episode, sometimes the quieter ones don’t go over as well for some. This was an interesting way to introduce Jesus into the cast, hope they utilize his character well. And I’m interested to see where they take Rick and Michonne, it’s working for me too so far.Thanks!

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