Just last week, The Walking Dead proved it can still be creative with its zombie kills after Rick and Michonne set a series record and killed over 300 with a steel cable stretched across two cars. So perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that we're seeing Rick fight an armor-clad walker, gladiator-style, in a coliseum that doubles as a junkyard.
Ah, right, how did we get there? Well, turns out the mysterious new group that ambushed Rick and the group are junkyard folk, in that, they literally live in a junkyard. They weren't given a name in the latest episode, "New Best Friends," so I'd like to formally refer to this group as the "Junkies." This nickname is perfect and non-negotiable.
So the Junkies and their mysterious leader — a woman with some questionable bangs and an outfit that looks suitable at a Matrix convention in Las Vegas — reveal to Rick that they did kidnap Father Gabriel, who they've held as a prisoner. Rick isn't necessarily upset by this; in them he sees a capable group that could help them fight against Negan and the Saviors. So he makes his case to the leader and, rather arrogantly, assumes they'll be on board.
They're more interested in supplies, however — mainly, guns. Rick appeals to them by promising to give the Junkies a ton of weapons if they agree to help in the fight against the Saviors. The problem: They don't have any weapons to trade, and they've already indebted themselves to the Saviors. Basically, he's just burdening Alexandria more than they were before, and they're already planning to go to war.
Still, this arrangement entices the Junkies' leader. But she wants assurance that Rick can be trusted, and what better way to test someone's mettle than to throw them into your junkyard coliseum to fight a zombie covered head to toe in spikes? If Rick survives, they've got a deal!
Now this may come as a surprise to longtime viewers: Rick, the main character, doesn't die. He tosses some junkyard crap on the zombie and once the dude is covered in trash, Rick stabs him in the head. This makes the Junkies' leader — whose name is revealed to be Jadis — very happy, and she agrees to help them against the Saviors once Rick provides them with some guns.
Where will the group find these new guns? Rick trusts Tara will offer some good advice, considering she's traveled farther from Alexandria than anyone else. If you recall, the group she encountered in the first half of season seven, Oceanside, had a huge cache of weapons. However, Tara promised Cindy that she wouldn't tell anyone about their community. We suspect that promise might be broken, for the sake of the group and their newest (bad) arrangement.
Meanwhile, at the Kingdom, Daryl learns that Carol is living right outside the community by herself, so he visits her. They hug, it's cute. He also declines to tell her about what happened to Glenn and Abraham, which at this point in the season only delays what will be inevitable: the Kingdom agreeing to fight against the Saviors.
The Kingdom's Richard is so impatient — much like some viewers, one imagines — that he conspires to kill some Saviors on the road and leave a trail heading to Carol's house. In short, they would ostensibly retaliate and kill Carol, which would convince King Ezekiel to fight against them. But Richard tells this plan Daryl so, it goes nowhere and he gets punched in the face.
Daryl and his increasingly greasy, unkempt hair, decides to head back to the Hilltop, convinced that the Kingdom won't help against the Saviors. It makes sense from the character's perspective — especially after he was a prisoner at the Sanctuary listening to "Easy Street" God knows how many times — but once again it feels like The Walking Dead is treading water. It's clear Rick and Alexandria will now focus on finding new weapons, probably at Oceanside, once Tara gives them up, while other communities gear up up for war. It wouldn't be surprising if said battle against the Saviors is stretched out until the season seven finale.
Stalling isn't a new blemish for The Walking Dead, so for viewers who survived the gory torture porn of the season seven premiere and AMC's mass ratings exodus, this likely won't be an issue. However, eventually the most ardent members of the fanbase might have their patience wear thin.
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