WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
Before I give my thoughts on Rick, let me get one thing out of the way – OMG YOU GUYS THEY KISSED. Alright, now back to Rick. His character growth continued tonight when he didn’t kill Jesus despite some pretty convincing evidence that Jesus wouldn’t give up on trying to get one over on the pair. Season two Rick would have driven him 30 miles away and left him. Seasons three and four Rick may have tried to recruit right away (which he also tried to do in this episode). Season five Rick might have just killed him. The ending of last week’s episode gave Rick hope. The town worked together and overcame a seemingly insurmountable walker threat, and that showed Rick that, if the people continue to stay together, the walkers are manageable. But Rick knows for that to work, they need people to fill the ranks. We’re seeing a hopeful Rick again. Since we know Negan is coming and he’s going to wreck everything, seeing how Rick loses that hope will make for compelling television.
Daryl is actually moving in the opposite direction of Rick. At the end of season five, I thought Daryl had finally found his calling as an Alexandria recruiter. That carried over into the first half of this season when he still insisted to Rick that Alexandia still needs to recruit people. He doesn’t appear to think that anymore. Maybe it’s a newfound fear after running into Negan’s people, or maybe it’s crossbow-separation anxiety (I’m sure that’s a thing), but Daryl is no longer in a good place mentally. I lamented last week that he was starting to become less interesting to me; maybe this is the writers’ way of giving Daryl something to do again.
Jesus is probably the most anticipated character to come to the show after Negan and The Governor. I don’t want to give too much away, but he is part of a large group, and his introduction is a precursor to the fight against Negan. Also, he’s an incredibably awesome character. That’s the most important part. Hopefully the writers don’t screw this one up.
I’m exceedingly greatful that the writers didn’t go with the amnesia storyline for Carl (there was a two month jump from the last episode to this one, so let’s pretend it happened and we just didn’t see it). That’s my main thought about Carl tonight; I’m happy about something that didn’t happen.
The final fight scene between Rick and Daryl, and Jesus was great. From the moment Daryl realized he was on the roof to the end when Jesus was being dragged away, I was glued to screen. If Jesus were a bad guy, he would be a formidable opponent for these two. Luckily, his intentions weren’t quite so nefarious. He just wanted to get some food and toothpaste for his people. The highlight of the scene was watching the truck sink to the bottom of the lake. I felt bad for Rick, but I couldn’t help but laugh.
Thanks for reading!