Sunday night's episode of The Walking Dead was, in many ways, a huge relief.
When The Walking Dead " s showrunner Scott Gimple told TVLine that viewers would dig the group being introduced in "New Best Friends", I'll admit I was skeptical.
Then Daryl finds his way to Carol's secret cabin and knocks on her door. Even if "New Best Friends" had been a bad episode (which it wasn't - it was arguably one of the season's strongest to date), it still would've scored bonus points for bringing our two favorite lone wolves back together after way too many episodes apart. Between that pressure from the Saviors and Richard's refusal to back down, Ezekiel will not be able to remain neutral and out of the fight for much longer. As usual, it does not go well, especially when an argument with Richard (Karl Makinen) becomes a full-blown standoff.
When I first see him, I'm just very much wanting to size him up. Another casualty from the meeting: Morgan (Lennie James) loses his aikido staff, a devastating loss for the season one veteran. After a brief interlude between Ezekiel and a rather groggy, boozy-looking Savior regarding the sufficiency of the supplies, Richard and another Savior square off suddenly, guns raised. Just one problem: that stranger? When Daryl realized that the woman Richard planned to sacrifice was none other than his absent friend, there would be no more partnership - and a whole lotta punching.
Daryl then finds Carol, and they have a sweet reunion (including multiple emotional hugs)! Richard's plan makes sense. That, however, is not an immediate problem for Rick.
We have started calling them the Heapsters on set.
We first saw these new folks at the end of the midseason premiere when they surrounded Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and friends when the Alexandrians tracked them near the junkyard they call home. They'll join the fight against Negan and his Saviors in exchange for guns - guns that Rick now has to go out and scavenge for, as Alexandria only has two of them - and one-third of the bounty once their war is presumably won.
Another Twitter user mocked about the leader of the new group: "Jadis looks like she just fell out of a spaceship after getting dumped by her ex-boyfriend, Spock".
With that, "The Walking Dead" finally at least acknowledges the zombie fashion choices.
With that, Rick and Jadis strike a deal. He puts it on Morgan to get the Kingdom into the fight, and then he heads out back to Hilltop to do his part. Following the negotiations, Rick and Gabriel stop down and share a moment of mutual admiration.
It was confirmed on the series' aftershow that Tamiel was the one spying on Alexandria in the mid-season finale and who was in the auto with Gabriel in the show's February return.
Gabriel: Father Gabe has really grown from being a whiny pain the ass to a reliable and stand-up guy. "We were eating possum out there", Carol told one of the members of the Kingdom. Despite the fact that she wants nothing more to do with anyone else, she's still thrilled to see Daryl. However, she does hint at a promising alliance between the collective and Alexandria.
We know that Carol isn't going to learn the truth from Morgan (Lennie James) anytime soon because both he and Daryl know that to tell Carol about the Saviors would be to break her.
Still, this does nothing to sway the Community Theater King, so Richard takes the newly-welcomed Daryl (Norman Reedus) out to a secret weapons stash, informing him of his master plan. Is this a sign that Daryl and Shiva will have each other's backs in a future action scene?