THE WALKING DEAD Review: “New Best Friends”

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THE WALKING DEAD shows us another thriving community outside the Saviors with “New Best Friends.” So far, season seven has doubled the communities in Rick’s world. We knew about Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Saviors. Then they discovered The Kingdom, the Oceanside group tucked away with all their weapons, and this new group living in a scrap labyrinth. There are still lots of survivors, the only question is, can they all get along?

The Scavengers, led by Jadis, capture Team Rick when he goes looking for Fr. Gabriel. We don’t see much of their capability, but they operate in a hive like organization. Their Queen, Jadis, appears to be the most pragmatic of the leaders we’ve seen to date. There was bound to be an anti-Negan and Jadis fits that role. She has simple rules for the Scavengers. They take but they don’t grow. For instance, they had their eyes on the boat stash for months, but Jadis wouldn’t send any of her people after it. Instead, they waited for Rick and Aaron to grab it. Then, they would steal it from them. Fr. Gabriel found one of the Scavengers stealing from the pantry in Alexandria and returned to the scrap yard with her.

Pollyanna McIntosh as Jadis - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Rick recognizes the resources Jadis offers. Her people don’t live in the kind of denial most of the people in the Kingdom enjoy day to day. They also don’t live under the constant fear like the residents of Hilltop. Jadis sends her disciplined scouts out to observe and report. She knows there are dangers and she knows even her few rules need to be upgraded for her people to survive. Jadis likes to bargain. She wants Rick to leave all his weapons. He explains that his weapons and team belong to Negan. If they don’t return, Negan will come looking for them and their will be a bloody battle. Rick suggests they work together against the Saviors. Jadis doesn’t argue any of these points, my guess is she has a good idea of what the Saviors are capable of, but isn’t sure about Rick’s resolve. Fr. Gabriel gives good hype for Rick, but Jadis makes him prove it. She drops him into a pit to fight a special spike-walker. Rick takes a few cuts, but he wins and makes an agreement with Jadis. She agrees to help fight Negan, but she wants a lot of guns and half the jars from the boat. Rick realizes this is a fair deal and leaves with his team in search of the guns needed to bring Jadis into the fight.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Gino Crognale as Walker - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Tara is with Rick but says nothing to out the Oceanside community and their huge arsenal. People don’t have much after the outbreak except secrets. Tara, Ezekiel, Jesus, Dwight, Rosita, and Morgan all have their share. Rosita is going through some sort of anger-storm, it passes from one character to another. I can’t figure out why Tara is keeping Oceanside a secret from Rick. I’m sure if the Saviors attacked the hidden community she would say something, but what else might prompt her to mention their beautiful arsenal?

Richard deals with his king in a completely different way. The Saviors gets abusive with Richard and Morgan at this week’s supply pick up. They leave with Richard’s gun and Morgan’s stick. I can understand taking Richard’s gun away, he’s a little aggressive, but Morgan can’t have a stick in the zombie apocalypse; that’s too much. King Ezekiel still isn’t ready to commit his security force to battle, so Richard develops a devious plan and lays it out for Daryl. Richard plans on attacking a Savior patrol but leave tracks leading back to Carol’s house. He explains that she’s tough and wants to live alone, but if the Savior’s kill her, Ezekiel will be moved to attack.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Daryl shuts the ambush down when he hears Carol is the cheese in the trap. Daryl stops by Carol’s house and they hug it out. She still doesn’t like visitors, but she is happy to see Daryl. He asks why she left but doesn’t reveal Morgan’s lie. Carol gives her whole tear filled explanation about loss of life regarding the people she loves, or loss of soul in defense of those same people. Eventually, she asks Daryl if everyone she cares about is still okay. He lies and tells her everyone is fine. Then, he leaves her house and has a quick visit with Shiva. Daryl understands why Morgan lied about Carol and also wants to protect her choice, but he doesn’t understand why Morgan doesn’t try harder to convince Ezekiel it’s time to rise up against the Savior’s. Daryl leaves for Hilltop in the morning.

I’m nervous whenever I see Daryl out alone. Negan’s people are out there looking for him and there’s no telling how that next engagement is going to end. I like this new Walking Dead world. I look forward to a great battle against the Saviors and a rocky reconstruction period.

Season 7, Episode 10 (S07E10)
The Walking Dead  airs Sundays at 9PM on AMC

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Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
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