Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'The Next World'

"I didn't hate the episode I just felt like I had tuned into a special-guest-written episode." - Shawn
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In which Shawn and Kim try to decipher how long it was between episodes and how you make a shopping list during the apocalypse.

Kim: This was the strangest episode of The Walking Dead that I have ever seen.  Let me start off by saying that I was pretty irritated by the incredible time-jump.   How long has passed?  A month or two?  Why are people giving out grocery lists like, “Hey, if you think about it and can find me a bottle of wine and some jalapeno poppers, I’d be grateful”?  How do you go from total chaos to everyone being super happy and carefree?  That just seems wrong, in every way imaginable.

Even one-eyed Carl is happy at the beginning, before he starts his brooding.  I’m unsure why he was a complete asshole to Enid.  Teenagers are really stupid.  That whole scene of them out in the woods with the “surprise walker” bugged me.  Why couldn’t he just point out to Enid why he wasn’t offing the walker, instead of being a dick about it?  Hormones?  All I could think of was that he was being a moody little bitch.  The only part of Carl I liked was that scene with Michonne where he told her he’d do the same for her. 

But you know, it’s not all bad because Rick and Daryl found Jesus.  Even that whole scenario was like watching a Keystone Cops movie, and for the zombie apocalypse, I really don’t like that.  I get that Rick wanted this new world, but I can’t believe that everyone is going to just be so relaxed and happy.

Speaking of Jesus, he’s pretty hot and can eye-fuck me any day.  Seems weird to call him "Jesus," so I’ll try to refer to him as Paul.  What I’d really like to see is Daryl and Paul fighting a big bad together.  Maybe one of them will accidentally lose their pants or something.  I don’t know but for an episode I didn’t care for, the man candy was pretty delicious.  Even Rick was looking mighty edible.  And speaking of Rick…

I have been waiting since the prison for Michonne and Rick to hook up.  There was some confusion for me right off the bat, when this episode started.  She’s in the bathrobe while Rick’s getting ready and she’s awfully comfortable.  Then Carl is joking around with her and they’re like a happy little family.  Therefore, I started the episode with the belief that those two had already bumped uglies.  So, imagine my confusion when the kiss happens and they both seem unsure of it at first.  In all honesty, I’ve seen this coming for quite some time.  Richonne is a real thing and I couldn’t be happier.

I don’t want my apocalyptic fantasy to be laughs and happiness.  It didn’t feel right.  The energy seemed way off and I’m left trying to get a handle on it.  I know the happiness won’t last long, it can’t.  I don’t want it to.  Sorry, surviving people.  I want to watch your lives for the drama and the heart-pounding moments.  And Daryl’s arms.  And Jesus’ eyes.  Please.  Screw your brave, new world.  I want my angst back.

Shawn: It's funny because when you go first sometimes you give me lots of ideas.  Then there was a week like this where you essentially stole my thunder.  So I'm just going to pile on a couple of the points.  And maybe try to put a little "A to the T" spin on it.

1.)  And just like that I'm sick of Carl again. That love lasted for about 20 minutes of last episode.  All of that goodwill is gone.  You are right to be bugged about his treatment of Enid.  I know you haven't been a teenage boy in your life but there is one Prime Directive that guides all of your behavior.  That does not include pissing off the only other teen girl in existence.  You agree with everything she says and you go do everything she wants to do.  There is no way that one-eyed teen Carl is going to take a chance at Enid going on a walk alone and disappearing.

2.)  I have been on this rant about the timeline for seasons now.  I don't know what time of year it is and how long passes between episodes.  This was that sort of thing again.  Were we leaping forward to a time when it's like Grandpa Carl and Grandma Enid looking at a black and white picture of when Carl first lost his eye?  I was thrown off then again by Michonne and the toothpaste discussion.  That was certainly the type of talk that you'd have the morning after getting it on all night.  How quickly do you recover from getting your eye shot out?  It all was just so confusing. Obviously, we were gone past trash day when you set out all your burnt up zombies and they get picked up.

3.)  Talking about something outside of what happens inside the show that has bugged me, the Rick and Michonne romance isn't that groundbreaking even within the context of the show.  Right?  It seems like in a post-apocalyptic future we are less worried about race, gender, sexuality than at any other time in our history.  There have been so many interracial and gay couples on the show previously that seeing them in bed together at the end was pretty far down on my list of questions.  I mean, how isn't "Where was she keeping that sword?" the first thing that comes to mind.

4.)  Alexandria became an awesome olde time tourist town in a few days. And they raised the money by selling product placements.  Let's license some music, talk to Kit Kat and everyone loves Orange Crush soda, right?  With that money, they followed all of the original plans and turned Alexandria into a bonafide tourist trap.  It looks so clean and inviting that during the commercial I was looking for an Airbnb in town.   It was nice to see the emotional tribute to Sam and Ron and Jessie that was built in town to. . . wait. . . at least they mentioned. . . wait. . . I guess it's going to at least take Rick some time to put that relationship behind him.  Wait.  Want an Orange Crush?

5.)  The Dukes of Alexandria coming this Summer.  Crazy Rick and Daryl drive the Virginia countryside having adventures and avoiding Boss Negan.  This week our boys go shopping but run into Jesus and their supplies end up at the bottom of the pond.  Just some good old boys.

I didn't hate the episode I just felt like I had tuned into a special-guest-written episode.  It just didn't match what we just watched last week.

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