Previously on The Walking Dead, ‘The Next World’
Immediately after having sex with Rosita, Abraham thinks of Sasha and how she’ll no longer be patrolling with him due to getting a new assignment. Rosita gives Abraham a necklace she made for him because someone will always do something incredibly sweet and considerate for you at the exact moment you’re thinking about dumping them. Science.
Jesus escaped from the sheetrock prison to tell the gang they’re good people and he comes from good people. He believes all these good folks should come together to help each other out. They trade with other communities and he thinks Alexandria has things they need (weapons) while they have what Alexandria is lacking (food).
Oh, and everyone knows Richonne is a thing as they witness Rick and Michonne emerge from a bedroom half-dressed.
As a group preps to drive Jesus home, Denise gives Daryl a to-go cookie so he can stop eating roadside take-out, and Rick assures Carl that he was going to tell him about Michonne, but it just happened. Like, one time. Last night. Well, maybe more than once, but definitely only last night. And besides, Michonne is different.
Different meaning: “I actually know her and we don’t have to worry about her crazy-ass kid shooting you in the face.” Carl approves.
In the RV, Abraham eyes Glenn’s hand on Maggie’s stomach and asks the ridiculously inappropriate question: “Were you trying to get her knocked up?” But he asked it 1000x more inappropriately by turning it into a food metaphor and I will never eat pancakes again. Glenn confirms that he did indeed intend to make his deposit inside the bank instead of using the drive-thru ATM. Abraham is all, “Sheeeit. Not the kid. I double up. Belt and braces.”
Also getting a little touchy-feely is Rick, who can’t keep his hands on the wheel (good thing Jesus is there to take it if shit goes sideways) or his eyes on the road. He wants to be able to drive and caress Michonne at the same time and I have no problem with that.
“You hear me whistle, shoot him.”
They come upon a crashed vehicle on the side of the road. It belongs to Jesus’s group and he convinces the others to help him search for his friends inside a nearby building. Maggie stays with Jesus outside (in case it’s another trick), while the others go inside and rescue Jesus’ people.
It goes smoothly if you don’t count Abraham nearly choking out this poor guy who later admits that he saw his life (and dead wife) before his eyes when he thought he was on his way to his maker.
Back on the road, one of Jesus’ group (Harlan) reveals he’s a doctor, and as luck would have it, he’s an obstetrician. This, once again, proves it’s worth trying to find others and build communities.
Welcome to Hilltop Plantation
Rick drives directly into a muddy hole and the RV gets stuck. Good thing they’re basically outside Jesus’ front door. After some negotiations with the spear-equipped gatekeepers, Rick’s group gets their first look at this new community.
And it looks like a fucking plantation. Run, Michonne, run! They’re even playing banjo music in the background. At any moment I thought Leo was going to come out and ask if anyone was interested in seeing a Mandigo fight.
I kid. It wasn’t that bad.
The main house was a living history museum with a rooftop perch that affords a view for miles in all directions. People live in FEMA trailers, and they grow crops and have cattle.
Jesus leads them into the main house to meet Gregory, their leader. He’s a bit of a dick who insists everyone get cleaned up before they chat. He’s basically like, “Y’all smell like sex and outside.” Rick decides that Maggie should be the one to liaise with Gregory because Rick might shoot him on GP. Besides, this is exactly the type of political diplomat work Deanna thought Maggie should do.
Abe Still Talking
While others are washing their asses, Abe asks Daryl about Richonne, wondering how long they been getting it in. Daryl is all, “Don’t know; don’t care.”
Can we take a moment and talk about how Daryl refuses to wash his ass?
Anyway, Abe asks if Daryl ever thought about settling down, but Daryl doesn’t think anything is settled.
Gregory is gross, condescending, and inappropriate. He tries to get more information out of Maggie than he’s willing to give her. He offers to give them jobs in exchange for goods. Despite Maggie’s attempt to make Gregory see that they can help each other, the first round of negotiations ends in a bust. Jesus pleads for a few days to get through to Gregory.
Negan Has Spoken
A group sent to trade with Negan returns with nothing and short three people: Negan killed two and kept one. He claims their drop was short and has a message for Gregory. That message is a knife in the gut from the brother of the guy Negan is now holding hostage.
Rick and crew step in. Rick stabs the attacker in the throat and Daryl breaks the arm of a guy strangling Abraham. On his way out, Abraham hears Sasha’s voice and doesn’t even notice when he leaves Rosita’s necklace lying in the dirt. MESSAGE!
After Gregory is tended to, Daryl and the others offer to take on Negan in exchange for food and supplies. Now that Maggie has the upper hand, she tells ole pin cushion Gregory that now she wants half of what they got.
That’s right. Half, Eddie!
The Walking Dead S6E11
Another solid episode that blends all the elements of the show that I love: action, walkers, interpersonal drama, and missions that may be risky, but are necessary if the group is going to actually try to live and not just survive.
Abraham’s current predicament is an interesting one: He’s watching others around him choose to start a life that means something beyond killing walkers and just waiting for your turn to die. It’s forcing him to confront what it is he truly wants and who he wants it with. This makes me think Rosita might not be long for this world, but I hope I’m wrong.
I don’t know if it’s the actors or what, but I am instantly drawn to these new Hilltop folks in a way that was missing from the Alexandrians. Sure, both groups seem to be just barely hanging on, but aside from Gregory, characters like Jesus and Harlan are likable. That Hilltop fight was hilarious in a very good way.
Our group may be a little too cocky in thinking they can take on Negan. Dismissing him and his people based on sucker punching five guys with a rocket launcher isn’t smart. At the same time it makes sense that considering how much they’ve been through, they have the kind of shorthand with each other that they can make these decisions without three episodes of them debating what to do. And their confidence isn’t necessarily unwarranted. However, Morgan’s going to be a fucking problem. Y’all know that, right? I mean, this whole Negan mission is straight up killing those who need killing. Morgan’s not down for that.