The Walking Dead has aired its second episode following the annual midseason break, and while not propelling the story on drastically, it was heavy on character development and saw a heartfelt reunion between two of the show’s original characters.
Titled ‘New Best Friends,’ the episode catches up with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) who we last saw smiling despite being surrounded by a group of weapon-wielding individuals.
Elsewhere, this week’s instalment picks up with Daryl (Norman Reedus) who was left behind at The Kingdom in a bid to lie low from The Saviours who now know he escaped his cell.
You can check out last week’s five major talking points here.
1 – Daryl v Richard
Richard (Karl Makinen) wants Daryl (Norman Reedus) to help him take out some Saviours. His plan is to gun down approaching members of Negan’s men before luring move over via a signal fire. Once they’ve seen the body count, they’ll follow a trail left by Richard heading directly, he tells Daryl, to the cabin “some loner” is living in. Richard believes that they’ll kill that person, showing King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) “what he needs to do.” Realising he’s referring to Carol (Melissa McBride), Daryl refuses to let Richard proceed and attacks him.. “If anything happens to her, I’ll kill you,” he states.
2 – Daryl and Carol’s reunion
Carol hears a knock at the door – the last person she’s expecting to see is her old friend. Bursting into tears, the pair embrace having not seen each other for 11 long episodes after Carol left Alexandria on her volition in the latter stages of season six. Enjoying a dinner together, Carol explains that should The Saviours hurt any of their group, she’d kill again. Without wanting to know the answer, she asks Daryl whether Negan killed anybody. In a bid to protect her, Daryl lies and tells her The Saviours didn’t hurt anyone.
3 – New allies
Surrounded by the new faction we last saw at the end of the midseason premiere, Rick wastes no time in attempting to recruit them in their war against Negan’s men. Their leader, Jadis (Pollyanna ), refuses instead pushing Rick into a pit containing nothing but a ravenous walker perilously impaled by spikes. Cutting his hand up pretty badly – yet another allusion to the character’s hand injury in the graphic novels – Rick soon overcomes it much to the admiration of Jadis. Guns is what they want – “….and then we’ll fight your fight,“ she tells Rick who can barely contain his smile.
The most shocking Walking Dead moments
4 – The bromance nobody expected
Namely former-coward Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) who has rarely seen eye-to-eye with Rick. He explains how he left Alexandria (as seen in last week’s midseason premiere) having been lured away by the mysterious new faction. “I was beginning to lose faith but then I saw you,” he tells Rick. But why did he smile when he saw this new faction? Rick puts his hand on Gabriel’s shoulder and says solemnly: “Because someone showed me enemies can become friends.” Even Michonne (Danai Gurira) is shocked by this development, smirking at the sight as she watches on.
5 – Daryl leaves the Kingdom
After pleading with Morgan (Lennie James) to help wage war against The Saviours, Daryl decides it’s time to get the ball rolling; he leaves the walls of The Kingdom with a newly-acquired crossbow (Dwight’s still for his old one) and heads back to the Hilltop Colony – a dangerous move considering Negan knows he’s escaped the Sanctuary.
The Walking Dead airs tonight in the UK on FOX at 9pm.