UK TV review: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 10 (The New World)
Neil Brazier | On 22, Feb 2016
This is a spoiler-free review. Come back after the broadcast for additional spoilers.
How does The Walking Dead follow such an intense episode like No Way Out? Either it continues running at full pelt or it slows to takes a breather. Episode 10 does the latter. Having drawn a line under all that came before, it takes a blank page and starts again. New and returning characters are welcomed back, but the episode leaves us with a strange feeling that all is not what it seems.
A heavily character-driven episode, The New World (a week removed from Valentine’s Day) finds the love in Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) heart, focusing on his relationships with family and friends; most importantly, his bromance with Daryl (Norman Reedus). It appears weeks have passed since the great Alexandria zombie showdown and in that time, Rick and Daryl have explored the world outside the walls in search of people and food. They have come up short in both, but Rick has a feeling today is going to be the day. He’s right. After stumbling upon a truck loaded with supplies, they bump into Paul Monroe (Tom Payne), affectionately known to his friends as Jesus.
In the world of The Walking Dead, any new face is often one to fear. Jesus, although sporting a shady appearance and hiding his face behind a balaclava, long hair and beard, seems altogether more interesting. He never threatens and is as tricky as the Sunday Times Crossword. He is more of a nuisance than threat, an itch that neither Rick nor Daryl can scratch, yet one that their curiosity has them clawing at. Both should know better, yet they allow naivety to get the better of them – which may prove to be their undoing.
The ‘new chapter’ feeling emanates throughout, from the brighter scenes almost gleaming in the Virginia sunshine to the cleanliness of the survivors, and even the emptiness of the streets that, last episode, were littered with dead zombies. The characters we see all seem cheery, and recent events seem to have been entirely forgotten. Some only have seconds of screen-time, as the episode makes sure we are focused on the arrival of Jesus.
Bromance aside, we get to spend some time with Spencer (Austin Nichols), who is trying to overcome what has happened to his home and his family. He’s not a character that has been explored in much detail, but as someone who once stood opposed to Rick and having recently lost his mother, there is plenty of meat there for the show to chew on. It’s almost criminal that his story is practically an afterthought, a device used to tie together what is going on with Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Michonne (Danai Gurira).
Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus play their relationship excellently and having been through so much together, Rick and Daryl know each other inside out. This is what drives the episode, even the appreciative grunts as they share a can of soda have you captivated. Relationships like these can’t be explored when everyone is stabbing walkers in the head, yet all the tension from the previous episode is gone. Jesus does bring a new interest, but he doesn’t quite captivate as the Wolves or the Governor once did. But he still poses that ever-new type of risk: the fear of the unknown.
The Walking Dead Season 6 is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription. You can also buy and download it on pay-per-view VOD.
Photo: Gene Page / AMC
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