The Walking Dead: The Next World had Rick and Michonne get it on!

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC /

Episode 610 of The Walking Dead introduces an interesting new character and ends the “will they, won’t they?” suspense between two central characters. First, let’s look at the new character encountered by Daryl and Rick. Who is he? Where does he come from? Why does Rick like the guy more than Daryl, especially after Rock had been so wary of new people before?

It all starts two months after the loss of Carl’s eye, with Daryl and Rick setting out on a supply run to an area deemed worthwhile by Eugene. After a brief investigation, they learn that Eugene was right and seemed to have hit the jackpot with a truck loaded with some food, ammo, and toothpaste (nice!). However, the two are tricked by a guy nicknamed Jesus, who attempts to abscond with the newfound truck (and a vending machine). What’s most interesting and surprising is that Rick seems to like Jesus, despite being capable of thievery. What’s with Rick’s apparent change of heart?

The Walking Dead suggests the transformative power of love and, yes, sex

The Walking Dead has been quite tense throughout much of its run, be it at the camp, the farm, Woodbury, the prison, or the Alexandrian Safe-Zone. However, season 6 is the first time we get a thorough sense of what can happen when more dust settles. People can actually relax after dealing with walkers, invaders, and internal conflicts with the Alexandrian survivors over their inability to cope with their everyday problems. They hardly seem to be led by Rick, which happened a bit in season 3 as well. When fears are diminished, and people are willing to commit limited resources into the town, life becomes easier to embrace rather than escape.

This is why Jesus is accepted by Rick, who also confidently travels to the surrounding areas, and not just due to some macho swagger. Maybe he hasn’t let his guard down, but he seems more overtly optimistic at this point in the series. Basically, one gets the sense that Rick prefers to be an easygoing person if things are going right. However, if life puts him at his worst, he’s willing to take it to the limit. Rick is not just a hero, nor is he an outright villain, but a character who is swayed by circumstances in directions one may or may not like.

The big relationship reveal

The town appears relatively intact, and the walkers are pretty much an outside problem, like wild animals. While exploring, one might encounter a walker (like Carl, Enid, Michonne, and Spencer encounter an undead Deanna), but herds of walkers haven’t ambushed Alexandria in some time. What better time for love to flourish? And that seems to be exactly what’s happened between Rick and Michonne. Finally!

The “will they, won’t they?” dynamic is an old story cliché and especially egregious in sitcoms. However, delayed romance makes sense, at least in The Walking Dead universe or some other apocalyptic environment. As we’ve learned with so many horror films, characters getting it on are vulnerable, often literally being entirely naked. It is a bit refreshing to see major Walking Dead characters feel comfortable enough to let their hair down and, you know, get down to some business. After all, they can always get attacked by walkers in a later episode.

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What are your thoughts on this episode of The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments!