The Walking Dead Introduces Huge Comics Character in the Lightest Episode of the Series
Spoilers for season six of The Walking Dead follow!
The Walking Dead's midseason premiere was a return to form in all of the worst ways: gratuitous deaths precipitated by stupid decisions, another Glenn death fake-out, and lots of misery that doesn't really add up to anything. Last night's episode, by contrast, was something completely different from anything we've seen before. It was by far the lightest episode of the series, and the first real attempts at humor, mostly during the slapstick-y introduction of the highly anticipated comics character, Jesus aka Paul Rovia (changed from Monroe in the comics). As a result, the tone was a little off-kilter at times, but overall it was refreshing that the writers added new blood and tried something different.
In this episode, Rick and Daryl go on a seemingly routine supply run, only to get into a mischievous game with the impish Jesus, who steals their truck, kicks their asses, and spends the whole episode making them look silly. I wouldn't go so far as to call this episode "funny," per se, but it definitely had a lighter touch that befitted Jesus' charming character, who already has a lot of potential to add a different, more humorous element to the show. (That beings said, he will probably help to usher in one of the darkest episodes of The Walking Dead yet, as in the comics he seeks Rick's help to save the Hilltop colony from Negan and the Saviors.)
I'm usually a big fan of shows with a darker tone, but more episodes like this one are sorely needed. While a zombie apocalypse would produce a lot of doom and gloom, they're still people, and they would realistically need a respite every once in a while. Rick and Daryl would enjoy their friendship and buddy chemistry, people would make light of their predicament when they could as a coping mechanism, and yes, people would be having sex. I'm not a huge Richonne shipper, and it was a little strange to see them get together so soon after Jessie's death (the characters say that "weeks" have passed in the show), but it was way past time for the show to explore this element of the survivors' lives a little more. It makes sense that the show wouldn't get too caught up in romance, but sex and relationships would inevitably be more a part of their lives than they have been so far.