So! With "The Next World," The Walking Dead keeps things moving at a brisk pace, no? In the weeks since the events of "No Way Out," Alexandria is all safe and happy again. We basically have totally forgotten Jessie Anderson and her terrible sons; we put an end to the reign of Deanna; and viewers craving a new romance get what they wanted in a pairing between Rick and Michonne. Richonne shippers, rejoice! Here's what happened this week in "The Next World."
+ "We should talk." Comics readers, is the guy with the beanie Paul "Jesus" Monroe? It is, right? Anyway, Rick and Daryl's quest for snacks gets derailed by this guy's arrival, and their rivalry with him over the box truck full of food doesn't exactly go as planned. The food ends up in the river, the guy ends up back in Alexandria with them, and Rick and Daryl reaffirm their bro-y friendship.
This wasn't a major storyline, but it did give us some choice lines, like Jesus's sneering "Do you even have any ammo?", resulting in Rick and Daryl shooting a walker in tandem, as well as Rick's "What do you know about us?" And of course, Daryl's "So long, ya prick!" is also a winner.
But really the arrival of Jesus is another step forward for Rick in his new quest to defend and grow Alexandria, since he uses him as an excuse to further his agenda. For Daryl, this isn't the best idea - he's still preaching exclusion as the only way to keep their people safe, which honestly, isn't necessarily wrong - but Rick is convinced that by changing his ways, he'll help them get Alexandria back on track again. But is Jesus going to be a help or a hindrance?
+ "I don't want to come out here anymore." Did Enid and Carl just break up? GUESS WHAT, DON'T CARE, MOVING ON.
+ "My family's dead. That's not home. It's just where I live." Spencer from Alexandria is channeling "Garden State," but his jadedness doesn't fool Michonne. After they team up to kill Deanna, now a walker wandering through the forest outside Alexandria, they bury her together, carving a "D" in a tree above her body. This is the end of Deanna, of course, but perhaps a new start for Spencer? One where he's actually, you know, useful?
+ "It should be someone who loved her. Someone who's family. I'd do it for you. I would." Carl veers between being great and being terrible, but I'd hazard to say he redeems himself with this comment to Michonne. It's been clear over the years that their relationship has gone from friendship to family, and his acknowledgment that he views her as a mother figure is a nice moment. Plus, who else would slash apart a rival teenager as revenge for shooting Carl in the eye? No one!
+ "Crazy day." "You wanna talk about it?" Just as Carl acknowledges to Michonne that he views her as a mother, so does dad Rick acknowledge that his feelings for Michonne aren't solely friendly, either. This hookup makes sense in the world the show has created - Rick and Michonne have been steadfast allies for a while now, and their decisions usually sync up together in a way that most other characters' don't. (And maybe this was hinted at in that season six promo art that features Rick and Michonne alone together, no other characters in sight.) And it's not like the relationships for them that happen in the comics would come to pass, either -- Rick eventually gets with Andrea, who died seasons ago after getting involved with Shane and the Governor (ugh, she really was ruined by this show), and Michonne sleeps with Morgan, who doesn't really seem capable of anything remotely romantic right now and who doesn't seem to have a real connection with Michonne, either.
So how will Rick and Michonne play out? If Rick is going to become a better version of himself in his attempt to unite and lead Alexandria, is Michonne going to continue to be his right hand? Will they tell Carol, Daryl, or Carl about their relationship? Will Jesus do that, since he wakes them up in bed together (love Michonne's katana resting on her side of the bed, and Rick's gun resting on his side.) IS this a relationship, or just a one-night thing? The Richonne shippers have a lot to wonder about, clearly, until next week.