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"New Best Friends" balances absurdity and dramatic tension as it introduces a bizarrely entertaining new community, even if some moments feel forced and contrived.
Further evidence that the Walking Dead is finally serious about being a silly zombie romp. Long may it stagger forward in this vein.
Seen here, only a few years after the zombie apocalypse started, it all just seems ridiculous and contrived.
The high-stakes tension certainly returns in the 10th episode of AMC's The Walking Dead, Season 7. The regular players are featured - most of the ones we adore, in fact - and the narrative truly begins to take hold.
Two main plotlines run through "New Best Friends"... This gives the episode a bit of tonal whiplash, since the Rick stuff is downright goofy... while Daryl and Carol's scenes are emotionally fraught. Still, both storylines are satisfying in their own way.
Nothing is necessarily going to undo the dreariness of those first eight episodes, "New Best Friends" still feels like the first in a long while that The Walking Dead episodes inspires more curiosity than dread.
No longer bad or boring, it's still a definite improvement over the first half of the season. But now, it's, uh... insane?
So it's refreshing to meet a group of survivors who look a little (OK, a lot) over the top. It's refreshing to see knights and a trained pet tiger. It's refreshing to see "The Walking Dead" have a little fun for a change.
The hour earns a spot as one of the stronger episodes in season 7 and one that hints more may be on the way.
The Carol/Daryl scenes here were very good. It was as if a lot of the other nonsense could stop, or slow down, and we could focus in on one of the best pairings the show's ever produced.
This episode was absurd in all the right ways.
What this denouement seems to portend is that, for the next few episodes, Rick and the gang will be on yawnsome weapons-hunting detail rather than doing what we all want, namely giving Negan and his crew violent comeuppance.
Rick has his groove back, and now it seems the show does, as well... Things are happening, there seems to be more of a purpose, everything feels more contained and concise, and the momentum is complemented by moments of walker bloodshed.