In a rare period of calm during the zombie apocalypse, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) depart for what they expect is a routine supply run on “The Next World,” Episode 610 of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
Just a few weeks ago, Alexandria Safe-Zone residents shot, stabbed and burnt a “walker” mega-herd into nonexistence. Now there’s an opportunity to restock the walled community with essentials and nonessentials such as food, medicine and snacks.
Rick and Daryl initially think they catch a break by finding a truck fully loaded with supplies. But the mission goes south when they’re jumped by Paul “Jesus” Monroe (Tom Payne), a mysterious young man with extraordinary fighting skills.
Paul backs off, however, when Rick and Daryl whip out their pistols.
“Easy, guys,” Paul says, raising his arms in surrender. “I was just running from the dead.” Then he introduces himself, saying his friends call him “Jesus” because of his long hair and beard.
“This is the next world,” Paul exclaims before scurrying behind a building. “I hope it’s good to you guys.”
Not so good, actually, because Paul lights firecrackers to create a diversion then yells “sorry” as he speeds off with the truck. Thanks to Daryl’s tracking skills, however, Paul is captured while fixing a flat tire.
“You gonna shoot me over a truck?” Paul asks as he stares at Rick’s pointed gun. No, Rick replies, but he does bind Paul’s hands and feet and leaves him stranded on the roadside.
“You should be able to get free after we’re long gone,” Rick says.
But the ropes are no match for Paul. He skillfully unties himself, climbs on top of the truck and isn’t discovered until Rick and Daryl hear a banging noise on the roof. A fight ensues in which Paul is knocked unconscious.
Sadly, the precious supplies are lost when the truck rolls backward into a lake.
Despite Daryl’s objections, Rick brings Paul to Alexandria so he can receive medical care from psychiatrist-turned-surgeon Dr. Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever).
“You said we shouldn’t be looking for people no more,” Daryl reminds Rick, who trusts his core group of survivors but has been opposed to recruiting outsiders. “You were right.”
“Nope. You were right,” replies Rick, who was surprised and heartened when the untested Alexandrians repelled the zombie invasion.
And perhaps Paul will prove a valuable asset. Or maybe he’ll turn into a dangerous liability.
In other developments, Michonne (Danai Gurira) becomes suspicious when she spots Spencer Monroe (Austin Nichols) heading into the woods with a rifle and shovel. Fearing for Spencer’s safety, Michonne follows him and beheads an approaching zombie.
“I liked your mom a lot,” Michonne says of Alexandria’s deceased matriarch Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh). “I really don’t want you to die.”
“You’ve got a life back there,” Spencer points out. “Maybe I will too. But before I can even think about that, I need to take care of something.”
That would be finding his undead mother and putting her to rest by plunging a knife into her brain. Spencer does just that while fighting back his tears.
“I never knew my way,” Spencer confesses to Michonne as they bury Deanna.
“You loved your family?” Michonne tenderly asks. “Then you know your way. It’s home.”
Finally, Rick and Michonne transition from roommates to lovers as they hold hands on the sofa and then passionately embrace. But their post-coital bliss is rudely interrupted when they're startled by an intruder and jump to their feet, weapons drawn.
It’s Paul, who’s on the loose again.
“We should talk,” Paul implores. Sounds like they should.