(WARNING: Spoilers for The Walking Dead follow)
For those of us who watched the latest episode of The Walking Dead, "New Best Friends," we know the show is keeping up the momentum established in its mid-season premiere. While the first half of Season 7 seemed like a slow draw, the pace is beginning to pick up in its second half. Along with making this half of Season 7 much more entertaining, there were also a few moments in Episode 9 that'll have lasting repercussions on the remaining episodes in Season 7.
Between Rick coming to terms with Jadis and Father Gabriel earning his place in the group, it was quite a spectacular episode. However, we shouldn't forget to mention the most talked about scene in "New Best Friends" that involved Rick facing down a walker armed with deadly pikes all throughout its body, including a metal helmet covering its head equipped with even more knives and pikes.
How Did Winslow Wind Up Becoming The Metal-Head Walker?
Said walker was named Winslow by the leader of the junkyard group, Jadis. She never explains who Winslow is but Jadis clearly acknowledges that he was once an important figure among the group. We shouldn't rule out the possibility of Winslow coming up again later on, but for now, we should focus on Winslow's role as a zombie.
At some point after becoming a walker, Jadis and her group stuck several pikes through Winslow's body and bolted a strange metal helmet to his head, leaving him in a pit of garbage to feast on victims.
The first time we see Winslow, he's laying in a heap, disguised by the surrounding garbage around him. It's when Rick drops into the garbage pit that Winslow wakes up and begins searching for Rick. Winslow is quite slow but he's oddly apt at determining Rick's location despite having a clunky metal helmet covering his entire head.
He Can't See, Can't Smell, Can't Hear, So How Could Winslow Find Rick?
The metal helmet covering Winslow's head completely shielded his eyes so he was unable to see Rick, and the bolts keeping the helmet in place also appeared to be driven through Winslow's nose. With his nasal cavity crushed, it would've made it impossible for Winslow to smell Rick. This begs the question: How Winslow was able to find Rick at all?
There's a possibility Winslow could still hear Rick but he likely would have a hard time locating him.
As we've seen in previous episodes of The Walking Dead, walkers have a hard time finding prey when their senses are inhibited by disguises. A good example came in Season 5, as well as Season 1, where Rick's group used walker blood to cover their smell while walking through a herd of walkers.
Now, Rick may not have been disguised by walker blood when he fell into that pit with Winslow, but Winslow was most likely unable to smell Rick with that helmet on his head. Pairing Winslow's inability to smell with the science fiction mythos established in the world of #TheWalkingDead that zombies who can't smell their prey are inaccurate in locating them means Winslow shouldn't have been able to find Rick at all.
Winslow Is A Potential Mistake In The Walking Dead's Canon Of Enhanced Zombies
Even if the noise Rick made tumbling down the pit of garbage woke Winslow up, he wouldn't have been able to locate Rick based on sound. As Winslow's ears appear to be covered for the most part, his hearing would be minimal at best. Without sight, hearing, or sense of smell, it makes it quite difficult for walkers to find their prey yielding Winslow not much of a threat.
Winslow may have seemed scary at first glance but that's because we didn't consider how Winslow's senses have been dulled by the helmet covering his head, making it practically impossible for Winslow to actually find Rick in a confined space like that pit in the junkyard.
Still, we can't rule out the possibility of Winslow simply using his sense of hearing to determine where Rick was in that pit. We should also keep in mind that The Walking Dead exists in a science fiction universe, so not everything has to make sense. The Winslow walker was just one piece of science fiction that didn't need to be explained by precedents in The Walking Dead universe.
What did you think of the Winslow walker? Was it unfeasible even for The Walking Dead universe? Leave your thoughts on the comments section below.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 P.M. Episode 10 "Hostiles and Calamities" airs February 26, 2017.