This article contains spoilers from The Walking Dead Season 7.
The Walking Dead returned from its winter hiatus last week to much acclaim as Rick Grimes made his first steps in building an army to take out Negan once and for all. With the help of Jesus, Rick visited the Kingdom and met King Ezekiel, hoping to form an alliance in the war against the Saviors, but unfortunately, the King denied his offer — although he allowed Daryl to stay at the Kingdom.
After a rather slow season that saw the entire group of survivors end up in different locations from the Kingdom, the Hilltop, Alexandria and Oceanside, the fans loved seeing the gang back together and, after that jaw-dropping conclusion saw Rick encounter a new group of threatening survivors, we couldn't wait to see what happened in this week's episode. One thing's for sure, it didn't disappoint.
"New Best Friends" showed no signs of slowing things down, and Rick had to act quickly after being threatened by this new mysterious group. With this episode continuing last week's storylines, the second half of #TheWalkingDeadSeason7 is already showing great improvements. But before we look forward to the coming weeks, let's look at the key moments from tonight's incredibly important episode.
1. Daryl Gets His Crossbow Back
There are few moments in The Walking Dead that make us jump for joy. (Let's face it, there's very little to be happy about in this post-apocalyptic world.) However, doom and gloom aside, we couldn't help but scream with excitement when Daryl was given a gift from Richard.
After last week's episode saw King Ezekiel invite Daryl to stay at the Kingdom, Richard wasted no time in asking Daryl for help. Telling Daryl that Morgan had informed him of Daryl's previous experience with a crossbow, Richard handed Daryl one of his very own.
It may not be the same one that Daryl has carried since the beginning of the show, but that's not revelant — Daryl has been a shell of his former self this whole season after his experience with Negan, so being united with the crossbow marks a turning point for the character...and the camera angle used for this moment made it all the more significant.
2. Richard Tells Daryl That Carol Is Still Alive
After getting acquainted with the crossbow, Daryl was taken on a quest, courtesy of Richard, who told Daryl that he had a plan to get Ezekiel behind their whole "let's take out the Saviors" cause. But it involved a sacrifice: the woman living on the outskirts of the Kingdom. It's here that Daryl forced Richard to tell him her name; it's Carol.
Daryl refused to let Richard sacrifice Carol, and both of them got into a physical altercation resulting in Daryl threatening Richard with his new crossbow. Before leaving, Daryl continued to threaten Richard — this time verbally — telling him that if he finds out that anything has happened to Carol, he will kill Richard himself. Yikes, Richard doesn't want to cross Daryl especially not where Carol is concerned.
3. Rick And The Group Are Taken Back To Their Captors Camp
In the previous episode, Rick and the group were taken hostage by this new group of survivors — however, Rick's unusually serene grin at the episode's conclusion certainly seemed to suggest that a plan was forming.
Tonight's episode picked up with the new group taking their hostages back to their camp. Immediately, it became apparent to the viewers that this camp was unlike any of the others that we'd seen before — the word "settlement" definitely would not be used to describe this setting, that's for sure.
The place looked like an old scrapyard which, you have to admit, would be the perfect place to hide out during a zombie apocalypse — there's no way that you wouldn't hear somebody approaching with all that metal lying around. It didn't take Rick long to plead his case to the camp's leader, arguing that they are both on the same side. Rick's plan became clear here: King Ezekiel may have turned him down, but perhaps this group will join the war and help him take out Negan?
After a pretty grueling altercation with Rick and the gang, the leader of the group took Rick to the very top of a nearby scrapheap and said that she required proof that Rick is capable of fulfilling his end of the bargain. Before he gets a chance to agree, she pushes him down into the rubble! Things only got worse for Rick from here on out.
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4. Rick Takes On Winslow The Metallic Warrior Walker
After being thrown into the rubble, Rick woke up to find himself trapped in a Mad Max/Game Of Thrones-type gladiator pit. His opponent: a walker completely dressed in head-to-toe metal spikes, making it incredibly difficult for Rick to be able to kill the zombie. Rick fought valiantly and his efforts resulted in him injuring himself multiple times.
Eventually, with advice from Michonne, Rick launched the walker — which we later learned was called Winslow — into a pile of rubble, causing an avalanche and trapping the metallic warrior. Rick then used a nearby knife to stab Winslow in the neck, causing him to die. RIP Winslow, RIP.
After proving his worth, Rick spoke with the leader of the group — who really loves to speak in single short syllables —and it became clear to her that Rick and his group are worth the hassle. They made a deal: she wants guns and then she will help the Alexandrians take out Negan. A plan is forming and, despite his bloody injuries courtesy of Winslow, Rick was over the moon.
5. Carol and Daryl Reunite And Hit Us Right In The Feels
At her home on the outskirts of the Kingdom, Carol was getting sick of Ezekiel and the other people of the Kingdom constantly paying her a visit, so when her doorbell rang she got up of her sofa to give them a piece of her mind. However, she was pleasantly suprised by who was standing on her porch.
It was Daryl — her old best friend — and the two stared at each other for moments on end, neither of them knowing what to say. Ultimately Carol broke and let her emotions in, giving Daryl the biggest hug that she could muster. It broke all of our hearts, but it was so rewarding to watch.
Daryl opted not to tell Carol what happened to Glenn and Abraham, allowing her to continue living out her new start. How will this affect their relationship in the future?
With the war against Negan taking shape, Rick and the gang are finally getting the numbers that they need to take on the Saviors. Moreover, let's not forget that due to Jesus having one of there Saviors' radio devices, the group can be prepared for Negan's uninvited visits and make sure that the sinister tyrant doesn't suspect anything.
There's only six episodes of Season 7 left, and it's only a matter of time before the battle takes place. One thing's for sure: The Walking Dead has redeemed itself since its return and we're extremely excited to find out what's coming next.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. What was your favorite moment from tonight's intense episode? Tell us in the comment section below.