WARNING: Spoilers for 'The Walking Dead' comic AND episode 10 "The Next World" ahead.
Just when we thought nothing could follow up the intensity, drama and action of the mid-season premiere, along comes episode 10 'The Next World' and blows all expectations away! What an episode! In a twist that Father Gabriel would be proud of, Rick and Daryl found Jesus — who then literally took the wheel, and finally shippers everywhere lost their collective shit as Richonne became an actual thing. And that's not even mentioning the rising of zombie mom, or the time jump!
The tone of 'The Next World' was quite a departure from what we've come to expect of The Walking Dead, but far from seeming out of place, I personally found the comedy double act that Rick and Daryl took on the road quite welcome. Plus, it opened itself up to great mashups like this one:
But aside from bros on the road, there's ton of other bits and pieces sprinkled throughout the episode, did you notice every little subtle hint or reference? There's only one way to be sure! Take a look at the 5 things you (might) have missed in The Walking Dead episode 10 'The Next World.'
1. Shepherds we shall be For Thee, 'Boondock Saints'
There have been a few Boondock Saints references before, involving Rick and Daryl, so what better opportunity to throw in another one than when the two were on their whacky road trip adventure. There's no doubt that the low-angle shot of the guys drawing their guns on Jesus was a direct tip of the cap to the 1999 film, which starred Norman Reedus.
Last year Reedus confirmed that a Boondock Saints 3 was in the works, could this reference in 'The Next World' have been his way of confirming that he will reprise his role in the upcoming film? I certainly hope so.
2. Jesus's introduction to 'The Walking Dead' was (pretty much) straight from the comics
Walking Dead fans rejoice for Jesus has risen! That's right, in episode 10 we met a brand new character named Paul Rovia, or 'Jesus' to his friends.
Jesus is a character who will already be quite familiar to comic book fans, having been introduced back in issue 91. Despite the fact that his introduction was slightly different in the comics (where Abraham and Michonne were the first characters to come across him), the moment when he revealed his face and his name — which is a pretty iconic panel in the comics — was almost identical.
Interestingly the show also changed Jesus's last name from 'Monroe' to 'Rovia,' though this could have been because Monroe is also the surname of Deanna's family, so it could have understandably become confusing.
The final scene of the episode also bears a lot of similarity to issue 106 of the source material when Jesus breaks into Rick's house to talk to him, and finds him in bed with Andrea (yes, Andrea, see below for more on this character swap).
3. There was a nod to another Kirkman creation
We already know from previous seasons of The Walking Dead that Carl is a pretty big comic book fan, and in 'The Next World' we saw him read a comic penned by a familiar name — Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman!
While The Walking Dead is Kirkman's most famous comic creation, he's also responsible for the superhero comic Invincible, which Carl was seen reading outside Alexandria with Enid. Invincible is about a teenager named Mark Grayson, whose father is the superhero Omni-Man . At the age of 17 Mark inherits his own superhero abilities and, eventually, the title of Invincible — kind of reflects Carl's own story, doesn't it?
4. Enid is the Sophia of the TV series
I've talked about this before, but this week it looks as though Enid has finally been adopted into the Rhee-Greene family, much like Sophia was in the comic series.
In the comic series, Glenn and Maggie become adoptive parents to Sophia after the death of her parents Ed and Carol early on in the apocalypse. Despite the fact that this storyline happens much earlier in the comics, it's cool that Maggie and Glenn are helping out Enid, especially, as Maggie pointed out, after Enid helped both of them in their time of need.
5. Michonne has taken on the role of Andrea from the comics
Despite the character of Andrea being long dead in the TV series, her comic book counterpart is still very much alive and well. In the comic series, Andrea is actually somewhat of a total badass, and certainly one of the more capable characters in the entire series, male or female.
Following Andrea's death in the TV series, it seems as though her comic storylines and character traits have sort of been split between other characters in the TV show — now including Michonne! While Andrea and Rick have a relationship in the comics, that storyline now seems to have become Michonne and Rick in the TV show. Another character to have inherited Andrea's storylines is Sasha, who took on Andrea's role as a look-out for Alexandria.
Bonus #1: Silver wings
In the past we've seen characters smoking Morleys (a made-up brand of cigarettes used in many different films and TV shows), but this week it was a different brand that caught my eye: Silver Wings.
What character other than Daryl Dixon could this fictional brand be in reference to? Nice work Walking Dead set and prop designers, nice work.
Bonus #2: The missing licence plate
It's not like you have to register vehicles in a post-apocalyptic world, but even so, what reason could there be for Daryl and Rick's Chrysler to be missing a license plate?
Remember back in Season 5 when Aaron revealed that he and Eric were trying to collect the license plates of all 50 states? My bet is that the Chrysler's license plate has got itself a new home safe inside Alexandria.
Bonus #3: Hershel and Mrs. Neudermeyer would have been happy
It wasn't easy to notice, but stacked in the truck of food that Daryl and Rick found was a box containing a pasta maker! The now-deceased Mrs. Neudermeyer would have been delighted, as would have 'Spaghetti Wednesdays' (on Tuesdays!) enthusiast, Hershel Greene.
'The Walking Dead' returns with episode 11 'Knots Untie' on Sunday, February 28th on AMC.