5.7

The Walking Dead Review: "New Best Friends"

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<i>The Walking Dead</i> Review: "New Best Friends"

Shane Ryan and Josh Jackson review The Walking Dead each week in a series of letters.

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Josh,

Hey man, where are you?

Josh?

Hit me back man, it’s Shane. Here for our Walking Dead reviews. You there?

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Josh,

It’s Shane again. Checking in. I assume you’ll be here soon. Just, uh…I guess I’ll just wait. Hope everything’s okay.

—Shane

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Josh,

Starting to get scared here. I know you told me the show isn’t real, but I’m not sure why you wouldn’t be here for our weekly email sesh if a zombie hadn’t torn your guts out. Feeling very alone.

—Shane

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Josh,

WHERE ARE YOU?! WHY AREN’T YOU RESPONDING? IT’S 3 A.M. AND I JUST BARRICADED ALL MY DOORS WITH WASHING MACHINES, DISHWASHER, AND VARIOUS DRESSERS AND BUREAUS! PLEASE SAY SOMETHING, ANYTHING!

—Shane

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Shane,

Hey, it’s me, Josh. Everything is okay, and you’ll never be anything but happy and completely safe.

GAH WHO AM I KIDDING, THIS IS STILL SHANE. THIS ISN’T JOSH. THE WORLD IS SPINNING. MY BRAIN IS BROKEN. I HAVE PAINTED MY FACE WITH YELLOW MUSTARD AND OLD GUACAMOLE, AND I AM NOW THE BLOODY KING OF THE APOCALYPSE!

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Josh,

Well, I just read my email, and I see that you sent me a note earlier in the week that you’d be on vacation, and I should write The Walking Dead email by myself. Whoo…that’s embarrassing! Kind of wish I hadn’t over-reacted there. I’m cool now. I’m totally cool. Have a few things to explain to my landlord, but hey, I’m going to get through this.

Now, as for The Walking Dead’s latest episode, “New Best Friends”...um, it was weird. Here are ten scatterbrained thoughts:

1. The new tribe in the junkyard is like a scene from a mostly-female future reboot of Mad Max that pisses off GamerGate-type nerds. Why do they speak in weird, ethereal half-sentences, as though they’re aliens, or some tribe from the distant future when language structure has been lost? This was weird as hell.

2. Are the writers even attempting to have the plots make sense anymore? The reasons for Gabriel going to the boat are so ridiculous and muddy that they’d officially classify as the word plot strain in another show, but it was only the second worse in this episode!

3. The worst? Richard laying some weird death trap that will supposedly lead the Saviors to Carol, and then they’ll kill her, and then Ezekiel will have to fight them. It’s easily the weirdest, dumbest, and most impossible of any ploy ever ployed, and it makes me angry. Who are these people? Why do they have the dumbest plans?

4. In case you wanted to keep tabs on Carol’s personality swings, she’s now the hyper-sensitive teary mom you have to lie to because she can’t handle any bad news. She’s also very ungrateful when presented with cobbler.

5. By the way—not bringing Richard along on meetings with the Saviors? Amazing idea. Really good. Probably should have been enforced, like, ten meetings ago.

6. I want to get all my friends together and practice circling slowly around a stranger in a weird semicircle pattern that takes like ten minutes to form. But first I’d need a friend.

7. Based on how Tara alone seemed like she was going to take out the entire gang of Junkyard Weirdos in hand-to-hand combat, I’m not sure these people are the heroes Rick is looking for. I predict 95 percent of them will be dead by season’s end.

8. Zombie spike monster immediately goes into “things that would be much easier to kill in real life than they are on TV” hall-of-fame. That thing moved so slow. If Rick could stay on his feet for two seconds, he could just dance around it, trip it, cover it with old sofa cushions, and deliver the death blow. Instead, he got in crazy-eyed cold-sweat panic mode, and managed to impale his hand.

9. Which, by the way, didn’t really hurt at all. Dude was all smiles like ten seconds later. Tough guy, that Rick!

10. Fuck you, Morgan. I can’t believe we’re still doing this in season seven. YOU HAVE TO FIGHT PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KILL YOU, MORON.

Look, Josh, if you’re somewhere out there: Am I in kind of an angry mood because I’m on Day Six of the Whole30, and I really need some sugar and bread and milk? YEAH, PROBABLY. But I still say this was an odd, disappointing episode.

Please come back next week.

—Shane

Shane Ryan is a staff writer at Paste and author of Slaying the Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes on the New PGA Tour. Josh Jackson is founder and editor-in-chief of Paste.