The second episode of the second half of series seven - New Best Friends - saw The Kingdom’s fragile peace with The Saviours boiling over, as trigger-happy Richard sparked a skirmish with The Saviours’ mean, long-haired roadie. Even resolutely peace-loving Morgan got dragged into the fight and had his ear bashed with his own stick.
The largely silent new group of rubbish-dwelling survivors tested Rick’s mettle by making him face Winslow – a zombie that had the name of a faithful old butler, but looked like an iron-clad, undead nightmare that had shuffled off a mid-80s Iron Maiden album cover.
Meanwhile, Daryl was finally reunited with Carol, but chose to lie to her about The Saviours’ brutality - and the deaths of Abraham and Glenn. As ever with an episode of The Walking Dead, far more questions were raised than answered:
1. What does the new group represent?
Jadis (with the Karen Elson blunt fringe) and her large, silent gang haven’t said a great deal about what their ambitions are, other than collecting as many guns as possible. She told Rick their mantra: “We take – we don’t bother.” But, does their softly-softly approach to apocalypse survival hide a secret ambition? She also leapt at the chance to go to war against The Saviours despite not knowing them, and her keen bargaining skills show her to be a tough character. We’re sure there’ll be trouble with Jadis and her long-coated helpers before too long.
2. Why did Daryl lie to Carol?
An emotional Daryl chose not to tell tough cookie Carol about Abraham and Glenn’s brutal deaths at the hands of Negan, leaving her blissfully unaware of the nightmare unfolding with The Saviours. After Daryl scuppered Richard’s attempt to snare The Saviours in a trap that would, inconveniently, lead to Carol’s death - is he now trying to protect his best friend, or does he have plans for her to get back to her warrior-like best?
3. Is the English language dying out in the post-apocalypse world?
This episode saw Ezekiel continue with his unusual kingly speech patterns - at one point sounding like a sentence-mangling Yoda. And his ur-English seems to be spreading across the post-apocalypse landscape, with Jadis also speaking in odd staccato phrases, as if verbs were in as short supply as guns. Will future series see the survivors increasingly creating their own languages, or assuming the grunts and groans of the undead?
4. Did Father Gabriel lie to Rick?
Father Gabriel has always been a slightly shifty priest, but his explanation of how he came to run away from Alexandria with a car-load of tinned goods didn’t quite ring true. He also didn’t meet Rick’s eye while telling him how he met Jadis, but Rick seemed to swallow his explanation whole. So what is Father Gabriel up to, and where do his loyalties really lie?
5. Will loose cannon Richard endanger the plot against The Saviours?
The Kingdom’s resident hot-head nearly got himself killed at the start of the episode, and his ill-thought-out plan to ensnare The Saviours would have seen Carol murdered just to lead them into a trap. Now that he’s made an enemy of Daryl, and seems to be acting against the wishes of King Ezekiel, will Richard cause the fragile alliance of survivors to fracture?