The Walking Dead actually has a little fun in “The Next World”

Several weeks after the undead fiasco that overran the town and took a gigantic dump into Arl’s eye (I can’t call him “Carl” anymore, because he can’t C!!!), life and death is starting to return to normal in Alexandria.  Rick and Daryl go off on a run where they run into a charming and infuriating stranger, Carl and Enid spend some time outside the walls, and Michonne and Patrick deal with a little unfinished business slowly shambling around the city limits.

On one hand, I feel a little cheated by the unexpected time jump because we missed a lot of things I kinda wanted to see.  I wanted to see Carl wake up and realize he didn’t have an eye anymore.  I wanted to see how the town coped.  I wanted to see Glenn and Maggie reunite for more than just a few seconds.

On the other hand… I realize that jumping forward a few weeks probably spared us from an inevitable clusterfudge of doom and gloom that would have resulted.  The Walking Dead is famous for episodes that make you depressed and sad, so an episode that was light and borderline comedic was not only a welcome change of pace for the season, but for the series as a whole.

So, begrudgingly, I support it. I understand the thinking and I am cool with it.

Besides, given that the entire front half of the season took place in a span of about 48 hours, maybe these characters deserve a little break and a breather where we’re not looking?

When I say that the episode was “light” I should really clarify and say “lighter than usual.”  The Carl/Patrick/Enid/Michonne story was pretty grim, but the Rick/Daryl/Jesus story was enjoyable and, while not exactly laugh out loud funny, it made me smile and The Walking Dead isn’t known for making me smile unless I’m watching Sam and his stupid family get eaten.

While I know that a lot of people are going to automatically and unfairly hate this episode because it is such a dramatic change of pace from last week’s installment (which I’m still maintaining is the best episode of the show ever), I’m giving it some slack.  We know that the apocalypse is dangerous and dreary, but a little fun every now and then cannot be poo-poo’ed upon.

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