The primary Governor was once a madman. The folks of Terminus have been cannibals. Negan and the Saviors murdered the display’s maximum loved persona. The Whisperers have been a cult of killers. And but, of all of The Strolling Useless’s many villains, has there been an antagonist you’ve sought after to feed to zombies greater than Sebastian Milton, the impossibly entitled, douchebag son of Commonwealth chief Pam Milton? I will resolution for you: No.
Sebastian (Teo Rapp-Olsson)—whose actual identify, as everyone knows, is Kingsley St. Buffingsworth of the Cape Cod Buffingsworths—reasons me such emotional agony that I will simplest watch his reprehensible bullshit for roughly 15 seconds at a time, then I’ve to pause the display. It’s extra gut-churning to look at his nonsense than essentially the most graphic on-screen dying, and but “New Haunts” remains to be an excellent episode of The Strolling Useless that can presage some attention-grabbing storytelling thru the remainder of its ultimate season.
That’s all because of the Commonwealth, which is fucked up on a couple of ranges, and which The Strolling Useless makes use of to unbelievable impact. At the floor stage, it’s bizarre as it’s an honest-to-goodness, pre-apocalyptic small the city, stuffed with creature comforts and those that appear to have totally forgotten the useless are strolling round out of doors the Commonwealth’s partitions. Possibly it’s extra correct to mention those folks don’t care about zombies, as they don’t be expecting them to be their downside ever once more. After observing our protagonists spend greater than a decade struggling throughout the worst the post-apocalypse had to supply, the Commonwealth turns out totally surreal—now not simply to audience, however to the characters themselves, who glance wildly uncomfortable of their new Disney Primary Side road of a the city, even a complete month later, which is when the episode starts.
The exceptional chilly open of the episode completely encapsulates the strangeness of this odd new global. Daryl (Norman Reedus), Judith (Cailey Fleming), and R.J. (Antony Azor) stroll cautiously down a corridor. Even though there are fences on each and every aspect, zombies succeed in out on the trio, repeatedly menacing them. And when a zombie bursts throughout the door in entrance of the children, Daryl tells the zombie to take it again a little bit… as a result of they’re now not in peril; they’re in a Haunted Area on the Commonwealth’s Halloween birthday celebration. Is there a greater approach to display the unbelievable gulf between the lifestyles the Alexandrians had as opposed to lifestyles now? The hallway was once Daryl and the others’ fact for see you later, however within the Commonwealth, zombies aren’t a danger. They’re actually leisure.
Numerous Alexandrians have relocated to the Commonwealth, along with Daryl and the children. Carol (Melissa McBride), Magna (Nadia Hilker), Connie (Lauren Ridloff), Kelly (Angel Concept), Rosita (Christan Serranos), and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) have all made the soar, becoming a member of Princess (Paola Lazaro), Ezekiel (Khary Payton), and Yumiko (Eleanora Matsuura). It’s extremely jarring to look a few of these folks main totally other, totally mundane lives than the hard-scrabble ones we’ve been observing for years. It’s bizarre to look Ezekiel working a petting zoo for youngsters. It’s bizarre to look at Judith acquire a document at a document retailer. Hell, it’s extremely jarring simply to look Daryl in a blank blouse.
As we realized within the first 3rd of season 11, the Commonwealth assigns folks jobs upon access. Daryl and Rosita are in coaching to develop into Commontroopers. Carol’s baking (and scheming). Connie is a journalist and has an interview with Governor Milton (Laila Robins). Magna is pressured to paintings as a waiter on the night’s Halloween Ball. All of those characters have promising storylines: pre-apocalypse, Connie were given the brand new Governor’s uncle kicked out of Congress. Carol groups up with Deputy Governor Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) to assuage Milton in hopes of getting him transfer the loss of life Ezekiel up the long record of surgical applicants. We’ll get to Magna in a 2nd, as it’s time to discuss Daryl, Rosita, and… Kingsley.
Whilst the episode’s intro splendidly confirmed the huge distinction between the truth the Alexandrians had been dwelling in and the Commonwealth’s fact, the go back of the cartoonishly snobby and reprehensible Kingsley finds the actual illness on the center of the colony. After some coaching, Daryl and Rosita are summoned to lend a hand in one in every of Kingsley’s zombie-fighting coaching periods, together with Commontrooper commander Mercer (Michael James Display). First, Kingsley says one thing sexist to Rosita, will get his greasy palms in all places Daryl’s crossbow, then tries to swings a morning celebrity and looks as if an fool, at which he announces, “That factor’s pathetic!” Daryl and Rosita’s task is principally to unharness two zombies, at a long period, so Kingsley can cast off them. He manages the primary, which I used to be shocked through, however in fact botches the second one, plunging his knife into the zombie’s throat as an alternative of its head, necessitating a long combat.
In the end, it is going on lengthy sufficient to fret Daryl, and he dispatches the zombie to Kingsley’s livid disapproval, just like he was once irate when Eugene stored him and his female friend Daisy Richiricherton for “interrupting his date” through rescuing them from zombies. It was once cartoonishly evil then, and it’s cartoonishly evil now, apart from now Kingsley turns into any such douchebag he stops making sense. “This is the long run soldier of the Commonwealth?” he asks with scorn. You imply, the man who simply successfully killed a zombie you couldn’t, Mr. St. Buffingsworth? The display isn’t even seeking to make Kingsley third-dimensional, let on my own sympathetic.
After which The Strolling Useless doubles down at the awfulness of the Commonwealth, Kingsley, and just about the entirety else, as it’s the time for the Halloween Ball held through Governor Milton! The elite of the group gathers, dressed in fits and fancy clothes, to consume high quality hors d’oeuvres and drink numerous bottles of fine wine (served through Magna, amongst others). A literal pink carpet is rolled out to obtain crucial visitors, together with Kingsley. There are even paparazzi there, guys, frantically snapping pics. (What number of publications may just this post-apocalyptic town most likely comprise that may necessitate a couple of photographers? What number of “celebrities” may just this position most likely have?)
In comparison to the entirety we’ve ever noticed on The Strolling Useless, together with flashbacks, this lavish celebration is sort of a hedonistic show of ostentatious wealth and debauchery. In truth, having noticed what our protagonists have long gone thru, how a lot they’ve sacrificed simply to stick alive, the extravagance of the Governor’s celebration feels in truth wicked. So when a server grabs a knife, grabs Milton’s assistant, and begins screaming in regards to the inequities of the Commonwealth’s extraordinarily blatant magnificence device, it’s now not that sudden.
The server, named Tyler, in short manages to flee, however Daryl tracks him down within the Haunted Area. Tyler explains that he was once a guard who misplaced the entirety when a prisoner beat him up and escaped (that may be Princess, noticed previous within the season), and will now not reinforce his sister and her children. Daryl handcuffs the deficient child however offers him to Kingsley so the douchebag can take the credit score. It completely sucks to look essentially the most obnoxious member of the Commonwealth’s elite get a possibility to polish passed to him, however Daryl needs to placate his new “boss” as a result of Judith and R.J. wish to keep of their new, secure house. Why wouldn’t they? And Daryl sees a possibility for them to enjoy an ordinary, secure, nontraumatic youth (for just a little, no less than). However as Kingsley pushes the prisoner throughout the reception corridor, Tyler screams, “There are 1000 extra like me! Face up to the Commonwealth!” And Governor Milton worries.
We knew the Commonwealth was once a fascist hand in a velvet glove, metaphorically talking, but it surely’s by no means been so evident when, a couple of days later, the just lately promoted Daryl and Rosita (in Commontrooper armor) burst into Tyler’s condo and find a secret door to a small HQ coated in pro-workers, anti-elite propaganda. There is probably not 1000 revolutionaries in a position to damage the Commonwealth’s higher magnificence, however there’s without a doubt a couple of. (Magna is without a doubt in a position to damage the plutocracy.)
In sure techniques, I suppose I may just see folks being consternated that The Strolling Useless has pivoted to develop into a tale about magnificence struggle, however I like it. Just a display as venerable as TWD may just poignantly discover whether or not the harmful however truthful lifestyles at Alexandria is best or worse than on the Commonwealth, the place protection and exploitation pass hand-in-hand. Additionally, what’s made the display distinctive is its depiction of ways wicked folks would possibly develop into after civilization falls. Now we get to look how wicked folks can develop into as soon as civilization comes again.
- I don’t how I believe about Ezekiel retaining Shiva’s leash, or why Jerry’s (Cooper Andrews) child was once so delighted to be enjoying with it. Then again, Jerry’s circle of relatives all dressing up as tigers for the Halloween pageant was once nice.
- Mercer brings Princess into the celebration, despite the fact that she’s dressed in her princess dress and there’s a posh get dressed code. Between this and a scene the place he opens up just a little to Daryl post-Kingsley hissyfit, Mercer is also turning into an all-right man.
- Why did Carol know the place there was once one million secret bottles of wine? I’m happy she was once ready to lend a hand Hornsby to (sooner or later) lend a hand Ezekiel, however I’d be pissed if I realized she’d been preserving out on everybody else.
- The document Judith will get (neatly, is given) is Motörhead’s Rock n’ Roll, all so their track “Consume the Wealthy” can blast within the background as Daryl, Rosita, and the opposite Commontroopers burst into Tyler’s hidden innovative HQ. It’s at the nostril as hell, and I like it principally as a result of on The Strolling Useless, there’s an excessively respectable shot that the wealthy can be in truth eaten! Right here’s hoping!
Questioning the place our RSS feed went? You’ll be able to pick out the brand new up one right here.