You’ll be introduced to Walking Dead spoilers below, so beware.

Grab your self-lacing sneakers, because The Walking Dead jumped into the future for tonight’s episode as a way to sprint past the events of last week’s midseason premiere. Carl is fine now and photograph-worthy for the most part, and love was in the air, but comic fans no doubt cheered loudest during “The New World” when Paul “Jesus” Monroe Rovia came into the story, totally showing up both Rick and Daryl several times. Welcome to your new favorite character.

We haven’t seen Rick and Daryl get chummy for an outing in a long time, so this calm period was a perfect point to send these guys out together, as they’re exactly who Jesus should be interacting with first, even if Daryl thought it’d be a good thing if they didn’t find anybody. Rick and Daryl both exude bravado and machismo, so it was admittedly great to see them lose the upper hand to Jesus multiple times, although they did come out ahead temporarily. It’s never good to be unconscious when under the watchful eye of Rick Grimes, but Jesus obviously knew how to handle himself, getting free and stumbling in on Rick and Michonne in the buff.

the walking dead

For the record, if Carol would have been there, she wouldn’t have fallen for any of Jesus’ firecracker bullshit, and she would have made sure he was securely bound before trying to move on. Every time. Always take Carol.

British actor Tom Payne took on the role of Jesus, and his performance was pretty solid. He’s got a trustworthy face, and he knows how to put fighting skills to use when that trust doesn’t matter anymore. And I wouldn’t judge anyone who talked shit about Rick and Daryl for being so happy with themselves for leaving a dude tied up in the middle of the road and then sharing snacks. Not very nice, New Rick. It's clear that Jesus has talents though, and that he could be a huge asset to everyone inside Alexandria.

the walking dead

This was all quite different from how Jesus is introduced in the comics, though both versions initially make Jesus look like a bad guy so that he can get to the bottom of whatever the others are capable of and who they’re connected to. I expect things to continue in the same general direction as the source material, which I won’t go into that here, but there’s always a chance that Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman could give this fan favorite character two episodes before turning him into walker kibble, because there is nothing good about the world sometimes.

Regardless of what he says he knows, Jesus is very much aware of other people out there in the world, and he is assumedly going to be the link to bring the Alexandria survivors to a greater awareness as time goes on. Well, the link that doesn’t directly lead to Negan, anyway. But he first has to make it out of what will probably be an intense conversation next week. In Jesus we trust.

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC.

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