The latest episode of “The Walking Dead,” entitled “New Best Friends,” is the second in a row in which no human being died, which must be some kind of record, though it is a near Run thing in two instances. It was also the second episode in a row where Negan, the noxious leader of the Saviors, did not appear.

Rick and company have been trying to gather allies in their planned campaign to throw off the yoke of Negan and his Savior tribute gatherers. They have run into a snag with Ezekiel and the Kingdom.

Ezekiel is somewhat reluctant to risk all on a revolt. But it turns out that His Majesty has some dissension in the ranks. One of his right-hand men, Richard, has a plan to force the King’s hand.

Richard’s plan is to plant a weapons cache and tie it to Carol. He knows little about her except that Ezekiel sets great store in the hermit lady. In any case, the idea is for Negan to show up. Break Carol’s head in with his barbed bat, and thus force the King’s hand. The lady seems tough enough she might even survive, Richard reasons.

The proposal turns out to be a terrible mistake. When Richard puts the idea to Daryl, the crossbowman beats the man into a pulp. Richard did not know that Daryl loves the homicidal old lady more than any living human being. He later pays Carol a visit in her cabin for a tender but chaste reunion.

The second time a living human being almost died happened when Rick and company met a group of people who live near a landfill that seems to provide a lot of their needs.

The leader of the group hurtles Rick from a great height into a pit where a zombie wearing spiked armor awaits. Rick managed to dispatch the walker, which impresses the leader. The two groups form an uneasy alliance based on mutual interests and suspicion.

Next week, it appears, Negan is going to return for an episode taking place at the Savior compound. One thing is for certain, death and mayhem is surely going to ensue when the man with the barbed bat shows up.

Will someone just kill him already?

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