The fight against the Saviors just welcomed a new faction. In this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “New Best Friends,” Rick’s excursion to retrieve Gabriel yielded new allies — dressed uniformly in black — who inhabit a landfill. Led by Jadis (Pollyanna Macintosh), this group accepts Rick’s offer to fight the Saviors and reap big rewards, but only after Rick proves himself against their most fearsome pet: a walker in armored spikes. A cross between the Rancor from Return of the Jedi and a Todd McFarlane drawing, this “armored zombie” is easily the most outlandish thing ever witnessed in the entire run of the show.
Following the events of last week’s episode, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) leads a small team to find Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), who left Alexandria with nearly all the supplies the town had. But Gabriel didn’t leave without a trail, nor was he alone. Rick followed after him only to meet Jadis, the leader of the Scavengers (confirmed in the post-episode talk show Talking Dead by Pollyanna McIntosh). Rick offers to join the Scavengers in their war against Negan, which they promptly reject.
After a little more proding by Rick, Jadis tests Rick by throwing him into their gladiator pit with their “armored zombie,” named Winslow (also confirmed in Talking Dead). Taking a cue from Luke Skywalker, Rick succeeds by piling an avalanche of garbage onto Winslow, enabling him to go for an easy, swift kill.
Overwhelming the Scavengers’ spiked pet proved Rick and his group are worth the risk, and Jadis agrees to join the war so long as they get one-third of what the Saviors have, plus guns. Lots of guns. Rick and his group will have to find a crap ton of guns, and for all they know, the Scavengers could be their enemies tomorrow. But for now, they’ve got allies, and that’s a rare thing in the apocalypse.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC.