Everyone knows that The Walking Dead has entered a new era. There's a new showrunner, a new emphasis on agriculture and, based on what fans saw in last Sunday's "The Bridge," refreshed libidos, because the people of The Walking Dead are suddenly getting real freaky-deaky.
Oh, don't act like you didn't notice. You couldn't not notice. The Walking Dead's citizens were hooking up, thinking about hooking up, or implying hooking up, from the beginning of the episode, but it wasn't all just for kicks. Now that it's future-focused, The Walking Dead wants its denizens thinking about life, not death, and it primarily demonstrated this by making a bridge the central emphasis of the most recent episode. Of course, bridges aren't traditional symbols of fertility like eggs or flowers; bridges aren't even sexy, unless you're doing something under them. So perhaps that's why The Walking Dead's producers and writers figured we needed a nudge to really hammer home the idea of a new horizon in the distance, which is why everybody is suddenly all about getting a little somethin' somethin'.
To wit: Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) opening salvo to an off-screen figure we later learn is Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) included the lines, "Not that long ago, we were fighting just to stay alive, but it's not like that anymore. We're making a new beginning." And to prove it, we quickly see Nabila (Nadine Marissa) and Jerry (Cooper Andrews) emerge from a tent whereupon Nabila plants one of those "damn, you put it down last night boy" kisses on his lips. Look closely and there's the faintest suggestion two women are having a morning after moment too.
There is no shame in anybody's game, and even if there was, nobody would've noticed. Everyone is feeling hot and heavy. Even fierce fighter and queen of seclusion Carol (Melissa McBride) has quit her will-they-or-won't-they play with her bae Ezekiel (Khary Payton). Just a week ago Carol couldn't be bothered to accept his gumball machine-looking ring, but these days, when Ezekiel gives her a doe-eyed look like last week's that was basically a "You up?" text come to life, she is all about it. "If the Kingdom didn't need me and Henry didn't have school, I'd stay here to drive in the last nail myself," he says, oozing innuendo. "Would that be the only reason you'd stay?" Carol coos back. Hold up, are we watching AMC or Cinemax?
There's more. Elsewhere in the episode, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) are seen bucking and bouncing atop horses, which in a sober reading could mean absolutely nothing but in the juvenile spirit of this nonsense you're reading is definitely an allusion to doing the wild thang, like in the movies when a woman straddles a mechanical bull in some tacky bar. Aaron (Ross Marquand) tells Daryl (Norman Reedus) he'd be a great dad, perhaps foreshadowing sweaty redneck sex to come? And then there was the climax of all this hanky panky: seeing Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) forcibly parting Father Gabriel's (Seth Gilliam) thighs like the Red Sea so she could slide her hand down his trousers to feel his trinity. Can you blame her? It's a nice moonlit night, people keep talking about plowing and, even with Gabriel's ass blathering on about frog mating sounds (yup, even the frogs are f---ing!) she couldn't help herself. Finally, it was Cupid's turn to shoot an arrow instead of Daryl, which clearly led Gabriel to stick his tongue down her throat.
All this doing the nasty (and I mean that literally, since it's not like showers are aplenty; these people must really want it to disregard their lovers' funk), the necking and nookie is a good look for The Walking Dead. It's not only a departure from the heaviness of Season 8, but since The Walking Dead team admits it wants this show to go on forever, this may very well be foreshadowing. There's only one way to populate a new Earth, and, unlike us, these folks do not have degrees to pursue or a DVR full of shows to catch up on. Right now the people of The Walking Dead can make love, not war, and by golly, they've sure earned it.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.