After two weeks of intense action and heartbreaking emotion, AMC's The Walking Dead offered up a slightly "quieter" episode this week with "Look at the Flowers." Which isn't to say that things didn't happen – because they sure did (check out the link to our review here and below) – but for us, the biggest news was the introduction of new "royalty" to the series – someone fans of the comics have been eager to meet.
Thanks to Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and Ezekiel's (Khary Payton) journey to establish first real contact with Eugene's radio buddy "Stephanie," they – and we – ran into Paola Lazaro's Juanita Sanchez aka – and we're already excited to meet her. Lazaro had the kind of entrance I can see fans reflecting back on several season down the road – she enters the scene with that strong of a vibe, and her introduction fit her comic book persona perfectly.
In the comics, Juanita Sanchez was known as "Princess" or "Princess of Pittsburgh" with a good-natured, upbeat personality that hies a rough past and upbringing. She's considered to be the harbinger of the "Commonwealth" storyline, where she settles down at the end of the comic book series' run.
Here's what The Walking Dead showrunner and executive producer Angela Kang had to say about what her arrival on the scene means moving forward:
"She's a really fun character, and here's this person who has been stuck in this city and she has forged her own path in life to try to deal with everything that's happened. And I'll say that she is in obviously some sort of strange confrontation with our people, and we'll learn a lot more about her in the episode to follow. And she becomes an important catalyst for some of the things that are to happen. But we love this actress we cast, Paolo Lazaro. She's wonderful. Just folded right in with the cast, is incredibly funny, but has a great dark sense of humor. And so I'm excited for people to see what she brings to this mix going forward."
Here's a look at Lazaro's tweet prior to tonight's episode:
— Paola Lázaro (@paola__lazaro) March 29, 2020
"The Walking Dead" Season 10 Reviews
We didn't mince words over how impressed we were with season opener "Lines We Crossed" (check out our review here). Then we had Morton, Hurst, and Birch raising the bar even higher with "We Are the End of the World" (check out our review here), – offering up some Whisperers backstory.
"Ghosts" elevated the paranoia as McBride continues delivering an award-winning performance (that review's here) – while "Silence the Whisperers" proved once again why it's "In Cudlitz, We Trust" (review here).
"What It Always Is" had a now-free Negan beginning his redemption arc (???) while Alpha raised the stakes against our survivors (review here).
"Bonds" had Negan being tested, Carol and Daryl possibly making matters worse for the community by "picking up" a Whisperer, and Eugene reaching out… and getting a response.
"Open Your Eyes" (review here) saw our theory about Siddiq (Avi Nash) completely, totally, and tragically put to rest. That brought us to midseason finale "The World Before" (reviewed here), as the drumbeats of war grew louder.
After a mideason break, we learned that those drumbeats had turned into thunder, as "Squeeze" (review here) and "Stalker" (review here) turned up the heat on what was once a stealth "cold war" back-n-forth between Alpha and our heroes.
What could top that, and cause a break in the action? That would be "What We Become" (review here), with Danai Gurira's final run as Michonne… or is it?
"Look at the Flowers" brought the focus back to the frontlines as we learned more about the Negan/Carol team-up, witnessed Beta go even deeper off the deep end, watched Carol's final confrontation with "Alpha" – and were introduced to a very smiley series game-changer (review here).