Kelen Conley: Well that escalated quickly.
I hate to start things out on that note but they really did. This episode and the first 3 episodes of Season 6 have all been contenders for greatest single episode of The Walking Dead ever. This one stands out for the amount of false finishes (look, wrestling jargon!) it had but there wasn’t a second that I wasn’t on the edge of my seat. I covered my eyes a few times because I knew what was coming and I knew it was going to be bad. And I definitely ran around my living room fist pumping when cool shit was happening. This is another one of those tent pole episodes you can show to a non-fan when they ask why you watch TWD.
First thing I want to address is the fact that people are upset that they showed Sam getting killed on camera because he’s a kid. It was kind of inevitable. If they showed a baby or a toddler getting bit, that’s a little too much. But Sam was definitely old enough to be killed on screen. I like to think the main reason he was killed on screen was because he was always designed to be that annoying kid we wanted to get eaten by walkers.
Our buddy Moose is among those that wishes to see Carl get his face chewed (or blown off but he also wants him dead) but they’ll more than likely never do that. Let’s face it, Sam had it coming. At first, he was the cute kid who Carol scared. Then he was the cute kid who Carol was protecting and teaching. The moment he wouldn’t come downstairs anymore was the moment he sealed his fate. Any liabilities must be eliminated. Even though it made no sense why he was able to be among the walkers for hours before he melted down, Sam was done the minute he stepped outside.
Speaking of Carol, I’m not looking forward to seeing her reaction to yet another kid being gone. She may have fought getting attached to Sam but you just know she’s going to take this badly. And I loved her reading Morgan the riot act after they were both awake. It seems like someone finally got through to him but I suppose we’ll have to wait and see on that one.
As for why she can’t kill Morgan, your guess is as good as mine. You don’t think they’re actually going to put her and Morgan in a relationship do you? That’s what I’ve been reading on the internets since their showdown in “Start To Finish”. I know you’ll have a lot to say about this, so I’ll pick it up in my next section.
So Alexandria was saved! Hooray! Jessie died too! Hooray! Carl lost an eye! Hoo… yeah. Remember when I mentioned that Carl was getting a little too cocky and something would be bringing him back to earth? Yeah. So Ron got his parting shot, Enid wasn’t involved and now Carl has to live out the rest of his days with one eye.
I’m not looking forward to dealing with pissy Carl. “Dad, how come I had to get shot? How come he couldn’t hit one of those walkers all over the place? Dad, this sucks. Dad, do I look like the Governor?” I’m guessing he’s going to be the one wanting to run outside the walls and Enid will be trying to look out for him.
My favorite part of this episode was how Gabriel finally grew a pair and gave that speech that motivated all of the people in the church to get out there and help Rick fight back the horde. This is the kind of work I’m used to seeing from Seth Gilliam, especially in the later seasons of The Wire. I’m really excited about his character now. I said that I thought the show would need a new strong character to step up so that they could go for the big character kill that’s been looming this season. Gabriel stepped up big time.
If only Jessie had the sense to, oh, I don’t know; take Sam with Gabriel to his church instead of keeping Sam with her? Sam specifically said he wanted to stay with her, so she listened to her kid and it got them both killed. If she had left Rick, they’d both still be alive. Not that I wanted them alive, but I’m just saying.
I have to say that Rick’s plan to go to the quarry to get the cars was the dumbest plan he’s had since… let’s kill everyone in the hospital to save Beth and Carol. He wanted to leave a town of frightened people so they could lure the walkers away (a plan that pretty much failed miserably earlier this season). Once the walkers are lured away, then what? Hope they don’t come back?
And there was no way that motley crew was going to make it to the quarry, Sam took care of his family by himself but can you imagine how he would’ve done outside of the Alexandria perimeter? They’d all be dead. Carl getting shot (again) and making Rick go postal on the walkers ended up being the best thing for everyone.
And remember how we were talking about how the show tries to be as realistic as possible? All of that went out the window with how the town came together and took out the horde together. Oh, it was so magical and cool!
Don’t get me wrong; it was a big moment for Alexandria turning a corner and so that the torch could be passed from Deanna to Rick, but come on! All those walkers, and we’re talking about at least a couple hundred, and you’re telling me this group of 20 to 30 people took out a large majority by themselves? I get that Daryl’s fire also took out a large grouping of them but the montage made it look like they had been fighting walkers all night. It just feels corny in hindsight. Super cool on the first viewing but I can never watch this moment again with a straight face.
I left out talking about DSA, Glenn/Enid/Maggie, and Denise/The Wolf so that you could pick up with your thoughts on what happened with them. Before I hand things over to you though, I cannot stress enough how cool this episode was, even with Carl getting shot (again. Maybe I’ll start calling him 2 Timez like 2 Chainz?) and the over the top walker killing montage. I have no idea how the season finale will top this episode.
Or maybe I’m just afraid who will have to die in order for this episode to be topped…
Thomas Crawford: I got to say some things about Rick's plan. Was it stupid? Yes it was. Could something better have been thought up? Yes it could. Could I have come up with a better solution in that situation which seemed to take forever but really was just split second plan making? I'm not sure. I'm scratching my head trying to think of some plans right now.
I know I got on Rick's case because the plan was set to fail from go. However, let's look at some alternatives. The idea we thought of... send Sam and Jessie and Ron with Gabriel to the church.
Well Sam would have flipped out. Then we'd have dead Sam, Jessie, Ron, and possibly Gabriel and Walker Bait... aka Judith.
How about everyone go to the church? Then they can stay there, and Rick can take Michonne and get some vehicles?
Sam still flips out...then we still might have a dead Gabriel or Judith. Plus Jessie and Ron would have bit it as well the same way.
The way the story had to play out, Sam was going to flip out and end up getting people killed. Kudos to you especially for calling that, and having Jessie act the exact way you said. This way, we know that Walker Bait will be safe in the church away from the upcoming mayhem.
The entire plan had to get Walker Bait to safety, at least in the writer’s minds I think. That is why the story was written with such a horrible plan.
I have to admit I'm a little shocked that fans are torn up because the innocent kid Sam got killed.
First, it wasn't that gruesome. Yes, there was blood, and then he was swarmed. Same with Jessie. They aren't even on the top ten of graphic kills for this show, so let's all take a minute and calm down.
Second, I really haven't heard a peep about the young kid Ron getting shish kebabbed by Michonne. Isn't he supposed to be a young character as well? Oh that is right, he is a jerk and no one likes him. Let's impale him on a sword, no worries.
I will say that was pretty awesome scene from start to finish. I don't know about you but I couldn't talk for almost five minutes after. It was just a crazy sequence that would have had me jumping up and down, if I weren't getting old and fat.
Carl, what about Carl? Honestly, I really don't want to see a moody and whiny Carl. However, this gives them some things to work with if they want to take it down a darker path.
We know Carl has had issues in the past with being stable. He is a teen, saw his mom die, sister born, and has killed without even flinching. Could this wound be a catalyst for a darker side to come back?
I'd like to think that is the plan in the writer's heads. However, it is possible that we will have to deal with a moody and whiny Carl for a while. Although I hope not long.
Carol and Morgan, a thing? Okay I hope that is just some gossip. Actually I do see them having some sort of relationship, depending on how long they live. Could it be that Carol is pushed over the edge? Perhaps Morgan is there to, "bring her back to sanity?"
I really don't want to see a romance thing happen between those two. The characters are just so different, and I don't think I'd like how the writers would make it happen. I wouldn't mind them becoming friends of a sort. However that is all I'd want.
The Alexandrians killing montage was cheesy? No way that is impossible. Okay I will say after seeing it I thought it was cool. However part of me really thought some 80s rock playing in the background would have gone nicely. What is a montage without 80s rock? Pick your favorite; there are a lot that could have fit.
I will say that I was wrong. Imagine that? However, the town of Alexandria will stand. I've got mixed feelings on that. I did say I couldn't wait to see Alexandria fall. Though it was also cool to see them band together, and wake up to reality. I'm not going to say it ruined my day, it didn't. Though I don't know if I want the entire second half of the season about Alexandria rebuilding.
How about that opening? Forget "one of the best episodes" of the series. I think that was the best opening of the show I've ever seen.
How about the man Daryl "I don't need no stinking crossbow" Dixon? Okay, that was awesome. How many of those bikers do you think he could have taken with the crossbow? It was also totally unexpected to me. I have to admit I was sick to my stomach thinking it was going to be the end of Big Red.
We talked about the death of Abraham a lot, and it was looking like it from the word go. Though it was cool when Negan's guy referred to him as the last ginger. Was it me or you that made a similar comment?
Truthfully I saw them getting out, but not that way. I saw Abraham dead, and Daryl laying down some cover fire while he and Sasha hightailed it. Blowing the gang up, way better.
A side note, remember watching the first episode of South Park where Kenny made it to the credits? That was the feeling I got when Abraham was still alive at the end. Now the big question, how long does he have left? Sadly, I think his time is up by the end of the season.
There is a lot to cover in this episode. Frankly, I don't think I want to go overboard right away. So I'm going to throw it back to you. How about the opening? What about Glenn getting saved, again? How about Abraham and Sasha mowing down walkers with the machine guns?
KC: Abraham and Sasha mowing down walkers was awesome. For such an intense episode, the fact that they were able to bring a little levity to the situation was much needed. And Abraham sure did look like he was back to normal the way he was cracking jokes with all those walkers around.
Now, I feel a bit different about his fate. The moment to kill him would’ve been in the cold opening of the episode and they didn’t. I’m starting to think Abraham makes it to Season 7… and another beloved character dies. I’m not going to say who it is yet. Better to wait and see what happens in the rest of 6B before I go out on that limb.
I have to admit, I totally bought into Glenn dying all over again. It would’ve been devastating, especially with Maggie and Enid just a few feet away, watching in horror as Glenn was overcome with walkers, unable to do anything to save him. But once again, Glenn escapes and lives to see another day.
I really have no idea how Glenn will die at this point. He’s escaped death twice this season (and three times if you count Nicholas being a bad shot in the finale of Season 5) and his luck doesn’t look like it will be running out anytime soon. I’m just worried that his actual death will have less meaning because of these near misses now.
That opening was terrifying. I should’ve known our heroes would come out on top after Daryl went behind the truck with that biker. But the setup led me to believe Abraham and Sasha were going to get riddled full of holes because Big Red asked one question. Looking back at it, the entire sequence took far too long and if they were going to kill them off, it would’ve had more impact if he just shot them both after Abraham’s query. Bud (thanks again Walking Dead Wikia) fell for the classic villain trope and talked entirely too much. By the time he was ready to pull the trigger, he and his gang were ash and bones.
But man was I worried 6B was going to start off with 2 murders.
This was the biggest moment Daryl has had in the show since taking out that cop with the walker head, don’t you think? It was nice to see him in action instead of being taken advantage of like he was often in “Always Accountable”. I had a feeling Daryl would take out the biker but I didn’t think he’d grab the RPG. I was more worried that Bud and his gang would find it and plan on using it on the Alexandrians.
He wouldn’t have stood a chance against the bikers with the crossbow.
I don’t expect to spend a lot of time watching Alexandria being rebuilt thankfully. I think the rebuild will fall to background while the town (I guess I can stop calling them the group now that Rick is officially in charge) deals with other issues like who that gang was, if there are any remaining Wolves, and how to better protect Alexandria. I don’t think we need to see actual walls being built; there’s a lot of good plot threads that can be handled instead.
I would also love to see the killing montage set to a great, uptempo 80s classic.
So I’ve come around on Enid. She finally showed she was brave enough not to run away and stuck by Glenn, even if she nearly watched him get devoured. I’m looking forward to seeing her reactions to Carl’s injury and maybe even Ron’s death. Maybe we’ll get some insight into why Ron considered her his girlfriend, which subsequently led to him shooting Carl in the eye.
Even though I think he was aiming for Rick. I don’t remember now but since he just cut off his mom’s arm, I would think Rick would be the obvious target. When Michonne stabbed him is when he fired wildly into Carl’s head.
So did the Wolf change when he went back and saved Denise, all while getting bitten in the process? I guess we’ll never find out now, will we? But Morgan will, so how that affects him (and his naysayers) going forward will be cool to see. I think the Wolf did get attached to her but not for altruistic reasons. I’d imagine he want to pretty much use her up until she died, killed herself, or got bitten/eaten by a walker.
The only thing that makes me question this was his willingness to follow her after he was bitten. From what we know of the Wolves, they accept death as part of their everyday lives, so why would he care if he got saved? Also, after Carol shot him, he threw himself at a walker to make sure Denise could get to the infirmary. He met his end as a walker, so he either turned from his bite or the gunshot.
Maybe he has a soft spot for women versus men? That might explain why he was still defiant to Morgan and a sacrificial lamb for Denise. I almost wished he would’ve made it so we could have some answers.
And congratulations TWD, Denise was outstanding this episode and I no longer have apathy towards her.
I just thought about this one: Eugene seemed to overcome a lot of his fears as far as actually fighting and killing walkers. He wanted to stand with Rick and the rest of Alexandria and it was a major development for his character. And that immediately makes me think he’s going to die in horrific fashion. Why must TWD kill everyone I love (and some people I loathe, which I also love)?
I’m trying to think if there was anything else I wanted to touch on. The preview of the next episode showed Rick and Daryl going somewhere in a hurry, so I’m looking forward to seeing them teamed up again. Should be another action packed episode. But I imagine it will be much tamer than this one was.
I almost forgot. Maggie’s still pregnant (as far as we know). How do you feel about the possibility of another baby being introduced in the group? She won’t give birth this season but I think taking one of the stronger female leads off the table for any action is a mistake personally. But I also just really love Lauren Cohan/Maggie too, so I’m biased.
TC: First off, I have to agree and disagree with you on a few points. It wouldn't be me if I didn't, come on now. The Wolf. Or the, "W Man", what the hell? Anyways, what was his deal? I mean come on. This is a character that had a ton of potential. He had the connection, the rapport with Denise, can he change, will he, and then he kidnaps her and sacrifices himself to save her?
How I remember it, he got bit and Denise said to come with her to the infirmary. The implication was she was going to cut off his arm. Then he got shot by Carol. Denise was shocked, and he threw himself into the walker to give her a chance.
Was this altruistic? I'm not sure. Come on though, this character piqued my interest. He came back to save Denise, which is why he got bit. We know he didn't have good intentions with her. However, in the end he suffered more to save her. So what was his deal?
I may never forgive the writers for giving a hint of such an enigmatic character... and then tearing him away.
Now for the disagreement. Denise is still cannon fodder in my mind. She had a big role to play in this episode yes. However, I'm still not into her character. I still remain apathetic. I think we are just going to have to disagree.
Ah, Big Red and Sasha mowing down the walkers with the machine guns. Big Red taking the time for a quip and a smile… that was awesome. At the same time, I'm still worried. He is on my kill list for the season. Sorry dude, he is one of my favorite characters. However, the writers have a habit of doing this, so I'm going to remain a cynic. I don't think Abraham is going to make it out of Season 6 alive.
If you can't tell, I am trying to prepare myself for this and expect it. So don't judge me.
You bring up an interesting point about Glenn. I'd say he has the luck of the Irish except for the obvious. Do you think maybe his luck runs out? I'm not sure, especially with Maggie saying she is pregnant. The MagGlenn is sort of the big romance for the entire series. I just don't see them splitting them up. I see him making it out of this season alive, maybe brutalized and in danger, but Glenn has been there before.
Speaking of Maggie, she is one of my favorite characters. I hope they put a little time on her this season. Though I'm not sure TWD world is ready for another Walker Bait to enter the world. I'm sort of wondering how this is going to play out for the rest of the season. The first half of Season 6 was only two days in show time? It is possible this won't even be a factor. Though you never know what they might plan.
I am chomping at the bit when I think about Rick and Daryl teaming up. It has been too long. At least it feels too long. Try to think really hard about it. When was the last time you saw Rick and Daryl working together? It was the start of Season 6 right? However, they didn't have much interaction.
The clip for next week doesn't show much, but it is obvious there is something going down. We know the two baddest mothers in TWD, only get together when it really hits the fan. So I will admit, I am stoked to see what they are running from in the episode. Or maybe they are running towards something. Either will work.
You touched on something that has me worried now, thanks. Eugene has overcome his inability to kill walkers. He was shown doing it. Hell, he looked like he was a natural just battering and slashing them down. Now I'm wondering how long does he have? Will the writers kill off one of their own?
By that I mean another nerd... come on, we are all brothers right. Nerds, geeks, we all can come together for a better world! Alas, is this Eugene's swan song? If it is, I agree it will be the end of a character I love as well. Hopefully you are wrong on this one.
I think you are right; Enid did seem to age several years in between the end of the first half of the season and start of the second half. That being said, I wonder what role she is going to play now?
Obviously, we were wrong. Imagine that? She is not going to be the powder keg that ignites the teenage angst of Ron and Carl. That ship has sailed. Then what does she do now?
I think that she will be closer to Carl. I have a feeling she is going to either be something that drives him into doing something stupid... or someone that is trying to pull him back. That is my honest prediction. I'm not sure how, but I see her having a part to play in Carl's future.
One thing neither of us has touched on: the mental state of Rick. I mean, the episode ended with a sort of hopeful, things can get better feel. But this is TWD. We know better than that. We just saw Rick have to cut off the arm of the first woman he has had feelings for since Lori.
Are we trying to avoid this? I mean, he saw Jessie swarmed, and then saw his son shot. His reaction? Go out into the walkers swinging an axe. We both know deep down he wasn't going to save the town. It was a suicide mission.
It didn't turn out how he expected obviously, as he lived. However, I can't help but think that Rick is on the brink again. Carl ended up coming back, at least that is what is implied. However, has Rick? I just wonder what twists and turns this half of the season are going to bring about for the character the show is centered on.
Will Rick be okay? Will MagGlenn make it through the season? Will Carol be okay and will she decide to kill Morgan? How about the love triangle of Sasha, Abraham, and Rosita? Can a nerd/geek like Eugene survive in TWD world? Will I ever care about Denise or the other nameless characters of Alexandria? These are all questions that are left to be answered. Like I said, I am chomping at the bit to get some solutions. Bring on the next episode.