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Arts and Entertainment

'The Walking Dead' Recap: Season Six Returns With A Brutal Bang

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The following contains spoilers for 'The Walking Dead' episode "No Way Out."

The Walking Dead has returned for your Sunday evening anxiety attack! In the Season 6 midseason premiere, No Way Out, things got pretty crazy. It was a true zombie hack-and-slash, and there were some pretty brutal deaths, plus a horrible injury for one main character.

When we last left the survivors of The Walking Dead, shit had gotten real. To recap:

  • Zombies have overrun Alexandria. Michonne, Jessie, Ron, Sam, Carl, Gabriel, Judith and Rick are trying to make it out of Jessie's compromised house and to safety. They're covered in zombie guts, and Sam is calling for his mom.
  • Maggie, who we recently found out is pregnant, is stuck on a platform surrounded by zombies. She's hoping a handful of balloons released in the distance means Glenn is alive. Glenn and Enid are outside of Alexandria, and Glenn is determined to save Maggie.
  • Carol and Morgan got in a fight in an abandoned house in Alexandria over whether or not they should kill a lone Wolf that Morgan has, probably foolishly, been trying to save. In the turmoil, the Wolf made off with Dr. Denise. Carol and Morgan got knocked out, and Rosita, Tara and Eugene are holed up with them.
  • Daryl managed to commandeer a fuel tanker and was headed back to Alexandria with Sasha and Abraham-who apparently are crushing on each other, apocalypse and Abraham's relationship with the little-developed Rosita aside. However, the trio was stopped in the road by some motorcycle-riding jackasses who do not seem friendly.
  • Deanna is definitely dead. She was bitten by a walker and about to turn herself when she decided to go kill a few, head-on.
  • Now, onto the brutal premiere of Season Six's second half, No Way Out.

Who's Negan?We begin with Daryl, Sasha and Abraham. They've been stopped at gunpoint on the road by a group of total meanies who are telling them that everything they have belongs to some dude named Negan. Comic book readers will recognize that name. The ringleader of this group has decided not to kill them all since they've got a tanker, but instead take them back to where they call home—where I'm sure they're planning to be super friendly and neighborly.

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Daryl is already in a bad mood because some survivors he tried to help took his chopper and his crossbow, so he's not too pleased. He tries to claim that the guns the meanies just took are all they have, but the ringleader knows better. He sends one of his men and Daryl around to the back of the tanker to see what else the trio has for Negan. The ringleader keeps advising them that if they have to "eat shit," it's best "not to nibble. Bite, chew, swallow, repeat. It goes quicker."

Abraham decides to ask who Negan is, despite being told not to ask questions. The ringleader of the group tells them that typically, what they do when they run across survivors on the road is kill one of them right away, then take all their stuff. However, they decided in this instance to spare their lives, take all their stuff, and then drive them back home. However, because Abraham asked a question, he's a dead man. He's about to pull the trigger, Sasha says, "Wait." The ringleader responds by pulling a second gun, this one trained on Sasha. Right as he's about to kill them both, the motorcycle meanies are hit by a fireball, which kills them all.

That's right. Abraham found a gosh-darn RPG launcher! We learn that Daryl fought the other guy behind the tanker, killed him and saved the day.

"Nibble on that," Abraham says to the charred remains of the motorcycle meanies. Oh, Abraham, and his one-liners. I hope he lives for a while on the show, if only for his dad jokes.

The trio continues on their way to Alexandria.

Back At AlexandriaMeanwhile, the lone Wolf and Denise are trying to make it out and it seems like the Wolf has at least decided he needs Denise alive. They're crouched against a wall, and the Wolf is trying to convince Denise they're gonna make it.

Rick & Co., covered in zombie guts, have a problem. There are too many walkers to make it to the armory and not enough guns. Instead, Rick thinks they should head to the quarry and pick up the vehicles left behind there. They can use the vehicles to draw the walkers away.

Gabriel volunteers to go to the church with Judith because a crying baby is not necessarily the clandestine situation the group needs to get through a thick horde of walkers. Gabriel hides Judith beneath his zombie guts cloak. Jessie has a great idea: Sam, who is already freaking out, should go with Gabriel. Sam refuses, however, and Jessie relents. This is the worst decision anyone will make this episode.

Wakey-Wakey, Carol And Morgan!

Carol and Morgan are up again, and have a brief heart-to-heart during which Carol informs Morgan that he didn't save the Wolf for anyone but himself. She then tells Morgan, "I should have killed you."

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"You can't," Morgan says, simply. This implies that he believes Carol has some Dexter-ish code to her savagery, and he's probably right.

Denise and the Wolf have headed out into the herd, aiming for a ladder to get up and out of Alexandria. The Wolf is obviously much better at surviving than Denise, but he blows it for himself when he turns back to save her as she grapples with a walker. The Wolf saves Denise, but a walker bites him in the arm. However, Denise promises him that she will save his life if he can get her to the infirmary. (We know this is possible, because a one-legged Herschel had a good run post-walker bite.) He agrees. She manages to use a belt to tourniquet his arm in an alley and tells him that because he saved her instead of climbing up the ladder, maybe he's changed. They head out once more. However, before they can get very far, Carol shoots the Wolf from a balcony and tells Denise to run. She does and rushes into the infirmary, where Heath, Spencer and Aaron have holed up.

Denise doesn't have much time to breathe, however.

And They Will Tear You Apart And Eat You Up All While You're Still AliveNight has fallen, but The Zombie Guts group is making progress. That is until Sam starts remembering Carol's threats about being eaten by monsters as he stares at the gnashing teeth of the walkers that surround him. He sees a walker about his age and loses it. He stops moving and starts whimpering, which attracts zombies. Before the group can grab him and run, Sam is overtaken by walkers. Carol's words—"they will tear you apart and eat you up all while you're still alive"—come true. And it's horrifying. Jessie screams helplessly and Rick can't quiet her down, so walkers pounce on her, too.

This sucks. Rick and Jessie had just started falling for one another—the part where Rick publicly executed her abusive husband aside. Rick hasn't really had anyone to hold onto since Lori's brutal death at the prison. There are a number of sad flashbacks of Jessie smiling where Rick realizes what he's just lost.

But there's no time for love, Dr. Jones. Jessie's being torn apart by walkers, but she's still gripping Carl's hand. Rick has no choice but to hack Jessie's arm off with his hatchet to save his own son and keep moving.

In all of this commotion, one of them drops their gun. Ron picks it up, and in classic Ron fashion, points it at Rick and snarls, "You."

Now, I've always hated Ron. Ron ruins everything. Ron is the reason zombies got into Jessie's house in the first place. I get that it's hard to have some newcomers show up to your town, murder your abusive father and steal your cynical teen girlfriend, but can we save our complex interpersonal dramas for moments when we're not surrounded by walkers?

Before Ron can take out Rick, Michonne guts him from behind with her sword. This saves Rick's life, but the gun goes off and HITS CARL IN THE EYE.

"Dad?" Carl says, with one bloody eye hole.

Now, if you're a comic book reader, this shouldn't surprise you, even though it goes down differently in the books. When it comes to grievous bodily harm, comic book fans are still missing a certain character's Jaime Lannister-ing at the hands—get it?—of the Governor. Speaking of which, if the Governor can wreak havoc with one eye, I have high hopes for Carl if they can save him now.

Rick manages to scoop up Carl and run while Michonne hacks her way through walkers. Plans have changed. They're going to the infirmary. Denise realizes what's happened before they even make it through the doors, and tells her fellow Alexandrians to start getting some supplies. Rick bursts in and begs Denise to save his son.

What About Totally Not Dead Glenn?Now, what about our favorite couple, Aaron and Eric? Just kidding. They're great, but Maggie and Glenn are the ones in danger right now.

Glenn and Enid earlier made it to the church. There, Glenn tells them they're looking for a hidden gun—they call this the "Bible Glock"—and bullets. The pair talk about loss and have one of those arguments about whether or not they're going to save Maggie together or if Enid will stay behind, even though we know they're definitely going to go together, and then they're off—but not before Enid fashions a rope for Maggie to climb down from the platform with out of cloth found in the church.

When they get to Maggie, the platform is wobbling. Glenn starts screaming and shooting his gun to draw the walkers away and Enid manages to artfully scramble up the platform, just missing the clawing hands of the walkers at her feet. She makes it to Maggie, but before the two can climb down, Glenn appears to be done for.

He's out of bullets. Maggie's out of bullets. The Walkers are closing in on him, and he's trapped agains one of the walls meant to protect them. Maggie screams out Glenn's name and it's gut-wrenching. Seriously, no one on this show makes me ever feel so many feelings as Lauren Cohan.

But despite the fact that Glenn almost dies in seemingly every episode, yet another deus ex machina-type miracle occurs. Abraham and Sasha appear with a couple of the big guns and hail bullets down on the walkers. Glenn somehow avoids being hit because he's crouched down, preparing for death.

"Can you get the gate? Appreciate it!" Abraham says smugly.

Glenn opens the gate and Daryl brings the tanker through. Daryl also has a bright idea. But, first...

A Montage!

You know how whenever something horrible happens to a character they go into berserker mode and take out a million walkers, leaving you to wonder how come they can't fight walkers like that all the time? We've seen it with Tyrese and Sasha.

Well, it's Rick's turn. He's lost Jessie and Carl's got a hole in his head, and Judith is in the hands of the survivor Rick trusts least. (Though, let's be real, Gabriel's really come around for being the fan least-favorite.)

Rick, armed with just that hatchet, goes out into the herd, chopping away at walkers left and right.

Denise has to beg Michonne to hold still for just one more suture on Carl's head before Michonne goes out, right there with Rick. It's not long before Heath, Aaron and Spencer join the fray. They kind of do this sweet little back-to-back circle of whirling walker death, but they're still in dire straits. There are a lot of walkers. But, wait, what's this? The other Alexandrians are apparently done hiding in the shadows. They come out of their homes too, even Olivia!

Gabriel looks out the windows of his church and see what's going on as well. He tells those gathered there that they've been praying for God to save Alexandria, and He has.

"God has given us the courage to save it ourselves," he says, before entrusting Judith to those inside the church, picking up his machete and heading out.

Morgan, Carol, Tara, Rosita and Eugene also join in. There's a moment where Rosita tells Eugene, whose major story arc of late is overcoming cowardice, that he doesn't have to go. He tells her he does, because this a story people will tell. That's assuming there are people left, but Eugene continues to be a comedically admirable character in spite of his flaws. Morgan has a moment where he has to kill the Wolf, now a walker. He apologizes before taking him out.

We get a pretty intense montage of our long-time heroes as well as our fresh, Alexandrian heroes killing walkers. It's done in a way where you get a POV shot, showing you what it's like to be a walker finally being put to rest. It's very inspiring! The soundtrack at this point is not "Do You Hear The People Sing?", but it very well could be. It's like Alexandria has finally grown up after Wolves and walkers killed, oh, about half of them or more.

However, it's now time for Daryl's bright idea. He uses the tanker to pour fuel into Alexandria's lake, and then lights the whole thing ablaze with his RPG launcher. The walkers are drawn to the flames and led away, leaving them available for easy hacking.

When dawn comes, there are dead walkers everywhere. Somehow, these crazy kids did it.

As it all wraps up, Rick sits at Carl's bedside trying to tell him about how he saw their old friends and new Alexandrian friends work side-by-side to kill a bajillion zombies. We will rebuild, he tells Carl, begging him to wake up so Rick can show him this new glorious world.

And Carl squeezes his hand.

That's all very sweet, but after everyone's done washing all the blood off the street, they're gonna have some shit to discuss.

1) Yeah, Abraham, who is Negan? He sounds not nice. He sounds like he's gonna be worse than the Governor, those Terminus cannibals and Look-At-The-Flowers-Lizzie!

2) Okay, Carol, we need to talk. As much as I love Scarol, it was her words in Sam's head before he totally lost his head and got his whole family killed. Although you could argue Ron being a stupid head is what got him killed, it was all set into the motion by the very obviously traumatic thing where he just watched his final remaining family members get chewed apart by zombies during one of Rick's insane plans. Also, I was kind of curious to see what the Wolf would do if he did make it to the infirmary, but Carol. I often find Carol to be tragically correct, but I'm curious to see how this Morgan v. Carol feud plays out, and Carol's reaction to the death of Sam and his whole family.

3) Abraham and Rosita are going to need to have a moment. Abraham has been making awkward passes at Sasha since they left to fix the zombie quarry problem. I can't imagine that's going to play out sans drama. I'd like to see a fully-fleshed Rosita this season.