‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6 Midseason Premiere Recap: Eye for an Eye
*Warning: The Walking Dead comic book SPOILERS referenced throughout!*
The Walking Dead Season 6 midseason premiere started with a BANG, ended in a blaze of glory, and gave us the ultimate block party from hell in between. Many people are dead — but they're people we never really cared about, so are you crying? — and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) got shot in the eye.
(This is now the second time Carl has been shot, and he's the second character to lose an eye. This kid can't even get effed up in original ways.)
Episode 9, "No Way Out," had enough action — and deaths —that it could've been a little less selfish and shared some with Episode 8. For once, the midseason finale needed more oomph, while Episode 9 was like a premiere/finale. (Remember last year's Episode 9, with Tyreese’s trippy death scene in Noah's hometown? Good times!)
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Pretty much everything happened, and got handled Olivia Pope-style, in this episode. Bad guys want to steal your sh—? Handled. Giant herd of walkers in Alexandria? Handled. Sam annoying you? Handled. Ron annoying you even more? Handled. Jessie cock-blocking House Richonne's love story? Handled. Carl a little too conscious for your liking? Handled. The Wolf guy still maybe dying/maybe not? Handled. Glenn Rhee in peril yet again? Handled. Father Gabriel has no point? Handled ... for now.
Speaking of HANDS, when The Powers That Be want you to focus your attention on something, they knock you out cold with it. Episode 8 zeroed in on the held hands during the walker breakout, the Episode 9 promos focused on the hands, and this episode showed the chain gang broken up when Sam let Carol Peletier’s (Melissa McBride) voice in his head freak him out even more than usual, leading to his own death, then the death of his mother when she held onto his hand, then the death of his brother.
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Here endeth the Anderson family. Will you miss them? Maybe that's why these deaths were saved for now. Deanna, who was likable, got her own episode, but this one dispatched all of those Saviors, The Wolf guy, and the Anderson family. Everyone else appears to be fine, and even bonded in the experience.
Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) got to play hero twice in one episode, making him the Carol at Terminus of "No Way Out." But Negan is not going to take kindly to the death of his men, and it's only a matter of time before he figures out who did it. He can't know Daryl was the one to break out that RPG, but it's possible/probable that blond guy, Dwight, that Daryl met earlier in the season will be able to identify Daryl and maybe cause some problems down the road.
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What's next, though? Someone has to be on walker cleanup duty in the street. (Make Judith do it. That lazy kid needs to start pulling her weight.) Daryl and company need to tell the rest of the group about "Negan" and the bad guys they met. Paul “Jesus” Monroe (Tom Payne) should be right around the corner, which is some rare good news. And even though Carl squeezed Rick Grimes’s (Andrew Lincoln) hand, showing he's alive, he is now out of commission, and in the comic book he woke up with memory loss. But some things are best to forget. And, hey, at least he no longer has any competition for Enid.
Read on for a full recap of Episode 609:
NEGAN'S MEN BITE, CHEW, SWALLOW, GO BOOM
We get a fresh view of Daryl, Abraham Ford, and Sasha meeting the new bad guys — some of The Saviors — in the road. This is an extension of that prologue/epilogue thing that aired during Into the Badlands instead of at the end of Episode 8.
The main guy says to hand over your weapons — "Your property now belongs to Negan." He says if they can get their hands on a tanker, they are people his group will want to know. Daryl hands over his gun. "Thank you," the guys says. Well, at least he's a polite thief/d-bag.
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Abraham pauses first, stares the guy down. The guy offers some fortune cookie advice: "If you have to eat sh—, best not to nibble." Just eat it and get it over with. Somehow, this works and Abraham offers up his weapon. Sasha wants to know who they are. The guy says he'll take them back home. He also wants the rest of their stuff, from the truck. Daryl goes with one of the guys to the back. Bite. Chew. Swallow. Repeat. Abraham pulls a "Who's Deanna?" by asking "Who's Negan?" The guy gets ticked, sort of, he's still joking but he says he told them not to ask questions. So he cocks his gun at Abraham. Sasha says to wait, but that just makes the guy break out a second gun. He says normally when they meet new people they just pop them right then and there. (Foreshadowing?) Sasha is trying to help Abraham, but it doesn't do much good. The guy doesn't shoot them, though. He smiles. Says he's not going to kill them. Then says he is.
But on that note BOOM. Daryl broke out the RPG. Once again, Daryl gets to be the savior. It's great that he did it, but it would be nice for someone else to get to be the hero for once. Daryl: "What a bunch of a—holes." Fair enough. But we shouldn't expect this to be the end of it.
ALEXANDRIA: WHEN FATHER GABRIEL IS YOUR KID'S BEST SHOT
We head back to Alexandria and see things from the walkers's perspective. Love the "Come In We're Open" sign. Maybe close for a few hours, while they deal with the crowds. It's like Black Friday out there.
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The group is silent as they make their way through the walkers. We see Rick, Carl, Ron, Jessie, Father Gabriel, Michonne. Is Sam not shooting his mouth off at this point? That's how we left him in Episode 8. This time, he just looks around in fear as the silent march continues. Rick stops them for a team huddle. He says they need a new plan. They're not going to the armory. They need their vehicles back at the quarry. But Jessie points out they have Judith. Can they take her to the quarry and back? Rick seems stumped and then FG volunteers to take Little A—kicker back to his church. He'll keep her safe until they lead the walkers away.
Way to step up, FG, but is this your classic big TWD moment before you kick the bucket? Poor Judith, though. And you thought your childhood was rough. Jessie wants Sam to go, but he says he can keep going. "Please. Please. Let's just go." She says OK. Probably a bad call, but Sam was going to be trouble no matter what. FG promises Rick he will keep Judith safe. As in, "This time I won't lock myself in the church and leave her outside to die." Jessie tells Rick Judith will make it. She knows it. How do you feel about your own chances, though, Jessie? Everyone holds hands again to keep moving, even Carl and Ron. Feel the love, bruh!
THE B TEAM WAKES UP
B as in basement, of course. Tara Chambler is starting to panic. She wants to try to go and save Denise. Rosita Espinosa stays calm, she tells Tara they only have one gun, they can't do anything yet. They have to make sure Carol and Morgan Jones are OK, then they can make a plan.
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Carol gets up, and Morgan gets up too. So at least they aren't knocked out for the whole episode. Carol wants Rosita's gun to do a sweep of the brownstone. Morgan asks where "he" is. Carol knows "he took her, didn't he?" Morgan, you must feel like crap right now. Feel shame, dude.
GLENN NAME-DROPS SOME OGS
FG and Judith are on their way to the church, but Glenn — who always knows the best place to go — is already in there with Enid, giving her instructions to search for ammunition or something to start a fire. Glenn is boss. Enid gets distracted by the message above the door: "Faith without works is dead." Enid uses this moment to ask questions. "When I wanted to run, you said, ‘That's how you lose people, even after they're gone.’ What the hell does that mean?" So even though they are in the middle of a crisis, she and Glenn stop for an existential debate. Why? So the episode can have some "big picture" themes about humanity, and potentially foreshadowing what’s ahead for Glenn with Negan?
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Churches always slow people down on this show. Remember Season 2? Lawd. Glenn says the people you love they made you who you are, they're still part of you. You stop being you, that last bit of them that’s still around inside of you is gone. Those people for Glenn are his parents, a man named Dale, Maggie's father, Andrea, Tyreese. All the memories! We never hear about Glenn's parents, though. Somehow this leads to Enid coming up with a plan to help Maggie Greene. She suggests Glenn make something to help Maggie climb down. Wait, who had a gun in there?
PRAY FOR DENISE
As Glenn is talking to Enid, we see Denise and The Wolf hunkered down outside one of the brownstones. The Wolf tells Denise when there's an opening they'll make a break for that tower. She says she'll just slow him down. He says he needs her. Maybe he wants her to say 'cause he's enjoying her company so much. This guy would fit right in with that group that just got blown up. But how sad that he's toughing it out and Denise is still having some kind of panic attack. Come on, girl. The Wolf guy says she was right that he wasn't born this way, he changed, and now he wants to help her change. People are always proselytizing on this show.
Suddenly it's nighttime, with no preamble. Not gonna lie, that's annoying. We just skipped the quarry trip or the sun set THAT fast as they were walking?
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We return to Rick's group, still in the chain gang holding hands as they make their way through the walkers. Sam has Carol's voice in this head, remembering how she said when the monsters come, they will tear him apart while he's still alive. Knew that was a bad thing to put in his head. Dang it, Carol. You still haven't learned how to talk to kids.
BYE SAM. BYE JESSIE.
Someone should've told Sam to look down, not at the walkers. He stops in the street and panics. More close-ups of hands. Jessie tells Sam to be strong but that pause led the walkers to take a chunk out of him. Should’ve gone with FG, kid. Jessie screams. Now the ish is hitting the fan.
Jessie still has Carl's hand. Carl tells her to come with them. Come on. Ron looks on in horror. Walkers attack Jessie and everyone stands there. Rick gives his "awww, noooo" face and we flash back to Jessie in the early days of the group in Alexandria. Rick breaks out his hatchet to get Jessie's hand away from Carl, so Carl isn’t eaten up too. Gotta be honest, that didn't seem as dramatic as it did in the comic.
OH, AND BYE RON. AND BYE CARL'S EYE
Here's a bit of a twist. After the death of his brother and mother, a stunned-seeming Ron chooses this moment to raise his gun and aim it at the Grimes guys.
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Michonne uses her katana to slice him through the back, ending the entire Anderson family within the span of ONE minute. House Richonne FTW!
But as he's dying, Ron fires off a shot. We see that it hits Carl in the eye. This is a twist on the comic, where it's actually Douglas Monroe (the Deanna of that medium) who fires wildly during the herd attack and accidentally hits Carl. On TV, we see Rick pick up Carl and Michonne leads the way, slaying walkers, as they carry CORAL to safety. So ... no dice on that quarry plan?
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It's a good thing FG already made his way with Judith, though, since she was under Carl's poncho and could've been hurt. Hey, remember how Judith went in the comic, dying with Lori when Lori was killed? That could've happened here. It's only halfway through the episode, which is exciting. We already have several major deaths, including two people we knew.
BUT SERIOUSLY, WHY IS IT NIGHT?
It's distracting that there wasn't even a twilight time in between, because it seems like the action is meant to just be continuous from the day shots to night. What the heck?
Everyone is sitting around. Tara looking out the window. Eugene Porter playing with a knife. "Sooner or later, we're fightin' our way out," he tells Rosita. She agrees. They will. She says he won't. Not fair. Poor Eugene. He's earned a drop of respect at this point.
WOLF IS (FINALLY) BITTEN
He notices the walkers are moving toward the gunfire. Someone thought they could put up a fight. Her whole group did. Denise said her group did put up a fight, and that's why the Wolf guy's friends are dead. Wolf guy has a plan to get up over the wall. She tells him to go to hell. Wolf says it's safer out there than it is in here. She goes with him. They just make a run for it, and Wolf guy kills a walker with a knife, and actually saves Denise by killing another, getting himself bitten. FINALLY!
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Of course he gets to be a hero, though. Denise says if they get to the infirmary she can save his life. Seems like a lot of work for nothing, but maybe they should just ask Rick to break out his axe again. He has a lot of experience cutting off body parts.
CAROL VS. MORGAN
Why do people always choose to have deep conversations in the middle of a crisis? He says she had a child, right? A husband. He didn't want to hurt her but he had to stop it.
Carol says she should've killed him. All life is precious vs. kill or be killed, again. Very tense little cold war happening here. They don't exactly part as friends, but Morgan leaves the room and Carol continues to stare out the window.
If Denise and The Wolf can run through walkers, back and forth, surely Morgan and Carol could lead a team through this.
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Instead, as The Wolf and Denise are trying to get to the infirmary, and The Wolf saves Denise AGAIN, Carol fires a shot from afar and kills The Wolf. Oh well.
At the infirmary, Denise springs into action. Aaron, Heath and Spencer help her. The timing is good, since Rick brings Carl in with his latest gunshot. Funny how Carl keeps getting shot. Hilarious.
RICK LOSES IT
Times like this, we are reminded how quickly Rick goes Full Shane whenever something goes wrong. Rick heads into the crowd of walkers with his axe and goes NUTS. He's actually Full Tyreese, like that scene after Karen was killed. Hammer time!
PARTY IN THE STREETS
Instead of calling Rick back, Michonne, Heath, Aaron, and others join him. "We can beat 'em!" Rick calls out.
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FATHER GABRIEL PLAYS GOD
FG tells a group of random people that God will save Alexandria, because God has given them the courage. Don't act like you have a direct line to God, man. You did one good thing, don't elevate yourself.
B TEAM GETS IN THE GAME
Is it getting light again? Carol says Rick is out there making a stand. She's going, too. Carol tells Tara that Denise is safe. They are all going together, even Eugene, even though Rosita says he doesn't have to. He wants to be part of the story people are going to tell. They'll write songs about it, like on Game of Thrones. Morgan puts down The Wolf guy and says he's sorry. That’s who you apologize to?!
GLENN IN PERIL ... AGAIN
It's still dark as Enid and Glenn work to save Maggie. Glenn distracts walkers, drawing them toward him as Enid heads up to the top of hte tower with Maggie.
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Glenn is surrounded. Maggie runs out of bullets. Glenn is always in trouble. But, once again, he is saved at the last minute. This time, it's Abraham and Sasha with bullets. Glenn gets in the truck with Daryl. Glenn wants to lead some of the walkers away, if they're scattered. Daryl says no, if they're together they won't have to lead them away.
DARYL TO THE RESCUE ... AGAIN
Daryl pours gasoline out the back of the truck. Is he gonna light these mofos up? Aww, he is.
Rick and the others are in the middle of the road, surrounded but making a stand, when the blaze starts and the walkers are distracted and drawn to the fire.
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It's kind of beautiful, watching the walkers head into the fire, and the music is lovely as our team keeps slaying. Everyone gets their own individual shot, even Father Gabriel, ending with Rick. It's all very art film. Nice one, Greg Nicotero.
THE NEXT DAY
All those bodies in the street! Ugh. What a mess to clean up.
CORAL WILL BE OK
Poor Carl. He's a captive audience for another one of his father's dramatic speeches. Rick tells his son he wants to make the new world a reality for him. "Let me show you." The camera pans over to their hands, and we see Carl is alive, 'cause he grips his dad's hand.
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Catch up on a ton of Walking Dead spoilers, promos, teases, speculation and other nifty stuff at Wetpaint.com/walking-dead.
The Walking Dead Season 6 airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
Check out more of Wetpaint’s coverage of The Walking Dead Season 6 below:
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What Happens Next on TWD Season 6?
Find Out Who’s Dying on TWD Season 6
Will Rick Lose His Hand on TWD?
Everything We Know About TWD Season 6, Episode 10