The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 2 recap: While Rick’s away…

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Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Gallery - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

After last week’s The Walking Dead Season 6 opener, I was interested to see what others had to say, so I took a stroll through the interwebs. I was surprised by so much negative commentary, from groaning about too much confusing black and white stuff to swearing off the series forever. To those who didn’t like the flip-flopping, I say shake it off. And for those who decided to completely pull the plug, I can only feel pity…

With that said, Episode 2 is an ass kicker! I personally enjoyed last week’s episode, but it’s nothing compared to “JSS,” whatever that means. Only Enid knows.

Speaking of Enid, the episode starts with her situation before she graced Alexandria with her brooding presence. She is staring through the blood-streaked window of an SUV. Prior, we hear her parents trying to fix a fuse, so they can get back on the road. Then the walkers come. Afterward, Enid gains the fortitude to leave the SUV. She looks at the grisly mess that was her family, and in a daze, walks on. “JSS” is of import, as she proceeds to write these letters in the dirt, on the condensation inside the window of a car, and in tortoise bones after attacking it much like the walker attacked Carter’s face last week – just a tad off-putting.

Next, we see the gates of Alexandria opening up to her. She may appear creepy, but she’s just a kid — go ahead and let her in. Sigh.

But this episode is about what happens while Rick and the rest were away.

After the opening credits, Carol and some other women are taking inventory of supplies and chatting away like a regular coffee klatch. She maintains her sugary sweetness until she returns home to find young Sam on her porch. She curtly states, “Your dad used to hit you, and he got himself killed. You live with it, or it eats you up.” I recall the hoopla about the first time she tongue-lashed Sam, but coddled children have a tendency to turn into ill-prepared adults. Reality bites. Especially theirs.

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Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Gallery – Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Several other moments are shared to highlight things to come. Ron’s mom would like to cut his hair, but Ron would rather fight. Jessie states, “Your father was dangerous,” to which he replies “Rick’s dangerous!” Maggie talks to Deanna about planting veggies, but Deanna is too much of a veggie herself to pay attention. Eugene and Tara run into Denise, the new doctor who is actually a psychiatrist because med school gave her panic attacks. Eugene is astute to ask if she can really deal with doctoring. With Judith in tow, Carl walks down a quiet street. He notices Enid with Ron, and then Father Gabe stops him for a chat. It seems he’s ready to stop his shenanigans and step up.

Enter the Wolves.

I have to say, this is likely the most upsetting thing I’ve seen go down since the Governor hacked off Herschel’s head. Even though the casualties are people to whom I’ve no connection, the brutality they experience at the hands of the Wolves is an unsavory reminder of how human depravity is far worse than a herd of walkers. Though Rick threatened to do the same thing if the Alexandrians didn’t wake up, I have to believe it was an empty threat. While it seems he’s lost compassion for humanity aside from his group, I can’t see him slaughtering the sinless.

Carol, always aware, is first to see the raid begin. Upon viewing the murder of her neighbor, she immediately takes action. This episode reveals a vengeful Carol who has been playing homemaker for FAR too long. This is the best Carol I’ve seen yet, and I’ve seen some damn good Carols over the years.

Deanna and Maggie are next to see what’s coming. Deanna hears a ruckus and asks Richard, who is on guard duty, what’s happening. Before he can answer, he and the wall are served Molotov cocktails. Maggie is armed and ready. Deanna is dumbfounded.

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Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene. Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Jessie fears for Ron’s safety, as he stormed out after their tiff. She tells Sam to hide in the closet while she looks for Ron. Sam begs her not to go, and when she hears a window break, she locks herself into the closet with him. She waits, pointing a pistol at the door.

Carl becomes aware of the saboteurs and readies himself. He hears noise outside and fixes a rifle on the front door. To his surprise, Enid strolls in like she’s stopping by for a game of Yahtzee. When Carl asks why she didn’t knock, she produces a ring of keys to every house in Alexandria, claiming she didn’t want the Wolves to get them. But, how did she get them? She says she’s come to say goodbye, though he makes her stay. While she sits with Carl, who believes he’s safeguarding her and Judith, she spews some highly suspect stuff. She states the Wolves are “just people,” mentions that Alexandria is too big to protect, that there are areas around the community which can easily be breached, and then she utters, “That’s how we were able to…” Wow. Carl. How could you miss that? You have a gun. Shoot that little Benedict Arnold. Quit letting your hormones get in the way of good sense.

Determined to reach the armory before the intruders, Carol assesses the situation. She sees one Wolf leading a victim on a chain and another in the midst of a graphic assault. She watches as he dips his finger in the blood of his victim and draws a “W” on his forehead. She takes everything in.  As she rounds a corner, she comes upon yet another horrid scene, but this time she kills the Wolf. When we next see her, she will be dressed in his clothing. Brilliant.

I pretty much gave up on the Gabriel horn-blowing idea when he talked to Carl. The sound we heard at the end of last week’s episode is indeed a horn, but it belongs to one of the walker-toting semi-trucks from Del Arno. Spencer is holed up in the old church outside of Alexandria, watching the violence through the crosshairs of his gun. He’s not a great shot, but he manages to take down a lone Wolf. Then he sees the truck speeding toward the community. He blasts the crap out of the windshield, killing the driver. As result, the semi smashes into the church — and the horn begins blaring.

Doctor Denise loses her first actual patient, which stands to reason because said patient needs femoral artery fixing, not a Rorschach test. Despite Eugene and Tara’s efforts to encourage Denise, she can’t pull it off, and as Tara and Eugene clear out, Tara reminds Denise to make sure to destroy the brain. Not sure the advice registered. I see a bleak future for Doctor Denise.

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Merritt Wever as Dr. Denise Cloyd – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Spencer, who has finally made it out of the church, attempts to cease the blaring horn. Unfortunately, the driver he killed isn’t having it. Luckily, Morgan has made it back to Alexandria and remedies this situation. After a debriefing, Morgan knows there is business that needs attending. He asks Spencer if he’s in. Spencer just kind of stares at Morgan, so Morgan advises him to hide.

We know that Morgan prefers to avoid taking the lives of the living, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and as a big Wolf with a big axe approaches him, I desperately hope he gets it (I like Morgan, even if I’m still on the fence about his sanity). I stop holding my breath when Carol, dressed in Wolf’s clothing, shows up and promptly ends the conflict. Morgan is ticked: “I could have stopped him. We don’t have to kill people!” Carol pragmatically responds, “Of course we do.” She insists Morgan help her make it to the armory, and a bit later, we see her leading him on a chain, a bloody “W” on her forehead. She’s so convincing, the Wolves congratulate her on her catch as they pass by. On their way, Morgan sees Gabe under attack. He breaks away from Carol to help. I knew he wasn’t getting near the armory.

Ron — who would be dead if Carl didn’t save his ass — makes his way home. Jessie, knowing there is still a Wolf in the house, hears him outside and leaves the safety of the closet to warn him. Naturally, a scuffle ensues, but Jessie gains advantage when she sees her scissors still on the counter. Ron enters the kitchen to see his mother overkilling the assailant — repeatedly stabbing her, Norman Bates style. From the look on his face, I’m fairly certain he won’t refuse another haircut.

Carol makes it to the armory – not surprising – and fills a sack with guns. When she finds Lydia hiding in a closet, Carol hands her a gun, gives her a quick lesson about how to properly kill a person and plants her behind the armory door to protect the remaining weapons. Carol finds Morgan tying the hands of the Wolf who attacked Gabe. Come ON! She shoots the Wolf in the head, supplies Gabe and Morgan with guns and takes off. She clearly has no time for such foolishness.

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Lennie James as Morgan Jones – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Morgan hands his gun to Father Gabe, who looks completely freaked out and terribly awkward holding two guns. Morgan sticks with his stick and manages to scare off a few remaining Wolves by reminding them they’re without guns, while the Alexandrians are fully stocked. Before they run off, Morgan offers some of his profound wisdom, “You keep choosin’ this life, you’re gonna die!” The response to this is, “We didn’t choose.” It comes from one of the Wolves he met up with at the end of Season 5.

At this time, I would like to extend some of my own wisdom to the Wolves because I hate them so very much. Here it is: Maybe you didn’t choose the zombie apocalypse, but you do choose to act like complete dicks, prey on the weak because you can and totally disregard life outside of your group — and you’re ridiculously cocky about it! Your nefariousness is so infectious, I find myself thoroughly delighted by every rotten thing that comes your way! OK. Now I feel better.

As those remaining inside the walls of Alexandria try to recover from the malicious BS, I am left with so many questions!

  • First of all, where did Enid run off to? I assume she’s probably a little Wolf spy, but my assumptions are often wrong. And is the note she left Carl well-wishes or a warning?
  • What’s up with the red “A” Carol sees on the porch railing?
  • What’s Morgan’s deal? He’s been lucky with the stick, but it’s still just a stick. When Rick found him in Season 3, he had more guns than Alexandria’s armory.
  • Based on the question above, what do you think happens to the lingering Wolf (the other jerk from the end of Season 5)? I mean, Morgan (politely) cracks him one, and the screen goes dark – is he just knocked out or did Morgan finally do what he should have been doing during the whole flippin’ episode?
  • When Aaron is making his way through the dead bodies to ensure they stay dead, does he find the backpack with pictures of Alexandria’s perimeters on an Alexandrian or a Wolf? The guy and the backpack looked pretty clean, which can’t be said of the other Wolves.
  • What will become of the relationship between Morgan and Carol? When they pass each other at the end of the episode, do they exchange a glance of understanding or contempt?
  • Do the Alexandrians finally get it or is Spencer’s question, “How do you just live, knowing that’s the world?” an indication that what happened in this episode is more than any of them can take?
  • Is the trailer of the semi full of what I think it is, and when will this be discovered?

Comments! Let’s discuss! What did you think of the episode?

New episodes of The Walking Dead Season 6 premiere Sunday nights at 9/8CT on AMC.

34 Comments

  1. “What’s up with the red “A” Carol sees on the porch railing?” I might be mistaken but the little boy at the beginning that she tells to go home he was holding something and it had an “A” on it but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t paying much attention to that so I, more than likely, am wrong but idk. Yeah.

    • You are right about Sam and the stamp. Further down in the comments you’ll find the stamp explanation. Both Slugo and Chance commented on it. Toward the bottom, d has some interesting comments about the ‘A’, too. It may be more significant than just the stamp…did you watch last night?

  2. I have a question about Dr. Denise and the surgery. She said it was probably the femoral artery yet she cuts into the abdomen. The femoral artery is in the leg. Have I missed something?

  3. I’m probably completely off base but I at first took Enid’s comment about blind spots to be referring to her and Carl being able to sneak in and out undetected last season. Her comment about them just being people meant that she pretty much lost faith in humanity to the point that she doesn’t care about anyone’s motives and judges people only by whether they present a threat or not. These people were the former so she was saying goodbye because she thought the place wasn’t safe anymore and was moving on. The key ring was just an example of her being self-reliant and untrusting of the weak souls inhabiting Alexandria. If she’d been assisting The Wolves she probably wouldn’t have given Carl the keys to keep them out of their hands. To sum up, I don’t think she’s working with The Wolves. And I don’t think Morgan killed the last wolf with the long hair. The producers aren’t ready to abandon his Kobudo Jedi man of peace conflict yet, they’ve spent too much time setting it up.

    If you like TWD, I recommend the book Zone One by Colson Whitehead. It did a great job of breaking down survivor mentality and will expand your vocabulary at the same time.

    One last thing: I know it’s television but I really wish they’d stop using revolvers and just all use automatics. Revolvers have less ammunition capacity and take forever to reload. I know, I know, automatics jam, but part of being a survivor is keeping your weapon clean which would mitigate that and the risk of a jam is well worth the exponential rate of fire gained over a revolver.

    That is all.

    • I don’t know that being off-base is bad. If we all knew what was happening and the reasons for it, we wouldn’t crave the next episode. Lord knows, I’m off base all the time, but it’s fun to get responses and ideas from those of you kind enough to take the time. You make some very good points.

      Enid’s commentary about the Wolves being people reminded me of Lizzie. I will agree, Enid’s actions do prove trust issues, but why did she say “That’s how we were able to…” If it’s we as a collective, she could mean the Wolves…if it’s we, as in anyone who is not in tune with the Alexandrians, I can accept your ideas more freely. There are so many pieces that need more clarity. Until then, I just have to go with my gut and the input of you guys. And I hope you keep it up…different perspective is awesome.

      I may not be well versed in the vocabulary of which you speak, but in my opinion, survival skill comes with intellect and willpower. Of course, defensive skill is important, but developing the mindset to use it to ensure your own survival is a completely different story. I could go on with this for days, but the bottom line is, kill or be killed. There is no hesitation in this situation…and I’ve seen a lot of hesitation that makes me want to smack those hesitating.

      As far as guns go…they are a necessity that makes noise. They are effective, but I think the goal of the learned (Grimes group) is to keep the walker wipe-out as silent as possible…a good tactic. Many of Rick’s groups are well versed in using weapons that don’t make noise, and while guns do become necessary, it is my opinion they should be a last resort. Your point, however, is well put. I’d go with the katana or crossbow, but I’d keep a well maintained automatic on my person, as well! I do agree with the inefficiency of revolvers, but they do add suspense.

      I’m a huge fan of the show. I hope you will return to the blog to share more insight! This is my first endeavor, and I’m having a blast. Follow me on twitter, if you do that sort of thing. KimberlyThies1. I’m looking forward to talking about the episode as it’s happening. I have a feeling this week is going to be huge.

    • Thanks, Trina. I am a bit ashamed I missed the connection. I was consumed by the hacking of arms and legs. Where do you think Enid went?

  4. JSS- just survive somehow

    Kid on porch put the A there. He had a red A on a stamp or jar in his hand when carol said get over UR dad dying. It means she’s an Alexandrian

    • ‘A’-ha! Missed that! And by the time I got to the point where Carl picked up her note, I was so freaked out by everything else that happened, the connection was not made AT ALL! Thank you, Chance! What do you make of the things she said while she was sitting with Carl?

  5. This was one hell of a jam packed episode of WD! I enjoyed it even more than the premiere last week. In fact, I almost got to thinking THIS should’ve been the premiere. I didn’t have a problem with the b/w flashbacks last week, but in hindsight I’m glad they abandoned them for this episode. It’s a good technique but one that shouldn’t be overdone.

    On to the show itself….Carol proved she’s not only very clever by disguising herself in the wolf’s clothing, but also how she can be a real badass! I don’t get the stick bit at all…c’mon Morgan, grab a gun! That, and tying the hands of the wolf….didn’t understand why he’d bother with that either. Off him and be done with it! The horn we heard at the end of episode one…never would’ve guessed it represented the approaching semi. Only this time, the horn we heard was far more piercing…and eerie. Glad Morgan came to the rescue there and finished off the driver…and the horn.

    Dr. Denise….I agree, she didn’t strike me as being able to cope with massive injuries. I give her credit for a valiant effort, but she was ill equipped to save the patient. Not being able to grasp the advice to destroy the brain may prove her downfall. We shall see.

    My questions left unanswered concern the initials JSS and the A on the porch post. Hopefully these clues will be revealed in Episode 3. Can’t wait for next Sunday! Excellent review, by the way. Your attention to detail is amazing.

    • Additionally, the “A” is for Alexandria…though it looks like it’s written in blood…just like the “W” on the heads of the Wolves…interesting. I’m still thinking on this one.

      • Of course! That makes sense. But how did it get on the porch post, that’s the question I’m really wondering.

        • Remember at the dinner party when the group first came to Alexandria…..Sam was stamping everyones hands with the “A”. …..Rick was sporting his the next morning.

          • You’re good. I don’t remember that! And I thought I was pretty good at catching everything! I’m going to have to sit closer to the TV…damn dog ate my glasses.

      • In the season 5 episode “Four Walls and a Roof” the Terminites wrote an A in blood on the side of Gabriel’s church. In previous episodes there were also A’s scattered throughout Terminus. Rick’s group was in train car A, and the A on the side of the church was probably to taunt them. I think there are Terminites among the Wolves or maybe the Terminites became the Wolves. Thoughts?

        • Wow! Mind blown. How did all of that get past me? Every Sunday, I spend three hours watching both airings of the episode and The Talking Dead…never took note of all of the ‘A’s. It would stand to reason that any Terminites left after that showdown would manage to find their way into the arms of another group of a-holes. Water seeks its own level. I’m more likely to believe that the remaining Terminites would join the Wolves rather than become them. I think Gareth was the driving force in that gang. When he was wiped out (I clapped loudly), I think the others went off seeking their own level. While Terminus was bad, I have a feeling the driving force behind the Wolves is far worse. What about the red stamp Sluggo was talking about?

          • Yeah I forgot about the red stamp. Thinking about that now I realize that the A on the porch was probably written by one of the three people Deanna exiled in the past. They must have joined the wolves.

        • Hey! Did you see the big red “A” on the tree at the beginning of episode 4??? I caught it right away – you have made me more observant!

    • The A, was the same stamp the lil guy was so eager to put on everyone’s hand at the dinner party, even stating, it symbolized they were all “Alexandrians”, & the kid had it n his hand when he was sitting on carols porch when she walked up the steps, telling him he much get over his mean dads death, or it will eat him up, & told him to go home. So to me, he’s put the stamp on her step railing, bc even tho she’s straight up, & even harsh w him, I think he truly likes her. Many encounters between the two of them, proves that. So, even tho she gave some tough love advice to him, about getting over his dad being dead, he still feels something for carol, & I think he put the stamp there, staying carol is an “Alexandrian”…jus like he wanted to stamp the hands at the dinner party. As far as Enid, I’m still going back n forth on my final opinion, but one person above pointed out a really good possibility that I hadn’t even thought of yet, when she said, “that’s how we were able to” (then cut off, by Carl, that she coulda been referring to them getting over the fence & running around n the woods as many times as she did, & then as many times as they did together once Carl saw her, yet noone else ever knew they were going over the fence.
      Whats anyone think on what I jus said?

      • I also thought about the fact that Enid left Alexandria a lot, seemingly without fear. That’s what led me to believe that she joined the dark (Wolves) side at some point. I doubt she ran into the Wolves (if this is the case) before Alexandria, but maybe she saw the same thing Rick and the gang saw in the people there – they aren’t survivors – and she felt if she was going to JSS, it would be with the Wolves. Then again, “That’s how we…” could just as much mean her and Carl…she didn’t get to finish. But she did seem to disappear around the same time the rest of the Wolves did. This has me stumped!

  6. Gah! Watching the Talking Dead and listening to Enid…she’s not qualified to answer questions about her character’s motives or persona. STOP!

    • Agreed, 100%, but to not down her too much, I’ve tried looking at other reasons. She stated n the interview, tht she didn’t watch the show beforehand, so wasn’t a fan before of course. She’s also young, but still she’s choosing this career, so learning ur character, & the show, is an obvious must. Kinda jus seemed she wasn’t too into it. However, they did say the was her first show on TV, plus was her first time of doing a talk show as such. Hope tht made sense. But I do know what u were saying.
      Oh, & Glenn, man gotta be kidding me, hate it hate it hate it. I was hoping it was Nicholas’ body on top of Glenn’s that the guts were coming out of, but I have watched it again, & to me it looks like a tan shirt (which Glenn was wearing: Nicholas’ shirt was green) that is being torn n2. 90 min show next week tho, bound to be a lot, & awesome (yet super sad if Glenn truly is gone, as far as present time clips, but it kinda sounded like (from Talking Dead) that we will see Glenn again, like in flashbacks, things that alrdy happened. Any input on either my posts, I’m curious what anyone wld think of what my opinion is on the topics I’ve commented on.

      • Check out some of the comments about Glenn on my episode three blog. One points out some very plausible ideas that Glenn could still be alive! And maybe he is. Hershel’s watch was important enough to have a place in episode three. It could have signified that Glenn, another good guy, was doomed to the same fate…OR…it could mean that somehow he will get it back to Maggie…OR…it could be the way that Maggie finds out he’s really gone…OR?

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