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.
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.
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.
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.
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.