Previously on The Walking Dead
The 90-minute premiere featured non-linear storytelling – something the show has done before, but not quite like this – displaying events in the past (the days immediately after the last moments in the season 5 finale) in black and white and current events in color. For the sake of flow and the podcast. I will cover the flashbacks first and then start over with the present day narrative.
Deanna sits in front of the huge puddle of blood Reg left and tells Gabriel he was wrong. Gabriel already knows that on account of Sasha almost putting a few bullets in his ass.
Abraham carries Reg’s body for burial, has a drink, and pours one out for his homie. Jessie sits with her sons, but Ron would rather grieve in peace and storms out.
Glenn and Maggie are happy to find Tara is awake. Glenn doesn’t tell everyone what a piece of shit Nicholas is. Tara finds Eugene’s joy at her being alive a bit creepy and asks for Noah. Awwww.
Carl finds Enid playing with fire, literally. They touch hands and Ron watches from the bushes like a damn creeper.
While Morgan and Daryl eat, Rick tells Morgan they’ll talk in the morning. He also warns he doesn’t take chances anymore, which his way of softening the “we gotta lock you up till we know you’re not cray anymore” that follows. But Morgan takes it well, according to Rick, who tells Daryl the next morning that being separated from the group was Morgan’s idea.
Daryl mentions the Ws and the men Morgan encountered. They are still way too leisurely when it comes to this. Rick’s solutions is an increase in watchers. He’s also going to tell Deanna they shouldn’t send out scouts for more folks, which Daryl disagrees with. Rick sure is forgetting where he came from and taking over Alexandria mighty quick.
Abraham plays Balance the Dead Man’s Wedding Ring on a Liquor Bottle, but loses because he’s drunk.
Morgan is practicing his Donatello stick skills (is that the Ninja Turtle with the stick?) when Rick comes to apologize, again, for locking him up. Morgan is like, “I said it’s cool. Sometimes the safest place is where there’s no way out.”
Eugene is at the gate when Heath and two others arrive in a car. Eugene refuses to let them in, even though Heath says he lives there. Heath asks again and Eugene is like, “Come on in!” Ugh.
Let’s take a moment to talk about Heath’s hair. I want to fight someone over at The Walking Dead for having this brother walk around with his edges so disrespected. Note: I am not upset that his hair looks like a hot-ass mess. It’s the ZA. I get it. I am upset that their special effects team doesn’t know how to make ethnic hair looks mismanaged. You mean to tell me they can make realistic walking corpses, but they can’t handle bushy braids?
Anyway, Eugene has decided he trusts Heath because he too has a fucked up hairdo – he does this despite the lack of facial hair on Heath.
Rick is in the middle of telling Morgan how soft the Alexandrians are when he spots Tobin and Gabriel burying Reg and Pete. First off, he’s suspicious because fuck anything Gabriel’s involved with. Second, he doesn’t want Pete buried inside the walls. Deanna cosigns and asks Rick and Morgan to take Pete’s body far away to an area they don’t mess with. Ron is lurking nearby because that kid is like a fucking creepy shadow, just chilling.
“Let the trees have him.”
Morgan reminds Rick that they’re both killers as they load Pete’s body into the trunk of a car. He’s not wrong.
When they get Pete’s body to the spot, Rick wants to just leave him to rot in the bushes. Morgan says, “That’s not who you are. I know.” Rick is like, “You don’t know my life!” But Morgan starts to dig a grave anyway. Rick stops him when he hears something nearby and the two find a Flintstone quarry of walkers. Like, all the damn walkers in the world have converged on this spot. They have little time to bask in the WTF-ness of it all because here comes creepy Ron, being chased by walkers. Rick saves him from going off the cliff. The walkers keep going because walkers are dumb.
The walkers in the quarry are kept in place by strategically placed tractor trailers. The herd grows bigger when walkers are attracted to the sounds they’re making and fall into the quarry from above. Rick surmises this is how Alexandria has remained relatively safe. Rick tells Ron, who just wanted to see where his dad was buried, that it’s not safe for him there and he shouldn’t be out alone. He offers to teach Ron how to protect himself like he didn’t just shoot the boy’s father in the face the night before. But because Ron is there, Rick helps Morgan bury Pete’s body.
At the town meeting, Rick explains the danger of the walkers in the quarry: they will eventually get out and head for them. He proposes they let them out and herd them away. Carol, still playing innocent, agrees with Rick. Carter (Ethan Embry) ain’t ’bout that life. He’s not really here for following the guy who just got here and went crazy in 48 hours. But Deanna backs Rick, again. They need volunteers so Sasha, Abraham, and Glenn step up. Glenn whispers to Maggie she needs to stay behind and keep an eye on Deanna, who looks like she’s about one more stressor from a breakdown.
Gabriel ties to volunteer, but:
Others step up, including Nicholas, who gets death rays shot at him from Glenn’s eyeballs.
Carter wants to go over the plan, many times. Rick proposes they use cars like pinball machine bouncers to keep the walkers on the part they want. Carter’s like, “Nah.” Eugene suggests they use the metal plates they have from the construction site to build walls along the route and Carter is placed in charge of that since he helped Reg build the town’s walls.
The town works to dig ditches and build walls along the route. Rick nods at Jessie like he didn’t kill her husband the other day. Carol offers to go out with them when they kick off their plan, but Rick wants her to stay behind and take the temperature of the group. Daryl tells Rick that taking care of the group means going out to get more people… and then just walks away. Morgan questions Carol, who tries to keep that happy housewife facade, but he’s not fooled. He recognizes Carol as someone who will handle her business if shit jumps off.
As Tara side-eyes the fuck out of Nicholas for getting Noah killed, Maggie tells her what Nicholas did to Glenn. Glenn told her she could tell the group if she wanted, but so far she’s only telling Tara. Maggie compares the compassion she showed towards Tara with what Glenn is doing and Tara agrees to follow Maggie’s lead.
They’ve made progress in building the roadside walls so Rick focuses on getting Deanna to agree to armed citizens in their town and extra training. She agrees, but wonders what else Rick wants. He wants the entire team ready and that includes setting them up to be attacked by walkers while they work. When things get a little too real, Morgan jumps in to help Carter and the others, who clearly don’t know how to protect themselves.
“You said you don’t take chances anymore. Neither do I.” – Morgan
Eugene is getting supplies when he overhears Carter trying to convince others they need to kill Rick before he kills them. Eugene stumbles and falls, making his presence known because he’s the worst. Carter pulls a gun on him, realizing Eugene has heard too much, but Rick interrupts, knocks Carter down and takes his gun. Carter says he was the only one talking mutiny. Instead of killing him, Rick gives Carter the option of working with them.
Later, Morgan is cleaning his death stick on Rick’s porch when Rick offers to let Morgan move in with them. Guess his probation period is up. He introduces Morgan to Judith, who has somehow gotten younger from last season. She looks at Morgan like, “Black Daddy, is that you?” #RIPTyreese
Morgan tells Rick that the man who spared Carter is who he truly is, but Rick admits that he really wanted to kill Carter because it would have been easier than waiting for him to screw up.
The night before the dry run, Rick runs into Jessie and they talk about his run-in with Ron. She rightfully points out that Rick is not the one to discipline or teach her son. In fact, she got it handled. She got her own gun and Rosita is teaching her. In other words, back the fuck off.
The dry run starts at the end point where Abraham asks Sasha if she volunteered because she wants to die. She smiles and says no. The next point is a tractor store where there are walkers trapped inside. Since the noise they’re making will distract the herded walkers from the path, Rick says they’ll come back on their way home that night to take care of them. Glenn pulls Nicholas aside and says he’s not ready to be out with them the next day. Soon, but now, and Glenn will make sure of it.
Now we’re at the quarry where Rick begins a speech about coming for the walkers before they come for them. And that brings us to…
The group’s dry run of clearing the quarry turns into the real deal when one of the tracker trailers falls. I guess the disruption pushed the walkers forward, compromising the two trackers holding the mob in place, so Rick decides they need to work the plan now and not tomorrow.
Everyone is instructed to hit their jobs, despite protests from Carter. Flares are fired to start moving the herd, Tobin drives one of the trucks forward, and we’re off!
“We’ll do it live!” – Abraham
Abraham and Sasha head for their location and Abraham checks once more that Sasha isn’t on a suicide mission. She’s all, “What did I say? Question asked and answered.” She wonders why he even bothered to get in the car with her if he thinks she’s still crazy.
Rick, Morgan, and Michonne reach their checkpoint and Rick assures them that the walls they erected (reinforced with parked cars) will hold. Morgan’s more concerned with asking Michonne if she ate his last peanut butter protein bar that time she was at his place and he was crazy. She says she didn’t. He doesn’t believe her. She’s like, “Oh, well.”
Note: I am pretty sure she didn’t. I could have sworn we only saw her eat chips.
Daryl does his job, luring the herd of walkers with the roar of his motorcycle and he eventually meets up with Abraham and Sasha. This shot was cool as hell.
Glenn, Nicholas, and Heath get to the tractor place, but their plan to let one or two walkers out at a time isn’t going to work since the shop is barricaded by more than just a locked door. They have no choice but to break the glass and take out the dozen or so walkers as they spill out. Nicholas isn’t completely useless nor does he betray anyone. Progress!
The walkers are being herded with the group firing flares in the air to keep them moving in the direction they want. Carter’s walls work. The walkers who hit it bash their own heads in.
Abraham notices some stragglers veering off the path and without another word he hops out to get them back on track. Back in the car, he talks about seeing Reg’s body and having Pete’s face blow away while they were cheek to cheek. He reckons he might still have some Pete brain matter in his ears. He certainly has a way with words, that Abraham.
“I just grabbed the bulls by the nutsack. I’m living, darling. Just like you.” – Abraham
Abraham is clearly the one with the death wish.
The group meets up in the woods, the walkers are on track and now it’s just a matter of keeping them herded. Carter runs off to take his place along the front of the route and is promptly eaten by that one random walker that is always hiding behind a tree once per season. Rick kills the walker and tries to get Carter to shut the hell up, but in Carter’s defense, his face was just eaten. Rick puts a knife in the back of Carter’s neck and that does the job. The gunfire Rick ordered lures the walkers headed for Carter’s screams back to the road. Morgan and Michonne don’t look too happy with this turn of events.
The herding is almost done when a horn starts blaring in the distance. It’s coming from Alexandria and it’s luring the walkers off the path and right for home.
The Walking Dead S6E1
Great way to kick off the season. Though the problem (quarry walkers) seems a little too conveniently manufactured, it was the perfect task to work through the tensions of last season – the most extreme team-building exercise ever. Rick’s abrasiveness is getting a tad out of hand. Hopefully, Morgan’s calmer approach will clash in all the right ways. I enjoy their friendship, and don’t want to see them at odds, but Rick does need someone to tell him when to take a damn seat. And that sure ain’t Carol. And I’m gonna need Enid and her cohorts to lay off the damn horn.