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Spoilers, spoilers everywhere. They’re in your clothes and in your hair.
With a siss, a bang and a boom – not necessarily in that order – The Walking Dead returned to AMC for the remainder of the world-expanding Season 6. And what a return it was. From the over-the-top shocks to the cheer-worthy comic moments to just knowing that everyone is finally in the same damned place again, “No Way Out” felt like a true finale to the first chunk of the season, with the next seven episodes presumably dedicated to dealing with and moving on from everything that transpired. They’d better do it before the midday sun, or things are going to get smelly up in Alexandria.
Here are the 8 craziest and most WTF moments that the episode had to offer, with some of them ranking among the top Walking Dead scenes of all time. Not among the most realistic or level-headed scenes, mind you, but it’s fun to just let explosions happen sometimes.
Daryl and the Rocket LauncherDaryl and the Rocket Launcher should be the first in a line of Walking Dead-themed children’s books, though none of them could contain anything so shockingly perfect as the tension-dripping cold open, which was introduced in the post-midseason finale prologue scene. This is easily one of my favorite scenes of the show, thanks to Christopher Berry’s unpredictable performance as Savior Dude #1, and I wish it could have run as one scene. Just when things looked either Abraham or Sasha was going to bite a bullet, everyone on a motorcycle suddenly exploded, thanks to Daryl and the rocket launcher. A scene that would have felt right at home in the comics, it was a nice microcosm of the drama that was to follow.
The Andersons are All Dead NowComic fans knew this was all probably coming, and showrunner Scott Gimple and co-creator Robert Kirkman did shift the source material story as far as the gun-toting Ron getting shanked was concerned – Sam was Comic Ron’s stand-in, really – Jessie and Sam absolutely turned into walker nom-nom. Everyone was too loud during these outdoor scenes, but the mother and son paid the final price for not shutting the fuck up, for
Carl’s Face Got ShotA lot of people should have shot Carl in the face at this point in the series, but the Grime-n was broken through an intentional-but-still-slightly-accidental retaliation shot from Ron, who understandably had a problem with seeing his remaining family members getting devoured and choppity-chopped. Cause and effect aside, Carl is now lying inside of someone’s house, and not a well-staffed hospital, with part of his face destroyed. He didn’t quite gain the head tunnel that his comic counterpart did, but this is a permanent injury. Carl is going to be different now. Rick is going to be different now. Eye-mbrace this. I know how bad that was.
The Wolf Guy Died, Wasn’t Complete Prick After AllI fully cop to being naïve enough to think the Wolves arc would become more than just this Alpha guy as the head and tail of a semi-plot strand. But nope, Denise’s hostage situation wasn’t even arduous enough to count as a captivating kidnapping. Still, he realized the jig was up and decided to keep Denise alive, even after being bitten. It was a total role reversal, and Denise was far more helpless than actress Merritt Wever would actually be in the same situation, but I understood the intentions. And somehow, I still didn’t see old boy getting clipped by Carol. Surprise quickly turned to joy and then to disappointment in the Wolves.
Eugene and Gabriel Stepped UpOf all the characters that are easy to summarize, Eugene and Father Gabriel stand out for respectively being faux-confident and weak-willed, regardless of their enjoyment factor. This has made both of them potential targets for gory deaths, but they’re survived up until this point, and “No Way Out” is when both of them got their moments to not only internally come to the decision that exuding bravery and walker-destroying stamina is what is necessary, but also to tell someone in close proximity that each is making this decision to be “the guy.” Each was poignant in the exact moment, though they gained awkwardness within the scene. Still, it was a double dose of “wow,” and I hope they continue to not hold back on the boom.
Glenn Almost Died AgainI rarely curse at The Walking Dead if not in anger, but it happened during Glenn and Maggie’s reconnection, as Enid proved some worth as a human. I think I experienced the appropriate number of weeks’ worth of anxiety over Glenn’s unknown fate in the scant seconds when it looked like his return to the community would be ruined by walkers feasting on his guts, and I allowed myself to think that whole stunt was just a mental build-up to Glenn seriously dying in this scene. And I let a “motherfucker” fly. But then Abraham, Sasha and Daryl returned, and all those walkers got mowed down. And then maybe I tapped my beer against Abraham’s forehead on my TV.
Carol’s Threatening BravadoBefore Season 6 began, it appeared as if Morgan’s return would be most connected to Rick’s story, but he and Carol are currently at opposite ends of a vaguely cooperative task of keeping Alexandria afloat. We knew that things would get rough as time went on, but it took Carol almost zero time after gaining consciousness to tell Morgan that she should have killed him. And she said it in a way that implies she wished her words would be powerful enough to do that very deed. Carol spent her early Alexandria days posing as a kind matron, but it looks like the pretention is fully dissolved. Morgan, who saw Alpha Wolf’s corpse, has a lot to think about now.
That Walker-Slashing MontageWe can talk double-standards about how Rick going ham on walkers and united the town was cool and Sasha sniping a bunch of walkers last season made her look crazy, but we’re not. There is absolutely nothing logical about Rick’s impulse to take on an army of zombies by himself, but it is the only logical response to having everything he loves getting tainted. And this sharply edited montage becomes not just one of the sweetest and most replayable moments in The Walking Dead’s long history with violent scenes, but it’s also the breaking point where everyone decides to take part in living another day, even those who wouldn’t have wanted to take part in such carnage, and Rick gains absolutely control over these people. And it looked so cool.
The Walking Dead will return to AMC next Sunday night for another new episode.
What Was Your Favorite Big Moment From The Midseason Premiere?