The very horror that Rick tried to defend against with the “Zombie Operation” ultimately failed with hundreds of zombies occupying Alexandria. That’s the overarching concern that’s effecting everyone at the moment. An underlying trouble – one that Rick has no knowledge of to this point – is Morgan’s Wolf prisoner and his conspirings with Denise to help keep him alive. That comes back to bite Morgan, and probably a lot more people later, in the ass.
So the zombie break-in forces Rick, Carl, Deanna, Father Gabriel, Jesse, Ron, Sam, Michonne and Judith into Jesse’s house to escape the zombie horde that now’s invaded Alexandria. Morgan and Carol run into the closest house, which turns out to be the house attached to the basement the Wolf and Denise are currently in. Other heroes are other places, but their whereabouts are no concern to the major plot on this episode.
Let’s take a quick second for some relationship reminders – Jesse and Rick are sort of a thing; Ron and Carl don’t like each other very much cause Carl stole Enid from Ron; Carol doesn’t trust Morgan as far as she can throw him. So in every situation, there’s a powder keg about explode.
Rick’s group is safe for the time being, but Deanna was bitten while fighting the horde, so she’s a ticking walker time bomb. They make her as comfortable as possible knowing they’re going to have to off her soon. While everyone’s worried about her, Ron lures Carl into the garage with plans to kill him. Turns out, Ron’s as shitty as his father and fails in attempt to hit Carl with a shovel, instead breaking a door keeping the walkers out and causing them to
flood into the garage – Ron and Carl narrowly escape. Carl decides not to tell his father what went down, dealing with it like the leader he’s no doubt growing into. However, when Ron and Carl are along, Carl shoves his gun in Ron’s face commanding Ron to hand over his gun. Carl then exclaims, “Look man, I get it. My dad killed your dad. But you need to know something: your dad was an asshole.”
This scene agains shows how badly the Alexandrians – Ron in this case – screw things up; how bumbling and unready for the world they still are. Conversely, is shows how well Rick’s group – Carl – deals with things and makes the right choices when they have to. Carl kept himself calm, cool, collected both in the fight with Ron and dealing with the situation after. He’s seen how hostile his father can be, but he’s also seen that Rick’s kept everyone safe. Carl is without a doubt growing into a leader like Rick – shaped by the apocalyptic world he’s had to grow up in.
Carol and Morgan speak for a time, getting to know each other better without trusting each other any better. Carol plainly says to Morgan when Morgan asks who she trusts, “You’re dead last.” And for as well as we know Morgan – his backstory and all – Carol just knows him as schemer who’s too afraid to do what’s necessary.
During a brief moment of peace, Carol pushes Morgan down and runs to the basement to see what he’s been hiding down there. She’s obviously exasperated when she sees one of the men who tried to kill everyone in Alexandria still alive totally affirming her distrust for Morgan. Morgan runs down after her, as Carol tries to kill his prisoner. She and Morgan duke it out while Denise and the Wolf watch. After a gritty struggle, Morgan knocks Carol unconscious allowing the Wolf to grab Morgan’s stick and knock Morgan unconscious. Before the Wolf has a change to kill Denise, Tara, Rosita and Eugene bust in guns drawn, but the Wolf has Denise by the through ready to slice her open. They relinquish their guns to the Wolf who then slips out the exit to the street, still holding Denise hostage.
Morgan’s a big, dumb idiot, which is a change from how I felt in the first couple episode of season 6. When he first shows up and during his “origin story” episode I saw his as noble, virtuous and fair-minded. He was the perfect yin to Rick’s harsh, severe and bordering on crazy yang. I thought he’d balance Rick out or challenge him for authority creating a rift in followers of Rick vs. followers of Morgan. Turns out, everything Rick does is right – killing is right. Over and over again the shows demonstrates to us that Carol and Rick’s way of kill first ask questions later is the correct way to handle literally every situation. As season 6 progresses, we’ve seen a change in Rick from utterly impatient to accepting of Alexandria’s shortcomings – making him drop him guard a little bit. Carol has picked up Rick’s slack thought, remaining as vigilant and distrustful as they were on the road. Again, Carol was correct in doing so because as it stands currently, the Wolf is on the loose and we don’t yet know what havoc he’ll cause in an already stress-filled situation.
The zombies eventually fill Jesse’s house, making everyone huddle upstairs to reevaluate. Rick decides that the only way out is in, using the tried and true method of covering themselves in zombie guts and hope the undead don’t notice. Sam, the little shit Carol scared when he just wanted some cookies, is extraordinarily panicked by this procedure as he’s been totally sheltered from anything zombie-related since the world when to hell. The gang cover up, leaving Deanna behind because he’s a goner anyway. Before they leave, she formally, and quite emotionally, asks Rick to become Alexandria’s leader, not the leader they want, but the one they need right now. Rick’s reluctant at first, still only wanting to look out for his own mates, but Deanna challenges him with the conclusion that they’re all his mates now, every bumbling one of them. Rick respects Deanna greatly. He understands, but is apprehensive.
Like the panel straight out of the comic, they wade guts covered, hand in hand out into the ocean of reanimated corpses known as walkers. It’s important to note the order they’re in – Rick leads holding Carl’s hand, Carl holds Jesse’s hand, Jesse’s holding Sam’s hand. The last bit we see is Sam looking terrified, whimpering to Jesse “Mom… mom.”
It took a while to get to this point, but it looks like the show’s back on track with the comic where it should be. All season they’ve been doing the really weird altered timeline – going back and forth between present day and events happening a few days before. Not everyone is back together, but at least everyone’s on the same page.
My biggest past gripe with the show and one that’s popped up again this season is their elongation of events. A past example was The Governor’s attack on the prison. In the comic, he waits a few months then attacks The Prison with his militarized Woodbury crew, tank and all. In the show, he shows up to The Prison with civilians, looks around a little, leaves and kills his own people. A few months later he wanders around by himself, finds new people, convinces them he should be their leader and to attack The Prison, then get the tank and the militarized commandos seen in the comics, then finally attacks The Prison. Same sort of thing here – in the comics the zombie horde just shows up and wrecks Alexandria. The show goes off the rails, creating some convoluted plot where Rick wants to move the zombies, which gets literally all of our heroes in some sort of danger, and his plan doesn’t work anyway. We end up in the same place as the comic, but it’s a much more drawn out and less engaging story than if they just stuck to what was between each black and white panel.
So going into the midseason premiere, here’s where we’re at with our heroes:
Rick, Carl, and Michonne are in the horde of walkers. Morgan and Carol are knocked out with Tara, Eugene and Rosita in the basement with them. Maggie is trapped in the lookout’s stand, Glenn and Enid are outside the walls trying to figure out how they can help. As we saw in the teaser to this half season, Daryl, Abraham and Sasha are stopped by Negan’s gang and we don’t know where that’s going to lead yet.
Some of my biggest hope and predictions:
I really want Aaron and Heath to have a larger role in Rick’s inner circle. Aaron’s proven himself to be a soldier, able to kill zombies and fight humans with the best of them. Heath is less established, but what he know of him, he’s a solid runner. He’s been out in the world around zombies and probably has seen his share of sticky situations.
I’m almost positive that Jesse and her kids will die during episode 609, at least that’s how it plays out in the comics. The bigger question is, if they are indeed sticking to the comic, who will shoot Carl in the face? I’m thinking someone in the scrum, after Rick chops Jesse’s arm off, Ron becomes enraged, grabs a gun and aims for Rick, but instead blows Carl’s eye off. If not that, they possibly the loose Wolf starts shooting wildly into the crowd of zombies at the same time that Rick is dismembering Jesse. His stray bullet catches Carl, Michonne kills the Wolf and when all is said and done, Rick is furious at Morgan for causing this creating another direction for the show to waver from the comic.
In the long run, this half season we’ll see Jesus which means we’ll see The Hilltop which means we might see The Kingdom and awesome Ezekiel with his tiger Shiva. Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd already confirmed that Negan is showing up at the end of season 6, which is very, very exciting as I’ve mentioned in past posts. His arrival means someone big is dying soon, someone who’s a fan favorite, who’ll garner a huge emotional response. In the comic, Negan bashes in Glenn’s head, but since they’ve already tugged on our emotional heartstrings with his non-death, the only other character we care about just as much, if not more, is Daryl. I’m putting my money on Rick’s right hand man Daryl dying by the end of season 6. We will see…