Spoiler Alert: The Walking Dead Midseason Premiere

walking dead

Season six ended with one of the best cliffhangers to date: Alexandria’s walls came down, and the zombie herd was taking over. Rick ordered everyone to lock themselves in their houses. He and his gang went to Jessie’s house but a fight between Ron, Jessie’s son, and Carl ended up with walkers getting into the house. Deanna got bit and had an awesome send-off, and the episode ended with Rick’s gang covering themselves in walker guts and braving the streets, while Sam whispered “Mom.”

Fast-forward to the premiere (spoiler alert!). The episode opens on Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha getting stopped by a biker gang. We quickly find out the gang works for someone named Negan. The leader of the gang threatens to kill Abraham and Sasha but Daryl takes them outwith a rocket launcher, sending the bikers up in flames and foreshadowing the lake of fire later in the episode.

Meanwhile, Glenn and Enid are moving along through a church, trying to find supplies to help Maggie down from the guard tower she’s trapped on. It doesn’t really get good until they make it through the wall into the town. Glenn, always the self-sacrificing hero, runs into the zombie herd to draw walkers away from Enid and runs out of bullets. The walkers trap Glenn against the wall as Maggie screams out to him (in an incredible and heartbreaking performance by Lauren Cohen), but Abraham and Sasha show up just in time to mow the walkers down.

The best bits of the episode come from Rick and his gang as they walk through the herd. Sam quickly falls behind and gets eaten, followed by his mother, Jessie. Rick flashes back through happy memories he had of Jessie as he’s forced to chop her arm off so she’ll let go of Carl. When Carl falls, though, his gun gets loose and Ron grabs it, intending to shoot Rick. Michonne steps in and stabs Ron but the gun goes off, taking out Carl’s eye. Andrew Lincoln definitely did the most phenomenal performance of the episode, both in his speech to Carl at the end of the episode, and when he picks Carl up after getting shot. His voice hiccups and breaks in such a genuine way, that the audience’s hearts break with him.

Grade: A

Top Scene: When Rick and the town rallied against the walkers. There was a specific sequence that threaded together individual shots of the townspeople attacking the camera as if they were attacking the walkers. The shots held each person in about center frame and helped weave all the townsfolk together each of their different personalities in their fighting style and how everyone came together to save the town.

Verdict: The premiere was surprisingly not as gory as you’d expect from The Walking Dead, though Carl’s eye prosthetic did give me chills. Otherwise, the episode had everything else: painful deaths, emotional turmoil, and Rick calling out for “Coral” again.