The Walking Dead returns from hiatus with an explosive mid-season premiere featuring major deaths, harrowing escapes, and possibly the most stressful three minutes of television in history.
Rick’s group tries to escape Alexandria under cover of zombie guts, Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl have a run in with Negan’s gang, Glenn and Enid are making their way back to Alexandria (where Maggie is still trapped in the tower), and Denise is stuck with the Wolf guy who looks like a Foo Fighter.
Negan’s baddie tries to confiscate weapons from Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl and offers them some life advice about what to do when you’re forced to eat shit.
However, Daryl seems to be on a shit-free diet. When it looks like Abraham and Sasha are about to be executed, he BLOWS UP THE ENTIRE GANG with a missile launcher! Because screw you, that’s why.
Daryl: “What a bunch of assholes.”
Sasha: “Let’s get you fixed up at home.”
Abraham: “Nibble on THAT.”
In other news, entrail ponchos are the new black. After some discussion, Rick’s group decides to allow Gabriel to take Judith back to his church until the rest of them can return. This is very questionable parenting, IMHO, but babysitting options are limited in the zombie apocalypse.
I love the relationship between Glenn and Enid, especially when he’s about to leave to go find Maggie (seriously, how much time do these two spend trying to get back to each other?) and she says, “I’ll just follow you anyway.” Glenn has a new puppy friend, y’all.
The dynamic between Foo Fighter Wolf guy and Denise is both fascinating and hard to watch. Because he’s gross and a murderer, but she seems to bring out the humanity in him.
Sam starts to flip out during the escape (I love it that we hear Carol’s voice taunting him in this scene), which leads to him getting bitten. And I’m not gonna lie – I rejoiced. I was sad to see Jessie’s grief and even sadder when she gets taken. The sequence after that with Ron, having just watched his mother and brother die, pulling the gun on Rick, Michonne killing Ron and then Carl getting shot was SO INTENSE. I’m still clenched, I think.
Can we talk about how much I love Denise? I love her. I love that she wanted to save Foo Fighter Wolf’s life, but I loved it even more that Carol shot him. In real life, when we’re about to do something foolhardy and codependent, we all need a girlfriend like Carol to step in.
I also loved the moment when Denise realizes, before any of the others, that Carl has been shot. That one second when she takes a deep breath and gets her game face on? Made me adore her. If she ends up dying, I will be seriously pissed.
How great was Michonne kissing Carl on the forehead (as Denise finishes stitching up his wound) and then running out to save Rick? And then everyone following suit? Even Eugene! “No one gets to clock out today, and hell, this is a story people are gonna tell.”
The scene of Glenn and Maggie’s reunion across a sea of walkers is utterly poignant. Especially when it looks like Glenn is going to die right in front of Maggie. Abraham and Sasha show up on the wall with automatic weapons and start mowing down zombies, and you think it can’t get any better. But then Daryl sets a lake on fire with his missile launcher.
As the episode draws to a close, Rick sits at Carl’s bedside confessing how wrong he was about the Alexandrians. The night’s battle has shown him that they do have what it takes to survive. He believes. He tells Carl they need to rebuild the walls, which ironically, is a sign that his own walls are coming down.