‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6 premiere wastes no time pushing viewers to the edge of their seats with Rick Grimes and the Alexandrians doing their best to wrangle the largest zombie herd in ‘The Walking Dead’s’ history.
In a series of cuts between the past and the present, Rick and Morgan get acquainted…again and ‘The Walking Dead’ viewers meet Heath, a comic favorite. These tension riddled sequences are not without some levity with Morgan asking Michonne if she stole his protein bar and the Tennessee top-hat sporting Eugene offering kudos to Heath’s long ponytail.
Rick’s leadership and his relationship with Morgan along with the looming threat of the massive zombie herd stitch together the episode’s present scenes and flashbacks.
The Alexandrians, under Rick’s leadership, move beyond the gates on a practice run to fortify their safe perimeter against the ever increasing number of walkers, but a breach in a major defense moves Rick to immediate action. And not all of the Alexandrians are happy about it.
While Rick struggles with balance, Morgan grapples with humanity, and Deanna tries to heal, Carol and Glenn quietly emerge as group leaders. Morgan observes Carol and asks her if she was a police officer before the apocalypse because she’s always watching and ready for action.
In a town meeting flashback, Rick shares his plan to secure Alexandria and Carol does not miss a beat. She plays to the group’s fear and suspicion perfectly, which motivates Alexandrians to follow Rick. Her wit is not to be outdone by Glenn’s calculated mercy.
Glenn survived two attacks in Season 5, both at the hands of Nicholas. Glenn beats Nicholas, blames him, rightfully, for Noah’s death, but says nothing about Nicholas’s attempt to kill him. The only person Glenn tells is Maggie, who later tells Tara. Glenn, Maggie, and Tara realize if others find out about Nicholas’s actions, Deanna and Rick will banish him. Still, the three say nothing. Is this a miscalculation that will later hurt the group?
In another moment of mercy, Rick spares Clark’s life. Clark tries to rally a group of Alexandrians to revolt against Rick. Clark’s coup is interrupted by an eavesdropping Eugene, who finds himself at the end of a rattled Clark’s gun. Enter Rick Grimes. It doesn’t take long for Rick to disarm Clark and for Clark to understand exactly who he’s messing with. Rick ultimately lets him go.
Later, Rick confides to Morgan that he wanted to kill Clark, but he acknowledges that men like Clark don’t get it and will die anyway. Sadly, Rick is right.
Clark is part of the group that is helping Rick draw walkers away from the Alexandria Safe Zone. Clark proves useful when his suggestion to lead walkers away from the safe zone, but his moment of redemption is short lived. Sadly, as Clark charges to the front of the walker herd to shepherd them well beyond Alexandria, a lone walker grabs him and bites his face.
Clark’s screams nearly ruin the plan as the walkers start to divert from the course. Rick can’t afford mercy this time and has no choice but to kill Clark to end his attention attracting screams.
But silencing Clark isn’t enough. Just as the the plan to lead the walkers away from Alexandria appears to work, a horn blasts in the distance, setting the horrifying herd on course for the safe zone. Yikes! Who is behind the horn? Is it the Wolves? Could they have been watching the group’s efforts in the distance, waiting for the perfect moment to direct the murderous mass towards the safe zone?
‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6 premiere ends with an aerial shot of the massive herd shuffling from the road towards the safe zone. In scenes for Episode 2, Carl, Carol, Maggie, and the other Alexandrians gear up. Are they preparing to defend themselves against walkers or Wolves?
‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6, Episode 2 airs next Sunday on AMC at 9 PM. You can share your reactions and predictions in the comment section.