Well, that’s more like it, show. After a promising start, The Walking Dead fell away in Season 6, but now it’s back and hopefully won’t suffer the same fate of its predecessor. Alexandria is in chaos and Rick, Carl, Jessie and Sam are trying to escape from the house covered in the blood of zombies. Ah, but it was a ruse that was never going to work when you consider how inexperienced the Alexandrians are at this thing, so it was only a matter of time before things got real messy, and Sam and Jessie were quickly taken care of. Goodbye Sam, you won’t really be missed that much because let’s face it, you were pretty annoying.
It’s almost ironic that this show returned on Valentine’s Day given how many people didn’t make it out alive, especially those closest to Rick. In the combination of various grisly moments that really made an impression, the show even took out Carl who, although he survived the carnage, lost use of his eye in the process. He may be alive but he isn’t exactly in good condition right now – which is at least more that could be said for the Anderson family. While Judith may have been handed over to Father Gabriel (in what was a pretty bad move considering how untrustworthy he can be) it wasn’t the end of their problem when Sam pretty much immediately blew the group’s cover as he started to talk and was easily ripped apart by the zombies. Having been one of the biggest liabilities of the group it was actually almost satisfactory to see Sam taken care of so easily…and then Jessie followed seconds later with her shriek that alerted the zombies to the fact that she wasn’t one of them, and was quickly taken care of.
Of course then Ron decided to get involved as well, and Jessie’s older son decided that given the horde of zombies around them there couldn’t possibly have been a better time to shoot Rick and he decided to have a go at getting revenge for his dad. However, before Ron could pull the trigger properly and kill Rick, Michonne intervened and used her Katanas to take care of him pretty quickly. That would have been the end there and then, but the bullets didn’t stay in their gun – and one found itself in Carl’s eye, rendering him blind. That made things really interesting especially considering that we weren’t done with the carnage just yet.
Meanwhile, Daryl, Sasha and Abraham ran into a group of people blocking their route back home and it turns out that the bikers who they stumbled across were actually henchmen, working for a greater threat in terms of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan, who is looking likely to be our Governor replacement; a big bad who will no doubt make things even worse for our characters. Perhaps in normal situation they may have been able to take care of the three, but Daryl however happened to have an RPG available and wow, you don’t really mess with Daryl and an RPG if you know anything at all about his character. He quickly took care of the bad guys in a massive explosion that really worked, delivering one of the finer moments of badassary that the show has had to offer thus far. The show has always been at its best when it’s been giving us nonstop action and No Way Out was no different. Regardless of who was involved in the carnage, the stakes were always high and the action was for the most part superb.
Back with Rick and the others, it didn’t take Rick long to go into fully blown psycho mode following his attempt to get Carl to safety. He, along with the surviving humans, followed suit, joined in for some zombie killing and everyone decided to turn into zombie slaying masters as though Rick had inspired them. With even the previously super-helpless Alexandrians able to join in on the killing floor, their plan seemed to work as they fought their way out. Meanwhile, Daryl got another heroic moment of the episode because he, after helping the others save Glenn, was able to set the water on fire with an RPG blast and some gasoline that diverted the attention of the remaining Walkers away from the Alexandrians (for some reason) because nothing offers a better alternative to brains than flaming water.
On the whole, despite its problems, including another attempt at a possible death of Glenn that was just another big fakeout, No Way Out was a pretty solid episode that was one of the finer ones of Season 6 so far, even if it did have its issues with struggling to balance the entire ensemble cast. The show certainly knows how to handle action packed episodes like these and hopefully it’ll be able to find its form again.
The Walking Dead continues on Sunday at 9pm on AMC. What did you think of the premiere? Let me know in the comments section below.