And unlike the cheap trick the producers pulled when they got Rick out of the RV without showing how he could have possibly gotten away, this mid-season premiere picks up exactly where the last episode left off. The group is all over the place. Rick and Jessie and their kids are trying to make it to the cars with Michonne and Father Gabriel. Carol, Morgan and some of the others are dealing with Morgan’s Wolf issue. Maggie is stuck atop a wobbly watchtower. Glenn and Enid are outside the walls trying to get in. And Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham have just run afoul of Negan’s gang.
In fact, that is where the episode begins: with Daryl, Sasha and Abraham talking to the leader of the gang, who takes their weapons and orders one of his men to take Daryl and search the tanker trunk for more weapons because, “There are always more.” Abraham wants to know about Negan and the gang leader points a gun at him, telling a story about how they always kill one or two people when they stop someone. He pulls out a second gun and aims at Sasha as well, then says he’s not going to shoot them and starts to put the gun away, before taking aim again and saying,”On second thought, yes I am,” and then he suddenly blows up along with the rest of his gang and the camera cuts to Daryl who did, in fact, find more weapons on the back of the truck. Namely, a rocket launcher. The one Abraham had collected back in town.
Back in Alexandria, Rick et al get themselves out of the house and through hordes of walkers. They get to a certain point where the herd is very dense and suddenly, Father Gabriel steps up and starts to act useful, which almost never bodes well. He offers to take Judith back to the church so that she’ll be safe. Rick reluctantly agrees and hands the baby over, and then Jessie tells Sam to go too. Sam, who hasn’t stopped talking since they left the house, says no and begs to stay with his mom and essentially foretells that he has reached the end of the road when he refuses to go to safety and stays with everyone else.
Carol and Morgan fight about what to do with the Wolf, who takes advantage of the situation to get the jump on both of them and then kidnap Denise and take her out with him into the fray. Rosita and Tara argue about going after her and Rosita points out that the Wolf needs Denise to take care of him so he’s not going to hurt her.
After the commercial break, it’s suddenly nighttime, which leaves one wondering just how big Alexandria really is, since they’ve been walking around for a really long time and haven’t gotten to the cars yet.
Sam is a little less talkative now, but he starts remembering some of the scary things Carol had said to him and he starts freaking out when he sees a little kid walker and then he suddenly gets attacked and eaten right in front of Jessie, who starts screaming and crying and then gets attacked herself and stops reacting. She has hold of Carl’s hand and Rick jumps in and chops off her arm, and then Ron sees all of this happening and waves his gun at Rick and Carl because now his entire family is gone and he blames them. As he fires the gun, Michonne stabs him from behind with her katana, but not before the shot ricochets and takes out Carl’s eye.
The Wolf and Denise have been hiding in a little porch and the Wolf decides it’s time to make a break for it, so they start running through some walkers. The Wolf gets through but Denise is stuck and the Wolf actually turns back to help her, getting bitten in the process. Denise tells him that if he helps her get to her clinic, she can save his life. Except, as they’re moving down the street, Carol sees them and shoots the Wolf from above, and Denise runs the rest of the way to the clinic.
Oh, and Carol might have also told Morgan, “I should have killed you.”
When Denise gets into the clinic, she sees Spencer and some others, who are watching the chaos through the window and notice Rick running toward them with a body. They open the door for him and Denise immediately gets to work on Carl while Rick goes full Ricktator, hatchet in hand, and walks back outside to get things done. Spencer, Aaron, and Heath follow him.
Glenn and Enid are inside the walls, find a gun inside a church that isn’t Father Gabriel’s, Enid sees a scripture painted on the wall and momentarily freaks out and then Glenn calms her down and they go back outside to rescue Maggie from the questionable watchtower. She sees Glenn and screams for him, and then some walkers notice him and he’s attacked and pinned up against a wall while Enid is getting to Maggie. It doesn’t look good for Glenn, which is precisely the moment the walker heads explode, thanks to some exceptionally precisely aimed machine gun shots from Abraham and Sasha, who have arrived just in time.
Father Gabriel is holed up inside the church with some other Alexandrians, also watching the action from a window. He finally seems to get it when he tells them, “God will save Alexandria, because God has given us the courage to save it ourselves.” And then he hands off Judith to one of the women and he goes outside to help for the first time ever.
So everyone is either now out fighting and trying to take the town back and then Daryl opens up the valve on the tanker truck and floods the town’s small lake with fuel, then lights it on fire and the remaining walkers are lured right into it where they burn to death.
The next morning, Rick’s group is sitting amongst the Alexandrians, surveying the many, many dead walkers.
Inside the clinic, Denise patches up Daryl, Michonne holds baby Judith, and Rick is sitting beside Carl’s bed. He says, “I was wrong. I thought after living behind these walls for so long that maybe they couldn’t learn. But today I saw what they could do, what we could do — if we work together. We’ll rebuild the walls. We’ll expand the walls. There’ll be more, there’s gotta be more. Everything Deanna was talking about is possible. It’s all possible.”
I don’t know…Things tend to start going south when Rick gets hopeful again.
What do you think?
Did you like this week’s episode?
Are you ready for more?
And what do you think is going to happen once Negan shows up?
Share your thoughts in the comments or on the message forums!