In The Walking Dead recap for the season 6 premiere, Rick and the survivors face the biggest horde in history as they find out how they come back from the season 5 finale…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Have you ever wondered how Alexandria stayed untouched once the zombie apocalypse began?
It was an idyllic new community with near million dollar homes, nestled in the heart of the Virginia woods, just a stone’s throw away from Washington D.C. All the convenience of a major city, all the solitude of a peaceful rural village. When the dead started rising up and eating the flesh of the living, the community survived because a former congresswoman named Deanna and her husband Reg organized the people living there to help build walls, and keep the enclosure secure.
Still despite all that effort, isn’t it strange that no herd of zombies ever managed to come knocking on their front door?
Well as The Walking Dead season 6 kicked off on Sunday night, we found out why.
It seems just outside of Alexandria was a rock quarry and in that quarry got trapped a decent number of walkers. Whoever escaped from there ultimately blocked their entrance back up the hill again with a couple tractor trailers so in other words the walkers would continue to feed themselves down this gulley into the canyon with no real way of walking out again thanks to these structures blocking them.
It’s like the perfect trap for walkers except for one problem — it’s only a matter of time before those trucks give way and the biggest horde of flesh-eating zombies that anybody has seen will begin tearing through the countryside and there’s a good chance a large portion of them are going to make it to Alexandria.
And then all the walls in the world aren’t going to keep this many zombies from pushing through to get to the people who are alive on the other side.
So Rick and the others decide to organize a team to lure the zombies out of the quarry, lead them through the streets with Daryl leading the way as a Harley-revving Pied Piper and take the horde and point them away from Alexandria.
“I know this sounds insane but this is an insane world. We have to come for them or they come for us. It’s that simple.”
Rick’s got a point but in an insane world, bad things can and usually do happen so it’s safe to say his plan goes awry, but how did he get there in the first place? Well the debut episode on Sunday featured a black-and-white, time out of sequence history of the days after Rick executed Pete all the way until the zombie hoard began barreling towards Alexandria. It captured the humanity of The Walking Dead inside the walls and the inhuman threat that’s always looming just outside the walls in a pitch perfect debut as season six gets underway.
With that said let’s recap the latest The Walking Dead titled ‘First Time Again’….
Still the Same
Minutes after Rick pulled the trigger to kill Pete, he’s locked in another room with the man who saved him from the zombie apocalypse after he first woke up from his coma. This version of Morgan is a stick-wielding bad ass and far removed from the paranoid crazy who Rick and Michonne encountered some months back as he was locked up in a room, hording guns and food and building traps to keep anyone and everything out. Morgan’s son died and that sent his mind spiraling out of control, but what brought him back and how did he end up here?
That story will apparently get told another day, but what we know for now is that Morgan seems perfectly sane of mind, body and spirit. He’s calm even in the face of a very weird and very intense situation. Morgan does reveal that he learned how to handle the bo staff after he last saw Rick, but still no word on how he got down out of that strange tower he was living in.
Rick apologizes that he’s forced to stay locked up behind four walls just seconds after arriving in town, but Morgan doesn’t seem to mind much.
“The way I look at it, sometimes you’re safer when there’s no way out. We’ve got to get to know each other again — for the first time — again.”
While Rick is getting to know Morgan again, the rest of the crew starts to find out what happened at the tail end of last season.
Tara wakes up from her coma to find out that Noah is dead and Glenn came back after nearly being murdered by Nicholas, yet he refuses to turn him over to Deanna where he would most certainly be vanquished and die alone in the wild. Glenn gave Maggie the option to rat Nicholas out but she didn’t and the same for Tara, who decided to allow Glenn to make the call.
Nicholas is now a devoted Glenn follower, who seems to listen to his every word like it’s gospel.
Meanwhile, Father Gabriel has been virtually outcast from every social circle after he told Deanna that Rick and the new survivors couldn’t be trusted. Sasha is walking back from the ledge after nearly tossing herself off and Abraham is struggling to deal with Pete’s death following the shooting while still covered in the man’s blood.
Deanna is essentially numb throughout the entire episode still trying to cope with the death of her husband while turning almost all authority over to Rick after he called his shot with what happened with Pete as well as walkers getting into the town (although technically that was all Gabriel’s fault).
We also meet Heath for the first time — a famous character from the comic books played by Corey Hawkins, who just broke out as Dr. Dre in the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton — he’s a supply runner, who has been gone for a couple of weeks with his crew and just now making it back. He runs into Eugene when first coming back into the gates, and while they have to banter back and forth before Heath is allowed in again, they reach and understanding by the end thanks to his awesome dreadlocks.
“I fully respect the hair game”
~ Eugene to Heath
Bury Your Dead
Rick shows Morgan around town while also telling him that eventually he’ll have to meet with Deanna, who is the woman in charge. While talking the streets, Rick runs into Father Gabriel and Tobin, who are burying Reg and Pete in the graveyard inside Alexandria.
Rick objects to Pete getting a place alongside those who gave their lives for the community and the argument ends when Deanna agrees that the man who murdered her husband has no place resting next to him in the ground.
Rick and Morgan travel outside the walls to dump Pete’s body, but unbeknownst to them his son Ron has followed along to see where they are leaving his father.
Once they reach the woods, Rick is ready to just dump Pete and go, but Morgan still wants to bury him no matter what crimes he’s committed.
“That’s not who you are. I know.”
Rick warns him that he’s changed, but the conversation pauses when he hears a distant roar and upon further investigation, they find a rock quarry teeming with walkers all scratching and clawing to get past a pair of truck that have been placed there to block the exit. This is really bad news if this horde somehow escapes full throttle, but Rick’s concerns are cut short when he has to save Ron from a stumbling zombie about to eat him.
Rick kills the walker and tells Ron that this isn’t want his mother or his father would have wanted. He needs to be responsible and that doesn’t include leaving the community and nearly getting himself killed in the process. All Ron wanted was to see where his father was being buried.
Before they go back to Alexandria, Rick stops at the body this time and picks up a shovel to begin digging the dirt to give Pete a final resting place whether he deserved it or not. A small smile creeps across Morgan’s face because the man he met back outside Atlanta is still there, he’s just buried beneath a few new scars and a lot of anger.
Not The Man
Back in town, Rick tries to reconnect with Jessie after everything that happened with Pete, but she’s not having it. She rebuffs his advances while also telling him that he needs to keep his hands off of Ron no matter how well intentioned he may have been by giving the boy a stern warning for escaping the community to follow them into the woods.
Rick pleads that he’s just trying to help them understand the world they are living in now and training them to survive. Jessie quickly shuts him down and says that Rosita is teaching her how to shoot and she’ll be the one to teach Ron and her younger son as well. Rick even taking a step closer to her makes Jessie flinch so not only has he managed to kill this woman’s husband, but now she’s afraid of him as well.
Meanwhile back in town, a new resident we meet named Carter (Ethan Embry) is talking to Father Gabriel and a few other people about how they need to rise up and get rid of Rick now before he completely takes over. What they don’t know is that Eugene was getting food from the same pantry where the armory is kept and when he drops a glass, everyone finds him cowering on the ground.
Carter is ready to put a bullet into Eugene to stop him from telling Rick their plans, but before he can pull the trigger, they are discovered.
Rick, Daryl and the other walk in to the armory and find Carter with his gun pointed at Eugene. Rick wastes no time disarming Carter and then aims the weapon directly at him instead. A few moments pass as Rick declares that no one is going to take this town from him, from Daryl, from Carol or anyone else in the group. He then unloads the chamber and lets Carter live but maybe not for the reasons you’d first imagine.
The Same Result
Rick believes that for Alexandria to survive a few things need to happen.
First off, people need to be armed inside the walls. Second, the citizens of Alexandria need to be trained. Third, the gatherers (aka Daryl and Aaron) need to stop going out to find new people to add to the community (although Daryl disagrees) and finally, they need to go on the offensive.
Just surviving isn’t living — it’s waiting to die.
Rick proposes a plan where they will organize the zombie horde leaving the rock quarry before leading them more than 20 miles outside of town so they can stumble and rumble towards the next community, far away from Alexandria. It appears no one in town is willing to help until Rick’s crew begins to volunteer and eventually even Carter comes around because he was the No. 2 man behind Reg when the walls were built and he’s crucial in setting up some sort of barriers so the walkers will turn the correct direction to lead them away from town and not right to it.
It seems like everyone begins trusting Rick (a little bit) now and he’s going to go on the offensive to lead the walkers away from Alexandria. He’s still trying to make the townspeople understand just how dangerous this situation is and while building the barriers to lead the walkers out of town, a few stragglers get through the forest and Rick lets them in so Carter and the others can attack and defend.
Unfortunately, Carter stands there paralyzed as does everyone else so Morgan and the others have to dispatch the walkers as Rick’s point is proven once again.
These people aren’t ready.
Back at home later that day, Rick sits with Morgan on his front porch after inviting the weary traveling to move in with him and Carl as they all begin a new life here in Alexandria.
Morgan accepts and while he’s holding baby Judith for the first time, he tells Rick that the person who he met back outside Atlanta and the one who tried to rescue him a few months back is still the same man sitting beside him now.
“You with that man Carter in the armory, that’s you. You’re still the same man I met in King County, the one who came back and told me it wasn’t over. That was you. The same you that’s right in front of me right now.”
As it turns out, Rick’s point of view isn’t exactly the same — he’s just far more pessimistic or maybe a realist depending on how you look at it. He says that Carter is a dead man whether he pulled that trigger or not. Carter was ill equipped to deal with this new world and one way or another he was going to go — Rick just spared his execution that day.
“Somebody like that — they’re going to die no matter what.”
What’s That Sound?
Back to present day and the group unexpectedly has to horde the zombies away from town during a test run after one of the trucks blocking their path ends up tumbling over the side and freeing the undead masses to push forward.
The plan is going well with Daryl, Sasha and Abraham leading the walkers down the street while Rick, Michonne and Morgan set up a couple of spots along the road to make sure the herd stays on course. Glenn, Nicholas and Heath even finish off a few walkers on their own at a tractor store to make sure the noise doesn’t distract the walkers all being led away.
Just when it seems like the plan is working to perfection, Carter gets attacked and bitten, which causes him to begin screaming bloody murder. Rick shows up and kills the walker and then has to put a knife into the back of Carter’s brain to shut him up while also ending any chance he has to come back as a flesh-eating zombie.
Morgan and Michonne show up just as Rick puts a knife into Carter’s neck and while at first it looks like they are questioning how this all happened, it’s clear in the end that the stares are those of reality. Morgan hates to admit it but his eyes tell the whole story — what Rick said is true — these people either need to get prepared or they will all die like lambs being led to the slaughter.
Following Carter’s death, the horde is back on track until a remarkably loud horn begins ringing out. It sounds like an early warning system for a natural disaster but the bigger problem is the horn is coming from the direction of town. The zombie herd immediately shifts course to follow the sound and it’s going to lead them directly to the front doors of the woefully unprepared Alexandria Safe Zone.
And things are about to get a lot worse.
Don’t miss the next episode of The Walking Dead next Sunday night at 9pm ET!