The theme driving ‘The Walking Dead’ midseason 6 premiere, “Faith without works is dead,” climaxes with Rick, hatchet in hand, stepping into the dark to raise a little Hell and uniting the fractured Alexandrian safe zone in the fight of its life.
Morgan abandons his no-killing policy and even Eugene pitches in, predicting that the night the community rose to fight the undead is a “story people will tell.” But things are hardly happily ever after.
Daryl, fresh from a standoff with Negan’s Saviors, gets back to Alexandria just in time to prompt a zombie slaying montage and to save the day.
The bodies pile up and lessons are learned—Rick finally recognizing the power of unity after the Alexandrians join his fight against the undead. The price of his epiphany is his budding romance with Jessie and Carl’s health.
In a moment pulled from the panels of ‘The Walking Dead’ comics, Rick puts his hatchet to work and Carl suffers a gunshot wound to the face, compliments of Ron. The series’ spin on this iconic comic moment runs deep with emotional complexity.
Quick cuts to Rick’s memories of Jessie during happier times are saturated red as he watches zombies devour his love interest. Sam’s grotesque death is one of the most difficult scenes in the show’s history to watch. Jessie’s horror is gut-wrenching. It takes a few moments, though, for Rick to recognize that she is clutching Carl’s wrist and he has to put grief aside to free his son. With one swipe of a hatchet, Carl’s fate changes.
Free, but not in the clear, Rick and Carl find themselves held at gunpoint—a vengeful son, Ron, has his finger on the trigger. This will not stand. Michonne’s rescue, though, backfires. As Ron dies, he fires a single shot, a shot that hits Carl in the eye and kick starts the episode’s climax.
Once Rick and Michonne get Carl to the infirmary, Denise, who has no time to process her own recent brush with death, confidently works on Carl’s trauma. It’s then that Rick steps outside and brings life to Glenn’s sermon, a sermon that takes place in front lines from scripture, “Faith without works is dead.”
The montage of courage begins as Glenn and Enid move to rescue Maggie, who is trapped on top of a tower. Michonne runs to Rick’s side and the two take on the zombie herd. It isn’t long before the rest of Rick’s crew and the Alexandrian community look out their windows and join the good fight, recognizing the need to fight for the lives they want. They fight because they have hope. They fight because it’s who they are.
Glenn proves himself the luckiest ‘The Walking Dead’ character, dodging several of Abraham’s bullets. Glenn, who had drawn a portion of the herd away from Maggie, finds himself, literally, up against the wall, zombies closing in on him. In the nick of time, Abraham and Sasha arrive from their long journey back to Alexandria and open fire on the herd that’s surrounding Glenn. Glenn is unscathed. Again. Lucky, right?
‘The Walking Dead’ season 6 midseason premiere ends on a positive hope, but this is, after all, ‘The Walking Dead,’ and nothing gold can stay. Daryl blew up Negan’s men as the Saviors high jacked him, Sasha, and Abraham. Negan, in the comics, has scouts everywhere.
Even without knowledge of the comics, the notion of scouts and silent stalking is evident through the Wolves who tailed Aaron and used the information in his backpack to attack Alexandria. It’s a safe bet that the Saviors followed the trio back to Alexandria, and even if they hadn’t followed the group, Daryl’s lake of fire will surely draw the attention of the Saviors. So rest up Rick, and everyone else, Negan is coming. You thought the Wolves and the zombie herd were frightening, but Negan will forever alter the group’s dynamics and world view.
The question of when Negan will appear is unclear. In ‘The Walking Dead’ comics, Rick’s group first meets Jesus and establishes an alliance with another group of survivors, The Hilltop. When do you think Negan will appear? Will Rick have what it takes to beat the threat, or will someone else have to step up and take charge?
You can share your predictions, insights, and questions in the comment section. We here at NFS would love to hear from you!