Walking Dead Season 6

The Walking Dead Midseason Premiere Recap: Heroes Reborn

As the battle for Alexandria neared its tipping point in the midseason premiere of The Walking Dead, even hapless Eugene refused to “clock out,” predicting, “Hell, this is a story people are gonna tell.”

And was he ever right.

The series’ thrilling comeback served up major casualties, a montage that was gasp-inducing, it was so intense, and a plot twist that left one of our survivors forever changed. Who was still standing when the smoke cleared? Read on and find out:

‘BITE, CHEW, SWALLOW, REPEAT’ | Beginning with the “coda” that followed “Start to Finish,” “No Way Out” kicks off with Daryl using his new bazooka to blow up Negan’s biker gang. (Which is kinda a shame, because the lead baddie turns out to be pretty funny. For instance, when Abraham is reluctant to hand over his weapon, the guy offers this sage advice: “If you have to eat s—, [it’s] best not to nibble.” #wordstoliveby)

Back in Alexandria, since apparently zero walkers noticed Sam calling out for his mom in the winter finale, Rick & Co. survive among the horde long enough for him to decide that flares aren’t gonna cut it; they’ll need the vehicles from the quarry to lead the zombies outta town. After Gabriel — his redemption nearing completion — volunteers to take Judith to his church for safekeeping, Jessie suggests that he take Sam, too. Unfortunately, the boy insists that he could keep going. Yeah, that’s gonna work out greeeat

Just outside of town, while Glenn and Enid search a(nother) church for items that would help them rescue Maggie — my fave: the “Bible Glock” — the teen asks her traveling companion WTH he meant when he told her that running was how one lost people even after they were gone. In response, he inspires her by explaining that people we loved and lost remain a part of us until we give up being who we are.

The Walking Dead Carl EyeFAMILY DINNER | Haunted by Carol’s long-ago description of the monsters devouring him, Sam eventually has the freak-out that we all assumed was coming, and is attacked by walkers. In turn, Jessie freaks out and is attacked, too. When, even while being eaten, she won’t let go of Carl’s hand, a traumatized Rick severs their connection with an axe. Enraged, Ron points his gun at Rick — or so the directing seems to indicate — and before Michonne can machete the kid, he shoots out Carl’s eye!

Meanwhile, Denise and her captor are bonding more than I think any of us could have imagined they would. Hiding from walkers, the Wolf admits to her that she had been right — he wasn’t born this way, he’d changed… and he will help her change, too. After he gets bitten saving her from a walker, she suggests that maybe his heroism proved that he’d changed again — for the better — and promises to save him, if he’d help her get back to the infirmary.

Holed up with Tara, Rosita and Eugene, Morgan cautiously asks Carol about her daughter. She isn’t interested in accepting any olive branches, however. “I should’ve killed you,” she says. “You can’t,” he responds. And therein lies the rub. Shortly thereafter, she spots Denise and her abductor making their way to the infirmary and does what she’s wanted to all along — shoots him.

WE CAN BEAT ‘EM!’ | After leaving Carl in Denise’s care in the infirmary, Rick goes back out into the streets of Alexandria and just starts wailing on walkers. And at first, it seems like he might be having another breakdown. (Could ya blame him?) But once he’s joined by Michonne, Heath, Spencer and Aaron, he reveals that he isn’t losing it — he’s trying to win back Alexandria.

Spying the action from his church, Gabriel hands off Judith to a parishioner and tells his congregation that their prayers had been answered. “God will save Alexandria,” he says, “because God has given us the courage to save it ourselves.” (Boom — redemption complete.) In short order, Carol, Morgan, Tara, Rosita and even Eugene all join in the fray. Happening upon the zombified Wolf he’d tried to save, Morgan says, “I’m sorry” before putting him out of his misery.

Nearby, Glenn winds up getting cornered by a bunch of walkers while trying to draw them away from Maggie. And, for a harrowing moment, it looks — yet again! — like he’s done for. But, at the last second, Abraham and Sasha open fire, miraculously missing Glenn and taking out only the zombies. (Can we now call a moratorium on “Glenn’s doomed! Ha, he’s not!” twists?)

‘THERE’S GOTTA BE MORE’ | While Daryl starts a fire that attracts walkers like they are moths to a flame, Rick and not only his crew but the Alexandrians, too, turn into a veritable assembly line of zombie carnage. (Seriously, if that insane walker-whacking montage didn’t give you goosebumps, it’s probably too late to amputate — you’ve already turned.)

The morning after, while the shell-shocked survivors are staring at the walker-strewn streets like, “I’m not cleaning up this mess!” Rick is in the infirmary, telling an unconscious Carl that, when the battle had ended, he’d had a feeling, an incredible feeling — that everything Deanna had envisioned was possible. Rick hadn’t thought that the Alexandrians could learn, but lo and behold, they had. So he really wants Carl to wake up. “I wanna show you the new world,” he says tearfully. And, at last, Carl squeezes his hand.

So, what did you think of the midseason premiere? Grade it in our poll below, then hit the comments to discuss!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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67 Comments
  1. Shaw says:

    Now that was a premiere, poor pouchd**ks whole family….

  2. Gabriel Anthony says:

    THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE WINTER FINALE! What an amazing episode!

  3. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    BEST EPISODE EVER…….of the ENTRE SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank god that B* with those wackass kids are dead hahahahha!

  4. AngelWasHere says:

    That was freaking EPIC!!!! Seriously the best episode of the series.

    • The Beach says:

      I’ve always had 2 eps that stood out to me above the rest: the zombie overrun of Herschel’s farm and Carol taking out Terminus single-handed. Now I have 3 favorites! A truly amazing episode for the ages.

  5. Matt C. says:

    One of the best episodes of the entire series. The ending montage of all of Alexandria teaming up to take out the herd was so beautiful. I kinda feel bad for Jessie, but she was doomed from the start for having such an idiotic family. Also, when/if Glenn ever dies FOR REAL, I’m not even going to be able to react properly because of how many times he’s come THIIIIS close to dying. Really hoping that another character meets Lucille…

    • Shaw says:

      Exactly on my couch screaming NO didn’t even see Abraham and Sasha had to rewind and watch.

      • Phoenix5634 says:

        I had like the same reaction, I was screaming NO cuz Glenn came so close to dying, that I didn’t even see Abraham and Sasha right away. Lol I felt like Glenn’s perspective, I didn’t even see them really until I knew Glenn was alright lol. I really hope Glenn doesn’t die, he’s honestly probably my favourite character. It’s pretty close between him, Daryl and Rick for me.

        • Glenn says:

          He gets killed by Neden in the comics! Death by baseball bat! Haha SPOILERS SUCKER! This is what people get wasting their lives on douchey message boards. Grow up and leave the house on occasion.

  6. Gina says:

    I wish I could grade higher than an A.
    Ugh it was NON-STOP tonight. I knew the Carl scene was coming but I still wasn’t truly prepared for it.
    A++++

  7. Bill says:

    Awesome episode, but major casualties? No one that died was in double digit episodes

  8. Jp says:

    This episode is instantly behind “The Grove” episode and “the Pilot” as the top walking dead episodes of all time… That fight montage at the end was top notch… Sooooooooo glad the Walking Dead is back… Instead of Chuck Norris, They should start making “Rick Grimes is so tough” sayings

  9. Jules says:

    BLOODY GOOD!!

  10. Brad says:

    Gabriel’s redemption won’t be complete until he dies. And even then I’ll be happy to see him go.

    • sanchopanza says:

      I’m afraid I agree with you. I cringed when Rick let him take the baby. He’s come some way toward redemption but not far enough. You can forgive his actions but not forget them..

      • Kristen says:

        Me too! I was yelling at my TV, “Nooo! Don’t don’t do it Rick!”, then he just says, “Thank you”. What!? No threat to feed him to the walkers if things went bad? Gabriel has turned on him so many times, and I’m supposed to believe Rick is just going to hand Judith over so easily.

        I am a little sad about Jessie, only b/c I was excited for Rick to finally have a lady in his life. Sam never should’ve been allowed to go on with them. Had he been with Gabriel, Sam would’ve been the only casualty, and then Rick could’ve had his woman. So glad Michonne killed the other one. Sad Carl had to lose his eye though. I was hoping they would alter the comics slightly so that he would’ve been injured, but could’ve kept his eye. Not looking forward to seeing Carl in an eyepatch the rest of the season.

  11. Jo says:

    Loved it! Best episode yet! And I love that they are finally following more closely to the comic storylines!

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      Yeah that scene with Carl was like atleast 60% straight out of the source material, they did it very good too. Could say it was played even better than the source material.

  12. Phoenix5634 says:

    Amazing episode! A++ ! Totally called Daryl blowing up Negans gang exactly, haha loved that, was awesome! Rick, Carl and Jessie’s scene from the source material was very well done! And thank god for Abraham and Sasha showing up just in time to save Glenn! I was worried about Glenn there for a moment. Gotta love Abraham and Sasha. And father Gabriel finally grew a pair! It’s about time! The Last Stand scenes, and the lake of fire scenes were pretty awesome too! Daryl is awesome. Next week looks awesome too, Rick and Daryl, investigating Negans present in the area ? Can’t wait !

  13. James D says:

    man this show is flipping nuts. it never stops getting darker and i love it. the premiere was predictable but it sure was an intense and enjoyable hour of TV.

    • Brigid says:

      Predictable? Only if you read the comics.

      • Phoenix5634 says:

        And not even really if you’ve read them, you’ll know certain key moments are coming, but you’ll have no idea when until you see it happen on screen. And even then, the source material is usually modified as well, so even readers never know for sure.

  14. DavidJ says:

    Holy crap that was freakin intense.

  15. David Sellers says:

    Awesome episode! By far my favorite! The bad ass fight scene was like know other!

  16. Spence says:

    Incredible episode. I just wish it was the winter finale rather than a premiere, it really didn’t fit the style of a premiere- but would work perfectly for a shocking conclusion to the first half of the season. But regardless, it was incredible.

  17. wild_child says:

    Jessie is dead!!!!!b Yay!!!!

  18. Phoenix5634 says:

    Michonne should have just chopped Rons’ arm off that was holding the gun, then finished him with her katana. But anyone who has read the source material knew this was coming, and it was still shocking, and very well done!

    • King says:

      I think he had to go that way because if Michonne had cut off his hand first I don’t think she’d finish him. I think she would hesitate at least that’s how I see her character. And him living would mean he could get another chance to come after Rick Carl and of course her.

      • Phoenix5634 says:

        That’s true, and I also just thought of the fact that if she chopped Rons arm off, it’d be basically the same thing Rick just did to Jessie within seconds. It’d be ironic, and kind of funny, but too simple…Haha like mother like son? lol. And yeah I agree with you.

  19. Phoenix5634 says:

    On the Talking Dead, when Carrie was saying how lucky Glenn is, the showrunner had pretty shifty eyes in that moment, I’d like to know what he was thinking at that moment that he restrained himself from saying. Please I don’t want Glenn to meet Lucille. Or Daryl. Find someone else for Lucille.

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      I vote they redeem Gabriel, convince people to like him, then have him be he one who meets Lucille. Hey, killing a priest would send a message, an based on the source material I wouldn’t put it pass Negan. It could be like a lesser Hershal moment. And anyway, most people know/like the actor better as Deaton from Teen Wolf.

    • Natalie says:

      I noticed that too! I think Glenn may be meeting Lucille ugh….I hope I’m wrong.

    • AnnieM says:

      I’m afraid for Glenn; it would be just like this show to do that to him after 2 near-misses. :-(

      • Phoenix5634 says:

        That’s my fear as well. It’s like they’re trying to soften us up for the brutal scene to come..or testing the fans reaction to it. Either way I really hope it’s not Glenn.

    • Winter says:

      I’m really concerned about Maggie because it won’t have the same emotional impact with them having to do the baby story line again.

  20. Man, for a while there I almost thought they’d have the balls to kill Carl off and I was so impressed and proud. Silly me. At least Rick’s boring rebound chick and her pointless kids bit the dust, I suppose that’ll have to do, but it would just be so nice to be surprised by this show for once.

  21. L Baca says:

    Daryl rocks. I would be behind him if a zombie was after me. They should have duct tape Sam’s mouth shut. Glad Judith is safe. Glad Glen is safe. Maggie is on my nerves. Why on Earth would you get pregnant during this time. Abraham looked hot in that uniform!Gabriel, I have mixed feelings about. So glad TWD is back.

  22. peterwdawson says:

    As usual kind of mixed on some of the deaths but the action, if nothing else, was awesome.

  23. Ojjan77 says:

    Question what should GLEEN’s nickname be after all those near deaths moments? I’m leaning towards “The Cat” myself.

  24. ToNo says:

    I call bu11sh!t… it hard to believe Carl could have survived the rifle shot way back when. He would have been scarred and required months of rehab. Now he gets shot in the eye, loses it and rests peacefully in bed at the end of the show. I realize its a fantasy show, but hospitals are challenged to treat these kinds of wounds yet they are easily treatable in zombie-land.
    Just saying…..

    • n8frogg78 says:

      If that’s the thing that you cal “bullsh**” on when watching a freaking show about zombies you need help. The entire premise of the series requires you to have to let reality go. So surviving a gun shot to the eye really isn’t that far fetched.

    • AnnieM says:

      Nicotero said on ‘Talking Dead’ that the bullet hit the corner of his eye socket and careened off; the bone fragments were what shredded his eye, the bullet didn’t actually enter his skull. The *comic* made it look like he lost 1/3 of his skull, and now Carl basically looks like Two-Face from Batman. I figured they would make things less severe for TV so the makeup would be easier, since they’ll have to do it for the rest of the series.

  25. The Carpooler says:

    Wow. Wow. That was amazing. I’m a huge fan of the show, and I understand the pacing required, but dayum…this episode was one of the best episodes, if not the best episode, since S1E1.
    I’m sorry to see Jessie go, was hoping she and Rick could make a go of it.

  26. Joey Padron says:

    Great episode. Sad Jesse died. Glad Carl is gonna be okay. So glad Sasha and Abraham saved Glenn’s life! Glad they got rid of walkers thanks to Daryl’s plan putting the lake on fire. Can’t wait for next week’s episode!

  27. E says:

    I love this episode and agree it was by far one of the best ones. There was so many times I was in fear and and kept yelling at the TV!! I didn’t see a lot of what happened coming and I love that. Especially Daryl blowing everyone up, I thought for sure Abraham or Sasha was a goner and the whole family getting eaten within seconds of each other I didn’t see coming. I was hoping that would happen but I wasn’t sure.

  28. KLS says:

    Loved this episode. Was just waiting for dumba** Sam to screw things up. I don’t read the comics, so everything was new to me, which was great. Blowing up Negan’s gang was awesome! Not sure Sasha and Abraham would have survived, standing so close, though. During the big fight scene, I had a Lord of Rings moment, just constant hashing and fighting. Especially loved the final push when the actors were swinging at the camera. So glad this show is back! Watched it 2x already!

    • ncis2012 says:

      Not only would Abraham and Sasha also be dead but where exactly in the back of the fuel truck was the rpg hidden w/o being seen taking it or heard after tussling with the big guy? Daryl is awesome regardless of how it happened. Makes you wonder how much muscle Negan actually has if 8-10 of his crew can die in one shot and he still has the power to rule by way of threat and intimidation tactics.

      The zombie killing montage was pretty sweet. Probably the best visually spectacular thing the show has ever done.

      I think Negan and whats left of his force see that huge freaking fire and come to investigate where its from.

  29. Pati says:

    that was so good, it was definitely the best episode or one of the best in the series. I love this show so much. i was watching in bed and kept covering my mouth in shock from beginning to end. Amazing. so so so good.

  30. fan says:

    Even if you knew from the graphic novels what was coming with Carl, it didn’t make it less shocking when he turned around. Amazing episode and that montage of them killing walkers….whew! Breathless. Now really, who is gonna clean up that mess and get the walls back up? Deanna is in her house turned I’m sure or eaten up. Big mess to clean up. LOL

  31. wrstlgirl says:

    I said at the end of 6A Daryl’s got a propane truck and a rocket launcher. I knew that had to mean something, LOL!! Great episode. You just knew Sam was toast but honestly I think fans are way to hard on him. He was just a kid, lost his father and was threatened by Carol. It was her comments to him that he was remembering when he freaked out. Ron was a putts. I liked Jessie but poor Rick having to watch her die like that. The guys just has zero luck with the ladies, hahaha. Loved seeing Gabriel and Eugene and the rest of the Alexandrian’s step up to the plate. Can’t wait to see how all of this comes together, can’t believe there’s only 7 eps left.

  32. PaisleyPark says:

    So….I’d been hearing for the longest time how good TWD is, but I never had interest in watching it. I’m not into the whole zombie, werewolf, vampire craze that’s going on. However, I ended up watching it for the first time this weekend and, I have to say, it is a pretty good show! I watched quite a few episodes (mostly from season 5 and 6) and you do get hooked! There are so many mouth-wide-open moments in this show! Lord! The cast is HUGE, but I like that different characters are highlighted in different episodes. I, myself, was more interested in the episodes that focused on the Rick/Michonne/Carl dynamic, and I like Carol, but all of the characters are watchable.

    Sam SO ruined it for his family! Lol. I mean, really, kid?! With his freak out, they had it coming. And the priest guy….he sucks! Yeah, he’s trying to join the team now, but he still sucks for initially trying to basically turn the town against Rick and the crew.

    As I haven’t seen every episode, I’m still confused on things (like how exactly did the zombies come to exist everywhere in the first place?!). But in the episodes I did watch, I was able to follow along pretty well and piece things together. I’ll have to remember to start watching every Sunday.

  33. jennrae says:

    It reminded me of Buffy a few times…xander getting his eye shut out, buffy telling dawn she wanted to show her the world, the battle montage, Great episode, though.

  34. Name(less) says:

    “Enraged, Ron points his gun at Rick — or so the directing seems to indicate — and before Michonne can machete the kid, he shoots out Carl’s eye!”

    I’d like to comment on what I perceived in this scene – I do believe Ron was aiming for Rick, but when Michonne KATANA’d him, his arms spread wide & the aim then changed to Carl, as he accidently fired the gun. If you rewatch, you will hear the gun fire after Michonne has run him through, & you can see that Ron goes from aiming at Rick to not aiming at all.

  35. chaosrainz says:

    I still think they’re just taunting us with Glenn so we don’t see the real thing coming when it happens….

    • wrstlgirl says:

      I don’t think they’re that naive. It’s been discussed, debated, hashed over and over and over…….on social media. They know that we know what’s coming, we just don’t know exactly who or how.