Monday, October 12, 2015

The Walking Dead: Season 6 Episode 1 - First Time Again

Hello fellow survivors of the zombie apocalypse and welcome back after a long hiatus!  The Walking Dead has returned for its 6th season and it did so with a giant episode.  There was so much going on in this premiere, but they found a way to convey it to the audience in a very effective manner.  The show fast forwarded to us being knee deep in the next walker problem that the town of Alexandria was facing, but we flashed back to the aftermath of last year's finale.  Each black and white flashback informed the next part of the present day effort that was going on.  It was effective in having us learn a lot of new characters in a short period of time and in showing the growing pains of the Alexandrians and Team Rick getting over their issues to work together.  Let's not delay this any further.  Time to dive in!

Discussion Points

So, over the course of the episode Rick discovers that there is a giant hoard of walkers stuck in a quarry.  There are so many of them, that the noise is attracting other walkers to the area.  There are some tractor trailers forked at the quarry exit keeping the walkers at bay, but they're about to get overrun.   This is why Alexandria has come in contact with very little walker activity.  Rick very quickly has to get the town on the same page in resolving this conflict.   This mission is to work together to herd the walkers 20 miles west of Alexandria.   Throughout this whole plan, many relationships between characters are explored. 
  • First of all, that opening shot of the quarry with the thousands of walkers looked amazing.  And the the cliff collapsing with the truck was a great shot!   And of course, this moment turned what was meant to be a dry run into the real deal.  
  • Rick and Morgan - Morgan is on the show folks!  Finally!  But, even from his appearance in the finale we knew that he was going to be a foil to Rick's current state of mind.  Rick indicated that he doesn't take chances with people anymore.  He knows how this world is and who can survive in it.  Anyone else is a threat.  Morgan was convinced that the old Rick was still in there.  Throughout the episode Morgan observes and comments on Rick's decisions.  But was impressed when Rick held back on killing Carter (Ethan Embry's character).  Carter was the leader of the Alexandrians who still were not quite on board with Rick.  And he had come up with a plot to take Rick out.  He wasn't convincing many others to join his quest.  As for Morgan, by the end of the episode we see him exit the Alexandria vetting process and moving in with Rick, Carl and Michonne.  
  • Glenn and Nicholas  - We see the fallout from the Glenn/Nicholas stuff last season very effectively in this episode.  We get some exposition through a Maggie/Tara discussion as well.  Maggie reminds us about everything that happened last season with Noah and how Nicholas was the cause of his death.   And then Nicholas shot Glenn and Glenn let the man live.  Glenn didn't trust Nicholas for the mission they had at hand in this episode.  But, Nicholas seemed to be totally on the path of redemption.  He was letting the new cast know how Glenn knows a lot more about how to handle the walkers than they do.  They've been on the run since the beginning.  And we see Nicholas effectively helping resolve a smaller walker conflict.   In Maggie's conversation with Tara she used Tara as an example of how you can start off with one opinion of someone but then that can change over time.  I don't remember when Maggie and Tara became "BEST FRIENDS" but it was still a nice scene! 
  • Carl and Enid - Not much to report here as they were barely in the episode but we did catch them sitting on a car holding hands.  #awwwwww
  • Abraham and Sasha - They volunteered to drive the car leading the heard along with Darryl and his bike.  Sasha had some issues last season after Tyreese's death, but she ain't holding a candle to Abraham this season!  He's drunk and crazy.  He took the wedding ring off of Jessie's husband's corpse (I think) and was trying to balance it on his flask.  Huh?  He left a moving vehicle to personally get some of the walkers back in the herd.  And he asked Sasha if she volunteered for this mission because she wants to die.   Sasha indicated that being apart of this mission was, in fact, "LIVING".   My guess is this was just an introduction to this season's version of Abraham.  So we'll keep tabs on this. 
  • Rick/Darryl - Rick and Darryl don't see eye to eye on the future of Alexandria.  Darryl wants to recruit more people.  Rick says they have to shut down recruitment protocol.   Darryl is on board with whatever Rick wants to do, but he's not afraid to disagree with him.   There was a brief shout out to the "Ws" or as we now know them...The Wolves, but we're going to have to wait to see if they're involved with their NEXT big issue. 
  • Carol - Still playing her part in Alexandria.  She did not get involved in Rick's mission but handed out water to people building the walls.  She even kept up her act when Morgan started questioning her.  Though Morgan seemed to see through the act.  
  • Heath - New character alert!  Loved the introduction scene with Eugene.  Heath and his crew apparently were on a mission for all of the time Rick and crew were in Alexandria last season.  Eugene let them through the gate a little too easily if you ask me.  But it turns out he made the right decision.  Heath seems like he's going to be a good addition to the cast and already got in some good comic lines.  But Eugene wins the best line of the night when he indicated he and Heath were alike and that he dully respected the hair game.  Classic!
  • Rick, Jessie and Ron - If we were expecting Rick and Jessie to hit the ground running after he took out the husband, not so fast! Rick kept his distance from Jessie for most of the episode but ended up having a stalker in her son Ron.  They took his father's corpse outside the gates to let the walkers have him (according to Diana).  Morgan wanted to bury him still though and eventually convinced Rick that was the way to go.  Ron wanted to know where his father was buried, but ended up stumbling into walkers outside the gates.  And this actually led to the discovery of the quarry.  Rick saved Ron but Jessie totally disagreed with his approach.  Rick killed his father, so Ron will never listen to any advice Rick gives.  Jessie says she was listening to his speech and will arm herself and train herself, but she's going to go through Rosita.  Then she'll train her children.  We'll see how long it takes for those 2 to get over their issues and just give in!  
  • Diana - Rightfully not her old self after her husband Reg's death.  But, she still supports Rick's tactics in keeping the town safe.  Glenn asked Maggie to keep an eye on her and make sure she gets back to her old self.  The town needs their leader.  Of course, if you ask Carol she indicated the Rick owns the town now.  
  • Morgan and Michonne - In another comedic part, we harkened back to the "CLEAR" episode when Rick, Michonne and Carl found Morgan.  Morgan flat out asked if she took his last peanut butter power bar.   Michonne said no.  I distinctly remember Michonne sharing a candy bar with Carl in that episode!  She, she lied.  (This was confirmed on Talking Dead as well)   But Michonne thought they had more important things to worry about.  Such a random moment, but hysterical. 
  • Gabriel - No one trusts the man.  He volunteered to be a part of the mission, and Rick very quickly dismissed him.  Seems like he'll be on the mend this season though.  
  • The Mission - It went pretty well for the most part.  Until it didn't.  Rick's plan was executing like clockwork.  Everyone playing their part.  Carter eventually got on board and helped construct the walls that would keep the walker herd on track.  The flare guns attracted the herd in the right direction.  Carter was impressed that Rick's plan was working and that he was right.  He volunteered to help out in the front of the herd and that ended up being his last decision.  The walkers got him and Rick had to put him out of his misery.  This was witnessed by Morgan and Michonne.  Neither of them were happy with what they saw, but they acknowledged they knew this is how things were.  But, it might have been Rick's lack of hesitation of putting Carter down that gave them pause.  Everything seemed like it was going to work.  They were getting near the finish line where everyone would head back to town and Darryl, Sasha and Abraham would go the rest of the 20 miles West.  But, then a loud horn noise sounded off.  And OF COURSE it was coming from Alexandria!   The ENTIRE herd of thousands of walkers changed directions and started walking through the woods towards Alexandria.  And the horn was not stopping!!! 
Well, we wouldn't have had a show anymore  if they cleared out all those walkers, right?   But who sounded off the horn?   My initial reaction, as well as probably mostly everyone else, is that it's the wolves making their presence known.  We already know they have audio equipment and can navigate the walkers with it.  The Talking Dead poll mentioned Ron or another threat.  I guess that's all possible, but I'll go with the Wolves until I'm proven otherwise! 

But this was a great start to the new season.  Can't wait to see what else they have in store!  I'm sure I missed a lot, so feel free to correct me or add to the discussion in the comments!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 

End Credits

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MJ said...

Never thought they'd kill off Ethan Embry (Carter) so quickly. They made such a big deal of him joining the show as someone who does not believe in the Ricktatorship. A 'wow' to how many zombies they had in this episode. I'm sure we are all thinking the horn is being done by the wolves. I know Rick thought the horn was In Alexandria but it could just be in that direction. Alot of speculation online that it was Ron (Jessies's oldest) Loved the irony of Rick calling Pete a killer - just saying. Have to say - i didn't remember Pete and Jessie having an older son - only remembered Sam. Loved it when Rick said no to Father Gabriel - and Glenn should have done the same with Nicholas though he does prove to be ok this time. Loved the line about Carter not even having a lookout for the pantry meeting. Rick ws awfully cold when he was telling morgan how he wanted to kill Carter after the pantry meeting saying that he doesn't get it but it doesn't matter cause he will die any way. Damn ! So is everyone else thinking Maggie is preggers ? How sad was it when Tara mentions Noah !! Loved how Morgan saw right through Carol ! rick is expecting too much change from these people too quickly. He needs to let some of the Alexandrians speak up about what is out there so it's not all coming from him, then talk about training them to defend themselves. Read an interview with Nicotero - he'll be a walker in ep 3 ! Not sure I liked the use of black and white to show the flashbacks though.

Have to read your recap now.

Giants/SFO - that was a hell of a game. Right down to the wire.

MJ said...

Rick/Daryl - this isn't the first time we have seen them disagree and be ok. I really like where they have gone with Daryl - who he is letting himself become. Lots of talk online about Rick not seeing the difference between surviving and having a life. Pretty much what this season will probably be so I'm not gong to rehash all the conversation online but will say that Rick is always right - but never 100% right. Yes the people of Alexandria need to toughen up and get more realistic - but he can't expect them to just roll over and do everything he says when he says it. That's being the Governor. Another thing I read is that Rick has now become Shane. Shane told Rick he'd never be able to do what had to be done to protect Lori and Carl so Shane was going to put him down - now Rick feels that same way about the Alexandrians. LOL

great having our show back.

Mike V. said...

Sorry I'm just getting to these comments MJ! I had the day off yesterday and this morning has been pretty busy.

I was writing about "thousands" of zombies in the recap but I read later it was 40,000! That's insane! Definitely a "WOW". It was pretty crazy they killed off Ethan Embry so quickly, but I'm sure it was designed that way. Bring in a relatively known actor as a new cast member and kill him off right away.

It did sound like Maggie is preggers didn't it? I forgot to mention that in the recap. but there was a comment in there that sorta implied it.

I think the black and white for flashbacks was a one episode thing. I don't like it all of the time, but it worked here for me.

Rick/Darryl - I know it's not the first time they've disagreed. There definitely has to be people that keep Rick's leadership in check. There always has been. I agree about the "always right but not 100% right". It's a good point that Rick has become Shane. Shane had the right survivalist mentality but he didn't have the ability to unite the crew and get them all into survival mode. That is where Rick succeeded. But yes...he's not very welcoming to new members to his squad. But, I'm sure they'll earn their way into his trust!

Agreed, it's great to be back!

Giants/Niners - I haven't even watched a recap of it but sounds like it was pretty nuts! Not sure what it says about the Giants that they kept it so close! Unless the Niners stepped up their game finally or something. :)

MJ said...

Giants/Niners - Kapernick actually had a decent second half. But yeah - almost beating the Giants this year nothing to brag about. ;-P

Mike V. said...

Giants/Niners - Nice. I may be ready to cut ties with my old team. Geographically it just makes no sense to be a fan! And plus, I have kids to think about. I need to raise them to support their local team. lol There's just that whole "dealing with Eagles fans" aspect of it that is tough for me! For some reason they seem so much worse than my fellow Flyers and Phillies fans! And yes, I know they're the same people for the most part! :)

MJ said...

Eagles fans - no - they are horrible ! And I'm fron new york. Hey - it;s the only stadium that has a freaking jail ! Just saying. But yeah - heard to be a fan from across the country. Phillies fans not much better - went to a game vs mets and these idiots were yelling at some other fan for being wussy mets fan cause he was drinking Mikes Hard Lemonade - the guy wasn't even a mets fan but had an orange hat on that said Gators. Idiots just assumed when they saw orange. LOL

They are saying that the premier was quite low in ratings compared to other premiers. I think that with the plus 1 and plus 5 that will change though. I didn't watch it until after 11pm myself.

Mike V. said...

Eagles Fans - Hey now...that was in the VET not Lincoln Financial Field! lol As for Phillies their defense he WAS drinking a Mike's Hard Lemonade! And Phillies fans aren't much more welcome in NYC! lol That is funny that he wasn't wearing a Mets hat though. I've been to lots of Phillies/Mets games and yeah there's no love lost there!

I actually didn't see the ratings report...that's surprising that it was down. But I'm sure you're right that the plus 7 will course correct it. is in its 6th season...maybe the ratings were finally as high as they were going to get.