After a very long two months, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is finally back to warm our hearts (and tear them to pieces) on Sunday nights. A quick recap of the first half of season six: Alexandria’s walls have come crumbling down, leaving the survivors inside vulnerable to the walkers that were attracted to the town after the Wolves – a group of rogues with a signature W carved on their foreheads – rammed a truck into the perimeter of Alexandria, blaring its horn and attracting all the undead in the area.

Meanwhile, Glenn [Steven Yeun] escaped certain death with the help of Enid [Katelyn Nacon] while Daryl [Norman Reedus], Abraham [Michael Cudlitz] and Sasha [Sonequa Martin-Green] encountered the Saviors outside the walls of their home, bearing grim tidings for their near futures.

With plenty of shocking moments to cover in last week’s mid-season premiere, here are the most important points from “No Way Out.”

The Saviors Will Return

In the opening sequence of this week’s installment, we return to when Daryl, Abraham and Sasha are stopped on the road back to Alexandria by the Saviors, another group of survivors led by the villainous Negan [Jeffrey Dean Morgan]. One of his scouts confronts the trio, letting them know that they’re no longer in control.

“Your property now belongs to Negan,” the scout says, referring to one of TWD’s biggest comic villains.

Ordering them to surrender all their weapons, and telling another one of his crew to take Daryl behind their truck for whatever supplies they had left. As Abraham and Sasha begin to question him about their leader, he pulls a second gun on them, threatening to kill one of them before going back to their town. Just as he’s about to pull the trigger Daryl opens fire from atop the truck with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher they had procured in their travels, decimating the Saviors in a massive explosion.

While the Saviors will definitely return,  this scouting party certainly couldn’t have been alone. Who knows, maybe even Negan himself was observing the incident, maybe Daryl and the others were followed back to Alexandria. Another important thing to notice was the wound Daryl was sporting after his off-screen fight with the Savior behind the truck – in the comics Negan’s crew were known to lace their weapons with walker blood. The infected blood would act as a poison, slowly seeping into any wound left by the weapon and eventually turning their victim. If this holds true for the show as well, Daryl may be living off of borrowed time.

Absolute Carnage

As Rick [Andrew Lincoln], Carl [Chandler Riggs], Jessie [Alexandra Breckenridge] and a handful of other survivors made their way through the horde of walkers whilst coating makeshift ponchos with undead guts to hide their scent, Jessie’s younger son Sam [Major Dobson] begins to break down in fear at the site of not only the scores of walkers around him, but seeing another child his age causes him to snap, crying out for his mother.

In mere moments the walkers were on him, causing his mother to go into shock, leading to her demise as well.  Having been holding onto Carl’s hand, Rick had no choice but to cut her arm off and let her die. The look on Rick’s face as his newly found love interest was devoured before his very eyes was incredibly reminiscent of the character when his wife was killed a few seasons back; it was unnerving.

In a fit of rage, Jessie’s teenage son Ron [Austin Abrams] pulls a gun on Carl, attempting to shoot him – having blamed Carl for most of what has happened to his family.

His gun goes off just as Michonne [Danai Gurira] impales him with her katana, leading to a horrifying reveal.

“Dad?” Carl asks, both in shock and in pain.

The camera tilts up, showing the massive gunshot wound where his right eye used to be. Then he passes out, causing them to rush through the horde to get to Alexandria’s infirmary.

Albeit a very risky maneuver, having scenes this vivid from the comics ultimately paid off; between the Anderson family coming to a bloody end (with no one left to sulk over their fallen loved ones, thankfully) and Carl losing his eye in a matter of minutes, there was no shortage of pure shock and horror in this episode – something that this season definitely needed.

Alexandria Falls No More

As Rick looked on at his son on the operating table, you could see the fury and sadness building up inside him. He grabs his hatchet and bursts through the door of the infirmary, killing every walker he can lay his hands on.

Soon people from inside the infirmary geared up and joined the fray, pushing back the horde as more Alexandrians began to enter the fight.

In a scene that reminded me of Theoden’s final charge at Helm’s Deep in “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” soon the survivors were fighting back the scores of walkers that invaded their town until they were pushed back against the walls of Alexandria in one final moment of glory.

Arriving like Gandalf to aid in the battle, Daryl and his crew come to the group’s rescue. He dumps gasoline into the town’s pond, then fired at it with the RPG from earlier – catching the pond on fire.

With the threat of the undead seemingly eradicated from Alexandria, Rick is going to become the leader  he was destined to become. In this episode we actually saw the townspeople standing up for themselves, as opposed to letting everything they’ve worked for turn to ruin. From now on, the Alexandrians have to redesign, rebuild and reclaim the town they’ve made their homes. With the immediate walker threat over, they might get a chance to do just that.

With the threat of the Saviors still looming over the horizon, though, it’s very uncertain just long this calm will last.

– Featured image:  – Fans get their first glimpse of the notorious villain Negan. The Mid-season premiere of “The Walking Dead” aired earlier this week on AMC.   – Photo courtesy of “The Walking Dead” Facebook Page 

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