With the uneven, sometimes awesome, sometimes really slow first half of The Walking Dead season 6 behind us, what will happen with the start of the second half. Let recap and review The Walking Dead episode 609: No Way Out.[divider] The Walking Dead Episode 609 Recap: No Way Out [/divider]
First, a quick reminder on the status of everyone. Daryl, Sasha and Abraham have a gas truck, rocket propelled grenades, and have just got roadblocked.
The goons claim everything belongs to Negan. Daryl is taken to the back of the truck and one guy gives an excellent villain soliloquy, but just when it seems he will shoot Sasha and Abraham for asking questions, Daryl launches the RPG into the center of the motorcycle riding baddies. And thus, we establish Negan is a bad man and that we should fear him, but at some point in the future because his goons are crispy roadkill.
After everything went to hell in Alexandria, Rick has just drug everyone out into the open with zombie bits all over them and Sam seems determined to get them all killed by asking for his mommy. Glenn and Enid watch it all from a distance.
Rick is talking over to everyone about the plan in the center of the zombies, which I have to say annoys me. They have totally changed the dynamic of how the “covered in zombie guts” thing works. In the midst of it, Gabriel takes on Judith, and you get the sense that we may be seeing the redemption of our wayward priest. Jessie tries to send Sam with Gabriel but he refuses.
Tara, Eugene and Rosita are huddled in the house, trying to determine what to do with the situation where the Wolf has taken Doctor Denise. They decide to wait until Carol and Morgan have come back to consciousness.
The writers set up a really solid piece of storytelling at this point. We keep moving back and forth from 2 scenes:
- Glenn and Enid, who are looking for ammo in the church building to give them something to use to save Maggie, who is stuck on the tower.
- The Wolf giving a very similar pep talk to Doctor Denise.
The back and forth demonstrates the difference between two groups of people trying to survive is not that different. And it lets us see that Doctor Denise maybe is making leeway in her argument that the Wolf can change, which is a sure fire sign he ain’t making it. The scenes end with everyone doing what they need to do, especially after Glenn gives a list of the people he is choosing to live for, and I got a little sad about each character he named that is gone.
As we knew would happen, Sam flips out and can’t keep going. This starts a chain reaction of the crew, who had all been holding hands. Sam goes down to the zombies, Jessie follows and is trying to pull Carl.
Rick axes Jessie’s hand to free Carl and her oldest son takes exception, raising a gun at Rick, which goes off when Michonne runs him through with her katana. The bullet hits Carl squarely in the eye. The plan then shifts and it becomes everyone scrambling to save Carl.
The Wolf and the doctor are then trying to escape when the Wolf gets his arm eaten. But Denise refuses to abandon him and they are making a run for the infirmary, where she can presumably remove his arm to save him. But on the way, Carol–who has been awakened and had a come to agreement meeting with Morgan–snipes the Wolf. Denise keeps going on and arrives at the infirmary at the same time as the wounded Carl and immediately gets to work saving him.
Rick is powerless to save Carl, so he decides to grab his ax and take his rage out on the zombie horde just outside the doors of the infirmary. And as he is plowing through walkers, others come to his side:
- Gabriel explains to his flock that maybe God has answered their prayers and given them the courage and ability to save Alexandria,
- the rest of the people in the infirmary come out,
- Carol and that group join,
- and even Eugene joins the fight against the horde, giving the quote of the show: “No one gets to clock out today. And, hell, this is a story people are gonna tell.”
Which leaves the last of them: Glenn appears like he is going to sacrifice himself for Maggie, which would be the most epic troll move by the writer’s room ever.
But he is saved by a flurry of gunfire when Sasha and Abraham roll up. They then concoct a plan where they dump the gas into the pond and Daryl lights it with the RPG to create a fiery distraction.
This gives us an epic scene as the zombies all slowly walk into it. (I can only assume that they couldn’t secure the music rights to Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” because that was a missed opportunity.)
Later, Rick is sitting beside Carl and confesses that he was wrong about the people of Alexandria and they can rebuild a future and he wants Carl in it. And as Michonne is holding Judith in the hallway, Carl squeezes Rick’s hand.[divider] The Walking Dead Episode 609 Review: No Way Out [/divider]
So, another action packed return of the show, as has become their signature. Now, there needs to be the work of consistently moving the story forward at a good pace. This season really has slogged at points and the reset of this return gives them a chance to right it. They are certainly capable of it. Some other quick thoughts:
Wonderful job putting Negan on the table, building him up, and then removing him for later.
Again, the storytelling between the Glenn/Enid and Wolf/Denise scenes was really well done.
They have turned the corner with the ending and seeing everyone finally rise up and handle what they can. The idea that the Alexandrians are all weak was getting old and they proved themselves to being capable when they needed to.
Daryl on the gas truck, RPG in hand and the lake on fire should be made available as a download immediately.
How does Carl’s head wound impact him? Might be interesting to see him have no memory and have to rebuild. It would be a challenge for a young actor but it could be some really compelling story telling.
So I need to go hang that Eugene quote up in our office workroom. What about you all? What was your favorite part of this week’s The Walking Dead?