Are you ready for season six of ‘The Walking Dead’? In the premiere episode, Rick and Morgan find themselves risking everything — and everyone — to protect their latest safe haven.
On the Oct. 11 season six premiere of The Walking Dead, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Morgan (Lennie James) are put in the very awkward position of getting to know each other once again. However, once they discover the largest herd of walkers we’ve ever seen on the show, their friendship takes a backseat to keeping Alexandria safe.
For those of you wondering if season six will reveal what happened in the days after Morgan witnessed Rick killing Pete in front of the entire town of Alexandria, you’re in luck. Although the opening scene reveals where Rick and the group are in present time, black-and-white flashbacks will tell us exactly how they got there.
In the opening scene, Rick is standing in an area previously unfamiliar to viewers. Behind him two massive trucks block off a mass gathering of walkers unlike anything we’ve seen before. He’s telling a group of people, including some faces we’ve never seen, about a plan of attack… but then it all goes to hell. As he’s talking a truck sitting on a cliff in the distances falls off, likely pushed over the edge by the walkers, and everyone freaks out. Whatever their plan was for the following day has to be executed now because according to Rick the walkers are headed straight for their “home.” And I’ve gotta admit, hearing them say the word “home” so casually is quite bizarre. Does that mean they’ve finally settled into Alexandria?
Then, our first flashback begins. It’s the very same night that Rick killed Pete after he killed Reg, and Deanna is sitting on the ground staring at a pool of her husband’s blood. She’s devastated, and when Father Gabriel arrives she looks up only to tell him he was wrong. Of course she means he was wrong about Rick and the group being bad for Alexandria, and Father Gabriel doesn’t disagree. After all, he had that come to Jesus moment at the end of season five with Maggie and Sasha, so. He’s fixed now or something.
It turns out that very same night Tara finally woke up from her coma. She’s still in the infirmary, but she’s awake, talking, and happy to see everyone. But with the good always comes the bad, and when she asks to see Noah… well, everyone goes quiet. RIP.
In town Jessie is holding her youngest son, Sam, as they cry over losing Pete. Ron is there too, but he’s not crying. Instead he looks angry, which is not a good thing to be when you’re trapped inside the same walls as the man who killed your father. But when he runs out of the house he finds Enid and Carl sitting silently together, holding hands, and you can almost see the steam coming out of his ears. First he loses his dad, then he loses Enid… which is interesting, because did he ever really have her?
Elsewhere Morgan and Daryl sit down to eat together as Rick tells him that they can talk tomorrow. Abraham is the one who carries Reg and Pete’s bodies out of Alexandria, and it seems he’s taking their deaths pretty hard because it leads him straight to a bottle of alcohol. When Sasha passes him later that night he’s so wasted he doesn’t say a word, he just throws up a peace sign. Awkward.
Where Are The Walkers Going?
In between these flashbacks we get to see what is happening now, present time, with the hundreds (thousands?) of walkers. It seems they are trying to lead them in one specific direction… likely the opposite direction of Alexandra.
We find out that they built up a wall somewhere along the path they are taking the walkers. It’s almost identical to the one keeping Alexandria safe, and they even parked a few cars behind it for extra support. Rick, Michonne, and Morgan are standing behind it waiting for the herd to arrive, and you immediately get the sense that something about this doesn’t feel right. It’s almost too easy.
Later we find out that Rick locked Morgan in one of the secure rooms inside of Alexandria the night he arrived. Interestingly enough the newfound “zen” Morgan isn’t upset about it and even tells Rick, “Sometimes you’re safer when there’s no way out.”
That very same morning Eugene is standing near the gate when a car pulls up. A man named Heath tells him that they live in Alexandria but have been out on a run. Eugene hesitates, but something about Heath’s non-threatening persona tells him it’s okay to let them in. It’s terrifying to watch because you don’t know that these people are telling the truth, which means Eugene could be killed at any second. But, it turns out they were telling the truth, which means Eugene might have a pretty decent instinct about people.
While Rick is showing Morgan around town and telling him that Deanna will be the one to decide whether or not he can stay, he spots Father Gabriel and Tobin burying Pete and Reg in the woods. Rick tells them they only need one plot because they “don’t bury killers” inside the walls, but Tobin tells him that’s not his decision to make. Then Deanna arrives as if on cue to say that Rick is right, and she provides instructions on where to take Pete’s body. Little do they know that Ron is watching from between the trees, and it’s clear that at some point he’s going to be a major problem.
Morgan Vs. Rick Vs. Ron
Now, this is where our story really begins. It’s not until Rick and Morgan drive Pete’s body out into the woods where Deanna instructed them to go that they first discover the herd. As they gawk in pure terror at the unbelievable amount of dead bodies standing in front of them, suddenly Ron comes running through the woods with a small group of walkers chasing after him. Rick catches Ron just before he runs right off of the cliff they were standing on, and the walkers that were chasing him go head first into the ditch below. The ones that don’t make it to the edge meet Morgan’s stick, and that’s the end of that. Damn, that Ron kid is lucky they were there.
Once they are safe again Rick tells Morgan that this walker herd is how Alexandria has stayed safe. It’s why they don’t see walkers like they did anywhere else, because somehow they all wound up here. Apparently it’s the sound that is drawing them in which is just making the herd grow larger and larger, making it more dangerous by the minute.
For some reason, Ron is not phased by this. Instead of being terrified of what’s in front of him he heads back off into the woods to go home. Thankfully, Rick stops him and tells him that if he goes out there alone he will die and become “one of them.” He’s right, especially since this is probably the first time Ron has ever even stepped outside of Alexandria’s walls.
Before the three of them leave Rick decides to start digging up a grave for Pete, which he is likely only doing for the sake of Ron. After all, before they discovered the herd it was Rick who was trying to convince Morgan that they didn’t need to bury him. The question is… does Rick really care about Ron’s feelings, or is he just concerned about how this will affect his potential relationship with Jessie?
Nicholas Redeems Himself
Part of the plan to move the walkers away from Alexandria involves taking out a smaller group that is locked inside a storefront along the road. They are a problem because they are just banging on the glass and making a lot of noise, which could easily distract the walkers right off the path they should be following. For some reason Glenn and Nicholas are in charge of taking care of this which is super awkward considering at the end of season five they were trying to kill each other in the woods. You might remember that Nicholas lured Glenn out there, shot him, and left him for dead.
Now they are forced to work together, along with Heath, to take out the dozen or so walkers inside the store. Glenn refuses to let Nicholas in on the action because of his past behavior (like feeding Noah to walkers so he could escape), so it’s up to him and Heath to get the job done. But when they get overwhelmed, Nicholas surprises everyone by running up and stabbing a walker in the head. You can tell that he’s terrified, but the fact that he does it to protect both Glenn and Heath shows that he’s finally stepping up. Once Glenn recognizes that he tells him to take out the last walker, and then they go on their merry way back into the woods. Hey, at least Glenn now has a reason to be glad he didn’t Nicholas when he had the chance.
How Rick Takes Charge Of Alexandria
In another flashback we get to see how Rick convinces the people of Alexandria to take on the walker herd. He tells them that if that herd gets loose they are headed straight to Alexandria, and he’s right. There’s some resistance from Carter (Ethan Embry), but it goes ignored… especially after Deanna tells the town that they are going to do exactly what Rick is proposing.
Now, as a fan I have to point out that there are two absolutely hilarious moments during this scene. The first is when Carol pretends to be “terrified” by the walker herd only to help convince the people of Alexandria Rick’s plan is the only plan. The second is when Father Gabriel volunteers to help and Rick immediately shuts him down without even looking at him. Sorry dude, you’re worse than Nicholas out there!
Once the plan is set it’s Eugene who comes up with the idea to build the wall using the extra supplies from the construction site. Even though Carter is against everything Rick wants to do, he worked with Reg to help build the walls around Alexandria, which means he could be incredibly helpful. We later find out that almost the whole entire town went out to help build up the wall, including Jessie. Considering everything they’ve been through it’s really incredible to see them all working together, especially outside the walls. I have to admit that this leads me to believe the people of Alexandria feel safe around Rick, despite everything. Why else would they be out in the open like that when they barely know how to protect themselves?
I also have to address the very special moment between Maggie and Tara, in which they discuss how Glenn is trying to save Nicholas. Apparently Glenn told Maggie what really happened in the woods and left it up to her to decide whether or not to tell everyone and get him exiled. She decided not to, and Tara doesn’t seem to understand why — especially after Maggie tells her that Nicholas also killed Noah. Maggie reminds her that they were “standing on opposite sides of the fence” the day the Governor tried to take the prison, and now they are practically sisters.
Morgan Calls Carol Out
As viewers we know that Carol’s little Suzie Homemaker persona is an act used to spy on — and influence — the town. But she doesn’t fool Morgan. While they are building up the wall he asks her if she was a cop with Rick, to which she practically laughs in his face. When asked why he would think that, Morgan tells Carol that she’s “always watching” and “always ready.” For what? “Anything.” Mhmm.
Later Deanna approaches Rick and asks him what she needs to do to save Alexandria. He tells her that the people need to be trained and armed inside the walls, to which she finally obliges. Just then a small group of walkers comes out of the woods straight for a few people who are working on building up the wall. He tells them to use their shovels to stop them, but they ignore him and instead totally freak out. It’s Morgan who finally goes running to save them, much to Rick’s dismay. Once it’s all over Morgan reminds Rick that he said he doesn’t “take chances” any more. Rick responds with silence.
After their day out on the road we see Eugene picking up some snacks in the pantry house. As he’s browsing crackers and jelly, he overhears Carter telling Spencer, Tobin, and two others that they need to kill Rick to take Alexandria back. When Eugene hears this he drops something and as Carter approaches him he backs into a shelf and falls to the ground. Carter glares at him before pulling his gun out and pointing it at Eugene, telling the others that “he heard.” Before he pulls the trigger the front door opens and in walks Rick and Daryl with the most perfect timing in the world. Tobin tells Rick what happened and Spencer makes sure to let him know that it was Carter leading the conversation, not them. Rick distracts Carter before slamming him against the wall and taking his gun from him, finally saving Eugene from being murdered on the spot.
Rick holds a gun to the back of Carter’s head to remind him that there is no way he could ever take the town from him, or Michonne or Daryl, and the terrified man agrees. Just when you think Rick is going to kill him in front of everyone he takes the gun and hands it to Daryl, leaving Carter alive.
Later Rick admits to Morgan that he wanted to kill him, but that he knows Carter will die anyway because he wasn’t meant for this world. Unfortunately, he’s right.
When the show cuts back to present time we see Carter get grabbed by a walker as he’s running through the woods alone. The walker takes a huge chunk right out of his face and Carter screams at the top of his lungs over and over again, even after Rick takes out the walker and tries to comfort him. Carter’s screaming is so loud and consistent that it draws some of the walkers off the road they are supposed to be following, which leaves Rick with no choice but to shove a knife in the back of his head. Michonne and Morgan are standing behind him watching, and even though it was bound to happen once Carter was bitten, they don’t look very happy about it.
Can They Really Keep Alexandria Safe?
In one of our final flashbacks Rick walks into the armory to find Jessie taking inventory. He tells her he’s been keeping his distance and letting things “be” after everything that happened, which she agrees was the right move. However, she reminds him that he can’t talk to her son, Ron, the way he did in the woods. She also tells him that no matter what he says to Ron, even if it’s to keep him safe, the boy will not hear it. Rick will always be the man who killed his father, and therefore Ron will never, ever forgive him. This does not bode well for their future as a couple.
Even though there were a few slip ups in which the walkers became distracted and stepped off the path, things are going pretty smoothly. Each time the walkers started to stray they figured out a way to get them back on track, which means they might actually pull this off.
Well, except not. At the very end of the episode, just as Rick thinks they’ve saved Alexandria, a loud horn echoes through the woods. It sounds like it’s being amplified somehow, and the worst part is that it’s coming from the direction of Alexandria. Rick and everyone else are forced to make a run for it once the walkers start heading towards the sound, and as the camera pans out we see them walking past a sign pointing straight to Alexandria. It reads, “You’re almost home!”
What did YOU think of the season six premiere of The Walking Dead, HollywoodLifers? Sound off below!
— Lauren Cox