“What a bunch of a**holes, says Daryl (Norman Reedus) after he blasts the motorcycle gang who stopped him and his traveling companions Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) sky high with a rocket launcher in the sixth mid-season opener of AMC’s horror drama series The Walking Dead.
After the opening credits with the now well-known intense opening theme, episode nine begins right where episode eight left off with Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Carl (Chandler Riggs), Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge), and her two sons walking through Alexandria which is now infested with walkers. The group has covered themselves in guts and blood of zombies trying to blend in with the undead. Rick realizes there are too many zombies for them to make it to the armory and fight their way out of town so he makes a new plan to try to get to the vehicles and lead the herd of undead away from Alexandria. Gabriel offers to take baby Judith back to his church and keep her there safe which Rick agrees to.
Meanwhile, Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Enid (Katelyn Nacon) have made it back into Alexandria and are checking the church for supplies and maybe a stashed weapon or two. Enid asks Glenn what he meant when he said that if she ran off and deserted the town she would be losing the ones she loved, even those who are already gone – something which obviously shook her to her very core. Glenn explains that if she or anyone runs away it means you give up on who you are and the people in your life both living and dead who help make you the person you are are lost forever. Enid asks Glenn who that was for him and he answers her by saying, “My parents, Maggie, her father Hershel, a woman named Andrea, and my friend T-Dog.” Glenn asks Enid who is it for her and she answers her parents. Glenn tries to convince Enid to stay in the church while he goes to find a way to save Maggie (Lauren Cohan) who’s trapped on an unstable watchtower surrounded by hungry walkers. Enid refuses to stay, telling him since she came back she’s going to help him and that he should let her because she’ll just follow him anyway. So Glenn and Enid go to save his beloved Maggie. It seems Enid has formed a bond with Glenn that she hasn’t had with anyone in Alexandria.
The Wolf (Benedict Samuel) and Denise (Merritt Wever) are hiding not far from one of the watchtowers, and he tells Denise that as soon as a break in the crowd of walkers happens they are going to make a run for it. She tells him she’ll just slow him up and he should leave her behind, but he says she’s with him now and they will go together.
During all of this, Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James) are finally waking up from their battle. They stay in the house with Rosita (Christian Serratos), Tara (Alanna Masterson), and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and spend most of the day arguing about when they will have to leave the safety of the house – which is currently being ignored by the zombie herd – and make a fight of it. Morgan’s also trying to bring to the surface Carol’s dormant humanity by bring up her past.
As night falls on Alexandria, Rick, Michonne, Carl, Jessie and her two sons are still making their way slowly through the huge undead crowd when Jessie’s youngest son, Sam, panics and freezes in fear, recalling Carol’s words about the monsters coming and eating him alive. Jessie tries to urge Sam to keep going but he just can’t do it. Two walkers realize Sam is not one of them and begin to feast on him as he screams both in terror and pain. Jessie screams and a couple more zombies attack her as well. Carl can’t release himself from dead Jessie’s grip and he turns to his father for help. Rick uses his ax to chop her hand off causing Carl’s gun to fall to the ground which is picked up by Jessie’s other son, Ron. He points the gun at Rick repeating the word ‘you’ and just as he is about to fire Michonne stabs him with her machete. Unfortunately, Ron does fire the gun as he falls down dead and the bullet hits Carl in the eye. In shock, Carl turns and says, “Dad,” before collapsing to the ground. Rick quickly picks up Carl and with Michonne clearing a path with her machete, the three head to find a safe place to hole up.
The Wolf and Denise finally make their move to get out but Denise gets caught by a walker and is struggling with it when The Wolf, who was clear to go up the tower and over the fence, comes back to save Denise. He does but gets bitten by another walker in the process. Denise tells him she can save his life but they have to go back to the infirmary. Right after Denise patches up The Wolf they head back outside and The Wolf is shot by Carol who’s standing on a balcony just at the right moment. She helps Denise get back inside the infirmary by providing cover. Denise gets back inside to find a group of Alexandrians prepping the place as a safe house. Denise sees Rick and Michonne running with Carl tells them to come inside. She quickly goes to work on Carl’s wound with the help of Michonne. Rick, who’s overwhelmed with fury over the loss of Jessie and now maybe Carl, goes outside, hatchet in hand to take on the army of walkers. He’s an unstoppable one man army, cutting his way through the mindless zombie hoard.
Once given permission by Denise who’s working to save Carl’s eye (and life), Michonne goes out and joins Rick in the battle to save Alexandria from the herd of undead. Finally finding the courage and strength in themselves, some of the local Alexandrians also head outdoors and join Rick and Michonne in the fight. Rick yells to them that they can beat them and begins to tell them how to position and drive the walkers back. Carol tells Morgan, Tara, and the rest that Rick is making a stand to save the town and now is the time to fight. Everyone follows, even Eugene who tells Rosita no one can sit this one out and, “Oh, what a story it will be.”
Glenn and Enid have made their way close to the unstable tower where poor Maggie is hanging on trying not to fall into the large crowd of hungry walkers surrounding the tower below. Glenn tells Enid to go up the tower and use the tied-together cloths she has to make their way down the other side of the wall while he distracts and draws away the herd. She climbs up and calls to Maggie who now sees Glenn – who she believed earlier in the season to be dead – firing off his pistol and yelling at the crowd of walkers to follow him. Glenn is successful in leading most of the herd away but ends up getting surrounded by them and cut off from any escape. Maggie shoots a walker in the head and goes to fire again but her pistol is out of ammo. She yells to Glenn but he cannot hear her. Glenn keeps firing his pistol and using his large knife on the walkers, even shoving some of them away from him. He backs up to the gate with what is left of the herd closing in on him and Maggie, who isn’t paying any attention to Enid who’s trying to get her to go over the fence, screams, “GLENN!!!!!” and reaches out her hand as she believes she is about to see her husband die. It’s at this moment machine gun fire is heard and many of the walkers closest to Glenn fall to the ground.
Glenn drops to the ground so as not to be shot and looks up to see Abraham and Sasha up on one of the walls firing into the herd of zombies. “Hey, get the gate, would you?” yells Abraham to Glenn who complies, giving Daryl the opportunity to drive the diesel truck into Alexandria. Daryl asks Glenn what happened but Glenn says he just got back and doesn’t know. Daryl comes up with a plan to draw all the walkers to the lake and burn them to a crisp. Daryl, Glenn, Sasha, and Abraham drive the truck to the lake and pour some diesel fuel into the lake. They set it ablaze by using the rocket launcher again and, like a moth to the flame, the mindless walkers head right for the lake of fire. The handful of walkers who remain fighting with Rick and the rest are quickly put down.
After sunrise, most of the group is resting after the major battle. They’ve saved the town from the undead, with bodies of the walkers littering the streets and yards of the town. Rick is sitting with Carl who’s lying in bed still unconscious after being shot. Rick tells Carl that he feels something that he hasn’t felt since he woke up in the hospital so long ago. He says he wants Carl to see the new world and begs for Carl to wake up so he can show it to him, telling Carl there is still so much they can do and that Deanna was right in trying to expand the town. If they all work together, there isn’t anything they can’t do. Rick pleads with the silent Carl to allow him to show him this new world. As he sits holding Carl’s hand trying to hold back his tears, Rick feels movement. Carl squeezes his father’s hand.
Review of ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6 Midseason Premiere
Intense, scary, brutal, and at times emotional, season six episode nine titled “No Way Out” brings the horror/drama back in gory, blazing, and shocking style. It’s perhaps one of, if not the most, intense episodes of this season as well as one of the best directed and paced of the entire series.
The stand-out performances in this episode belong to two cast members. First, Andrew Lincoln as Rick captures subtly and wonderfully the shock and horror his character feels at losing the new family he was desperately trying to save and almost losing his own son, Carl, in the same few moments. The look on his face as Jessie is taken by the hungry group of walkers is perfect. Also, the scene where Rick is sitting at Carl’s bedside and he reveals that for the first time since he woke up in the hospital to this apocalypse he feels hope and wants to start over in this new world is some of the finest work of Lincoln’s career.
The second stand-out is Lauren Cohan as Maggie. Although only in one scene in this episode, Cohan portrays beautifully the joy in Maggie seeing Glenn alive and how quickly it turns to absolute horror as she realizes he is leading the herd of zombies threatening her away and it looks as though he is sure to meet his end. The scene where she screams his name and throws out her hand as the undead close in on Glenn is the most heart-wrenching scene of the season thus far.
The cinematography is gorgeous, in particular in the scenes where the walkers are drawn to the giant fire on the lake and become engulfed in it. The special effects and make up is once again award worthy, bringing the undead to life.
With everyone back together in Alexandria, viewers are anxiously looking forward to seeing to see what’s in store for the show’s heroes and what their next move will be.