2/14/16, 9 pm (EST), AMC
Here we are, 11 weeks after the snore-fest that was the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. Honestly, the first half of this season has been incredibly frustrating on many levels, the biggest of which was the “Is Glenn dead or not?” storyline that dragged on for far too long. “No Way Out” leaves us right where we left off, and it mostly succeeds in moving the story forward.
Daryl, Sasha and Abraham’s interaction with the group of biker’s representing Negan was short-lived as Daryl blew up the group with a rocket launcher just as Sasha and Daryl were about to be killed. That was completely unexpected, and a fantastic way to start off the episode. How that will affect things with Negan and his group down the road remains to be seen, but no one seems to care or dwell on that right now.
Back in Alexandria, Rick and the group are going through the walkers still. They break off, realizing it’s too far to get there to make it worthwhile. Rick suggests they leave Alexandria to go to the quarry to get vehicles and come back to draw the walkers away. Gabriel offers to take Judith to the church to keep her safe. Despite Jessie urging him, Sam refuses to go with Gabriel as he wants to stay with his mom. I have to say, I’m enjoying Gabriel’s turn as a character. He’s trying to redeem himself, and Rick even trusts him to care for Judith. Sam, on the other hand, seems to have grown a pair awfully fast from when we last saw him. Of course, all good things must come to an end. While going through the herd at night, Sam suddenly starts to remember what Carol told him last season about how the walkers would just rip him apart while he’s alive. Amazingly, Sam decides that is a great time to freeze and start freaking out. What proceeds is one of the strangest moments in the show’s history. Walkers appear and take Sam down, which causes Jessie to scream and leads to her death. This entire moment feels like a dream sequence, as it’s incredibly rushed but hazy at the same time. Rick seems dazed throughout the whole ordeal, trying to comprehend what is going on. The flashbacks of Jessie we get as he chops off her arm to save Carl are really odd and out of place. We know the two of them were an item, but it just didn’t belong. Michonne stabs Ron before he shoots Rick. Unfortunately, his shot hits Carl, in what was one of the more iconic frames from the comics, as well as one that fans have been waiting for.
While all that is going on, we catch up with Denise and the wolf. After some conversations back and forth about how he’s changed from before the apocalypse started, they try to make a break to escape. They underestimate how many walkers are around, and the wolf saves Denise, though gets bit in the process. They rush back to the infirmary so she can save him (though I think that’s more a bluff on her part). Carol kills the wolf as he and Denise are close to the infirmary. Carol finally gets a bit of redemption for not getting him earlier. Soon after Rick drops off Carl, telling Denise “Please save him” before running back outside to start taking down walkers.
Speaking of Carol, before this we meet up with her, Morgan, Tara, Rosita, and Eugene. Carol and Morgan realize the wolf escaped with Denise, which seems to weigh on Morgan although he was the cause of this in the first place so take that how you want. Carol even confides in Morgan that she should’ve killed him so she could’ve gotten the wolf. I wonder how this will affect their relationship going forward.
Glenn and Enid finally get inside Alexandria and find some supplies to help scale the wall to safety after they reach Maggie. Once they get to her, Glenn realizes the structure she’s on is close to falling. He distracts the group surrounding her to give Enid time to get to Maggie so they can escape. Maggie, of course, sees Glenn get cornered by the group. All seems hopeless for him (how many times will they do this to us!), he’s ultimately saved by Sasha and Abraham. I have to wonder why the showrunners feel the need to continually fake out Glenn’s death. *Minor spoiler alert*: Fans of the comic know his fate, but are they just teasing us for what’s to come? I kind of wish they would back off already. *End spoiler alert*
After helping Denise get Carl stable, Michonne runs out to help out Rick take on the herd. Slowly but surely, more Alexandrians join the fight as they realize Rick is making a stand. They ultimately take out the herd, with the help of Daryl, gasoline and his trusty rocket launcher. Rick’s big speech to Carl at the end of the episode about rebuilding Alexandria and expanding gives hope that maybe things will change. We do know there is a new threat, Negan, though only time will tell how much or how quickly he will impact Rick and company. For now, we can at least take solace that some things went well with the mid-season premiere. Let’s hope this energy can be taken down the road for the rest of the season.
- ”Bite, chew, swallow, repeat.” I feel like that biker guy practiced that line a lot. Makes you wonder how many people he’s crossed on behalf of Negan already.
- Morgan ultimately gets one final “I’m sorry” to the zombified wolf before killing him. Will he finally start to see reason, or is “all life precious” going to remain his mantra?
- ”No one gets to clock out today.” Eugene stepping up too and taking on walkers was quite surprising. Despite Rosita telling him to stay behind, he didn’t back down for once.
- Now that Glenn and Maggie are finally reunited, I hope we get some good scenes with them before any other calamities hit Alexandria.
The mid-season premiere provided some much needed action and story progression. Sad to see Jessie and her family die, but ultimately there wasn’t much more for them. Sam was too weak, and Ron was going to end up dead one way or another. Let the rebuilding of Alexandria begin, and let’s get our character’s rebuilt as well.