I know this sounds insane. But this is an insane world. We have to come for them before they come for us. It’s that simple. – Rick Grimes
So begins Season 6 of the wildly and insanely popular series The Walking Dead. I binge-watched this show over the summer and have become a RABID fan, so much so that I’ve been stalking my local library to check out the graphic novels. Waiting for this premiere has been hard, as I’m sure it’s been for most of you. But Rick, Michonne, Darryl and the rest are finally here, and this episode was, you guessed it, insane. Before you begin reading, please note that are a couple of spoilers so if you haven’t watched, stop reading NOW.
Last season, The Walking Dead (TWD from here on) ended with leader Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) shooting one of the residents of the fake utopia called Alexandria. Some may say that Rick was waiting to do that so he could get his hands on Jessie (Alexandra Breckinridge), since it was her husband he shot. Whatever his reason, Rick formerly known as Sheriff Grimes plugged a hole in the guy’s head just as his old friend Morgan (Lennie James) returned to the sanctuary with Darryl (Norman Reedus). The look on his face was telling, as the last time Rick saw him, Morgan was on the edge of sanity after losing his son. Now, the tables have turned with Morgan back on track and more clear-minded than ever and Rick on the edge of loco.
The show begins with a black background, Rick giving the speech I quoted above. When the scene comes up on screen, he is standing above what looks like a quarry filled with thousands of walkers in it. He is giving instructions to the people of Alexandria, including our warrior Michonne (Danai Gurira), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Glenn (Steven Yuen) and Big Red aka Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), along with some new (and very frightened) faces. While Rick goes over the plan, one of the trailers falls into the quarry, leaving a gaping hole for the walkers to get through. The plan must be put into motion and the newbies are scared to death, specifically Carter (played by Ethan Embry). But Rick ain’t trying to hear that noise, it’s do it now or die. Rick signals for everyone to get in position and then, it begins.
The episode is shot in both color and black and white, which is a fitting contrast to what happened last season and what will happen in this one. During the black and white segments, the Alexandria’s residents are in shock and trying to cope with the accidental death of Deanna’s (Tovah Feldshuh) husband Reg and what happened afterwards. But more importantly, they are trying to deal with Rick and his crew. Before they arrived, Alexandria was peaceful, quiet, safe. With the group’s arrival, the danger that is beyond those walls has now come inside and Alexandria’s residents are not ready for it, nor are they ready for what they will have to do to survive it. Rick, Michonne, Darryl and the rest have all been out there, surviving, fighting, killing. Alexandria is a false security and Rick knows it. Or does he?
The black and white segments also showed the mistrust of Rick by some members of his group as well as the residents of Alexandria. They think he’s erratic, a loose cannon and just plain dangerous. How can he be trusted? That is the question that may or may not be answered during what is already turning into a fantastic season.
The premiere was full of great lines and scenes, which kept the action on high alert and the quiet moments meaningful. During one of the black and white segments, Eugene (played by Josh McDermitt) comes in to the infirmary to find an injured, but alive, Tara (Alanna Masterson). She looks up at him and says, “Thank God. Nothing happened to your hair.” Although the line was funny, the scene itself was an emotional one, as Eugene’s joy at seeing his friend alive is evident by the gigantic smile on his face. But the best scene is at the very end of the episode, which I will not spoil here. It sets up next week’s episode in a spectacular way, upping the sense of urgency and survival for Rick and Company.
Will Rick continue his downward spiral? Will Morgan and the rest be able to subdue him if he does? And will Darryl keep gracing us with his fantastic arms? Stay tuned.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9:00 pm on AMC.