First of all I should apologise for how late this review is, things have been very hectic lately but I am trying to keep up with bringing you guys new and relevant content as much as possible. My reviews of the different shows I cover have been a couple of days late for the past couple of weeks but I am getting through them now so soon I will hopefully be back on track, posting the episode reviews soon after airing. The opening scene of the season 6 premiere made an impact to say the least. The first thing we see is a reaction shot from Rick as he pulls the trigger on Pete which we of course saw in the closing scenes of the season 5 finale. As soon as the shot is fired everything begins to fade to black and white followed by complete darkness. Rick’s voice shouting orders and the striking visual that follows is incredibly shocking. That’s a lot of walkers.
This show has become real event television, the budget of that opening set piece alone must have been astronomical. Especially that moment where the truck fell off the cliff, that was an insane thing to see on a TV show. Seeing that Rick and the survivors were beginning an ambitious mission to take out thousands of walkers was exciting yet tense, anything could happen, anyone could die at this point. The writers weren’t just trying to create exciting television, they were making a statement with this episode. People have said that the show has been getting stale, that action packed intro was meant to prove them wrong. AMC are answering their critics. Not just with this action set piece but with the whole episode, things are really moving forward now for the better.
The moment between Eugene and Tara was really nice, they have a great dynamic. It made for quite emotional viewing, there were a lot of good moments between the characters in those black and white scenes from the past. This episode was actually the first time we have seen a group carrying out a properly organised mission of this level. It was a great idea to have the past scenes in black and white sharing the episode with scenes from the present in colour. “Sometimes your safer when there’s no way out.” Interesting that he should use those words as No Way Out is actually the name of an event in the comics when Alexandria is assaulted by a huge herd of walkers. The harsh weather conditions during the winter damages the community’s defences spelling disaster when the herd hits. That wasn’t the end for them, they manage to survive, well, must of them but it pretty dramatic stuff. Could Morgan saying those words be foreshadowing to future events?
Eugene’s dialogue is really enjoyable to watch. He is one of the sharpest, funniest characters on the show, you would have to try really hard not to be endeared to this go. This was an incredibly cinematic episode, the mixture of the black and white scenes from the past with the colour scenes in the present, the amazing cinematography and the presence of the soundtrack. The score was more noticeable in the black and white scenes, this being due to the fact that these scenes were more emotional. I honestly laughed when Gabriel offered help at the meeting and Rick brutally shut him down. Grimes was the voice of the audience at that point, they entire viewership hates Father Gabriel. The scene between Tara and Maggie was fantastic, the writing for moments like that is some of the best in TV at the moment. AMC are so good at making you live vicariously through these characters and understand them.
Fascinating stuff between Carol and Morgan, he sees right through her façade of the caring benevolent old woman. It is good to see Morgan back his new demeanour is very interesting to watch on-screen. His skill with that staff is awesome to watch in scenes of combat. Abraham is a hilarious nut case, he’s as crazy as a bag of cats. Although he seemed to be losing it last season Rick appears to be a bit more capable to lead in this episode. What a tense moment when Eugene was caught eavesdropping on the plotting Alexandrians. The drama of that moment, when Rick and the others walked in to find the ring leader pointing the pistol at Eugene was off the scale. The speech from Rick that followed was amazing. It was good that he didn’t kill the guy though, the minute Grimes starts taking out anyone just because it is convenient is when he stops being relateable as a protagonist.
The moment between Morgan and Rick on the porch at the end of the episode was perfect. It was like a moment of redemption for Rick. The horn ruining the plan was quite disappointing when you think about how the characters think about it but coming from a selfish point of view it is an interesting plot development. I look forward to seeing how this goes. This scene was so dramatic because it means the thousands of walkers are now heading for Alexandria this is no doubt the beginning of similar events to the No Way Out story in the comics which I mentioned earlier. I think it it must be inevitable that the horn is a deliberate attempt at sabotage to draw walkers to the safe zone by The Wolves. We shall see…