Monday, February 15, 2016

The Walking Dead, Season Six, Episode Nine: No Way Out

No Way Out opens up exactly where we left off in the mid season finale, which means that zombies are everywhere and the little settlement of Alexandria is threatened.   Rick is still trying to lead people through the streets to get to the cars, to lead the zombies away and Rosita, Tara, and Eugene are are with Carol and Morgan, Unfortunately for Denise, she is trapped outside with the wolf guy. Enid and Glenn are furiously trying to figure out how to save Maggie.  Finally, Abraham, Sasha and Darryl are making their way back to Alexandria.  It's a lot of moving parts I know but it all comes together at the end.

The minute I realised how precarious the situation was for the survivors, I knew that someone was going to die, it was only a question of who.  The writers scared me when they put Glenn in peril for the simple reason that we really haven't lost a major character in some time. How awesome was it to see Abraham, Sasha and Darryl show up at the right time? Also they gave new meaning to the words burning lake of fire. Negan's men pointed guns at Darryl, Abraham and Sasha.  I thought for sure that we would be saying goodbye to Sasha in that moment, given The Walking Dead's history with its POC cast.  I have to give it to the The Walking Dead, for putting several characters in jeopardy, while leaving it open for a while as to who exactly was going to die. I actually had my money on Father Gabriel or even Eugene but not only did they both survive, they both kicked ass and took names. No one is more surprised than me that Eugene and Gabriel stopped being the human incarnation of the Cowardly Lion.

On the stroll through Alexandria, Judith started to get fussy and it became clear that they couldn't finish their little jaunt with a crying baby because it would endanger everyone.  When Gabriel stepped up to offer to shelter Judith in his church, I know I'm not the only one who was screaming no freaking way.  Rick wisely hesitated given what happened to Gabriel's parishioners but with little choice left, he agreed to hand over his daughter.  Jessie tried to encourage Sam to go with Gabriel but he was adamant that he could handle continuing to walk through the mass of walkers.  In the end, Sam became paralyzed and refused to take another step when he remembered Carol threatening him about the walkers eating him alive. Nope, you don't get to blame Carol for this one; this kid was soft because he had been protected from all of the horrors of the zombie apocalypse.  If it wasn't this moment, it would have been another.  You know damn well that Lizzie would have walked through that horde no problem.  So anyway, when Sam stopped he became the walker food that Carol predicted.  Jessie refused to let go of her son's hand and she became the next tasty meal. Unfortunately for Carl, Jessie was holding his hand which forced Rick to cut off Jessie's hand to free Carl and in the process he dropped his gun. For a few episodes now, we have known that Ron was not over the death of Porch Dick, though Pete was clearly a very abusive father. At the sight of his mother and brother becoming walker food, Ron picked up the gun but before he could shoot  Michonne took him out from behind.  Because his finger was on the trigger, Ron did manage to get one shot off and the bullet took out Carl's eye.  With the death of Ron and Sam, that's officially the end of Porch Dick's familial line. Fans of the comics will recognize this seen immediately.  I wonder if this means that Rick is going to eventually lose his hand as well?

Once again, we saw that Michonne became Rick's weapon.  There's a part of me that always wants to cheer that Michonne is so damn bad ass but I cannot help but bothered by the fact that in many ways that is all her character is.  She was at the ready to start slaughtering walkers at Rick's command and there to save him when Ron pointed his gun.  When Michonne saw Rick head outside to fight the walkers, she became immediately anxious to join him like a good weapon should.  Denise had to remind her that she was working on Carl, Rick's son. The last time we saw Michonne for the episode, she was doing her best Mammy impersonation and cradling Judith.  Can we please give Michonne someone to care about other than the great white hope Rick, and his chillen?

So Jessie, Rick's love interest is dead.  Many shows would not consider killing off the love interest of the protagonist but this is The Walking Dead and anyone can die.  That being said, I don't want to see Rick use Jessie's death for another round of manpain.  We saw what happened after Lori died and we don't need a repeat of that.  Everyone lost someone in the Alexandria walker invasion, so I don't see a reason for Rick to play special cupcake this time.  Also, killing off women so that we can see manpain is a misogynist trope and the world really needs less of that. The upside to this situation is that doing the walker slaughter with the Alexandrians, gave Rick confidence in the members of the town and a belief that he could build something. He finally sees what Deana did.

Carol and Morgan are still having issues.  Carol was adamant that she should have killed Morgan when she had the chance.  Morgan however was not the least bit flustered by her statement and actually turned his back on her.  Clearly we have not seen the last of this argument.  Here's the thing, I agree with Carol that trying to save the wolf dude was not the wisest choice, particularly because Morgan willingly put the lives of everyone at risk without speaking to them but with zombies flooding the streets of Alexandria, this was not the time to brood about it. I understand Morgan's desire not to kill but I think as the following seasons will show, in this dystopian world, the real threat is going to be other humans and not necessarily walkers.  We all ready got a taste of that (yes pun intended) with the Terminus people.  Readers of the comics know that Neegan goes a long way to proving this as well.

Denise also came into her own this episode. The wolf dude (who is actually really handsome outside of his Walking Dead makeup) tried to sneak out of town with Denise and she was not afraid to speak her mind.  I liked seeing this version of Denise.  When they tried to scale the wall, Denise got grabbed by a walker and the Wolf turned back to save her. The Wolf became a walker after being shot by Carol and Denise maked her way to the medical area in time to treat Carl, when he arrived after being shot.  This was another example of Denise's new found emergency confidence.  Denise began ordering people around and did not hesitate because she knew that if she did, Carl is die.  I really hope that Denise becomes valued as an important member of the Alexandria community and gets a lot more screen time. Yeah part of it is because I have a huge crush on Merritt Wever, from her days on Nurse Jackie, and part of it is because I think her character has so much potential.  It's also worth noting that after six seasons, it would be great to see an LGBT character front and center more. Yeah, I know, Tara, but she spends a hell of a lot of time in the plot box.

Overall there was a lot of excitement to this episode and the pacing was truly awesome.  As a fan of the comics, I have some idea of where The Walking Dead is headed next but I am excited to see it all play out.