31 Days of Horror 2015: The Walking Dead S06 E01: First Time Again

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Season five of “The Walking Dead” came to a screeching halt after Rick went feral and shot Pete. Now, Rick has to save the town from a swarm of walkers. Will Morgan, who is battling his own demons, be able to help Rick? The only way our friends will survive is if they stand united. Can they? Will they?

Morgan

Season six of “The Walking Dead” opens with our team hitting the ground, running. Morgan is there and so are a few new faces, but we won’t have time to ask questions. The walkers have broken through the barricades. We’re not sure how or when this happened. We are jumping from one flashback to another. What’s better than watching the best post-apocalyptic horror show on television? It’s getting 90 minutes of pure kick-ass action. Written by showrunner Scott M. Gimple and directed by Greg Nicotero, the show picks up in the aftermath of Pete’s death.

Morgan and Rick

Morgan (Lennie James) originally met Rick in season one, but even though they had parted ways with Rick heading off to find his wife and son, they met again in the season three episode “Clear.” Now, Morgan and Rick have to get to know each other again. They’ve both changed and, at the moment, they seem miles apart in their thinking and actions. Their reunion is like meeting for the first time, again.

Not everyone in town is pro Rick. Certainly not Pete’s son Ron and certainly not Carter, who witnessed a bloody Rick point his pistol at the crowd, but fears and suspicions are placed on hold as the town unites in channeling the swarm of walkers away from the town.

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I use the description, swarm, because I really think in this episode the walkers resembled army ants on one of their marches across Africa. Nothing can stop them. Who else laughed out loud when our very own Pied Piper of walkers, Daryl, led the swarm while riding on his bike? What an awesome shot! We meet a few new characters; Heath, Anna and Scott. Eugene likes Heath’s hair and Heath… he’s trying to figure out how Rick took charge of the town.

The Plan

Using flashbacks and black and white shots; black and white for past events, Greg Nicotero and Scott M. Gimple did something completely different with a season opening. We were able to time travel and catch up on what happened after Rick killed Pete.

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Did you ever wonder why there weren’t more walkers crashing into Alexandria’s walls? After Eugene allows Heath and his crew back into town, we learn from Heath that someone had purposely positioned a few tractor trailers near a quarry that forced the walkers away from the town. Sure, some got through the tight squeeze like the one that was permanently attached to a tree by his intestines, but even though not perfect, those trucks did a good job. Rick wanted to make the plan better.

So how do you lead a swarm of walkers away from a town? Yeah, you have a plan, but you need people to be on board with the plan. What if they’re not? Carter doesn’t trust Rick and when Eugene is discovered listening to Carter’s plan to kill Rick, Carter holds a gun to Eugene’s head. It’s a good thing that Rick walks in.

Morgan Part 2

Morgan is still fighting his demons, but he has mastered the Zen philosophy of total control of body and mind. We watch him watching others as we time jump back and forth. What does he think of Rick? Morgan, after all is the mirror image of Rick. They are comrades; brothers birthed in an apocalypse. Morgan is constantly observing and commenting on how Rick is handling certain situations.

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Does Morgan disagree with Rick’s handling of Ron, or Rick’s handling of Carter. Morgan sees Rick’s killing side as the real Rick. Is that bad? When Rick refuses to bury Pete inside the town, Morgan reminds Rick that they, like Pete, are also killers.

Carol, who is still playing the role of soccer mom, is now aware that Morgan is watching everyone. He has seen through her guise, and she, his. It will be quite interesting watching Carol and Morgan interact. Morgan has met his match with Carol. She is the Ninja Cookie Slayer!

Conclusion

The plan failed as do many plans. Rick’s prediction that Carter was going to die no matter what comes true when Carter has his faced chewed away by the tree walker. Rick did what was needed to quiet Carter’s screams.

Eugene had a few funny lines and he met someone else with hair game, Heath. Eugene is able to think of others besides himself, which was evident with his concern for Tara’s injury. Will Eugene, our cowardly lion, become more trustworthy? Is Abe losing his cool just as Sasha is regaining her stability? Abe is taking chances and I hope this doesn’t get him killed. What about Nicholas? Has Nick become more dependable? His actions at the Rendon tractor store hints that he has, but leopards don’t usually change their spots.

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Morgan’s concern for his missing protein bar is a laugh-out-loud moment, especially because Michonne looks him right in the eyes and lies. After everything Morgan has been through, his asking Michonne if she stole his peanut butter protein bar was hilarious, but it also shows that the Zen master is not wholly one with himself.

Rick’s plan to save the town has failed. It wasn’t anything that he did wrong. The plan was a good one. The whole town participated with color coded balloons, shoring up the walls surrounding the town and, leading the walkers away from the quarry. The plan was to lead the walkers far from the town. Orange balloons blowing in the wind, silence was of utmost importance. What could go wrong, right?

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Who was honking that horn? Was it someone from the town? Was it someone from the group that calls themselves ‘Wolves’? Honking that horn has just signed a death warrant for the town of Alexandria.

See you next week my little zombie snacks and bring a few protein bars for Morgan. He’s not himself when he’s hungry.

 

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