The X-Files S10E2 Recap: Founder’s Mutation

The X-Files S10E2: Founder’s Mutation

January 25, 2016

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Dr. Sanjay uses his bloodshot eyeball to gain access to Nugenics Technology.  He’s had a “humdinger” of a weekend.  Suddenly a piercing tone stops him in his tracks, causing his pupils to bleed even more.  At a staff meeting, the Founder has proclaimed that the data is no up to par.  Augustus Goldman may be a recluse, but he is engaged in the process and is not happy.  Outside the grass is covered in ravens.  The noise drives Sanjay to leave the room, even though he’s the only one who can hear it.  He retreats to the lab and locks his colleagues out, and as they drill the lock to gain access, the noise becomes too much for Sanjay and he sticks a sharp tool into his ear.  So much for Dr. Sanjay.

Agents Mulder and Scully are on the scene.  Scully thinks Sanjay had a psychotic break, while Mulder is more concerned that Sanjay picked the most secure room in the building to kill himself.  In fact, when Mulder grabs the hard drive, it is taken from him because it’s classified.  They won’t even grant the agents access to Goldman.  While Scully argues, Mulder swipes the dead man’s phone and uses his finger to unlock it.  As the walk away, Scully tells Mulder how illegal it is to search a phone without a warrant, but again, Mulder is more concerned with someone named Gupta with whom Sanjay spoke nightly.  Scully tells Mulder that “gupta” means “secret.”

Mulder meets the mysterious Gupta in a dark bar.  Mulder knows he’s being watched in the bar.  Mulder suggests going somewhere more private to talk, so they retreat to a storage room in the bar, where Gupta immediately gets on his knees and reaches for Mulder’s fly.  Mulder backs off and says that he’s not there for that, which leads Gupta to tell him that he’s repressed, and that the truth is in Mulder’s heart.  Mulder replies that he’s heard that before.  He tells Gupta that Sanjay is dead, which seems to shock the other man.

Scully prepares to do an autopsy of Dr. Sanjay, who still has the sharp letter opened sticking out of his ear.  She pulls the letter opened out and notices that he has a black mark on his hand.

Gupta tearfully explains that Sanjay had been upset the past few weeks so Gupta had been trying to make him feel better.  Now we see that the men who had been watching Mulder were attracted to him—they’re in a gay bar.  Mulder drinks a beer and listens to Gupta talk about how Sanjay was concerned for his kids, whom he said were dying.  Scully calls and tells Mulder he needs to see what she’s found.

When Mulder arrives, she shows him Sanjay’s hand.  She had to break his fingers to pry them open, but written there are the words “founder’s mutation.”  They call Augustus Goldman “the Founder.”  The letter opener ended up piercing the auditory complex of his brain, and it looks like he tried to dig it out.  Scully recalls that he’d said something about a noise that no one else heard.  They want to see where he really loved.

They go to Dupont Circle, where Scully remarks that it’s amazing that Sanjay had to keep his lifestyle a secret.  She almost hits a guy, who looks like he’s fleeing something himself.  Inside Sanjay’s apartment, they find photos of children with horrific genetic mutations.  Mulder wonders if these are the children Gupta had mentioned.  They all seem to have been photographed in a clinical setting because the background is the same.  Scully notices that the police have arrived, and just as she goes to the door to greet them, Mulder collapses.  He’s clutching his head as the same piercing noise renders him deaf to everything around him, except the noise.  He sees Scully talking to the officers and all he can make out are the words “find her.”

In Skinner’s office, Skinner reviews their report.  Mulder asks if Skinner has seen the files they pulled from Sanjay’s apartment, but a man at the table across the room has the files in his possession because they’re classified, and they belong to the Department of Defense.  He cautions Mulder that disseminating any of that information would result in a harsh penalty, to which Mulder replies that he’s familiar with Edward Snowden.  The DoD rep leaves the room, and Skinner gives the agents a look.  He wants to know what they really think, and he hopes Mulder got copies of the files before they were confiscated.  Mulder did make copies, and he believes that the children were a product of genetic studies by the government.  Scully concurs that there are some troubling aspects to the case.  Skinner closes the report and says that the FBI processes have become very slow given all of the hoops the cases must pass through, so that will give the agents time for a proper investigation.  He welcomes the duo back and sends them off in search of the truth.

Can I just say how much I love Walter Skinner?

Mulder returns to their new office at FBI headquarters.  Scully is reviewing security camera footage of when Sanjay killed himself.  She knows that Mulder might not have been comfortable sharing the story of what happened in Sanjay’s apartment with Skinner, but she wants to know what happened to him.  After he tells her what he experienced, he pulls up the footage of the birds outside.  He thinks the birds were there because some sound wave brought the worms to the surface.  She asks what the link is to all of this and Mulder says that only Augustus Goldman knows.  Scully reminds Mulder that Sanjay heard that noise right before he killed himself, and that could be Mulder.  She also says she knows how to meet with Goldman.

(Isn’t it funny to see that the agents are still driving their Fords?  I’m mildly surprised they aren’t in a Prius…)

The agents arrive at Our Lady of Sorrows Hospital in Washington, D.C.  Sister Mary knows Scully from her work at the hospital and she tells the agents about the donations Augustus Goldman has made to the hospital to help women and their babies.  Scully says that they want to avoid embarrassing Goldman with a government investigation, but Sister Mary can’t help them.  Scully pleads with her, and so Sister Mary agrees to make a phone call.  Mulder tells her to mention the “founder’s mutation” to Goldman, and this seems to trouble the nun.

While the agents wait, a young woman named Agnes motions for them to come into the women’s center and asks if they have a car.  She needs to get out of there.  Scully tells her that she’s safe, but Agnes says she doesn’t want to give up her baby even though there is something wrong with it.  Sister Mary is about to return to the room so Mulder slides her his card and Agnes retreats.  Sister Mary tells the agents that Goldman is more than happy to meet them, then she tells them that the women are homeless and damaged in some way, either by drugs or alcohol.  Agnes watches them, and in the background The Planet of the Apes is on television. There are no men in their lives, Sister May continues.  It all seems a little fishy if you ask me.

Outside, Mulder definitely thinks something is going on with the clinic.  He says it’s “insidious” that Goldman contributes money to a homeless mother’s ward when he’s also backing projects that are classified by the DoD.  It’s like his own incubator for genetic testing.  Scully asks if that’s what Mulder thinks happened to her, that she was just an incubator for some project 15 years ago.  She hasn’t stopped thinking about their son, William.  What if he’s one of the children on Sanjay’s board?  She has missed every event in his life.  Mulder says they need to keep working to figure these things out.  He also thinks about their son, but they have to hope he’s okay.

Scully and a young boy walk toward a school on the first day.  She asks if he remembers what the most important things are, and the most important thing is that she loves him. They go inside, and then the doors open and the children leave.  Will runs past her, and then the scene changes and he’s on a stretcher, having broken his arm.  The scene shifts again and he’s in his room, calling for Scully.  When he turns from the mirror, his face has morphed into some kind of alien/human hybrid.  Scully jolts back into reality, where she takes a picture of a baby from the drawer and touches it lovingly.

At Goldman Technology, Goldman says that “founder’s mutation” was a strange message to pass along.  He plays it off and says that the work they do is trying to save children.  The walk through a ward where children with various deformities are in rooms that are sealed up, and they’re not able to get out.  They stop and talk to a boy named Adam, who tells Scully that he has been there forever, and he doesn’t have any parents.  Goldman insists that Adam was brought to them when he was a baby and the work they’re doing is trying to save children. Scully asks if he is using alien DNA in his research, but Goldman never ventures close to an answer, not to mention the fact that they’re interrupted when a patient starts screaming, and objects start flying off the cart next to her of their own volition.  The agents are rushed away, but they both saw what happened.  Mulder gets a text.  Something happened to Agnes.

The agents arrive in a tunnel where Agnes seems to have jumped in front of traffic.  Scully asks the police officer where her baby is, and the officer is confused.  Mulder sees the blood on the front of the girl’s shirt and knows that the baby is gone.

Mulder pores through police files as he waits for Scully to complete the autopsy.  She did indeed die of blunt force trauma, but the baby was surgically removed.  Scully can’t tell if the baby was alive or dead when it was removed.  Mulder thinks that the baby could have enough alien DNA that it could have survived. That would mean they’re trying to change a population.  Mulder also found out that Goldman’s wife Elizabeth was remanded to an insane asylum for killing her baby 17 years ago, and that body was never found either.

The agents pay a visit to Jackie Goldman at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.  She’s catatonic, until she chucks an apple at the cat.  She doesn’t want to talk about her husband because he’s the one keeping her there.  Mulder asks if she loved her daughter.  We flash back to a party at the Goldman house, where the mothers are playing with their children and laughing and not paying attention to the fact that Jackie’s daughter was gone.  Jackie found her at the bottom of the pool, where she’d been for almost ten minutes.  She was breathing in the water. Jackie knew then that her husband had been using their daughter for his research, and she was nine months pregnant at the time and not about to let him use their son.  She tried to leave him but she couldn’t find their daughter.  She left, but she knew the government was coming after her.  She hit an animal in the road and crashed.  She crawled out of the car and heard the sound.  It was her son talking to her, telling her to cut her belly open.  We see the baby crawling out of her.

Scully tells Mulder that even though she thinks Jackie is delusional, there’s something about her that she trusts.  As they walk down the hall, Mulder stops a janitor and asks about the company he works for.  Upon returning to the office, Mulder shows Scully a tape of the janitor from the same company working directly above Sanjay when he died.  The janitor has a similar reaction to a noise, and it also happens that he worked at St. Elizabeth’s the month before.

The agents arrive at the janitor’s house and find a woman there.  It’s Kyle’s mother.  Her son has nothing to say to them and she doesn’t like exposing her son to stressful situations.  Mulder asks if she gave birth to Kyle, and clearly she didn’t.  He suspects that Kyle was Jackie’s son who crawled away from the accident.  They look up and see that birds have landed all over the yard.  Bad things happen when the birds gather,” she says.  That’s when the noise sends Mulder falling down the stairs.  Scully runs off in search of Kyle.  She finds him in the barn and they put him in the car.  Mulder asks if Kyle can control his ability, and he can’t.  He’s just trying to find his sister Molly.

They go to Goldman’s office and Goldman takes a vial of Kyle’s blood and promises to take him to his sister.  However, the girl he introduces as Molly isn’t Molly at all, and so Kyle runs off in search of her.  When they find each other, Molly speaks telepathically with her brother and together they break the glass door with their minds as Goldman and the agents catch up to them.  The siblings use telekinesis to send Scully into a wall and Mulder into a door, and then they kill their father by making his orifices bleed.

Later, the DoD representative tells Skinner that the area is now restricted, and Skinner passes this along to Mulder and Scully, who wonder where the siblings went.  Skinner asks Mulder, since he was the last person to see them, but Mulder blacked out after Goldman’s eyes popped out of his head.  “You can’t unsee that,” Mulder drawls.  Skinner leaves, and Mulder presents the vial of Kyle’s blood to Scully for analysis.

Next we see Mulder and Will watching The Plant of the Apes.  Mulder explains that apes were early humans and that the monolith represents the first contact with aliens.  Outside, father and son launch rockets into the air and talk about man’s journey to the moon.  Will vows to go to space someday.  Next we see Mulder racing toward a door, and inside we see Will levitating out the window.

Mulder sits at his kitchen table and looks at the picture of baby William that Scully had been looking at.  Sadness is in his eyes as he thinks about the son he never knew.

Until next week, fellow Philes!


The X-Files: My Struggle Recap

It wouldn’t be an episode of The X-Files without mythology, and this first episode is no different.  Well, perhaps it’s slightly different, given that almost two decades have passed since Agents Mulder and Scully have graced our television screens.  Tonight’s episode begins with a history lesson, one that details Fox Mulder’s quest for the truth.

Mulder talks about his childhood obsession with alien abductions following the disappearance of his sister, Samantha.  In 1993, he says, the FBI brought in a medical doctor, Dana Scully, to debunk his quest for the truth.  While the FBI shut down the X-Files, Mulder’s personal quest for the truth has never ceased.

The quest for information about aliens and alien abductions has taken place since the dawn of time.  UFO sightings have been prevalent since before Roswell, but that cover up has remained as the most famous of the conspiracy theories.  Even as President Gerald Ford released official documents about aliens, nothing has come from any of it.  The quest to prove the existence of extraterrestrial life has been fruitless.

Cue the opening credits.  They’re the same credits from the original series…and they’re awesome.  Tonight’s message: “The truth is out there.”

In the High Desert of Northwestern New Mexico, 1947, a doctor and a man are on a bus.  The doctor wants to know how much longer the trip will take, and the mysterious man says they will arrive shortly. True to his word, they arrive at a crash site.  It’s a giant ship, but it definitely isn’t American.

Dr. Dana Scully is prepping for surgery at Our Lady of Sorrows Hospital (where we left her after I Want to Believe) when a nurse tells her that she has a phone call.  On the display is the image of a young boy with no ears, and he’s presumably the patient being prepared for a procedure in the adjacent room.  The caller is insistent; it’s Walter Skinner.

Cut to a clip of Jimmy Kimmel interviewing President Obama.  Kimmel tells the President that the first thing he’d do upon being sworn in is to go and get the secret papers about Area 51 and UFOs. Everyone laughs.  Mulder answers his phone and tells Scully that his “life has become a punchline.”  Scully is clearly Mulder’s lifeline in the world because he has retreated into his little house in the middle of nowhere.  She tells him about Skinner’s call; Skinner wants to know if he has seen a program on “the Net” by a guy named Tad O’Malley.  Mulder finds his show and sees O’Malley ranting about 9-11 conspiracies and how they’re tied to Roswell in 1947.  No, Mulder has not seen this guy.  Scully says skinner wants them to meet, so Mulder tells her to have Skinner set up the meeting.  He also tells her that she’s coming with him.

In Washington DC, Mulder gets out of a car and Scully greets him.  “Uber?” she asks.  Mulder replies that he hitchhiked, which seems to be a joke between them.  She still cares a lot about him, even though they clearly aren’t together anymore.  She says he should get out of his house more often, and he assures her that he’s taking care of himself.  They’re interrupted when a limo pulls up carrying the charismatic—and clearly rich—Tad O’Malley.  Mulder wants to meet where they stand, but O’Malley warns against low flying aircraft that record conversations.

Inside the limo, O’Malley pulls out a bottle of champagne but neither Mulder nor Scully partake.  Scully gets to the point and wants to know how they can help.  Mulder takes note that the windows don’t roll down, and that’s because they’re bullet proof.  Just in case.  O’Malley tells them that he has been studying the UFO phenomenon for a long time.  Mulder says that he just wants to believe, but proof is oddly hard to come by. (That had to make diehard fans crack a smile)  O’Malley says Mulder wrote the book on UFOs with his work on the X-Files, but both Mulder and Scully assert that the X-Files are closed…”for better or for worse,” Mulder adds.  Mulder tests O’Malley’s knowledge about UFO abduction cases and seems to earn Mulder’s respect.  O’Malley is intent on rattling some bigwigs in the intelligence community and he needs some support.  He wants to introduce the duo to someone.

Low Moor, Virginia.  The familiar orchestral tones play in the background as the limo winds its way down a dirt road in the middle of open plains.  They stop at a little house in the middle of nowhere, so far removed that Scully remarks that aliens couldn’t find the place.  O’Malley introduces the house’s resident, Sveta, whose idea it was to contact the former agents.  It turns out that Mulder interviewed her family when she was a little girl, after her first abduction.  Inside the house, Sveta lifts her shirt to reveal scars from where medical tests were done on her.  She also has false memories that we implanted in her head.  While she talks, O’Malley does a “translation” of what her story means.  Scully gives him some side eye and says she is familiar with the terminology.  Sveta says that a lot of the times the implanted memories don’t last the way they should and she can recall what happened.  She was impregnated multiple times and the fetuses were removed before birth.  She also reveals that she has alien DNA, which is something Scully can test.

Back in 1947, the doctor is escorted through the crash site by armed soldiers.  They encounter an alien crawling away from the wreckage with a badly injured leg.  Fear is in its eyes as it sees the soldiers approaching.  The doctor is awestruck, but before he can do anything else, the mysterious man proclaims it a menace and shoots it.  The soldiers start shooting as well until the alien’s body is riddled with bullet holes.  The doctor is horrified at the barbarism.

Scully is preparing to draw Sveta’s blood.  Sveta reveals that she can move things with her mind, but it doesn’t happen at will.  She can tell that Mulder and Scully were a couple, and that Mulder is depressed, and that they have a child together.  Scully was skeptical at first, but she starts to get uncomfortable with Sveta’s truths and she jabs the needle into her arm.  Sveta says Scully can’t possibly understand what it’s like to be abducted, but then she sees the pain in Scully’s eyes and knows that she actually does know what it’s like because it happened to her, too.

A helicopter lands in Mulder’s front yard.  O’Malley greets him and Mulder says that he was right that O’Malley’s quest has made him a rich man.  Mulder’s quest hasn’t been quite as lucrative…  O’Malley warns that the people they’re going to see value their privacy; when they arrive, Mulder has a bag on his head so he doesn’t know where they are.  They’re at a huge warehouse that contains a Faraday Cage that contains an Alien Replica Vehicle.  Garner gives Mulder the tour and says that he’s being shown these things at great risk.  The ship is amazing, like something from Independence Day.  It floats off the ground using Free Energy from the electromagnetic field, technology that has existed for seventy years while oil companies profited.  Suddenly, they flip a switch and the ship disappears.  It’s cloaked using element 115.  Mulder is amazed.

Back in 1947, the doctor retrieves the alien’s dead body.  He covers it before scooping it into his arms.  As he passes the mysterious man, the man says the alien is dead.  The doctor wonders why they brought him out there in the first place.

Scully is drawing her own blood when O’Malley interrupts.  He teases that she’s testing herself for alien DNA and she replies that she has high blood pressure.  Her scrubs are splattered with blood from an earlier surgery.  O’Malley notes the patient’s face on the display, and without ears the child looks alien.  She assures him that it’s a coincidence, and while it’s probably not genetic, the disease that causes children to be born without ears is prevalent among Navaho Indians.  O’Malley asks if Scully is upset that Mulder brought her in on this case, and she admits that her work on the X-Files was some of the most intense and challenging of her career, as was her relationship with Mulder.  O’Malley tells her that he’s also there because he wanted to see her again.

Mulder pays a visit to Sveta in the middle of the night.  He says he hitchhiked.  They sit down and he tells her that he noticed that she hesitated when she answered the question about her abduction.  Sveta says that O’Malley asked the wrong question—she doesn’t actually think she was abducted by aliens; rather she believes that she was abducted by men who used alien technology and who took her babies.  She doesn’t know if she can trust Mulder, but he assures her that she can.  She wonders if he has been working all these years under the same false pretenses, that there has never been an alien abduction problem, but that it has been men all along.

Scully’s phone rings.  It’s Mulder.  She’s in the limo with O’Malley but she answers.  Mulder says he’s been misled after all these years, and that there never has been an alien conspiracy.  Scully has the car pull over so he can explain that perhaps they have been misled all these years.  He says that Sveta is the key to everything.  Mulder doesn’t want to have the conversation over the phone so he hangs up, but we see that he’s still with Sveta.

In Washington DC, Mulder walks into his old office with Skinner.  The office space is still there but the files are gone.  Mulder says that the past will determine the future.  He demands answers from Skinner, but Skinner says that he has always protected Mulder, and that’s why Skinner brought Mulder in on the case.  Skinner says that not a day goes by when he hasn’t wanted to pick up the phone to call Mulder.  Since 9-11, the world has become a very strange place.  Mulder agrees and says that with all of the spying and policing, the world has never been in greater danger.  “Then do something about it, Mulder.”  Mulder dials Skinner’s number.  Now Skinner can reach him.

O’Malley is doing his latest show and he mentions Scully’s work at the hospital.  She tunes in just in time to see it and she sighs in frustration.  The nurse brings in the test results and she asks for them to be retested.  She tells the nurse that she’s waiting for a call from a man named Mulder, and that it’s important.  Then she heads into surgery.

In the middle of the night, Mulder meets an old man on the National Mall.  The man laments the late hour and says that they shouldn’t be meeting in unsecured environments.  Mulder reminds the old man that he had promised to confirm things once Mulder finally found the truth.  Mulder feels he was being manipulated before, but now he has seen an ARV and he believes that things are being misreported as UFO abductions.  Alien technology is being used against us by men.  The man says that he is a man of medicine but he never knew how his work would be used.  We see flashbacks and learn that the old man was the doctor at the crash site.  The man tells Mulder that Roswell was a smoke screen.

Scully arrives at Mulder’s house and she’s upset that he hasn’t called.  He tells her that after all these years they have been deceived.  She accuses Mulder that she has seen him get this excited before but this will be his undoing.  Sveta appears in the doorway and asks if everything is okay.  Mulder tells her that Sveta is the key.  “You know what you’re doing,” Scully says, and she gets back in her car.

O’Malley arrives and tells Scully to stay because it’s important.  Mulder didn’t think she’d come if it wasn’t important.  Inside the house, Mulder lays out the foundation of how these intellectuals started using alien technology after World War II.  They aliens arrived because they had been drawn by our use of H-bombs.  Over the years, the technology was mined from the downed flying saucers to use the technology on its own people.  Mulder cites the government’s lies: Tuskegee Experiments, Henrietta Lacks.  The government has been hoarding the information so they can control the information.  O’Malley says that the world has been preparing for the take-down of the United States, and it’s happening all around us.  He says it will start on a Friday, when banks have computer problems, and it will follow with electromagnetic pulses to wipe everything out.  O’Malley plans on revealing the truth the following day, and Scully says that it’s irresponsible for them to create fear.  Sveta says it’s important for people to know the truth; Scully informs her that she has no alien DNA.

As Scully prepares for surgery, she quickly checks O’Malley’s show and sees Sveta denying the whole story.  O’Malley says that the government is trying hard to cover up the truth.  The nurse arrives with Scully’s revised test results.  Then she sees that O’Malley’s show is offline.

Mulder hurries to Sveta’s house and sees that she is gone.

Two Hummers burst into the warehouse with the ARV and attach bombs to it.  They drive away as the bombs detonate, destroying the ARV and killing the scientists.

Scully walks to her car and sees “Don’t give up” written in the dust on her car.  Mulder approaches, talking about conspiracies.  Scully can see that Mulder is exhausted.  He says it was a long day at the office.  She says they need to find and protect Sveta because she had her genome sequenced along with her own, because of Scully’s history and the child they share.  Sveta isn’t the only one, and Scully wants to stop these SOBs.  Their phones beep.  It’s Skinner.

Sveta drives along the highway when her car stops.  A ship settles above the car and a piercing green laser shines down on her.  She tries to get out of the car but she can’t.  The car explodes.

Next we see our old friend Cancer Man.  Someone holds a cigarette to his breathing tube.  “We have a small problem.  They’ve reopened the X-Files,” he says.

Well, The X-Files is back, and it’s like seeing an old friend again.

This revival is much grittier, much more visceral than the previous incarnations.  In this post-911 world, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of depression watching as Mulder and O’Malley talked about how much the world has changed.  If only the most pressing matters in the world today revolved around aliens….  At any rate, the show promises to get better and better over the course of the next few episodes.

I’m hooked again.  Are you?


I Want to Believe: The Return of The X-Files

A year ago the possibility of a revival of iconic 1990s drama The X-Files was a likely as finding the Loch Ness Monster.  However, unlike Nessie, there was a movement to bring the “epic global phenomenon” back to the small screen.  No one believed that the stars would align so perfectly, but amazingly enough show creator Chris Carter had been in talks with David Duchovny, who was ready to return as the wryly charismatic Fox Mulder.  Once he was on board, Gillian Anderson agreed to return to the role of Dana Scully, a role she has vocally tried to put behind her.

Tonight we get to see the return of the legendary show whose mythology rivals that of the UK’s Doctor Who.  As we wait for the show to air pending the end of the NFC Championship Game, I started thinking about how the show would be so much different now, with technology being so much more accessible (how many of us had cell phones back when the show aired?) and social media allowing for the truth to be out there so much more than it ever had been before.  Entertainment Weekly’s Darren Franich says that “As a long form saga, The X-Files was influential—and disappointing” in terms of all of the mythology that seem to go nowhere.  In an era of smart phones and Twitter, think of how many times Fox Mulder could have exposed Cancer Man’s secrets with a simple photo of a dark warehouse full of alien bodies.  It would have been so easy.

Somehow, I don’t think Chris Carter and company will make it so easy.  One thing is for sure: The X-Files is back and the truth is out there.  And…I want to believe that it’s going to be amazing!!!!

Look for my recap of episode one, “My Struggle,” later tonight (after the episode finally airs…thanks, NFC Championship Game….

The Walking Dead Recap S6E5: Now

The Walking Dead S6E5: Now

Original Airdate: November 8, 2015

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


After last week’s Morgan-palooza, it’s time to return to Alexandria and the aftermath.  Fans should note that Steven Yeun’s name still appears in the episode guide.  What does that mean?  Does it mean anything?  Will we ever truly know?

In the aftermath of the attack at Alexandria, Deanna climbs the wall to survey the damage done to the town.  She traces Reg’s name on the first panel that was erected to build the wall.  Below her, the townspeople gather bodies while Michonne tells Maggie that they had been separated.  When she hears a noise, she turns to see thousands upon thousands of Walkers coming down the road, Rick at the head of the pack.  He’s running at breakneck speed and trips right before Michonne opens the gate.  He gets inside, but the town is in a world of hurt right now.

The herd is pushing up against the wall while the townspeople try to figure out how to reinforce it.  Rick reappears, looking slightly more refreshed.  He tells the group that they are surrounded about twenty deep but they can survive this.  He knows they haven’t been through something like this but they can live through it.  Daryl, Sasha and Abraham will drive them off, while Glen and Nicholas will return.  Someone points out that this is a graveyard, but Aaron speaks up and says that Rick’s plan is what saved them.  It was during one of his scouting missions that the Wolves figured out about Alexandria.  This happened because of him, and he wants people to understand that Rick is a good leader.  Deanna walks away in a daze.

Jesse returns home to the body of the Wolf she killed.  She drags her out of the kitchen to a community body pile in the town’s cemetery.  She starts digging, but Rick stops her, telling her that they don’t bury killers inside the town’s walls.  He says they’ll wait to bury them.

The food storage area is inundated with townsfolk who don’t want to starve while they wait to die.  Spencer runs in and tells the people to stop.  Bruce mentions the gate, and Spencer points out that he stopped the truck from getting in, so they need to stop this behavior or else they’ll destroy the place.  The hungry townspeople reluctantly agree.  Deanna smiles at her son with pride.

Aaron sees Maggie making weapons, then he sees a group of people painting a memorial to the people who died.  Someone paints Glenn’s name, and Aaron sees Maggie rush off.  She’s in the weapon’s locker getting ready to go out.  He knows she’s going to go out after dark on her own.  He asks her what’s going to happen if she gets hurt.  He wants to help her out.  He knows a better way.

Deanna stares at Reg’s wedding ring with tears in her eyes.  She grabs a set of plans and starts scribbling a map of the crops she plans to grow, along with a new plan for the town to reinforce it and rebuild it.  The sound of a glass breaking distracts her.  She finds Spencer picking up a glass and realizes he’s getting drunk off the wine he took from storage.  He’d stopped the looting but he admits that the group was right about the fact that they’re going to die.  And he blames her for their weakness.

Carl finds Ron sitting near her house.  He asks him if he has seen Enid.  Ron hasn’t seen her since he saw her with Carl, and wonders why Carl doesn’t think she’s dead.  She had been Ron’s girlfriend until Carl came along.  They get into a shoving match.  Ron says Carl shouldn’t risk it because more people will die.  If he goes, then Rick will go, and others will follow, and then they’ll die.  Ron says Carl saved his life, so now he’s returning the favor.

Denise is reading through medical manuals and trying not to freak out when Tara walks in.  She tells Tara that her patient is still sick but she has no idea what to do.  Tara lies about her headache and admits she’s just checking on Denise, who says she is of no use.  She hopes a new doctor shows up so she can return to her apartment and read War and Peace.  Tara says being afraid sucks, and she kicks a copy of Grey’s Anatomy at her before leaving.

Jesse goes to check on a neighbor and finds that she’s a Walker.  As the scared townsfolk look on, Jesse slowly opens the door and kills her with her knife.  She turns and tells everyone that she never wanted to see what things really looked like, but now they don’t have a choice.  They have to see it, and they have to fight or they will die.  She walks away, and Denise stares in wonder.

Aaron leads Maggie to a sewer drain that connects the neighborhoods.  Maggie wants to go alone, but Aaron can’t watch more names go up on the wall.  As they go through the tunnel, Maggie says that if Glen was alive he’d signal to her, and he needs help.  If he’s dead she doesn’t want to wait around for him.  They try to move a piece of the ladder when they come across two very rotten Walkers.  The Walkers awaken and attack, and Maggie gets overwhelmed.  Aaron steps in and helps her.  His forehead is gashed but he insists that he has to keep going.

Denise comes across something in her medical books.  She uses a syringe to drain the pus from his arm, and he immediately stabilizes.  “Hot damn,” she says, smiling.

Ron climbs the wall to talk to Rick.  It’s the first time he has seen the wall of Walkers.  He tells Rick about Enid’s absence, and that Carl had planned to go find her.  Before Rick leaves, Ron asks if Rick will teach him how to shoot.  Rick empties his pistol and gives it to Ron to practice with while he’s gone.

Denise finds Tara.  Tara asks how Gabriel is, and Denise leans down and kisses her passionately.  She says it’s the end of the world.  “No, it’s not,” Tara replies.

Maggie and Aaron come to the end of the tunnel.  She stops him from leaving and says that she buried Glen’s picture.  She doesn’t know if he’s alive or dead, but she’s pregnant.  Glen didn’t want her to go but maybe if she’d been with him he’d be alive.  Michonne told her that he’d have shown her by now.   Aaron hugs her as the gate is covered in Walkers.

Jesse baked cookies for Sam, who doesn’t want to go downstairs.  He says the upstairs part of the house didn’t change the way it did down below.  He refuses to meet his mom halfway.  Jesse takes the plate and leaves them outside Ron’s door.

Deanna has a basket of groceries and she stands in the street staring at the house.  A Walker approaches and attacks her, so she grabs a broken bottle and tries to kill it.  Rick comes and helps her.  She tells him that she wants to live, and that in order to do that, they need him.  She wonders if her plan for Alexandria is too pie in the sky, but Rick assures her that it isn’t.  She gathers the groceries and walks away.

Aaron and Maggie stand on the wall at night looking out at the Walkers.  They have bonded.  She says she’ll be right back, and she goes to the wall and scrubs Glen’s name from it.  Aaron comes and helps her.  “When he gets back, it’s worth mentioning that Aaron, or Erin, works for a boy or a girl, depending on the spelling,” Aaron tells her.

Spencer comes to relieve Rosita.  He says he volunteered to take Carol’s place.  Rosita says he did a good job taking out the truck, and even though he says he got lucky, she says he should keep doing what he’s doing.

Jesse is doing laundry and finds one of Ron’s shirts.  Rick comes in and tells her that the reason they’re waiting to bury the bodies is that they don’t know if everyone else is ok, and so he wanted to wait.  She tells him they can still be alive.  Rick has heard about Jesse’s speech.  She wants to believe there is more.  Rick kisses her.

Deanna approaches the gate and sees the masses of Walkers there.  She hits it in anger, then she walks away.  Blood seeps through the wall as she passes.

The Walking Dead Recap S6E3: Thank You

The Walking Dead S6E3: Thank You

Original Airdate: October 25, 2015

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Rick barks out commands to Tobin while Glenn and Michonne clear Walkers ahead of them.  Abraham, Sasha and Daryl want to turn back and help but they can’t.  The townspeople are falling behind, and falling down and hurting themselves.  One guy accuses Rick of bringing them out to die, and Michonne silences him.  The horn is still blaring at this point.  Rick tells the group he’s going to go get the RV and lead the herd away, leaving Michonne and Glenn in charge.  Rick tells them that they’re not all going to make it.  As if on cue, Mr. Protester gets bitten by a Walker and Michonne kills the Walker as everyone watches.  The horn stops.  “Get back safe,” Rick tells them.

Michonne’s group continues through the forest.  Heath asks what they’ll do if they don’t make it.  They consider that they might be returning to “nothing” because something must have happened.  They know that they’re moving in the same direction as many other things and might run into something.  Michonne says they have to keep going.  They come across a small group of Walkers and Michonne, Heath and Glenn start to take them out as quietly as possible.  The rest of the group, including Nicholas, joins the fight.  As expected, several members of the group are taken out by Walkers.  When they think they’re clear, a Walker takes out another one of their group.  One guy runs away.  It’s insane how the Alexandrians can’t protect themselves.  Two people are bitten and they’re still alive.  The group must press on.

Daryl asks how far they’ve gone.  They’ve led the Walkers five miles out and he’s ready to turn around and go back.  Five miles is fifteen miles short of their goal, but he wants to change the plan.  Sasha says that if he goes, the herd might overtake the car.  Daryl says he has faith in them and pulls out ahead of them.

Michonne’s group reaches the road.  They’re beaten up but still going.  The man who was bitten on his back asks how the wound looks.  He has been married for three months and lost everything until Aaron found him.  He’d given up until that point.  He found his wife, Betsey, on the way back and they found solace together.  He hopes to make it back to tell her that finding her made everything better.  They come to a town that has been ransacked.  They search the cars to see if they can use anything.  Glenn tells Michonne that he has to get back.  Heath asks Nicholas about the last time they were in this town.  He tells the group that he can lead them through, but he gives the impression that something bad went down there.  They find Sturgis’s hat…and then they find Sturgis as he is being eaten alive.   That’s what he gets for leaving them behind.  Walkers surround the town in the few minutes they’ve taken to stop there.  Nicholas leads them into a pet store, where carcasses rot in cages.  Michonne says they can wait it out, but Heath says that they are surrounded.  She tells him that she’s trying, and she won’t give up.  Glenn proposes that they burn a building down to distract the herd.  He says he’ll do it, because Michonne needs to lead the group back to town.  Nicholas offers to take him them, and Glenn agrees.

Rick runs down the road.  Glenn radios that he’s setting the fire and he tells Rick not to worry about it.  In the meantime, Rick kills three Walkers and cuts his hand in the process.

The pet store group does some triage.  Heath says they will make crutches for Annie, but she tells him to leave her.  The man with a bitten leg agrees with her.  They’ll only slow everyone else down.  Heath says they don’t leave people behind, and Michonne seconds that.  Michonne approaches Heath and asks what his problem is.  Heath says that he heard what Rick said about some of the group not making it back.  Michonne says that they know what it’s like out there.  Heath says he’s been making runs, but Michonne says that unless Heath has been covered in so much blood he doesn’t know if it’s his, Walkers or his friends, he has no idea what it’s really like.  That shuts him up.

Nicholas and Glenn run toward the feed store.  Bodies line the ground and a Walker is pinned under a car.  He says he should kill him because he was on Nicholas’s team.  He was a 19 year old named Will.  Glenn sees the agony in Nicholas’s face and tells him he isn’t the same guy anymore.  He does the deed, and suddenly they hear a gunshot.

The pet shop group hears the gunshot.  They’re bandaged up and ready to go.  The gunshots lure the Walkers away.

Rick makes it to the RV.  His hand is bleeding heavily.

Bitten Guy gives Michonne a note for Betsey.  She writes on her arm that they’re getting home.  There’s a noise in the back and Michonne opens a door.  Two Walkers stumble out and Michonne kills them, but the noise distracts the herd.  She looks out the door to see that the rest of the herd is approaching the pet store.  This just keeps getting better and better.

Michonne throws open the door and they fight off the Walkers.  They start running away when Annie falls down.  She tells them to run and gets eaten herself.  Glenn and Nicholas get to the feed store and find that it has already been burned.  Michonne leads the group between two buildings and they have to jump the fence.  Michonne and bitten man are the last ones over but they get caught before they can make it.  Glenn and Nicholas find themselves in a similar dead end, only Glenn is trapped on both sides.  Bitten Man gets pulled down and eaten, his note crushed under his boot.

Glenn pulls Nicholas on top of a trash bin.  They are surrounded by Walkers.  Nicholas looks at the Walkers and seizes up with fear.  Glenn calls to him but he is gone.  He says “thank you” to Glenn and then blows his brains out.  He falls into Glenn, who falls off the trash bin and is torn to shreds by the Walkers.  His entrails are pulled out while he screams.

Glenn…no, not Glenn!

Michonne and Heath lead their bitten leg friend out of the forest.  He collapses but they press on after picking him up again.  They reach a river.  Michonne turns around and sees that there is no smoke.  Heath says that doesn’t mean anything, but she knows better.  She looks at the message on her arm and wipes it off.  Heath catches a glimpse of himself in the water, with blood all over his face.  He understands what Michonne meant now.

Rick calls in to Glenn and gets static.  He calls Tobin and gets the same response.  He reaches Daryl, who is flying down the highway.  Rick hears the gunshots from Alexandria and tells the others that they have to press on for them, and that hopefully they make it on their own but this is for them.  Rick seems very weak from the cut on his hand.  Suddenly someone shoots at Rick from inside the RV.  Another man jumps out and tackles Rick.  He manages to fight them off and shoot them.  One of the men has a jar of baby food in his pocket.  Rick spots several other people creeping around the RV and he starts shooting at them through the walls.  Daryl flies down the road and meets back up with Sasha and Abraham.

Michonne and her group arrive back in Alexandria to find the buildings burned.

Rick tries to start the RV but it’s dead.  He is shaking uncontrollably as the herd moves in.

And that’s it.

Is Rick going to make it?  We don’t know.  We don’t know much of anything.  Perhaps Glenn really didn’t die…maybe those aren’t his entrails…

Oh, how The Walking Dead loves to torture us….


The Walking Dead Recap S6E2: JSS

The Walking Dead S6E2: JSS

Original Airdate: October 18, 2015

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Enid is standing in an SUV calling for her parents.  They need to move, and now.  The Walkers are coming.  They don’t move fast enough, though, and next we see Enid sitting in a bloody car while Walkers devour her parents.  Enid walks along the road, trying to steer clear of the Walkers she can hear nearby.  As she waits for them to pass, she writes JSS in the sand.  On she walks, until she comes upon a car with a Walker falling out of it.  She pulls him out and kills him, and then she takes shelter inside the car.  Again, she writes JSS on the dirty window.  Next we see a turtle walking along, and Enid eats it.  (RIP, Mr. Turtle)  She writes out JSS with its bones.  Enid comes upon a wall and a house, and eventually a gate.  It’s the front gate at Alexandria.  She pauses, contemplating whether or not she should go inside.  Eventually, she writes JSS on her hand and goes inside.

Carol is in the supply room choosing ingredients for her latest recipe.  She’s grabbing food that no one else wants because they’re running low on supplies so she’s stretching things out using recipes she made for her ex husband.  Shelly complains about the pasta and wishes she had a machine for it.  Carol says she could teach Shelly to make it herself if she promises to stop smoking; there are so many things trying to kill them that they don’t need one more thing, right?  Point, Carol.

Carol comes across Sam, who is sitting on her front steps.  She tells him that his dad used to hit him and then he got himself killed. “It happened, now it’s done.  Live with it or it eats you up.  Go home,” she tells him.  Cold. Just, cold.

Jesse calls for Ron so she can give him a haircut.  He comes downstairs and says that the haircut is a ploy to get him to talk to her.  He’s still upset about his dad, and she reminds him that the reason he can’t lift his arm over his head is his father.  She says there are things he needs to learn and wonders if he blames her for what happened.  Pete was dangerous, she says.  Ron says Rick is dangerous, but Jesse says he’s her friend.

Maggie and Deanna are in a field.  Maggie says there will be some sore citizens, but eventually they can plant the seeds she found and then they’ll have a huge garden.  They just need the wall expansion.  Reg wanted the community to grow, Maggie points out.  Everyone who is there is alive because of Deanna, so she needs to show them she’s still there.

Eugene complains to Tara that building a church in the expansion is a waste of space, and that “thumpers” shouldn’t get dibs.  Denise interrupts them from her studies.  She’s nervous being the new doctor, but her background is in psychiatry even though she was going to be a surgeon until the panic attacks started.  She wants to know why Tara wants aspirin, and Tara says she got dizzy while working on the guard tower.  Denise assures her that she can’t kill her with that symptom, but Eugene, ever helpful, says she could miss a hematoma.  He gets a double shot of evil eye from the ladies.

Carl is taking Judith on a walk.  He’s pushing her in a stroller when he spots Ron and Enid hugging each other.  Gabriel approaches and says that he knows he was the problem.  He wants to learn how to fight now.  Carl says he needs to tell everyone else that, and Gabriel agrees.  Carl tells him to come by later and they can start with the machete.  Enid looks up as Carl walks by.

Carol is in her immaculate kitchen.  She has a kitchen timer next to a baby monitor that shows Judith sleeping.  She looks outside the window and sees Shelly smoking.  Suddenly a man runs up and cuts her open, then he hacks into her skull.  Carol hurries off.  Who is this guy?  He isn’t a Walker.

Deanna and Maggie hear yelling.  She calls to Richard at the wall and suddenly he’s lit on fire with a fire bomb.  Maggie points her gun and leads Deanna away.

Carol runs to Carl, who already has a gun ready. He can see the intruders all around them.  She tells him to keep Judith safe.

Blood pools under a bike tire as people flee for their lives.  Sam pleads with his mom not to leave him to find Ron.  Someone is inside the house, though, so she goes to the closet with him to hide.

Carl hears someone at the door.  It’s Enid, who is packed to leave.  Carl commands her to stay here and help him guard the house.  She says the place is too big, with too many blind spots.  He doesn’t want her to say goodbye, so she says she won’t.  They sit back to back and wait.

Carol runs through the houses and sees men with Ws on their foreheads attacking everyone.  One of the women is stabbed so Carol kills her attacker and then stabs the woman in the neck so she doesn’t turn.  From the church steeple, Spencer takes aim at the Ws and then he sees a truck coming straight at the wall.  He shoots the driver, and the truck crashes.  The horn gets stuck and that’s the noise we hear from the road, where the rest of the gang are trying to lead the Walkers away from Alexandria.

The horn blares on.  Spencer is stuck inside the church.  Eugene and Tara are still inside with Denise.  Rosita comes in with a wounded woman.  Aaron and Rosita know they need to get back out there, so they leave Eugene and leave.

Spencer gets to the truck but the driver is a Walker already.  He’s trying to figure out how to kill him when Morgan appears and kills the Walker, then pulls him away from the horn.  Spencer tells him what’s going on inside the walls, but he’s terrified, so Morgan tells him to hide.  When Morgan goes in he sees a W hacking a body to bits.  The W has an axe and asks Morgan if he wants to die fast or slow.  Morgan tells him to leave.  As the W charges him, a hooded figure swoops in and stabs the W.  It’s Carol.  She quickly paints a W on her forehead in blood while Morgan says she didn’t have to kill him.  She needs his help getting to the armory.

Maggie and Deanna find Spencer.  Deanna knows she doesn’t know how to fight and she tells Maggie it’s better that she stays outside.  Spencer vows to protect her.  Deanna looks on in horror as she hears what’s going on inside the walls.

Denise tells Tara that the woman has a cut to her femoral artery.  She needs surgery.  Tara wants Denise to jump into action but Denise is afraid.  Eugene tells her not to be a coward.  Denise takes a breath and tells them what she needs for surgery.

A W is chasing Ron, so Carl shoots the W in the leg.  As Enid and Ron watch, the W begs for help, but he’s really trying to lure Carl closer.  When he grabs Carl, Carl kills him.  Carl tells Ron he can protect him, but Ron sees Enid in Carl’s house and shakes his head, running away.

There’s someone in Sam’s room as Jesse and Sam hide in the closet.  As soon as they hear the footsteps going back downstairs, Jesse leaves Sam and goes down to see who it was.  She crouches in the kitchen and calls out in case it’s Ron.  A very dirty woman attacks her from behind.  Jesse’s gun goes flying and Jesse falls to the ground.  The woman goes for the gun, so Jesse jumps up with a pair of scissors and attacks the woman, stabbing and screaming at her until she’s dead.  Ron walks in and sees his mom deliver the final stab with a guttural scream.

Carol and Morgan walk through the streets.  Carol pretends that Morgan is her prisoner until Morgan decides to help Gabriel out.  Carol is dressed like one of the Ws and she manages to shoot several of them.  She reaches the armory and finds Lydia in the closet.  Carol starts loading weapons into a bag and shows Lydia how to shoot a gun before she leaves.

Morgan ties up the guy he took down and he’s about to talk when Carol shoots him.  She hands them both a gun, but Morgan gives his back to Gabriel, who says he’s not good with guns either.  Carol finds Maggie, and they go off together.  Aaron shoots a few Ws, and Rosita is doing well, too. Morgan is surrounded by several Ws, and he tells them to leave.  They get closer, so he hits two of them with his stick.  They keep getting closer, and he tells them that his people have guns, and if they continue to choose this path, they will die.  The lead W says they didn’t choose this life.  He turns to run away, but he grabs a gun on the way.  Morgan closes the gate.

Carol looks down at dead Shelly.  Her Morley cigarettes are on the ground.  (Morleys are what Cancer Man smoked in The X-Files)  Carol starts to smoke one and then she sees a red letter A on her porch.  Sam had the A stamp.  She starts to weep.

Aaron walks through the streets stabbing people in the head to prevent them from turning.  He finds a dead man with a knapsack that has photos inside.  They’re photos of the town, and the wall.  They’re the same photos he used to recruit new members.

Denise tries to resuscitate Holly, who is very much dead.  Tara gives her credit for trying.  Denise tells them all to leave.  Tara tells her to get her brain.

Deanna and Maggie walk along the wall.  Spencer asks Rosita if this is what the world is like outside the walls.  She says that their group is trying to keep them safe, that this is what they do.  Maggie puts a charred Walker out of his misery.  “We’re still here,” Maggie says.  “Not all of us,” Deanna replies.

Carl looks out at the dead man outside.  He calls for Enid, who has left.  She left a note for him.  “Just Survive Somehow.”  JSS.  The alarm goes off and so Carl takes Carol’s casserole out of the oven.

A Walker approaches Morgan.  He hits him in the face and keeps going.  Morgan goes inside a house and is ambushed by a W, who realizes that Morgan doesn’t want to kill him.  “You should have,” he says.  Morgan attacks, and apologizes before killing him.  Morgan walks along the road and crosses paths with Carol, who keeps walking along.

Alexandria has been compromised, but we have yet to see the extent of the Wolves’ attack….

The Walking Dead Season 6 Premiere Recap: First Time Again

The Walking Dead S6E1: First Time Again

Original Airdate: October 11, 2015

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

Welcome back to Alexandria, fellow Walkers.  It’s time to get Season 6 of The Walking Dead underway!

Tonight’s episode is a series of flashbacks and scenes from the present.  Flashbacks are presented in black and white while the present is in glorious color.

We begin as Rick pulls the trigger and kills Pete.  It starts in color and fades to black and white.  Next we return to the present as Rick talks his team through the game plan.  They’re gathered in a ravine where thousands of Walkers are trapped and mulling about aimlessly.  They’re doing a dry run at present, preparing for when they actually do whatever it is that they’re getting ready to do.  Confused yet?  As with most best laid plans, things go awry when the tractor trailer on a ledge goes plummeting over the side.  Yes, dozens of Walkers have been crushed, but they’re also free to get out.  This sends the team into motion as they have to forego the dress rehearsal and jump into action.  Abraham is happy to get moving, while Glenn agrees to accept help from a repentant Nicholas.  The Walkers break through another barrier of trucks and head toward the team.

Cue the opening credits.  This looks like it’s going to be one hell of an episode!

Gabriel walks up to Deanna, who is sitting beside a pool of her husband’s blood.  You were wrong, she tells him.  He nods and walks away.  Abraham carries Reg’s body out of the area and takes a drink.  Jesse consoles her boys, but she can’t stop Ron when he gets up and runs away.

Rosita is at the infirmary helping Tara into a sitting position.  She’s glad Tara is ok.  They’re interrupted by Glenn and Nicholas, who return from their fight in the woods.  Glenn covers for them, saying that they encountered Walkers.  Nicholas nods at Glenn in understanding.  Tara comments that they both look like shit, and both Glenn and Nicholas are incredibly pleased to see that she’s ok.  Maggie hurries in and rushes to Glenn’s side.  He assures her that he was merely grazed by a ricocheting bullet.  That’s when Eugene walks in.  “Holy shit,” he says when he sees Tara.  “Thank God nothing happened to your hair,” she replies, giving him a smile.  (Eugene Hair Zing #1!)  Eugene, in a classic Eugene moment, stares at her while grinning stupidly.  It unnerves poor Tara, who asks for Noah’s help to protect her from Eugene’s stalker tendencies.  The group looks away, with Nicholas looking the most regretful of them all.

Morgan fingers the map that led him to Rick.  The rabbit’s foot is beside it.  Morgan tells Rick he was right, that it wasn’t over, referring to the last time they saw each other.  Rick says he doesn’t take chances anymore, and Morgan agrees with him on that note as well.  They’ll talk more in the morning.  Daryl looks on.

Abraham slips Reg’s ring on the top of his liquor bottle and waves at Sasha as she walks by.

Back in the present, Rick barks orders at the team.  They run through a fence made of cars as Daryl leads the Walkers through the maze on his motorcycle.

Flashback:  Daryl tinkers with his bike as Rick exits the house.  He says Morgan is ok with their plan of keeping him locked up temporarily.  Daryl asks if Morgan relayed the bit about the men who had the same Ws on their foreheads as the dead Walkers they found, and Rick nods.  He’s going to tell Deanna that the town isn’t going to go on any more runs. People need to take care of themselves.

Present:  Sasha steps on the gas, pushing 70.  Abraham asks her if she’s ok to drive, and she tells him that she’s holding it together.  When he asks again, she reminds him that he got into the car with her.  Don’t mess with Sasha.  Living, she says, is being part of such a huge plan.  They arrive at the red balloons and radio to Rick, who says the parade is coming.

Flashback:  Rick unlocks the metal security door and finds Morgan practicing his stick-work.  Rick asks if he learned that before or after everything.  It was after, Morgan says.  Rick apologizes for having to lock him up, and Morgan says they have to get to know each other again.  And meet each other for the first time.

Still in the past, Eugene is at the gate when a car pulls up.  Heath and his team have been on a run for the past few weeks.  Eugene uses lots of words to say he can’t open the gate, but eventually he lets them in.  Heath asks if Deanna put Eugene on gate duty, but Eugene (again) gives him a long story about filling in for Holly, who needed a break.  Scott and Annie get out of the car and ask how many are with their group.  Eugene first says 13, then he corrects himself.  Annie apologizes, knowing that someone died.  Heath asks if anything happened while they were gone.  Eugene says they had a meeting the night before, and then he suggests that Heath speak directly with Deanna.  As Heath walks away, Eugene tells him that he “fully respects his hair game.”  (Eugene Hair Zing #2)

Rick tells Morgan the brief history of the wall and the people of Alexandria, and how they never had to deal with anything that happened.  They’ve been living behind the wall in safety and don’t know how to protect themselves.  When he refers to Reg in the past tense, Rick refers back to having to kill Pete.  They come across Gabriel and Toby digging graves.  Gabriel says he wants to help.  It’s clear that he is sincere about this, but it’s still hard to trust him.  Rick says they won’t be burying Pete inside the town’s walls.  Deanna walks up and agrees with Rick, saying that they should dump the body out on the West side where they don’t make many runs. “Let the trees have him.”  Ron overhears this plan about his father’s body.

Morgan and Rick load Pete into the trunk.  Rick says he shot Pete because he killed Reg.  Morgan reminds him that they have a cell, but Rick says it isn’t for killers.  Morgan reminds Rick again that they’re both killers.  Rick needs to remember that.

Present:  Rick and his gang run to the road.  Glenn is on the radio saying that they’ll meet at yellow.  Michonne, Rick and Morgan look at the wall of trucks they have erected.  Michonne is glad it will hold, given where they’re standing.  Morgan suddenly asks Michonne if she took one of his protein bars.  He swears he had one more peanut butter one.  She sighs.  That’s how it always is, she tells him.

Flashback:  Ron is under the bridge as Rick and Morgan pass over it.  Morgan gets out with two shovels and he tells Rick that leaving Pete isn’t who Rick is.  He starts digging, but Rick hears something.  They go walking until they come to the edge of a cliff, and in the distance thousands of Walkers are gathered in the ravine.  Suddenly Ron comes running through the woods, being chased by Walkers.  Rick tackles him and shoots a Walker while Morgan kills the others, sending them over the edge.

Present:  Daryl leads a procession of Walkers along the road.  They follow slowly behind him, determined to catch him.  He looks bored.  Sasha and Abraham pull out in front of him and the parade continues.

Flashback: Rick, Morgan and Ron look at the Walkers.  Rick asks why Ron followed them.  He says he wanted to know where his father is buried.  Morgan looks at the ravine and sees Walkers plunging into the ravine, following each other blindly.  Rick figures that this is why the town was spared.  The Walkers never made it that far.  Ron walks away, and Rick grabs him and says that he will teach him how to survive, but he won’t be okay on his own.  They walk back to the car and pass Pete’s body.  Rick grabs a shovel and starts digging, with Ron looking on.  Morgan takes the other shovel and starts helping.

Present:  Glenn and Nicholas are in place. Heath is with them.  The Walkers inside the building are making too much noise and might distract the herd, so Rick says to kill them.  Glenn tells Nicholas to open the door and let them out slowly.  Nicholas tells Heath that he and Aidan didn’t know what they were doing but they have to trust Glenn. They get ready as Rick and Daryl lead the herd their way.  Nicholas opens the door…but there is a wall there.  Someone blocked it already.

Flashback:  Heath recounts the tale of finding a camp that had been eaten.  Rick has told the group assembled about what they found, and now the pieces fall into place.  The Walkers have been pulled away from Alexandria by the sound of the Walkers in that building.  Carol says it sounds scary, but it must be done.  The exit from the ravine is going to fail, and soon.  Rick assigns roles.  Sasha and Abraham volunteer to help Daryl lead the Walkers.  Glenn tells Maggie to watch Deanna.  Rick asks for more volunteers amid concern that they shouldn’t be following Rick.  But it’s clear that they are going to do this.  Rick just needs to give the people of Alexandria a lesson in how to get shit done.

Present: Daryl and Sasha pull up to the fence.  Rick and Co. start firing their guns to make more noise.  This is it.

Flashback:  Carter demands that Rick explain everything to them, and so he does.  The plan is to lead the Walkers away from the town and round them up.  Rick will use trucks and cars to lead them where they need to go.  Eugene says they have plates at the construction site.  Carter still argues that if they fail, the Walkers will go right into Alexandria.  Deanna pleads with him.  He was a worker on the original wall.   With his help, the temporary fence will hold.

Present:  And it works.  As Daryl and Sasha make the turn, the gunfire seems to hold their attention.  Several Walkers run into the wall and are quickly trampled.  But it works.  The herd moves in the desired direction down Redding Road.

Flashback:  The townspeople work to construct the wall.  Rick works but has an eye on everyone else.  Daryl comes up and says that part of taking care of themselves involves going out to find more people.  “Your call, though,” he says.  Carol brings water to Rick.  He tells Carol to stay back and continue to get a feel for the townspeople.  While Deanna may be in charge, Rick is really the leader.

Present:  Glenn plans to draw the Walkers out.  He tells Nicholas to call Rick if there is trouble.  It’s interesting that Glenn will fight with Heath, but he still doesn’t trust Nicholas.

Flashback:  Maggie approaches Tara, who is watching Nicholas.  She knows he was the reason Noah died.  Maggie tells her what really happened in the woods between Glenn and Nicholas, and that Glenn left it up to her whether or not they should tell people.  Nicholas would be exiled.  Tara can’t believe that Nicholas is walking around free.  Maggie says that she was thinking of how Tara was on the other side on Maggie’s worst day, when her father was killed, and now Tara is incredibly important.  Things get better, she says.  They hug it out.

Present:  Glenn breaks the glass and they’re quickly overcome by the Walkers.  Nicholas rushes in and saves Glenn, and together the trio clears the area.  They have bonded.

Flashback:  Carol brings water to Morgan.  He asks if she was a cop, too, because she’s always watching over Rick and she’s ready to handle things.  She says that he’s very sweet.

Present:  Abraham notices that several Walkers are taking a “constitutional” so he jumps out and gets the herd back in line.  When he returns to the car, he’s splattered with blood and he starts to tell Sasha about how he got splattered when Reg and Pete died.  Now he’s just living, just like Sasha.

Flashback:  Rick approaches Deanna on the worksite and tells her he’s sorry about Reg.  Reg was a good man.  She asks what else they need.  She wants Rick to tell her.  He says that the town needs weapons, and they need to know how to use them.  Case in point, a group of Walkers approaches the site and Carter panics.  Rick tells his people to stand down so the townsfolk can give it a shot.  They panic, and Morgan jumps into action.  Rick’s team moves in and takes the Walkers down quickly.  Morgan reminds Rick that he doesn’t take chances anymore.  This just serves to emphasize Rick’s point to Deanna.

Flashback:  Eugene walks in and overhears Carter talking to a group of people in the storage room.  Spencer is there and Carter says they need to take out Rick before more of them die.  He’s not talking about talking to Deanna.  He’s talking about killing Rick.  At that moment, lovable Eugene drops a jar and the noise alerts the group to his presence.  Carter approaches Eugene, gun drawn, and Eugene falls back against the wall.  Carter knows that Eugene heard them, so now he has to die.  In a monumental coincidence, Rick, Daryl and Morgan enter the room.  They want to know what’s going on.  Carter says he’s taking the town back from Rick.  The others say they were only listening to him, but they don’t agree with him.  Rick says Carter should have had a lookout.   Rick easily takes Carter’s gun away and says that he isn’t giving up the town.  He offers Carter the choice of making things work, which seems to baffle Carter.

Present:  The Walkers continue their march.  Glenn and Co. meet up with Rick and Co. in the woods.  Carter sees the Walkers march on, and he shakes Rick’s hand now that he sees that it worked.  They’re all a team now, but the work isn’t done yet.  Carter offers to watch the front of the line, but he quickly gets nabbed by a Walker and is bitten, so his cries lead the herd off track.  Rick tells Toby’s group to fire their guns to get them back in line.

Flashback:  Morgan polishes his wood stick and Rick walks out on the porch with Judith.  He is borrowing Rick’s porch because his house doesn’t have one.  Rick tosses him the key and tells him that he’d like Morgan to stay with them.  Michonne listens in with a smile.  Rick offers Judith to Morgan, who gladly accepts the baby girl.  He tells Rick that seeing him back down from killing Carter is the man Morgan knows he is.  Rick admits he wanted to kill him to make things easier, so he doesn’t screw up anything in the future.  But he knew he didn’t have to kill him.  However, Carter doesn’t get how things are now, and he will die anyway.

Present:  Rick kills the Walker who killed Carter, and he tries to keep Carter quiet.  There’s nothing they can do for him, so Rick tries to keep him quiet, but all he can do is stab Carter in the back of the neck.  The gunfire is working, and Rick reports that Carter is dead.  He asks Morgan to return to the others to let them know.  Morgan knows they didn’t have a choice, but you can see the pain in his eyes.  The Walkers march on.

Flashback:  Rick finds Jesse in the storage area.  He’s looking for flares and she hands them over.  Ron has told her what happened out in the woods and she tells Rick that he can’t talk to Ron.  Ron isn’t listening.  She has already talked to Rosita, who is going to teach them how to fight.  She wants to fight, but he can’t teach them.

Present:  Michonne and Rick survey the herd.

Flashback:  The day before the big plan goes into action, Abraham asks Sasha if she’s doing this because she wants to die.  “No,” she replies.

Present:  Daryl and Sasha continue to lead the group.

Flashback:  Rick says that the service station needs to be cleared before the next day.  Glenn pulls Nicholas aside and tells him that he will personally train him, but not now, not yet.  Nicholas thanks him.

Present:  Glenn and Co. move through the woods together as a team.

The Walkers move on.  A horn sounds in the distance.  It breaks the back half of the herd away toward Alexandria.  Rick and Co. take off to make it stop.  Someone has ambushed their plan.

As the screen fades to black, we hear the horn blaring.  Who the hell is honking the horn??

Season 6 is off and running, folks!  What did you think?