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?