Season six of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is, in my opinion, one of the best so far. The show stagnated a little bit in seasons two, three and four, having the notorious issue of containing a fantastic first half and less than exciting second half. However, season six seems to have broken that curse. Gear up for this Sunday’s season finale with a quick recap.
(WARNING: There will be spoilers! This article’s purpose is to give info on the season up to the final episode, after all.)
At the end of season five, Alexandria is confronted by internal struggles and Rick is forced to step in and kill one of its citizens. Rick once again proves that he will not take any chances when it comes to the safety of his people.
Season six opens with gorgeous, stylistic black-and-white flashback sequences of the group trying to find a way to deal with a valley filled with thousands of walkers. When the elaborate plan is under way, in which the group assigns people to literally herd the walkers away from Alexandria some ten miles’ distance, something of course goes wrong. The Wolves, a group of antagonists introduced in the previous season, attempt to take Alexandria by force. The resulting commotion causes a truck horn to blare over the woods and distracts a good portion of the walkers. This begins what is quite possibly the greatest emotional episode in the history of the show so far.
In episode three, titled “Thank You,” Glenn and Nicholas, a resident of Alexandria, find themselves in an abandoned town trying to fend off numerous walkers. They are cornered in an ally way and are forced to climb on top a dumpster to avoid the crowd of clawing and biting undead. Glenn keeps his cool and is looking for a solution to the problem. Nicholas, on the other hand, cannot keep a level head. He begins to panic and takes out his gun.
He points it to his head, stares at Glenn and simply says, “Thank you,” and pulls the trigger.
The shot showing Nicholas’ blood splatter on Glenn was absolutely beautiful, but the reality of what just happens quickly brings us back to reality and as Nicholas falls, Glenn is dragged down with him. We then see Glenn land on the ground, hundreds of walkers over him and then they begin to dig into his body, Glenn screaming in agony.
First, let’s realize that this happened in episode three of the season, which meant that there was still plenty of show to watch. The fan reaction was devastating. I know people who were actually crying with the thought of Glenn dying. He is, of course, one of the most beloved characters in the show. I was shocked, despite the fact that I thought I knew what was going to happen since I read the comics.
Thankfully, it turned out that Glenn didn’t actually die. Nicholas landed on top of him and the guts we saw getting torn out of a body was Nicholas’. Glenn crawled under a second dumpster and waited there for what seems like days until the walker hoard disappeared.
The next episode, titled “Here’s Not Here,” was a flashback concerning Morgan. We learn why it is that he refuses to kill anyone anymore. He learns aikido from a man named Eastman and learns that one can always come back from being a ruthless killer. The change in tone from the previous episode to this one is jarring, but it is welcomed.
We are introduced to Dwight in episode six, the right-hand man of Negan, the current story’s main villain, who will be introduced in the season finale this Sunday.
I will say that I am a bit disappointed with the mid-season finale for this season. Yes, the group is in danger of the hundreds of walkers that have invaded Alexandria. Yes, we are all annoyed at that little kid who can’t keep his mouth shut and is always scared, but ,ultimately, the mid-season finale added nothing to the overall story other than the death of Deanna. However, the teaser at the end of the credits was worth watching.
Abraham, Daryl and Sasha are stopped on the road by a group of menacing looking bikers and the guy in charge looks at our protagonists and says, “Your property now belongs to Negan.”
The excitement I felt at finally being able to see this diabolical character on the screen was too much to contain. Not since The Governor have we had a single character embody fear itself into the souls of those he is after. As a reader of the comics I must stress that this Negan guy is definitely as bad as you can imagine and I have high hopes for his performance this Sunday leading into season 7.
Episode 10 is when we are introduced to Jesus, a character that plays a huge role in the comics. Jesus is part of a community called Hilltop and we come to find out that Negan’s group, The Saviors, are threatening Hilltop for half their resources.
Naturally, Rick and the gang want to trade with Hilltop, so it is in their best interest to get rid of The Saviors. We all know that Rick’s group can handle anything that is thrown their way, but every once in a while we have to doubt whether or not The Saviors can be overcome.
And so we arrive at the end of the season.
Rick assaults a compound where they believe The Saviors make their camp. After killing everyone inside we find out that Carol and Maggie are taken prisoner by some Saviors who were not home at the time. Episode 13 is the story showing the two ladies being held hostage and it is one of the highest acclaimed episodes in the entire season.
Carol and Maggie (who is pregnant) are shaken by their experience and come to the conclusion that they can no longer kill and be part of the brutality of this world.
Episode 14 we see the death of Denise by the hand of Dwight mentioned above and episode 15 shows Daryl going after Dwight in search for revenge. We are left with Dwight cornering Daryl and Rosita. As the screen fades to black, Dwight puts a bullet into Daryl and the screen is splattered with blood.
Now we wait for the season finale. I will not try to spoil what I think will happen, but let’s just say that Negan’s bat, a deadly looking thing wrapped in barbed wire, named Lucille, will be doing some major damage to one of the primary and beloved characters in the show. I do not know who it is, but rest assured that tears will flow this Sunday night.