Friday, October 16, 2015

Million Man Zombie March Puts a Crimp in Rick's Style

“First Time Again”: Or, someone took my peanut butter protein bar!

Welcome back to The Walking Dead, Season 6! Wow, it seemed like just yesterday that Rick had to put down the abusive family practitioner and the Mayor of the beautiful gated community known as Alexandria lost her husband in the ensuing melee…oh, wait, that WAS yesterday. Season six happens to conveniently pick up right where we left off. I believe I had stopped blogging before the bloody finale, partly out of ennui, partly because I felt that my TWD obsession cannot compete with all the other arresting images and text that the Internets have to offer. However, I was wrong; like me, YOU, my devoted readers, crave more. More of the undead, that is, and this welcome back episode promises to deliver lots and lots and lots of zombies.

The ep opens with Rick et al (Morgan is here! Yay!) trying to herd a million zombies from a quarry to an unknown location. Abraham a.k.a. the Ginger Wonder is here, as well as the capable Michonne armed with her katana sword. And of course don’t forget Daryl who takes them down with a trusty bow and arrow. It’s like being reunited with old friends, with all the important (and surviving) players working together towards a common goal.

Back to the recent past, and away from the quarry scene, which is clearly set in the near future. The annoying Father Gabriel is still alive (drat). The Ginge drags a dead body, which I believe is the violent family doctor; too bad the only physician in town is no more. Tara has awoken from her coma, and Maggie and Glenn are together again. Eugene is genuinely happy to see that Tara is okay. Recall that he redeemed himself last season by proving his mettle. I just realized that so far this ep is in black and white.

The Ginge drowns his sorrows in hard liquor. Bear with me as I struggle to recall names. Back to color! And the gang is racing between parked cars, with Daryl zooming along leading the dead on his motorcycle.

Back in B&W land, Rick’s face is obscured by a dozen butterfly band-aids, which pretty much passes for advanced health care in Alexandria. Not sure I appreciate the toggling back and forth between the present and the color future featuring the tense herding scene.

Morgan and Rick share a moment. Morgan shows off his mad stylin skills whilst brandishing a broomstick. Rick is quietly appreciative. Eugene welcomes a young black man with glasses who says he and his group just returned from a two-week run, which means he missed all the drama and power struggles. A pert brunette and a tall, handsome bald black man emerge from the truck (not to be confused with the duplicitous Fr. Gabriel).

Rick explains to Morgan how the gated community works. The big wall that the Mayor’s husband Reg built? Keeps out walkers. Only Reg will be buried within the compound, Rick sez, and Mayor Deanna agrees. Take the dead killer doc far away, she confirms. The dead dr’s teenage son overhears all. Is there a revenge plot in the making?
Still debating what to do with the dead, abusive doctor: to bury, or not to bury? Rick interrupts Morgan because he hears a distant sound, a faint rumbling. Oh, it’s just a bazillion walkers in a cavernous quarry!  And teenaged son who followed M & R is about to get eaten by more walkers above the quarry when the dynamic duo intervene at the last moment to save him.

The million man zombie march is in full swing, with the parade being led by the enigmatic Daryl as he slowly edges his way down the road.

It would appear that the quarry walkers are not content to stay put.  Would you believe that Ron is not receptive to the man who killed his father? True, dad was a murderous prick who beat his wife and killed Reg, but still.

Glenn and Co find a small building filled with walkers and surrounded by farm equipment, tractors and the like. The black guy with tied-back dreads is helping (why can’t I recall his name??).

Community meeting time back in Alexandria! Guy with funky hair and glasses (see above) is talking. Rick shares his news about the quarry, and how they need to do something about this time bomb now. Even badass Carol, who is still dressed like the Church Lady, is stunned. Mayor Deanna’s edict? Do as Rick sez. Michonne volunteers. Maggie takes Deanna-watching detail because Glenn loves her and wants her alive. Fr. Gabriel volunteers and Rick shuts him down. One doubting man is not so happy with Rick’s violent but calculated reaction to the abusive doctor. Why should we listen to Crazy Ranger Rick? Even the douche guy Nicholas with the mini fro from last season who caused Noah’s death by revolving door is in! The doubter wants to hear the whole plan one…more…dang…time, because these housing association meetings aren’t boring enough, we have to spend one more freakin hour in Deanna’s living room as Rick rehashes his strategy. Zzzzz.

Rick pulls out his trusty map to make his point to the doubter. We’re going to draw the walkers away from the quarry and away from Alexandria. Turns out the doubter helped to build the actual walls that keep Alexandria safe, so he could contribute his unique knowledge…or he could sabotage the entire operation, which of course would lead to his probable demise as well. The zombies bounce off the steel walls in varying states of decay and freshness. Actually they all look pretty ripe to me. So far, so good.

Back in B&W, Rick takes a gander at the abuser’s wife, with whom he shared a kiss a while back. She is now looking all sweaty and inviting. Hello there! No go; she is still pissed. As everyone digs for turnips (well, that’s what it looks like), Carol reassures Rick that he’s in charge. Tara and Maggie discuss Douchy Nicholas, the one who lured Glenn to the woods to kill him. Tara is shocked he’s still around, but Maggie is much more pragmatic. Nicholas can change, he’ll come around. Awww, a hug.

Glenn and Co finally stop deliberating and attack the walkers trapped in the building. Nicholas steps up and saves funky hair guy! Perhaps Maggie was right. They are all dead, it seems.

Carol is handing out cups of liquid refreshment to all the toiling turnip diggers. Morgan has Carol’s number. He knows she’s no helpless innocent, and tells her so; Carol is not too comfortable with his astute observation.

Meanwhile, the Ginge opens a can of whoop-ass on walkers in glorious Technicolor, for no other reason than he can. I guess it makes him feel alive. Pete! That’s the abuser’s name. Thanks, Ginge, for sharing that detail of Pete’s brains landing in your ear hair. Sasha is a bit put off by his bravado, but whatev. It’s working for him.

Rick eulogizes Reg to Deanna, ever so briefly. He stresses the need for the colonists to defend themselves, which they have not had to do yet. Rick leaves a few of them to fend for themselves, which Morgan finds a wee bit disturbing. Rick definitely has a sink or swim attitude when it comes to survival, whereas Morgan prefers a more instructive approach.

Eugene searches for a snack. He overhears the Doubter plotting against Rick. Oops. Eugene accidentally backs into the shelf and causes quite a ruckus. The doubter aims a gun at Eugene. Rick walks in. Doubter keeps the gun trained on Eugene, and Rick says there is no way you are going to overpower the badasses that are Carol, Michonne, Daryl, et al, and the amazing me—Rick!—of course. How about trying to survive, Rick suggests, instead of wallowing in your own douchebaggery?

The herding plan seems to be working. Rick has it all under control. What could go wrong? The Doubter gets caught, and munched on. He does not go quietly, and his cries draw the walkers off the main road.

Baby Judith in B&W is looking very cute. Rick introduces her to Morgan, whom he invites to stay a while rather than continuing his nomadic lifestyle. Morgan is convinced that Rick is the same good man he met long ago. Rick expresses regret at not killing the Doubter when he had the chance, whom he regards as dead weight.

Dumb Carter the Doubter runs off in the woods by himself, gets snagged by a hungry walker, and bitten—on the face! This actually hurts as much as it sounds, and Carter screams loudly, thereby attracting a horde of noise-loving undead. Wouldn’t you know, Carter the (now screaming) doubter gets his neck snapped by Rick, who did, in all fairness, try to shut him up in a nice way at first. Morgan looks slightly verklempt. He can’t accept all the death, even though he acknowledges that yes, Carter was indeed uber annoying. Rick, on the other hand, blithely returns to the mission at hand. Luckily, gunfire by the others draws the walkers away from Carter’s direction and back onto the road.

Pete’s wife checks the gun inventory. Rick happens upon her. Apologies are in order, or do you pretend that it didn’t happen…? Not sure what the proper etiquette is after you’ve killed the abusive husband of a chick you are digging. Blonde Mom is mad that Rick told Ron off. Rick offers shooting lessons, but the wife politely but firmly draws the line. Rick is being dense here, it must be said! Pete was a son of a bitch, but he was still her husband and the father of her two kids.

Sasha and the Ginge cruise along next to Daryl, leading the hordes. At least the walkers are getting a good workout in. As usual, there is not one above-the-knee skirt in the dead bunch. Prudes.

An unceasing horn sounds off, luring the walkers toward…you guessed it, Alexandria. This does not bode well. Could it be the work of anguished teen Ron? A disaffected homeowner who is tired of being told what color flowerpots she is allowed to display? We shall all have to wait but a few days to find out. If my track record for posting late holds up, episode two will have already aired by the time you read this. No matter!

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