There you have it. Last night wrapped up Season six of The Walking Dead and we’re still reeling from what happened. We have to wait until October now to catch up with the characters but what do we rate the whole of season 6B?
The first episode of Season 6B picked up right where we left off with Alexandria completely overrun by walkers. This episode had everything. Being a long time fan of the show I couldn’t think some things could be topped but this episode was one of, if not, the best episodes of The Walking Dead. Currently with a deserved 9.8 rating on IMDB, this episode saw such things as Jessie and Sam be eaten, Carl lose his eye, Gabriel and Eugene grow a pair and fight, the Alexandrians all grow a pair and fight … the list goes on! One of my favourite aspects of the episode was the Wolf. Carol and Morgan almost killed each other over his existence and whether he should be punished by death or is someone as rotten to the core as him could still find a path of redemption. In this episode he took Denise for his own needs but was seen to defend her and get bit. It seemed that Morgan may have had a point that the Wolf had a purpose. If the Wolf didn’t save Denise she would not have made it to the infirmary and thus help Carl when he lost his eye and save his life which also spurred Rick and the others to go on and fight. Fantastic episode!
The second episode took a breather. Rick and Daryl were on a mission for supplies when they met Jesus. While this may have had a humorous chase (with one fan uploading a video with Benny Hill music!) there were consequences in that the supplies were lost. Capturing Jesus opened new opportunities though. This was a great episode as it didn’t take itself too seriously. It was a nice break from the edge of my seat and a great way to introduce a very important character. We also saw Michonne step into the comic-Andrea shoes that were left open and actually get with Rick! I’m not sure if this had been planned all along or whether it was suddenly decided by The Walking Dead team ut I’m glad it happened. Some of us were shocked, some of us were not but it added new depth to a great character development episode.
Episode three took us to a brand new location. Jesus took the group to The Hilltop where brand new storylines unfolded and The Saviours were exposed for who they really are. Maggie shone in this episode as she became political ambassador for Alexandria and done a great job of it too by securing supplies for Alexandria but at the cost of taking out The Saviours. She even said that it will come at a price herself. Abraham was split between two women and was focused on a lot in the episode making fans speculate that his time was coming to an end. This episode steered the show exactly where it needed to go which was into a new an exciting direction with new characters, new surroundings and new people to fear. Especially Negan …
Episode four saw the gang return from the Hilltop and plot to take out The Saviours. A very swift and brutal attack was carried out that succeeded but ultimately ended in Carol and Maggie being taken hostage. Another excellent episode was delivered here that was packed full of exciting moments. We see Carol realise that she had to let down her happy housewife role as Rick told her that they have to fight. The clouds covered Carols blue skies and made her put her game face back on. She may have been ready to fight but she still showed kindness in stopping Maggie from being involved in the attack which, unfortunately, got them captured. We saw Abraham break up with Rosita much like in the comics but in reverse with a humorous input from Eugene. Gabriel stepped up and took out his first human, as did Glenn. Glenn’s was more potent though as he looked at pictures of the saviours’ victims whose heads had all been bashed in perhaps foreshadowing Negan and Lucille … Finally, another perfect aspect was the action. It kept me on the edge of my seat worried for our heroes. Everybody emerged from The Saviours ‘base’ okay and it was too happy. That’s when the bombshell dropped that Carol and Maggie had been captured leaving us wondering what would happen to them.
The fifth episode reminded us how cunning and resourceful Carol and Maggie really are. From the point they were captured they were planning on how to get out including Carol making certain footprints for Daryl to track their location. From the moment Carol and Maggie were captured I had the quiet comfort of knowing that if you were in that situation that Carol was probably the best person to have with you. However, during this particular episode it was very blurred on whether some things were an act with Carol or whether they were actually how she was feeling. We’ve seen her become eaten up lately about the people she’s killed. While we’re all routing for her and understand that she has to make the tough decisions there’s only so much someone can take, including Carol. Melissa McBride was once again perfect as Carol and delivered another show stopping performance. Another standout character of the episode was Alicia Witt as Paula. For a character who was really only in one episode she kept toe to toe with Carol both brining out the best and worst in each other. Witt made the character grounded as well as unpredictable which can be hard to do.
Episode six of season 6b of The Walking Dead saw Abraham and Eugene go one mission while Rosita, Denise and Daryl went on another. While we were all waiting for the death of either Abraham or Rosita the shock death of Denise occurred in exactly the same way as Abraham in the comics. The group managed to fight off the Saviours for now but at a cost. I liked this episode and found myself surprisingly sad that Denise had been killed. Of the Alexandrian boring surplus that could easily be culled Denise was not a part of that list. I suppose we should have seen her death coming though as a lack of an Alexandrian doctor prompts Glenn and Maggie to move to The Hilltop and the journey there is when Negan appears in the comics so at this point in time Denise needed to die for that to happen. Eugene stepped up in this episode with not only a few humorous lines but also coming up with a quick survival strategy. The final bombshell of the episode was that Carol secretly left Alexandria after struggling with the realisation of having to kill people. She didn’t like what the group had become of killing people without asking questions first which we’ve seen her struggle with the past couple of episodes. It’s ironic as at the first half of season 6 she was fighting Morgan for not killing the wolf.
The penultimate episode of season 6 saw Morgan and Rick go to find Carol and Glenn, Michonne and Rosita go after Daryl. While there were a few sticky situations in the episode the worst was at the end when Dwight had Daryl at gunpoint and blood hit the screen with some not so comforting words that followed. This wasn’t the best of The Walking Dead that we’ve seen. There were some great moments including Carol getting her way out of The Saviours ambush and the exchange of words between Rick and Morgan. However, this episode felt like a bit of a filler. Why would all of those strong fighters just leave Alexandria when an attack is expected? The Saviours have heard/seen what Rick and his group have done so why not just kill them outright? There were a few flaws in this episode, not that it wasn’t enjoyable. I feel that efforts at this point were probably placed in making the finale as impactful as possible …
So the last episode … Need I say much about it? Negan has arrived an the scene was unforgettable. There has been a lot of backlash last night as Negan’s victim was not revealed. The scene ended with Negan bashing a characters skull in but we don’t know who. We know it’s not Rick or Carl due to Negan’s last couple of lines. I can understand why fans of the show have been rebelling. Things like this can leak. When we get a trailer for next season or secret set photos it’s going to reveal who is missing. Not only that but this was Negan’s moment, his big entrance where he takes the life of a character we all love. Fans feel cheated out of this because his entrance was spectacular but we didn’t really get the heart-wrenching moment of seeing a loved character die. On Talking Dead we saw the creators of the show advise us of why they made the ending the way they did. They said that it was the end of that story arc. Starting off with Rick being confident and ending with him being powerless and scared. The next story arc will show who has been killed off and the fallout from that. The death needs to be at the beginning of season 7 of The Walking Dead to set off the story.
Putting all of this aside, no one can deny that the episode itself was breath taking. It literally kept me on the edge of my seat and made me nervous each time they came up against a set of Saviours. I felt nervous seeing what would happen next and as soon as Rick and the gang ended up in that open space and Rick’s face changed into a scared and powerless captive it made me feel the same way. Negan’s entrance was amazing and Jeffrey Dean Morgan was perfect as The Walking Dead’s new villain. No matter what your opinion is on how the episode finished we can all agree that its content made a fantastic episode of the show. Carol and Morgan also had a great storyline. Morgan broke his golden rule in order to save Carol showing these two characters that both of them are right and both of them are wrong. They also found members of The Kingdom which will gives us another good reason to tune in to season 7.
In conclusion, Season 6b of The Walking Dead was a great one. Some of the most, if not the most, iconic scenes of the comics came to life in a respective and beautiful fashion. We saw characters like Jesus and Negan introduced and scenes like Denise’s death and Abraham leave Rosita come to life (albeit with some twists). Some of the episodes, particularly in the first half, were spot on. My only real criticisms of Season 6b was that the second to last episode had some unnecessary situations occur with everyone leaving Alexandria. I would be a liar if I said that I didn’t enjoy the suspense and wonder of a cliff-hanger but I feel like it has been done a little too much in The Walking Dead now. I can really understand why fans have rebelled about the final scene. A tremendous amount of tension was built throughout the episode and then even more with Negan’s pacing. It felt like we should have been rewarded with who has been killed. At least Game of Thrones killed Jon Snow at the end of season 5 and then is going to deal with the fallout at the beginning of season six. I’m still a devoted fan of the show and the storylines have still got me hooked but I’m kind of bored of the cliff-hangers. Like when Daryl was shot at the end of the seventh episode it was a little confusing. It could have just ended with the characters being captured. That was suspense enough. I feel that the cliff-hangers are getting in the way of the great storylines that are happening. All in all I feel that the season was fantastic and a great addition to the overall storyline.
I look forward to The Walking Dead’s return in October 2016 even if it does mean that one of the amazing characters will be killed off. I hope that the creators have learned from the whole cliff-hanger fiasco and give the amazing upcoming storylines with Negan the portrayal that they deserve.