The Walking Dead returns with a blast on Valentine’s Day, as Daryl bombs his would-be carjackers with a bazooka.

In the Season 6 Mid Season Premiere, walkers have overrun Alexandria, Rick’s Gang plans a suicide run to fetch their vehicles and Father Gabriel begins babysitting duty. Carol, Rosita, Anna and Eugene are surrounded in a house with an injured Morgan. Glenn and Enid hunt for an answer to save Maggie and the lone Wolf tries to escape with his hostage, Dr. Denise.

Amid the walker herd, Sam freaks out (and bites the dust). Jessie loses it, along with an arm (and another one gone). Ron gets the business end of the blade and Carl loses an eye (awesome battle damage!). How he survived the gun’s blast is beyond me, as the bullet would not have stopped at his eye socket. Carol kills The Wolf, Denise gets her groove back and Rick wants revenge. In a solidarity stand, Morgan, Eugene and Gabriel overcome their fears, Glenn escapes death once more, this time courtesy of magic machine gun bullets, another bazooka blast burns up a nearby pond and the undead threat is temporarily stopped.

Negan’s still out there, somewhere, along with the Wolves. No new details on them, so far. Carl shows signs of life (hopefully his character will grow a bit meaner with the loss of an eye). Fear and courage are big-time themes of this episode and a whole family finally gets written out of the show (Jessie, Ron and Sam succumb to the undead, along with the group’s already-perished patriarch).

Not much (if any) exposition takes place here… there’s so much action, many threads of storyline get tightly wound into a knot, in this nearly perfect episode. If only the rest of the season can withhold this taut environment (which is unlikely, but possible). We’re eagerly awaiting to find out what happens next…

Notable Quotes:
– “I should’ve killed you.”
– “You don’t need to be afraid.”
– “This is a story people are gonna tell.”
– “If you have to eat shit, best not to nibble.”

Review: 4.75/5