The second part of TWD season 6 has so far been quite shocking--and it's only been two episodes.
The mid-season premiere was full of jaw-dropping moments from start to finish. From Daryl's fiery annihilation of the Negan biker gang to the reclaim of Alexandria. It totally went beyond my expectations since I wasn't too excited after watching the first part of the season, which was composed of two overly drawn out plots with Glenn's fake death and Operation Giant Walker Mob. And then the end of last episode's escape from walker-ridden Alexandria brought back something we've already seen and I didn't understand how they were going to make it original.
We last saw Rick, Michonne, Gabriel, Carl, Jessie, and her two sons trying to escape from the walkers by using the "cover ourselves in their guts so they can't sense us" method. Back in Season 1, this method worked out pretty well and the only obstacle seemed to be rain, but it still worked out so I had plenty of reason to think that the weather could be the worse thing that could go wrong the second time around. Well boy, was I wrong.
The whole Anderson family was slayed by walkers and then Carl lost his eye after being shot by Ron who was then killed by Michonne. It was like a chain reaction of loss after loss and it all began with little Sam. I was both shocked and wasn't shocked at his horrific death because he was last seen pleading for his mom as they headed out into the house into walker territory, and I also realized that a child had yet to die on the show on screen. But there is a first time for everything.
I was surprised that the writers pulled this move, but I guess it was going to happen eventually and reminds us that no one is safe in the apocalypse. I feel bad for Sam the most because of his innocence in the whole thing and I dislike Carol even more because it was her messed up words that made Sam freeze. But you could also argue that Carol is none to blame and that Sam just needed to be braver or just shut up and go with Gabriel and Judith so I guess you can pan it both ways.
But anyway, it was not only the content of the scene that was terrifying, but also the way it was filmed. It was dark and eerie and everything seemed slowed down like when Sam and Jessie were attacked. The visuals did not match up with the audio exactly which added to the slow motion effect. This was probably done to mimic what these chilling moments would be like from the characters' perspectives, which some of us can relate to if we've ever been in a car accident--everything happening so fast, but seeming so slow at the same time. A total nightmare.
Despite major losses, the episode ended on a good note. The Alexandrians were able to defeat the walkers, much to the help of Daryl and his continued pyro-skills, and it is shown that Carl is still alive. Also, we finally get to witness a different Rick--one who is hopeful and even happy for the future, which brings us to Episode 2.
"The New World" was the complete of opposite of its predecessor. The light-hearted tone of the episode was refreshing and much needed. TWD has been slacking on the comic relief lately with all that had been going on last time and I think fans really needed an episode like this to remind us that sometimes life can be not normal per se, but bearable in the zombie apocalypse.
It has been 2 months since the walkers marched (or better, tumbled? limped?) onto Alexandria and things have been getting back to normal. The cheery vibe in Rick, who has been coping pretty well after Jessie's death, was illustrated in funny moments with Michonne and Carl, now in recovery, and with Daryl who pleaded for him to stop playing music on their supply-run trips. Speaking of which, getting more supplies didn't turn out so great for our two favorite tough guys not because of an encounter with a group of walkers, but one very cunning survivor. We were introduced to the character of Jesus, who yes, resembles the biblical figure. No matter how hard Rick and Daryl tried to get rid of him, they just couldn't which tells me he is here to stay for a while. It was pretty entertaining watching this goose chase, but I was also like where is this going right now. But I have a feeling Jesus will prove to be more than just a supply-stealer and he might even turn out to be a good addition for the survivors with his artfulness coming in handy. (Unless he happens to somehow have a connection to Negan who is yet to be shown.)
There is possibly the beginning of a new relationship between Jesus and the residents of Alexandria and at the end of the episode we witnessed the beginnings of another relationship, between Rick and Michonne. I was really happy about this since I have been a low-key Richonne shipper since basically Season 3. But I never thought it would actually happen! It took me a little off-guard because I was expecting a little bit more build-up, but I think it demonstrates those times when two people just know it's right. Rick and Michonne have had so much chemistry ever since they first met and I am glad they chose each other. I hope it lasts and let's please hope that Michonne does not meet the same fate as Rick's other's lovers. It was about time that TWD had some romance and I think this moment really made the episode.
Now let's see what the next episode has in store!
Rating: 5/5 and 4/5