The Walking Thread

[Content Note: Spoilers are lurching around undeadly herein. Descriptions of violence.]

screen cap from The Walking Dead in which I've blurred out all the mayhem onscreen except for one circle of focus on Rick Grimes' tiny, horrified face
This is the very moment that Rick Grimes' brain broke.

Sunday night was The Walking Dead's season six mid-season premiere (sure), and if the garbage writers of this garbage show had tried to write an episode that encapsulated everything I hate about it, they could not have done a better job!

The episode picks up right where we left off—mid-chaos, as the horde of pit zombies descends on Aarontown. We start with Daryl, Sasha, and Sgt. Redbull, still out on the road trying to execute Optimus Grimes' plan, three plans ago, and create a diversion to draw the zombies away from Aarontown.

They're stopped by a group of greasy dudes on motorcycles, and Head Greaseball tells them that all their guns are belong to Negan now. (Who is Negan? Obviously the next Big Bad, because this show is a loop of the same story arc over and over.) Head Greaseball orders a Greaseball Minion to take Daryl to the truck and search it top to bottom, then points the stolen handguns at Sasha and Sgt. Redbull. He says he'll kill them, then says he won't, then says he will, and then he and the rest of the Greaseball Herd explode into a million pieces. Cut to Daryl holding a rocket launcher on his shoulder.

Pithy quips as Head Greaseball's smoking melon rolls around in the street. This fucking show.

Back at Aarontown, Optimus Prime leads the guts-slathered gang comprised of Tig Nocarl, Blaura Blinney, Ron Blinney, the Littlest Blinney, Michonne, Gabriel, and Judith through the legions of zombies. His first line in the episode is: "All right, new plan." Which is PERFECT, because Optimus Grimes' plans are always TERRIFIC.

Optimus Grimes gives Judith to Gabriel to keep safe, which is further evidence of his terrible decision-making, because everything we know about Gabriel up to this point suggests he will throw that baby at a zombie to save himself first chance he gets.

Elsewhere, Tara and Rosita Espinoza hatch a plan to save Doctor Zoey, who's still in the clutches of the evil W-Head. Glenn gives Enid some more cool lectures, and they hatch a plan to save Maggie. Carol and Morgan snipe at each other about who should have been killed when, and they hatch a plan to do something who cares.

Night falls. Plans are hatching all over the place. The Littlest Blinney recalls Carol's scare story about zombies and starts freaking out and refuses to keep moving. And, inexplicably, INSTEAD OF PICKING UP THIS SMALL CHILD AND CARRYING HIM, Blaura Blinney and the others start TALKING OUT LOUD and telling him they have to go. He starts whining and is immediately attacked and killed by zombies. This fucking show.

His mom starts screaming, and then she is immediately attacked and killed by zombies. This fucking show. Tig Nocarl screams for help, because his hand is clutched in her dead hand, and so Optimus Grimes cuts her hand off. This fucking show.

Ron Blinney then freaks out and points a gun at Optimus Grimes, blaming him for the deaths of his entire family. (Fair.) Michonne katanas him just as he shoots. This fucking show. The bullet misses Optimus Grimes, but hits Tig Nocarl squarely in the eyeball. This fucking show. Optimus Grimes scoops up Tig Nocarl's limp body LIKE HE SHOULD HAVE DONE WITH THE LITTLEST BLINNEY AND AVOIDED ALL THIS BULLSHIT and makes a run for the infirmary, as Michonne clears their path with her katana of no mercy.


Meanwhile, the W-Head gets himself and Doctor Zoey into a heap o' trouble trying to make his escape, and he gets bit. She promises him if he gets her to the infirmary, she'll save his life. They're almost there when Carol shoots him. Oh well!

Elsewhere, Glenn and Enid are busily saving Maggie when Glenn gets into a heap o' trouble trying to distract the zombies. LUCKILY, Daryl, Sasha, and Sgt. Redbull return just in time to save Glenn. PHEW!

Doctor Zoey arrives at the infirmary just in time to prep to save Tig Nocarl. PHEW! Everyone's showing up right on time tonight! PHEW PHEW PHEW!

Optimus Grimes can't! even! deal! with Tig Nocarl having been shot and maybe dying, so he does THE ONLY THING A MAN CAN DO, and runs out into the morass of zombies and starts hacking all of them like he's going to single-handedly destroy the entire horde.

All the other grown-ups peer out windows and see Optimus Grimes and run outside, not to pull him back indoors from his ridiculous suicide mission, BUT TO JOIN HIM. Gabriel gives a cool speech about how they've all been praying to god to save their town, and god has decided to save their town by giving them courage. Even Doctor Mulletsworth is suddenly brave!

Now, over the course of the previous nine thousand five-and-a-half seasons, we have seen people overrun by small clusters of zombies. Sometimes even one determined rogue zombie! But all of a sudden, this ragtag group of zombie slayers is somehow capable of destroying the entire onslaught of pit zombies, without a single person succumbing.


And if that rainbow-farting unicorn of a resolution wasn't bad enough, Daryl lights a big fire on the lake (presumably the place from which they draw their drinking water? cool) and a bunch of the zombies walk straight into it and incinerate themselves. Because, much like the zombie ponchos, the "distract and kill them with fire" scenario returns sporadically as needed.

The next morning, the streets of Aarontown are littered with zombie corpses and everyone is safe. Except Tig Nocarl, who is convalescing in an infirmary bed, while Optimus Grimes keeps vigil. He has a bandage over one eye, and now I guess I'mma have to see this kid wearing a goddamn hat AND an eyepatch, right? GOOD GRIEF.

Optimus Grimes holds Tig Nocarl's hand and gives a terrific speech about how he underestimated the Aarontownians and now he realized he was wrong and Deanna was right and everything is going to be perfect because he sees they can work together and they will rebuild and blah blah fart. Tig Nocarl squeezes his hand. Aww.

Meanwhile, Negan lurks in the distance. Because this fucking show.

Next week: More of this garbage.

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