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The Walking Dead season premiere: plot twists and more

Season six of The Walking Dead premiered Oct. 11 and brought an unusual plot twist. This week’s episode rotated between flashbacks and the present day. The episode begins with a flashback of Rick leading a gauntlet-style training exercise with the citizens of Alexandria, using an old quarry that has filled with thousands of walkers over time. Rick ultimately reveals that he wants to draw the enormous herd of zombies away from Alexandria by baiting them with car horns and Daryl’s loud motorcycle.

In the present, as Rick is orchestrating the move to lead away the zombie herd, Glenn and a team of Alexandrian scouts ahead to silence a boarded-up gas station full of noisy zombies to prevent them from distracting the main herd. Back at the herd, Michonne watches nervously as the barricades erected to guide the trail of zombies begin to shake under the weight of thousands of zombies bumping into it.

Flashback: Maggie is trying to convince Tera that Glenn is a good person who makes good decisions, reminding her that he tries to convince all other human wanderers to join them, including Tera herself.

Leading the herd of zombies in the present are Abraham and Sasha in a car, and a very awkward scene unfolds: Abraham, in an attempt to flaunt his machismo, hops out of the car and kills some stray zombies and jumps back in the car. Sasha rolls her eyes as Abraham adjusts the mirror to examine the blood on his face.

In another flashback, Carter (the Alexandrian town engineer) is revealed to have attempted several times to subvert Rick’s authority, once even threatening Eugene’s life. Rick says to Morgan, “Carter isn’t a survivor. I wanted to kill him for what he almost did to Eugene. But I didn’t.” Rick then offers Morgan a chance to hold Edith, which is a massive gesture of trust on Rick’s part.

In the present, Carter branches off from the main task force for some reason only God knows. Carter gets grabbed by a zombie from behind a tree and half his face is bitten off. Rick hears Carter’s screams and stabs him in the head to prevent him from screaming and distracting the walker herd.

The episode ends with a sudden, extremely loud siren heard far in the distance in the direction of Alexandria, with horrified and shocked looks on Rick and Michonne’s faces.

This episode revealed quite a few appetizing developments in TWD’s plot. Firstly, it appears Rick is developing a tyrannical control over the citizens of Alexandria, using fear and violence to cultivate their cooperation. This is ironic from someone who, in previous episodes, claimed to be one of the “good people.” Is Rick becoming a monster himself?

We also get hints at Michonne potentially snatching control from Rick in the future. In Season five Michonne was the one to physically restrain Rick from nearly beating Reg, an abusive husband in Alexandria, to death. Rick also refers to Michonne in ways that suggest she’s powerful or a force to be reckoned with several times throughout season five. The hints are subtle, but they definitely point towards Michonne eventually taking over the leadership role of the cast.

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