Despite the fact that the season finale was nothing but build up and hype leading in to a basic goose egg of a final scene, season six of “The Walking Dead” was pretty damn great. What with Rick and co. earning their place at Alexandria, they finally cemented their spots as important pieces of the town and made it their business to help the towns folks master surviving the world of the walking dead. Despite some of Rick’s harsh methods, he aims high to bring Alexandria to new areas of development, which include a humongous plot to derail a massive onslaught of the dead from leaking out of a local quarry. Though the plan fails thanks to an attack by the vicious clan of the wolves, Rick and co. do their best to bounce back from the botched mission, and everyone pretty much evolve, learning something new and defining about themselves.
Abraham realizes he loves Sasha, Sasha comes to grips with the loss of Tyrese, Eugene becomes a surefire survivor and warrior, and Rick finds out that there are so many more menaces out in the wildnerness that want to take the town away from them. While the Wolves are hellbent on chaos and destruction, Rick faces down the larger menace of The Saviors, a vicious and deadly biker gang that work for a much more sinister mastermind named Negan. Season Six included a lot of evolution of characters, endless plot twists, and some genuinely excellent special effects work from Gregory Nicotero’s company. The craftwork behind the walkers and assorted grue gets better and better every year, and the series wisely aims higher for a wider scope and more ambitious storylines, all the while adjusting their pitfalls from previous seasons time and time again.
With the series adapting more storylines from the comics, “The Walking Dead” amps up the tension and terror, and seems to finally be embracing the general nihilism Robert Kirkman has practiced for over ten years. While the finale was genuinely gimmicky, manipulative nonsense, season six was a fantastic continuation of the saga of Rick Grimes and his fellow survivors as they take on a world that’s even more heinous than the one before the walking dead rose.
With a typical season of “The Walking Dead” comes some truly shocking moments, and here are ten of the best for season six. What were some that stunned you, shocked you, or left you breathless?
10. The Death of Dr. Denise
Episode: Twice as Far
It’s a shame seeing Dr. Denise be taken down during combat, but her death is one of the most infamous from the comics. The arrow, initially meant for Abraham in the original comic series, is a rude awakening for Daryl and Rosita, both of whom aren’t quite happy with their current situation at Alexandria. After Denise recruits them to help her bring meds back to Alexandria, she inspires them with a raucous speech about their survival capabilities and is finished off with an arrow through her eye, which sadly finishes off the good doctor. Only strengthening Daryl’s sheer hatred toward Dwight, who fired the first arrow, the battle is fierce and violent, and Dwight cements his place as a slimy snail working for the Saviors.
9. All Your Stuff are Belong to Negan
Episode: Start to Finish
With the mid-season finale, the series writers left us on a wing and a prayer as Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham found themselves on the tail end of major shakedown. Confronted by a group of armed bikers, they’re held at gun point, and told to fork over every bit of supplies and resources they have from their fire arms, to spare napkins that they may have found. With no other option but to comply, they get their first mention of the name “Negan,” and realize that they’re playing a whole new ball game, and staring down a brand new enemy, all of whom are larger and much more organized than the Wolves ever hope to be.
8. Rick Defends the Crown
Episode: First Time Again
With Rick basically taking over Alexandria with the permission of Deanna, he created something of an underbelly of an uprising from other Alexandria residents, all of whom were convinced Rick would lead them down a dangerous and violent path. What with Rick executing Jessie’s abusive husband, and laying down some dangerous training techniques, some of the residents in town have enough and are led by local townee Carter, who decides to bring together some neighbors to consider taking Rick down once and for all. Their secret summit is interrupted by Eugene who accidentally listens in on their pact, and as Carter signals he’s about to murder poor Eugene, Rick, Daryl, and Morgan interrupt and decide to show Carter who is boss once and for all. With a vicious rebuttal and insistence that they’ll take Alexandria from Rick’s group over his cold dead hands, Rick shows everyone that he’s the boss, and they’d be wise to fall in line.
7. Dwight Shoots Daryl
The best element that the show has invented so far is the bitter rivalry between Negan henchman Dwight and Daryl. Despite his best instincts, Daryl went out of his way to help Dwight and his people escape the Saviors, only for Dwight to turn around and betray him. Now that Dwiht is back in full force, Daryl is even angrier and hell bent on settling a score with the now scarred soldier for Negan and his Saviors. Sadly, Dwight has had the upper hand ever since his return, murdering his friends, and even taking his hostage. in one of the most gut wrenching moments of the series, Dwight shoots Daryl in cold blood, and although Daryl survives, the shot to his shoulder may indicate it’ll be a while before he can wield his trademark crossbow. Damn that Dwight.
6. Glenn’s “Death”
Episode: Thank You
One of the three by cliffhangers of the season that pissed people off was especially gripping. Sure we all knew Glenn didn’t die, since really if there’s no body they’re not dead, but seeing Glenn try his best to help Nicholas only for him to check out and commit suicide was gut wrenching. Let’s not forget that he proved once again how much dead weight he’s always been by taking Glenn down with him and setting him up to be ripped apart by the dead. Thank goodness for the dumpster hiding him long enough to escape. Who says Glenn hasn’t learned much from his old pal Rick? It’s a good thing he eventually finds Enid, who comes to lend him a hand.
5. Enter Jesus
Episode: The Next World
Jesus is one of the most enigmatic characters of the comic book series, and it’s a lot of fun seeing him burst on to the show, finally. Granted his entrance is under different circumstances, but we get a real sense of what kind of warrior he is, from thinking on his toes, his hand to hand combat abilities, and his penchant for slipping out of tight situations. Jesus here is a man who opens up a whole new world for Rick grimes and the people of Alexandria and his introduction is filled with hilarious tidbits, including his conning Rick and Daryl, engaging them in a foot chase, and finding a way in to Alexandria by playing Possum after Daryl cold cocks him. It’s nice to see Jesus working with Rick and co. and helping them comprehend the danger of Negan and the Saviors, and here’s hoping the series’ writers flesh him out as brilliantly as the comic books did. I’m just not sure why they changed his name from Paul Rovia to Paul Munroe. That’s just unusual.
4. Rick and Michonne Get Together
Episode: The Next World
It’s been a long time coming and fans have wanted it since season three. Rick and Michonne finally get together after investing a lot of time in their own emotionally exhausting exploits and find comfort in one another. In the comics once Jessie dies, Rick finds comfort in Andrea, but since the show royally botched her, the next obvious alternative was Michonne, and thanks to Danai Guerira and Andrew Lincoln’s palpable chemistry, their romance that unfolds before our eyes just seems like the most natural and exciting development of the series,` yet.
3. Carl Loses an Eye
Episode: No Way Out
The series has avoided a lot of the bigger moments from the comics including Rick losing his hand to the governor, and Michonne being brutally gang raped during the prison arc. Thankfully with the series veering closer to the comics, we were able to witness the very shocking turn of events for Carl as Jessie’s son’s attempt to execute Carl during the walker carnage ends with Michonne impaling him on her katana. Sadly, his stray shot takes Carl’s eye out, giving him his now trademark look of sporting one eye, and his sheriff’s hat. Negan might regret flicking his hat in the finale. Just saying.
2. It Takes a Village
Episode: No Way Out
After losing Jessie and her sons, Rick finally takes it upon himself to make a final stand against the rising tide of the walking dead consuming Alexandria. For better and for worse, Rick believes in Alexandria and after bringing a wounded Carl to safety, he confronts the tide of the dead with his hatchet. Rick, once again being a source of inspiration for his people, inspires everyone in town to come out of hiding and tackle the onslaught of the dead. The massive combination of forces is mind blowing as, for the first time ever, everyone puts aside their differences for the greater good. Father Gabriel finally puts aside his loose morals, Eugene builds up a massive set of balls, and even Carol and Morgan call a truce to help Rick re-claim Alexandria for everyone and convey Deanna’s ideals for a better future as a community. With excellent editing and a brilliant montage, we watch as the entire group come together as a unit to strike down every shambling monster leaking in to their town and show that Deanna’s vision is worth a damn.
1. Carol Peletier, a Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing
It’s clear by now that not only is Carol Peletier willing to do whatever it takes to survive, and will murder just about anyone if it allows her to secure the safety of her friends and loved ones, but Carol is also kind of a brilliant survivalist. Peletier has lasted this long because she knows how to adapt to the world around her and keeps thinking of new manuevers and skills that allow her to see another day and keep rising above the tide of the walking dead. No one thought she could get any cooler than rescuing Rick Grimes and her friends from the cannibals of Terminus in season five, but she tops herself in the beginning of season six. After Alexandria is invaded by the psychotic and merciless cult of raiders known as The Wolves, Carol takes it upon herself to take charge.
Knowing they are only armed with hand held weapons, Carol makes a bee line for the armory knowing that that’s the only upper hand Alexandria has, and if they get ahold of guns, it’s all over. While everyone is fighting the wolves, and trying to hide, Carol murders one of the key members of the Wolf pack, covers her face and etches the group’s trademark W on her forehead with blood. Mistaking her for one of their own, Carol is able to run around in plain sight, and execute many of the unsuspecting members, engaging in an impressive feat of camouflage that ends up being yet another source of ingenuity and clever strategy from a woman who can think on her feet better than even Rick Grimes. By donning the camouflage, Carol is able to shrink the numbers of the Wolves drastically, and protects the armory for the town. Without Carol, the town may have had a much harder time keeping their home in tact.