Question: What’s cooler than Daryl with a crossbow?
Answer: Daryl with a bazooka.
It’s almost a relief that you can’t assign scores to individual scenes, because if you could, the opening of ‘No Way Out’ would have been off the scale. In the best way.
Remember those Negan-heralding guys at the end of the previous episode? Well, quelle surprise: they aren’t nice guys. Indeed, if it wasn’t for Daryl then Sasha and Abraham would be brown bread. Those annoyed at the lack of action from everyone’s favourite redneck in the prior Season 6 episodes will undoubtedly be satisfied.
After the light comic relief of seeing a herd of bastards blown up and set on fire (Abraham even gets a chance to deliver a trademark one-liner to what’s left of his would-be assassin) comes the nitty gritty of The Walking Dead: people in trouble.
You have Glenn and Enid holed up in the church; Gabriel looking after Judith; the Wolf on the run with the captive Denise; Carol, Morgan, Eugene, Tara and Rosita wondering what the hell’s just happened in the wake of Carol and Morgan’s idiotic scrap, and then you have Rick, Carl, Michonne, Jessie, Ron and Sam smeared in zombie guts and attempting to escape.
Think The Walking Dead won’t show a small child being graphically eaten? Well think again. Sam was hardly an established character, but his death still shocks.
And then there’s Jessie. Through her, Rick had a possible path back to something near normality. No more.
And Ron. Okay, so we never really liked him, so his death didn’t exactly leave us heartbroken, especially since he was pointlessly trying to kill Rick, so he only has himself to blame for being turned into a human kebab by Michonne. However, he does have a legacy: namely shooting out one of Carl’s eyes.
Maybe having an eyepatch will make him less irritating? Only time will tell.
After this electrifying first half in which everything goes off, things peter out somewhat. Glenn looks doomed at one point – then suddenly he isn’t. The walker problem gets sorted out in such an obvious way that you wonder how no one thought of it sooner.
Still, a tinder box has been lit, and it’ll be interesting to see how long the fuse runs for. Welcome back The Walking Dead…