Features TV

SEASON PREMIERE REVIEW: The Walking Dead 6×01 “First Time Again”

The Walking Dead is finally back! Now we don’t have to waste our time with Fear the Walking Dead. Yay! Seriously, compared to that lame mini-series, this season premiere was like a God-send. However, it still wasn’t the best I’ve seen out of The Walking Dead. I mean, after last season’s epic premiere, I guess I had extremely high hopes for this one. “First Time Again” was a slightly above-average episode that may have entertained a lot of people, but it left me rather bored at moments. (spoilers ahead!)

The big problem I had with “First Time Again” was the abundance of flashbacks. Like we’ve seen in shows such as Arrow, Once Upon a Time, and Lost, this episode takes place across multiple time periods, with the setting constantly switching back and forth. In the present-day, we see Rick’s group and the Alexandrians trying to corral a horde of walkers to lead them away from the town. In the flashbacks, we learn what happened in the time between Morgan’s arrival to Alexandria and the present day. Although The Walking Dead handles the flashbacks fairly well, I’m still not a fan of them.

The episode was extended to an hour-and-a-half when it really shouldn’t have been. In my opinion, we could’ve spent the first 45 minutes watching Morgan’s arrival and the events of Alexandria after Pete’s execution, and then spent the last 15 minutes in the present. There was an improper balance between the two time periods. I’m praying the rest of the season isn’t filled with flashbacks. Stick to one time period and only use flashbacks sparingly.

A lot happened in those couple of months between Morgan’s arrival and the present day. We learn that Rick and Morgan aren’t exactly warming up to each other. It’s clear that Morgan doesn’t fully trust his old friend, and I think Rick might feel the same way in return. Despite all the tension between the two in the episode, you can still feel the somewhat brotherly bond shared among them. Remember, Morgan was the first living person Rick encountered when he woke up from his coma, and Rick was the first person Morgan encountered after his little breakdown from his son’s death. These two have one of the deepest, most complex relationships on the show right now. We have to keep an eye on them. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that they’re going to butt heads more than once in the future.

Let’s get this out of the way: Rick is not someone to mess with. We’ve seen what he’s capable of, and even the residents of Alexandria should know he’s unstable. Yet they still like to push his boundaries, especially that douche Carter. As we find out, Carter is the most skeptical about the Ricktatorship. After what happened with Pete, everyone is a little intimidated and uncertain of Rick’s mentality. Carter is the only person brave enough (or stupid enough) to put his authority into question. Personally, I just think he’s an idiot. There’s one scene where he almost kills Eugene in order to “reclaim” Alexandria. Rick walks in and puts a stop to it, almost killing Carter himself. But there’s still that little bit of sanity left in our gun-toting protagonist and he ends up relenting. I wouldn’t have blamed him for offing Carter there and then. We’ve seen what happens when you let cowardly psychos run loose. Oh, well. Carter gets his comeuppance in the end.

twd_carter1

Remember Nicholas from the past season? Remember how he was responsible for Noah’s death, and how he almost got Glenn killed? Now it seems like he’s trying to redeem himself. After Glenn went out of his way to save his life in the last season’s finale, Nicholas apparently decided turn his life around and make up for his wrong-doings. In this episode, he has some moments where he kinda proves himself as a changed man, but I still don’t trust him. I don’t think we’ll be seeing him after the mid-season finale…

The final moment of the episode is what really intrigued me. We learned at the beginning of the episode that the reason why there are hardly any walkers around Alexandria is because they’ve all fallen into a huge pit, which is blocked off by a bunch of semi trucks. The trucks are about to give away, so Rick formulates a plan to lure the army of walkers away from Alexandria once they escape the pit. Like a morbid parade, the protagonists manage to usher the walkers down the road and away from civilization, but at the last minute, a loud horn starts blaring off in the distance. It’s coming from Alexandria. The noise entices the walkers, luring them in the wrong direction, back toward the town. Who or what is causing the horn to go off?

So that was the Season 6 premiere of The Walking Dead. Nothing but a bunch of flashbacks and a horn going off. Okay, maybe that’s being harsh. I didn’t hate the episode at all, but I wasn’t nearly as impressed as I thought I would be. I was lukewarm about it, just like I was about Season 5’s finale. Let’s hope we get better episodes in the next couple of weeks.

 

Final Grade: B –

+ I like the fact that Rick has Alexandria under his command. I don’t care if the term is overused – This is a Ricktatorship!

+ Morgan is becoming a major badass; I can’t wait to find out where he learned those moves.

+ We finally discovered why there weren’t as many walkers around Alexandria.

 

– I don’t trust Nicholas.

– The episode really didn’t need to be an hour-and-a-half, and there was no need to bounce between the time periods; if I could’ve done it, I would’ve just included a time-jump toward the end. Switching back and forth is tedious and frustrating.

– I hope the flashbacks don’t become a regular thing throughout the season; we’ve got enough flashback-heavy shows.

 

Extra Thought:

– I wonder if the horn is coming from the Wolves?

Did you think this was a strong premiere for Season 6 of The Walking Dead? Who do you think is sounding the horn? Tell us what you think in the comments or on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!