The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 9 “No Way Out” Review


Keep An Eye Out For The Walking Dead’s Mid-Season Premiere (Spoilers Ahead)

The Walking Dead’s mid-season premiere entitled “No Way Out” is a straight up hour of white-knuckle tension and zombie mayhem. There wasn’t an atypical format to this premiere. No black and white flashbacks. No alternating time lines or focusing on one group’s perspective. No waiting to find out what happened to Daryl, Sasha and Abraham.

Hella satisfying is a good way to describe “No Way Out” which wrapped up a number of story lines with a bloody exclamation point.  Jessie’s troublesome family are all dead. The deranged wolf is dead. And the episode’s centerpiece which began with Rick singled-handedly taking a hatchet to an undead horde put a definitive end to the walkers in Alexandria.

Where “No Way Out” stumbled is in some of the questionable character decisions made. Trusting Gabriel to take care of Judith when he can barely take care of himself is risky and to be honest pretty dumb. It would have made more sense to have Carl go with Judith and Gabriel but the writers needed to set up Carl getting shot in the eye by a stray bullet.

As for Jessie, she shouldn’t have let her child Sam call the shots to join the grown ups’ mission. Then again, it wouldn’t be much of an episode if characters made sensible decisions which would have meant that the surreal domino effect of Sam dying, then Jessie, and finally older brother Ron impaled by Michonne wouldn’t have happened.

The other weak spot is there wasn’t enough chemistry between Glenn and Enid to pull off the speech in the church about “They’re still here because you’re still here”. There’s nothing wrong with the sentient and the writers did need to flesh out why Enid would risk her life to help Maggie when she barely wanted to come back to Alexandria in the first place, it’s just one of a few clunky scenes that bogged down the pace. 

Despite all the bloody carnage, “No Way Out” had a lingering feeling of hope for a number of reasons. None of the core characters died and I’m glad that Abraham didn’t get shot by Negan’s henchman. While Carl is maimed, he’ll live to see another day (no pun intended). The rocket launcher kill by Daryl is both awesome and amusing. The deranged wolf turned a new leaf, or least that’s how it came across. And Glenn proves he has more than nine lives, getting rescued at the last second and not by a dumpster. 

That optimistic feeling is also in the way everyone worked together to fight off the zombies. Daryl saving the day yet again, although it was very convenient how some of the walkers went into the flaming fuel-filled water.

I also like how Rick is in a constant state of evolution. He went from almost losing his mind again (ie. going to town on the zombies by himself) then extremely hopeful at Carl’s bed side. After so much death and destruction, he believes in a vision of rebuilding Alexandria into something great. This is a direction that will help shape future story lines and keep the character from feeling too stale.

Aside from some weak points, “No Way Out” is a solid way to kick off the second half of season 6.  By the episode’s mid-point things got very crazy and in a way was a cathartic final stretch after leaving so many cliffhangers before the mid-season break.  Like with any action-packed premiere, there are typically some slower, character centric episodes to follow. Let’s hope the Negan story line is going to keep things consistently exciting.

What do think about the mid-season premiere? What do you think about Carl getting shot in the eye?

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Posted on February 14, 2016, in Comics, Television, The Walking Dead, TV Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Keep an eye out – Ha!

    Thought it was a good episode. I’ve learnt not to take this show seriously anymore – Daryl and the rocket launcher was the clearest example you need. Had me in stitches 😂

    I’m actually glad some of those characters have gone. Far too annoying and stupid to keep them going, especially Sam. Although the one problem I had was the wolf. He changed his tune VERY quickly after looking like he was going to be an unexpected threat.

    • Haha, glad you caught that pun!

      After episode 8 last year, I was thinking those motorcycles guys are perfectly grouped together for a rocket launcher blast … I had forgotten about that until they blew up. 🙂

      I’m glad too that the trouble making family is gone. Ron with the gun was a long time coming … Michonne did not waste time to put an end to that lol. I hear you about the wolf, a very quick turnaround!

      • Ron/Sam – glad they’re gone – sorry but not sorry. Annoying as hell. I know and can understand what they were going through but that sheltered life made them blind. What made it annoying is that Sam at one point was like “I can do this” and then suddenly freaks out. Don’t judge me but I did laughed at what happened lol.

        Yeah I just thought it was weird that the wolf would change his tune so quickly, especially in the mid season finale where he was determined to keep his way and kill everyone. Just seemed random for him to suddenly change.

        Michonne – always good value in this show.

        At the end of the ep, nothing says “team building” and “community spirit” like slaying a herd of walkers hahahaha

  2. They learned that walkers are attracted to fire from the group that had the tanker. They walk into fire and they stay there. It was a revelation. They had burned the forest and cleared the entire area of walkers.

    The episode was satisfying but almost too satisfying. It’s like they shook up an etch-a-sketch and started over. All cliffhangers clipped off nicely and no one died. This is truly a new season of the Walking Dead and not just a continuation of the so-called first half.

    I thought letting the priest take the baby was a good idea. He was heading to the church where they could have all gone but then they’d be trapped and they wanted to try to save the town by getting cars. The little kid did NOT belong on that trip because they needed a bunch of cars and the little bitch can’t drive. Seriously Judith is cooler than that kid was. Judith will probably kill her first walker before she loses her first tooth. That little girl’s a bad-ass.

    But anyway… everything is reset. Brand new show.

    I didn’t like that yet again they had a fake Glenn death. If he doesn’t die this season I’m going to be annoyed. The show has changed a lot under the new direction.

  3. For sure, the walker behavior has been shown before … another close call. Looks like Daryl’s found his new favorite weapon.

    This episode had a finale type feeling by putting closure on those cliffhangers. Aside from the epilogue when Daryl ran into Negan’s men, I also think it’s a new beginning not a second half. I like this and want to get to the next part of the story.

    Bringing Judith to safety is a good idea, but if I was a parent I wouldn’t trust Gabriel to keep the baby safe. Someone like Daryl or Michonne who can handle themselves and not panic at danger would be my best picks if available. I think I said in my last post, that even Judith knows to keep quiet in a crowd of zombies, totally a bad move to bring Sam along on the mission. I think it was interesting that they used Carol’s audio clip of her frightening Sam last season to freak him out in the present.

    I heard that the trailer/preview showed Maggie screaming like crazy for Glenn which made it look like he was a goner again. I didn’t watch the trailer and I didn’t believe that Glenn was doing to die here. But I’m not certain if he’ll make it to the end of the season finale.

    • I missed the epilogue. I didn’t know there was an epilogue. But you’re right this felt like more of a season finale. I think the priest has come a long way and I think Rick knows it. It’s not like he was trusting Alexandrians with Judith. That would be stupid.

      • I mean the epilogue from episode 8, the mid-season finale, which will be a major story line moving forward. The priest did help out at the end, but he has a ways to go to prove himself and earn my trust.

  4. HEY MAN! Haha. I dunno why but I feel like whenever I comment on your blog I’m hollaring at one of my mates, I’m too casual with you. 😛

    That aside, great review man, you always write reviews that sum up this show’s pros and cons and highlight the key features without having to go into too much detail. From me while I’ve never been in love with the TWD, the show continues to be entertaining and surprisingly fun despite some of my long-term issues with certain storylines, characters, slow pacing and repetition. This was a pretty solid episode and started so well with that tension between Abraham and Sasha and those dodgy biker gang, I seriously thought Abraham was doomed, but then BAM, blown to smithereens! My first thought was like “How? Was there a bomb planted in between those guys?” But then that wouldn’t make sense because none of the good guys got nearby. But then you find out it was Daryl the badass with a frigging rocket launcher! Beast!

    Then I have to talk about Jessie’s family are all dead. When that stupid son started to get focused on and sway his mother to take him a long, I knew that bastard would get people in trouble, but I didn’t expect him to get eaten so quick. That was such a delightful surprise, but then Jessie straight after that? Wow, happy days, she was making noise and the Walkers got her, good stuff. And then there’s that bastard son Ron, he had the gun, I was frustrated because he have been taken out ages ago. But luckily Michonne came in took him out (so satisfying), but he shot my boy Carl (or CAROL! as he’s referred to on the internet haha). Poor kid. Oh but then seeing Rick go back into almost prison pyscho mode again was fantastic. Pure carnage and then when everyone else joined in it was Mortal Kombat! XD

    Also I have to bring up Glenn’s close call with death, once again this guy flirted with death SO bad, the Grim Reaper was ready for him and yet he escape by the skin of his teeth thanks to the timely appearance of Abraham and Sasha. I was annoyed and relieved. But the people behind TWD must have a hard on for making Glenn fans suffer and having him almost die but escape it! I also didn’t like that wolf dude so when he got taken out by the Walkers I was glad, he was too questionable to be kept alive. Overall I had a good session with this and I look forard to their new adventures with the lack of Walker interference.

    • Holla anytime man! I’m cool with keeping it casual. 😀

      With the reviews, I going to try to write them more quickly. I’m not sure, but I’m guessing readers are more into the big plot points. Like for example, I probably should have written about my feelings on Carl getting shot and the family getting wiped out. I say good riddance to Jessie’s family haha. I’m curious who Rick will “partner up” with now that momma is gone haha. When Jessie started crying, I thought she’d better get bit too because they are surrounded by walkers. From the moment Rick taught Ron how to shoot a gun, it was pretty obvious something bad was going to happen. Yeah the fatality montage of everyone hacking away in front of the camera was something else, I guess they needed to blow off some serious steam lol.

      I think it’s like the movie Final Destination I heard of, but need to watch … where if you cheat death the Grim Reaper will keep trying and trying to kill you until it succeeds. That’s basically Glenn’s situation haha. I think there’s more potential for Abraham, it would have been a waste to kill him like that. As for Sasha, when it looked like she was going to volunteer herself to save Abraham, I thought “yes, please”. Not because I hate her but because I’d rather see her go than Abe. I think next episode might have Rick and Daryl team up, which is nice because they haven’t been in that many scenes together in a while. Thanks man!

  5. I thought that was a good one. Glad those two kids are gone. The big action sequence and two rocket launcher moments were really cool. I like how all the parts came together here for the most part. Looking forward to seeing where this season goes next. Great review man!

    • Hey Matthew. I’m glad those two kids are gone too. After Daryl saved Sasha and Abraham, the three helped save everyone in Alexandria. Nice that the writers are connecting the story lines quickly here. Yeah, I hope the second half can be consistently good and I’m down for more rocket launchers moments haha. Thanks!

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