The Walking Dead: No Way Out saw Carl lose an eye!

Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) - The Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) - The Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

The season 6 mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead kept tensions high.  Sam is bitten by a group of walkers, which leads to Jessie also being consumed.  Also, because she wasn’t letting go of Carl, Rick makes the brutal decision to lop off Jessie’s arm as she gets devoured.  Carl drops his gun, which Ron picks up and points at Rick, which leads Michonne to impale Ron with her katana, but Ron accidentally shoots out Carl’s eye.  What a sequence!

Basically, it all stands to give much work to Denise, who has become Alexandria’s de facto doctor/hospital technician.  Also, because Alexandria is infested with walkers, there is little time or energy available for citizens to argue over the situation.  This episode does remind us of one thing, though:  If anyone or anything tries to rush after Rick, they’d better do everything in their power to survive the encounter.  Of course, there’s also a notable sequence where Enid rescues Maggie from a rickety lookout tower, further demonstrating Enid’s value to the team.

Many ways to die on The Walking Dead

There are so many ways to die on The Walking Dead, and “No Way Out” sort of reminds the casual viewer of just how vulnerable these survivors are.  Remember when Beth collapsed after being shot in the head by that stupid cop?  Remember Dale being bitten back in season 2 when the group retreated to the farm?  However, for every death, there are plenty of close calls, and it all reminds us of what could have been.

Imagine Michonne in a secure room, not having to brandish her sword nearly every day? Meanwhile, as events fall apart in Alexandria itself, other Alexandrians end up in a shootout with several Saviors, whom we had only recently been introduced to in season 6.  Although the Saviors are taken out with relative stealth, style, and grace, it stands in contrast to the absolute mess that would await them back at their new HQ.  So the question emerges:  What would you do if you were in these character’s shoes, dealing with their situation, their odds, with their strengths and weaknesses?

The Walking Dead Carl’s wounds

The Walking Dead is also pretty famous for putting Carl through the wringer.  One remembers how Lori rushed to Carl’s side after Otis accidentally shot him.  One most certainly also remembers Carl needing to sacrifice Lori, his own mother, lest she returns from the great beyond and consume his still-living flesh.  This is not a boy who’s had it easy, and in many ways, this immediately becomes Carl’s episode for any long-time viewers.

Really, Carl was one of The Walking Dead‘s biggest punching bags, and the mere sight of him eyeless reminds us of all the hard luck of the entire group.  As Abraham, Sasha and Daryl plan to go back to Alexandria together; it’s clear they are returning to not just another crisis but the same one they’ve known and cannot escape.  You really kiss normalcy goodbye every day in the Walking Dead universe.

Another thing that makes this episode epic is that the Alexandrians finally have an all-out war with an entire blood-hungry horde of living dead.  While they’ve faced plenty of walkers before, never so many, and with so much tenacity and overall success.  The next morning, walker corpses are strewn all over Alexandria, almost like sick decorations.  To the survivors, their success is proof that they shouldn’t actually prepare to leave, as Alexandria may truly be their hilltop.

Meanwhile, back at the church, Gabriel seems to have renewed faith (essential to his character’s hypothetical well-being, whether or not it is for an individual viewer).  Also, hey, Glenn is basically back together with Maggie (though, perhaps wisely, that issue doesn’t dominate the season as much as it might have in previous ones).  Basically, things are so good it seems Michonne might take a new zombie “dog” out for a walk.  Sure, they’re not totally out of the woods, but Carl seems to respond to Rick, meaning he’ll be dragged back into another tragic event soon enough.

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What are your thoughts on this classic episode of The Walking Dead?  Let us know in the comments!