The anticipated season 6 of The Walking Dead just started off in a big way following Morgan now arriving at Alexandria, we kick off with Rick devising a plan to clear a path through a massive herd of walkers with several people, Rick is very much a leader now but there are some voices of opposition to him regardless. This being a central theme to season 6 with divisions growing in Alexandria over Ricks leadership and for the show in general in seeing people in the world now in various groups and settlements, surviving in different ways as they align to one style of leadership or another.
We see some interestingly done flashbacks in black and white in the immediate follow up to the season 5 finale with Abraham at first, then Nick and Glenn, following Glenn deciding to spare his life in the finale and we see Rosita, Maggie, Tara and Eugene in a slower moment that shows just a snippet of the more intimate drama that makes the show great. Same goes for the scene with Rick with Morgan and Daryl, the use of flashbacks intercut with present day events was an interesting choice, providing some back story to what was going on in the present. Rick and Morgan, now re-united are trying to get to know each other again and seeing Morgan back in the frame is good for the show, he carries the view he had of Rick in his mind but things are now forever different and changed, like with two prominent figures in past seasons with drastically different approaches e.g. with Rick and the Governor. Rick and Morgan want the same thing – to live in peace and save as many people as they can but go about it in drastically different ways.
Rick and Morgan come across a quarry filled with a huge herd of walkers which presents a potential problem in future, prompting Rick to come up with a plan to clear them out quickly as the trap keeping them in could let them all out eventually, leading the herd to Alexandria, a shot of Daryl slowly riding his motorbike leading a horde of Walkers was particularly cool, he’s totally the Walker lord (for the sake of this shot anyway). A well done scene in a house in Alexandria with most if not all of its residents is one of the best parts of the episode as Rick imposes himself and his plan, with some vocal opposition from Carter who represents Alexandria wanting to stay as it was and not trusting Rick. It’s a bit tense with things not being perfect, Rick is still angry at father Gabriel for example, though Deanna gives Ricks plan the go ahead anyway. Meanwhile on a side mission to keep the walkers on track, Glenn, Nicholas and another Alexandrian help each other with Glenn and Nicholas working together, things seem to be buried in the past (for now).
A past scene with Carter discussing taking out Rick with other Alexandrians brings tensions to the surface as Eugene stumbles on them and Carter threatens Eugene but Rick walks in with Daryl and Morgan and takes command in the situation, still fiercely protective of his friends and now Alexandria.
The premiere on the whole was an engaging affair with a very risky plan from Rick and some nice dramatic moments, the use of Flashbacks contrasting with the present day was a nice touch and provided for effective exposition and explanation of what was going on as we see there are still some divisions in Alexandria and everything isn’t all rosey. Morgan being back is great and I really enjoy seeing him with the main cast, with some future tension between him and Rick sure to build up as time goes on and some great performances all around, especially from Andrew Lincoln and Lennie James as Rick and Morgan, the show still feels thrilling and engaging and the premiere is a great start, ending on a thrilling note.