The Walking Dead, S6 Ep3 – Thank You

Oh no, they didn’t.

I’m still in denial about the major character death that seemed to have happened in this episode. I can’t accept it. I won’t accept it.

For all the brutality in this show, I never thought they would go this far. Characters come and go, that’s true, but apparently even those we thought were exempt from this harsh rule were not. We already suffer the loss of our faves on Game of Thrones.

I am still reeling from the death (or not, I’m not 100% convinced that it happened), of Glenn. Brave, strong, loyal, wonderful Glenn.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep3 - Thank YouAfter working so hard to protect the group by going off to try and burn a building to distract the herd of walkers, Glenn met a grisly fate because the one person he had with him was Nicholas. Ugh, Nicholas. The guy whose life he spared even when the latter attempted to kill him. And the guy who couldn’t handle the horror of being surrounded by a horde of walkers (granted, very few could have handled that) and chose that crucial moment to kill himself and bring Glenn down with him. Nicholas is like the living argument against sparing weak and cowardly people in the zombie apocalypse.

But like I said, I’m still not wholly convinced that Glenn is dead. Something tells me that the show wouldn’t handle such a major character death so vaguely and still leave some time left in the episode. Surely a death of someone who has been with us since season one (!) would merit ending an episode. And somehow I’m still hoping that Nicholas’ death ultimately made him useful because he landed on top of Glenn, and so the walkers were actually devouring his guts and not Glenn’s. We’ll have to wait and see. Whatever happens, it was definitely a very heartbreaking moment.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep3 - Thank YouAnd something tells me that killing off Glenn will only make this show’s theme unnecessarily brutal. Given the genre, of course it would be a bit harsh, but as the season progresses, the narrative seems to be adopting Rick’s nihilistic worldview more and more by proving that indeed the only way to survive is to watch out only for yourself (and your group) and to leave behind everyone who can’t catch up. Characters like Glenn and Morgan are being punished for valuing and sparing human life. Granted in their context, a high level of pragmatism is necessary, but a better message the show could have would be to strike a compromise, having Rick’s practical approach tempered by some level of compassion. Survival shouldn’t entail completely relinquishing one’s humanity, or else what would be the difference between us and the walkers?

But all that aside, this was an awesome episode and a significant one for Michonne. We’ve always known her to be a badass fighter but here, she also showed a great deal of compassion, which reminded us that she also has a huge heart. She showed her determination to keep the remaining Alexandrians alive and to bring them all back home safely. As much as she understood the necessity of leaving behind the weak and the wounded, she did not give up on people until there was absolutely no choice. She fought and protected those who were with her and managed to bring two people back to whatever remained of Alexandria.

Michonne also had some standout moments during the episode. One was when she empathized with David as he talked about his wife, and how meeting her helped him feel less alone in the world. As she listened to his story, there were some glimmers of recognition in her facial expressions because she completely understood what it was like for him, and she felt similarly fortunate to have found people she cared about.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep3 - Thank You“Have you ever had to kill people because they’d already killed your friends and were coming for you next? Have you ever done things that made you feel afraid of yourself afterwards? Have you ever been covered in so much blood that you didn’t know if it was yours, or walkers’, or your friends? Huh?

Then you don’t know. ”

Boom.

Hands down, my favorite moment was when she told off Heat after the latter questioned her judgment and naively believed that he had had enough experience in their world. He said he’d been going out on runs so he knew what it was like. Going out on runs? Yeah, sure. And then, going back to his safe, walled community and sleeping on a bed. Michonne’s speech to him was eye-opening and one of the best speeches in the show. As they walked back later in the episode and he found himself covered in blood, he finally began to understand what it was really like, and I’m sure he gained a lot of respect for Michonne (as he should have done from the start.)

This episode mainly focused on the people left outside Alexandria and how they dealt with the walker herd being distracted by the truck horn. Rick tried his best to rally them together and to organize some way for them to keep the herd away from the community. He went and drove an old RV to try and divert some of the herd while Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham kept leading the rest of the walkers as far away from Alexandria as possible. At one point, Daryl diverted, seeking to return to Alexandria and help out there, but Rick reminds him that it would be best for him to keep supporting Sasha and Abraham. He drives his motorcycle back to literally meet them at a crossroads (what a subtle show.)

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep3 - Thank YouMeanwhile, while driving the RV, dealing with an injured hand, and giving motivational speeches over the walkie-talkie, Rick gets attacked by a group of Wolves whom he quickly gets rid of. But then, the RV refuses to start and the herd is almost upon him. Rick’s gotten out of a lot of tricky situations before so I’m pretty confident he will get out of this one. But it’s still going to make for some interesting television.

It was a gripping episode, balancing action, profound character conversations, and even heartbreaking moments. The Walking Dead continues to tug at our emotions in a very real way, even though we wander through a darker and more vicious version of our world. But here’s hoping that there will still be some glimmers of light in the darkness.