The Walking Dead Season 6, Episodes 10-12 recap
Coming back from the mid-season premiere, The Walking Dead made a very good decision—we jump ahead a few weeks in the timeline. The single-day format of the first half of the season was a grind, and though this set of three episodes still has a lot of filler, at least the pacing is better. Over three episodes it was easy to track the various characters, and the narrative was much more streamlined as we didn’t hopscotch around points of view. Instead, the writers and directors found ways to catch up to the information we need in more economical fashion. In the first half of the season the Abraham/Sasha/Rosita triangle would have been an entire episode because they had to fill those “minutes” of the day, but here the whole thing goes down in three fairly tight scenes.
It’s a shame, though, that we’re not more invested in Rosita by this point. Christian Serratos delivers on Rosita’s distress when Abraham unceremoniously dumps her—basically saying that he was only with her because he thought she was the last woman on Earth—but we just don’t care enough about Rosita for that moment to really land. Besides, have you SEEN Christian Serratos? Rosita has options, too. Also, does anyone actually care about any of these people enough to give a damn about their romantic life? Rosita and Abraham have been a kind of comic relief—not the butt of jokes, but more that their relationship only came into focus as a means of draining tension from the larger narrative. Need a break from the relentless killing? Here’s Eugene spying on Abraham and Rosita having sex!
In contrast, Carol’s budding romance with Alexandrian Tobin, though it only plays out in a couple brief moments, carries a lot more heft. We’re just so much more invested in Carol, and seeing signs of life in her beyond her near-fanatical need to keep her people alive is refreshing. There’s some spark of the old, pre-prison Carol, the woman who wanted to protect her family but also made friends with Daryl when he was still feral.
But the big relationship development is certainly the consummation of Rick and Michonne’s long-running interest. Another benefit of jumping ahead in time is getting to pick up with Rick and Michonne in media res—we don’t need to see how they got together, just that they have. And they’re making up a fairly functional family unit with one-eyed Carl, although his attempts to lose his virginity with Enid in the woods are fruitless because Enid is the worst. On a show with zombies, who cares about a moody teenager?
These three episodes bring Rick & Co. into contact with the “Hilltop” people, a potential trade ally. Jesus is their representative, and their leader—sadly, not Lothar—is a total douchebag named Gregory. The Hilltop has food, but no ammo, and they’re being extorted by the vicious “Saviors”. So Maggie strikes a deal—Rick & Co. will save a Hilltopian from the Saviors in exchange for food. These three episodes are a lot of filler because the only stuff that really matters is half of episode 611 and all of 612.
The raid on the Saviors’ home—an old TV station?—goes predictably not great, and ends with Maggie and Carol captured by the Saviors. Rick & Co. were fighting for food, but now they’re fighting for their people.
We’re building up to the reveal of the leader of the Saviors, Negan, and it feels like the Governor all over again. We probably won’t see him till the end of the season, and then the Rick v. Negan showdown won’t come till season seven. Everything on this show gets stretched out like taffy, except for Terminus for some reason. And the characters are not necessarily doing anything interesting in the meantime.
Rick has gone back into not-crazy mode, but we know he’ll spin out again soon enough. No one cares about Abraham’s love triangle, and though Morgan ought to be an interesting counterpoint to Rick, his non-violent stance is so obviously idiotic for this world that he’s been reduced to an eye-rolly nuisance. Morgan would be more meaningful, at this point, if his Zen philosophy somehow translated to a viable, alternative leadership style. But the world they live in is WAY past the non-violence stage, so he just comes across like a f*cking moron. Constant exposure has nearly ruined Morgan’s character.
There is one foreshadowy bit that really lands, though. Maggie says to Rick that the raid on the Saviors will “cost us something”. I have Maggie and/or Glenn in my season six death pool. We’ve already been psyched out on Glenn dying, and now Maggie is a captive of the Saviors. One or both of them is going to eat it, especially since we’ve seen them being happy about their baby. Happiness is not allowed on The Walking Dead (I’m worried about Rick and Michonne, too). The question isn’t IF someone dies as the season winds down, it’s who and how many.
PS: Rick and Daryl drink Coke like they’ve never seen a can before.