Each week, we comb through the guts of The Walking Dead, much like a horde of hungry walkers, to bring you the episode’s best moments, surprises, and other post-apocalyptic curiosities. This week: Why smoking kills; always say please before you hit someone with your staff; and this episode is brought to you by the letters J, S, and W.
Season 6, Episode 2: “JSS”
Worst fighters: Enid’s parents. There’s no shame in losing to walkers. There is shame in losing to only two of them . . . especially when your teenage daughter manages to survive simply by shutting a car door.
Special guest director: During the flashback, when Enid encounters Alexandria, there’s so much lens flare that only J.J. Abrams could be responsible.
Darkest shade thrown: Aside from being sharp with guns and knives, Carol also knows how to make words hurt. Her shade throwing game would make Kanye jealous.
Worst hidden pregnancy: If you didn’t already know actress Alanna Masterson (Tara) is pregnant, it was pretty evident during her first scene in the hospital. The show’s wardrobe department could have done better; they did last season with Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha).
Most responsible: Deanna, for recognizing that if she returned inside the walls, she’d either become a burden or get herself killed. Characters rarely understand their limits on this show, so it’s refreshing to find someone who does.
Worst mistakes of Yin and Yang: Carol and Morgan were diametrically opposed when it came to dealing with the Wolves. Both made heavy mistakes that will have repercussions for the rest of the season. Carol killed Morgan’s bound prisoner, who was already talking. He could have been a source for information on the Wolves. Morgan made the mistake of letting several Wolves leave alive. Driving home the point, one of the escapees pocketed a gun. We think next time the Wolves won’t bring knives to a gunfight.
Occupation you wouldn’t think would be helpful in the zombie apocalypse but totally is: Cheesemaker (and not because they can provide you with tasty, tasty cheese)
Best therapy: Jessie worked out a lot of aggression toward her late abusive husband by brutally stabbing a Wolf to death. That’s it, Jessie, let it all out. Bonus points for the brain stab at the end.
Most outdated: Carol’s egg timer was a great way to show how long the battle took (about 40 minutes), but was there really not a timer on the oven in an $800,000 home?
Oldest callback: Morgan’s “I don’t do well with guns.” (A reference to the pilot episode, in which he tried and failed to put down his zombified wife.)
Best line: “Your dad used to hit you, and then he got himself killed. It happened. Now it’s done. You live with it, or it eats you up. Go home.” —Carol to Sam
Best kill: Carol’s reveal as a disguised Wolf gave her one of the most unexpected and best kills of the night. We’re just glad that now all of Alexandria knows her true self—a warrior, not a casserole-making Stepford Wife.
Most disturbing image: The entire Wolf-on-Alexandrite slaughter. Aside form being quite graphic, the rampage kept us shouting this.
Episode MVP: Carol. Yes, she might have overdone it, killing a few Wolves she could have captured, but her bravery in face of utter chaos is always impressive. She’s ruthless, but not heartless, as shown by the tears shed at the episode’s close.
And Rick was absent from this week’s episode, so we can’t rank him officially on the calm/crazy scale, but we assume he was out strengthening the Ricktatorship by dominating that walker horde.