TV Review: The Walking Dead – Series 6 Episode 9: ‘No Way Out’

The Walking Dead returns from the mid-series break and it is more intense, more brutal and much more deadly than even before, says

★★★★★

Image: Gene Page / AMC

Image: Gene Page / AMC

The Walking Dead is back with what is probably one of the best episodes in the show’s history. I know that I say this quite a lot (ala Herschel’s beheading and Carol’s rescue at Terminus), but ‘No Way Out’ truly has some moments that are unforgettable.

With this in mind, I think that it’s important that we take a look at ‘that scene’. All in all it was a beautifully shot sequence, even if it was depicting absolute carnage. The close ups on bloodied walkers with Carol’s horror story playing over them were a good way to portray Sam’s internal horror at being surrounded by ‘the monsters’ he’d spent so long hiding from. Next thing you know the walkers are piling on top of him and his worst nightmare become reality.

Then the camera slowly shifts to the show’s next victim: Jessie. When Jessie falls prey to the walkers, the most heart-breaking thing is Rick’s reaction. I mean, he’d just learnt to open himself up to love again (hell, just look what happened to Pete if you want to see how much he cared). By flitting back and forth between bright flashback shots of Jessie smiling and the dark shots of Rick’s devastation in the current moment, it’s becomes clear how much of a light has gone out in his life.

That is until it becomes evident that she’s putting Carl’s life in danger. So far there’s been a few shots emphasising the fact that everyone is holding onto each other’s hands, but now they all begin to make sense. Rick knows that he has to cut Carl free and a slow, dramatic rise of the hatchet in his hand transitions into quite a brilliant sequence of shots. The bright images of Jessie have now been overlaid with a deep red filter and these are rapidly displayed each time the hatchet strikes Jessie’s wrist with static sounding over them. The trauma of watching a loved one die is bad enough, but then having to hack at her whilst she’s dying in order to save your son is a whole other thing. Rick has to shut out all sentimentality for a moment, as emphasised by the static, and focus solely on saving Carl.

But even when all of this is through, the show doesn’t even let us catch our breath for one second. In a call back to Ron’s standoff with Carl earlier in the series, we are now faced with the very same situation (the only difference being that now they’re surrounded by a horde of walkers). Michonne steps in by stabbing Ron right through the chest, knocking his gunshot off course. In the space of three minutes, we’ve seen the entire Anderson family fall and even by The Walking Dead standards, that’s pretty brutal.

Of course, the most harrowing moment is the reveal of the consequence of Ron’s shot. An expertly placed bit of calm after Ron’s death makes us feel like nothing of significance has happened as result. That is until we hear a faint ‘Dad…’ Cut to Chandler Riggs slowly raising his head, revealing that Carl has lost his eye. The reveal was lifted straight from the comics and fans couldn’t be happier to see one of their favourite moments enacted on screen.

So in the space of around three minutes, the show has killed off three B-list characters and mutilated one of its series one stars. Pretty epic stuff if you ask me! Just because I’ve paid particular attention to this scene, you shouldn’t think that I wasn’t equally impressed by the rest of the episode. ‘No Way Out’ was tense from start to finish and this short scene just goes to show that so much can happen in a short space of time in the world of The Walking Dead.

 

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