AMC’s The Walking Dead is back, picking things up with a shocked and moving-forward Alexandria after Rick Grimes was firmly given control of the walled community at the end of a Season 5 finale that was filled with carnage.
Here we find our familiar faces struggling to adjust after the bloody conclusion to Season 5 whilst a new threat rears its head in the form of a whole shed-load of walkers. In fact, scrap that, for no shed on the planet could hold the amount of walkers that we see here. It goes without saying, but the hordes of undead in First Time Again is likely the largest group of walkers we’ve seen to date. Whilst they’re restricted by some well-placed trucks and a convenient rocky locale, it’s only a matter of time before these shuffling corpses break out and cause further problems for Rick et al.
Despite some questions over his leadership, most notably from newcomer (yet Alexandria veteran) Carter, Rick has an A-Team-esque planput in place to deal with the walkers. That all goes to pot, though, when a bombastic horn is sounded and draws these undead bastards to the apparent safe-haven of Alexandria as the episode comes to a close.
First Time Again is an impressive return for The Walking Dead, and one which addresses the aftermath of Season 5 whilst also looking ahead to the future. Now while Carter’s time on the show as brought to a crashing holt after just one episode, there are several other new faces that we’ll surely get full introductions to over the next weeks, and Corey Hawkins’ Heath already comes across as a likeable sort in the brief time we’ve seen him.
There are some smaller questions, such as how did Morgan become Donatello-lite with his bo-staff or where does Rick get off threatening a teenager, but the larger queries centre on the climactic horn sounding from Alexandria. Why was the horn sounded, who was it sounded by, and more importantly, it’s a chance to let the speculation run wild on just who this unmissable sound may attract to the walled safety of Alexandria.
A great reintroduction to The Walking Dead, even if the majority of the major players were left shunted to the shadows, but First Time Again also set things up nicely for what could be some huge happenings in the immediate future of the show. After all, those terror-inducing Wolves are still out there in the wilderness, and you have to think it won’t be long before they step forward and make their presence known.
And when all was said and done, we got some awesome lines dotted throughout this season premiere, not least when Tara showed her happiness at Eugene’s safety by quipping, “Thank God, nothing happened to your hair!” Exactly – you’ve gotta protect that mullet!