“The Walking Dead” Season 6 premiere kicked off with a bang. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the Alexandria survivors had to put a plan in action to drive a horde of walkers away from the community. Although some lives were lost along the way, things ultimately seemed to be working out. However, a car horn threatened to drive the walkers straight to the walls of the safe haven.
Episode 2 of the AMC series doesn’t pick up where episode 1 left off. Instead, viewers find out what was happening at Alexandria while Rick and the others were away. But before that, fans get to learn a little bit about Enid’s (Katelyn Nacon) backstory.
Heading into the episode, titled “JSS,” Enid was just a mysterious teen who liked to sneak out of Alexandria to roam through the woods. Fans knew that her parents died and that she ended up at the safe haven alone. However, not much more than that was revealed.
In episode 2, viewers discover that Enid watched her parents die. They were trying to get the car started when walkers attacked them. Enid was only saved by locking herself in the car. After their deaths, Enid had to do everything to survive -- from eating a turtle raw to killing walkers and hiding in cars. Throughout it all she kept spelling out “JSS.” One day she stumbled across Alexandria. Although she initially started walking away, she wrote “JSS” through the dirt on her hands and entered the safe haven.
Cut back to Alexandria in present time, Carol (Melissa McBride) is continuing to be the ultimate housewife. Everyone loves her cooking and wants her recipes. But don’t think of her as soft. She tells one Alexandria resident to stop smoking in the house in exchange for teaching her how to make pasta, and berates Sam (Major Dodson) about his abusive father when he shows up on her porch looking sad.
Elsewhere, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is trying to change. No longer feeling the need to fight, her goal is to help Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) mourn the death of her husband by planting a garden and expanding the community.
And Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam Jr.) even wants to turn over a new leaf. He apologizes to Carl (Chandler Riggs) for criticizing his family and tells him he’s ready to learn how to fight to survive.
Everything is picture perfect in Alexandria. Carol’s friend who smokes even takes her habit outside. But unfortunately she picks a bad day to take Carol’s advice. Carol looks out the window of the house just in time to see the woman get sliced and diced by a man with a machete.
That’s right -- Alexandria is under attack.
Maggie and Deanna are horrified to watch as bad people quickly infiltrate the community. They light one man on fire and mercilessly hack others to pieces. They even chain up one Alexandrian and drag him along. But Alexandria has a secret weapon on their hands -- Carol. She grabs a gun and leaves the house, telling Carl to protect his baby sister.
Rick’s people, who stayed behind, spring into action. But unfortunately, they never got a chance to fully train the Alexandria residents. Those unlucky enough to be out in the open are quickly -- and brutally -- killed, while others hide in closets.
Enid is one of the lucky ones, managing to make it to Carl’s house. But she’s not there for protection or to hide out. She tells him she’s not staying. Carl doesn’t see that as an option, though. He tells her to sit down and help him protect Judith.
“This place is too big to protect,” Enid warns Carl.
Meanwhile, Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) is trying to protect her youngest son, Sam, but her oldest son, Ron (Austin Abrams), is outside. She tries to tell Sam to lock himself in the closet, but Jessie ultimately joins him when she hears someone break into the house.
But these aren’t just any people attacking Alexandria -- they are the Wolves, the same people Morgan (Lennie James), Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) ran into during the Season 5 finale. Like least season, the Wolves are branded with a W drawn on their forehead -- some with blood. While only two men were introduced then, the Wolves actually have a much larger -- and dangerous -- group with them. And unfortunately for the ill-prepared Alexandrians, it looks like they’ve got more up their sleeves than just blood and mayhem.
Spencer (Austin Nichols), who is on watch at the tower, is horrified to find a tractor-trailer barreling toward the wall. Although unable to get a clean shot of any of the Wolves on the ground, he fires away at the truck. It seems like he’s successful in that the truck doesn’t make it into Alexandria. However, it crashes into the wall, resulting in the blasting horn that fans heard at the end of the Season 6 premiere.
Spencer gets down to the truck, but a walker inside prevents him from stopping the horn. Fortunately Morgan is there to save the day. Viewers will remember that Rick sent him back to the safe haven early to inform the others about how their plan to lead the walkers away was working. He’s just the man they need to stop the Wolves -- especially since people like Spencer are too scared to actually go in to fight.
“Hide,” Morgan tells Spencer when he hesitates to follow him in.
Morgan races in to find a man with an ax who wants to know if Morgan wants it “quick” or “slow.” Morgan answers -- but not with one of the options.
“Leave, please,” he tells the intruder.
That’s not a suitable answer, so the ax-wielding man promises to be slow. Morgan is ready to battle with his bo staff, but a man in a hood comes up behind the intruder and stabs him. It’s actually Carol! In order to make her way through the Wolves, Carol disguised herself as one of them. She warns Morgan that they need to get to the armory and grab the guns before the Wolves find it, but Morgan’s not interested.
“We don’t have to kill people,” he tells her. But Carol doesn’t stay around long enough to hear him out.
Meanwhile at the Alexandria infirmary, the victims of the Wolves need help. However, with Pete (Corey Brill) dead, the new doctor is Denise (Merritt Wever), who is a psychiatrist, not a surgeon. She’s too scared to operate on people during her first day, but Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) tell her she has to try something or people are going to die.
Tara’s not wrong. Although Carol manages to take a couple of the Wolves out, they are still outnumbered.
Ron is about to become another casualty when Carl saves the day. He shoots the man in the leg and is surprised when he starts begging for his life. However, it was just a setup. When Carl lowers his guard, the man tries to kill him. Carl doesn’t think twice, ending the guy's life before he can strike again. But Ron isn’t grateful for Carl’s help -- and he certainly doesn’t plan to take up Carl on his offer for protection.
However, he should have thought it through. Ron returns to his own house without realizing that one of the Wolves has broken in. Not wanting to lose her son, Jessie leaves Sam in the closet to protect Ron. But the intruder in the house gets the upper hand on Jessie. The two break out in a fight with Jessie pretending to be knocked out after a particularly brutal blow. But Jessie’s used to “playing dead” thanks to her abusive husband. While her attacker has her back turned, Jessie stabs her from behind with a pair of scissors. The woman falls to the floor and Jessie continues her attack. Ron walks into the room to discover his mom repeatedly stabbing the woman.
Carol makes her way to the armory and loads up on guns to distribute to the other survivors. But Morgan is still adamant about not killing anyone. He’s in the middle of chaining up one of the Wolves who attacked Father Gabriel when Carol shows up and shoots the bad guy in the head. She passes a gun along to Father Gabriel and Morgan, but Morgan gives his to the priest as well.
He doesn’t think it’s necessary to kill the attackers. But the Wolves feel differently. A group of them -- including one of the men Morgan met during the Season 5 finale -- encircle him. Morgan tries to reason with them, telling them to leave because his people have guns. While they initially don’t budge, they ultimately decide to flee the grounds -- but not without stealing a gun off the ground first.
“You keep choosing this life, you will die,” Morgan warns them as they leave. However, the man he met previously tells him that they “didn’t choose.”
The Wolves leave, but that doesn’t mean that the Alexandria residents are safe. Carol finds an A marked outside the house. Meanwhile, Aaron discovers that he may be at fault for the Wolves' finding the safe haven. He finds that one of them had the bag with photos that he accidentally left behind at the canned food factory.
Elsewhere, Carl is disappointed to find that Enid left the house in all of the confusion. But she didn’t leave without saying goodbye. She left a piece of paper with the words “Just Survive Somehow” written on it -- the “JSS” that she used to write before she made it to Alexandria.
It’s three words that Morgan really needs to live by. He enters a home that was broken into and is quickly attacked by a rogue member of the Wolves -- it’s the second guy he ran into prior to going to Alexandria. Morgan fights him off with his bo staff, and the intruder figures out that Morgan won’t kill him.
“You can’t, can you?” he asks. “You should have.”
He’s prepared to attack Morgan again, but something in Morgan flips.
“I’m sorry,” he tells the man before using his bo staff to kill him.
Episode 2 ends with Carol and Morgan crossing paths in the middle of the Alexandria destruction. But just because Morgan killed a man doesn’t mean that they are now on the same road.