TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 9 – No Way Out | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 9 – No Way Out

By Megan Wilde

A premiere of The Walking Dead is always highly anticipated, and “No Way Out” does not disappoint. Emotionally draining, tense and shocking at times, it’s a stellar way to kick off the second half of Season 6.

When we last left the group, Alexandria had been overtaken by walkers; the residents were scattered all over town; Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham were out on a run; Rick and a small group were about to walk through the horde, covered in zombie guts; Carol and Morgan had been knocked out, and Denise had been taken by Alpha Wolf. A lot was at stake. If you haven’t watched, don’t read further, because, obviously, SPOILERS.

This is a fast-paced episode, with not too much of the sitting around and talking that sometimes bogs this show down. Almost every scene amps up the tension, whether it’s Rick and Co. roaming among the walkers hoping to stay undetected, Denise dealing with walkers plus creepiness of all sorts from Alpha Wolf, or Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham being accosted by a biker gang sent by Negan.

And speaking of Negan, we finally get to see some major plot points from the comic books! This episode is called “No Way Out,” which is the same title as Volume 14 of the comics. That’s fitting, since many of the events in that volume are translated to the screen: We have a mention (but no actual sighting yet) of Negan, Rick cuts off Jessie’s hand to save Carl, and perhaps most shockingly, Carl gets shot in the eye. Big things are happening, and it will be interesting to see where it all goes from here.

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There are a lot of great performances in this episode; some that stick out are Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha) in the opening scene, and Merritt Wever (Denise) in her scenes with the Wolf. In the opening scene when Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha are confronted by Negan’s scouts, who are threatening to kill them, the subtle fear on Sasha’s face is very nicely done, and effective. She says a lot without saying a word. Wever’s trembling and near hyperventilation in her scenes effectively convey the fear that is rolling off her in waves. And for that matter, Benedict Samuel as Alpha Wolf definitely feels like a threat, in a number of ways. He is ambiguous and creepy, and he provides the right amount of crazy — but also some humanity, which is, after all, what makes Denise offer to save his life after he’s bitten.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 9 - No Way Out

“BYE, SAM!” is the new “BYE, FELICIA!”

The bottom line of this episode is that the Alexandrians take back their town. There is lots of manning up: by Eugene, by Father Gabriel, by Sam (surprisingly, and for a little while at least), by Denise, and by the rest of the Alexandrians. Rick and Co. try to get to the quarry to get the trucks that are there, but before they can, Sam remembers Carol telling him about the monsters and how they will eat him alive. So, in a self-fulfilling prophecy, he freaks out, which causes him to get eaten, then Jessie freaks out, causing HER to get eaten, all while holding tightly to Carl’s hand. Rick has to deal with his grief of losing Jessie, then immediately switch gears to doing what needs to be done to save his son. The editing here is interesting, and is a departure from the typical style of this show: As Rick is realizing he’s lost Jessie, quick images (all lit with a golden light) of her smiling, looking at him, etc., are flashed. Then the images are bathed in red as he makes the decision to save Carl. It definitely adds to the poignancy of the moment, so it’s even harder for us to watch when he has to do it. Then Ron pulls a gun on Rick, but before he can shoot, Michonne comes to the rescue and runs him through with her katana. He still shoots, although his shot goes wide and instead of hitting Rick, it hits Carl in the eye! That shot when we see Carl’s eye totally evokes the comics. It’s a shocking reveal, even if you know it might be coming. We see Rick’s grief and fear, but it also leads to a nice moment later, where Michonne leans down and gives Carl a kiss on the forehead right before she goes out to help Rick kick some walker butt. It’s a rare show of tenderness from the badass superhero that is Michonne. This feels like a nod to the comics, where her relationship with Rick and Carl is more familial than it is in the show.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 9 - No Way Out

BOOM! goes the Daryl.

Everyone works together to help take back the town, and the day is saved by Daryl and his rocket launcher (for the second time; the first being when he blows up Negan’s Angels in the opener): He leads some walkers to the lake in the middle of the town, where he empties fuel from his truck and then lights it with the rocket launcher. The walkers are lured to the fire, and between that and the rest of the Alexandrians learning how to fight, they basically all become one big walker-killing machine, and the town is saved. Like Rick, at the end of the episode we are left with hope: hope from everyone pulling together and fighting, and hope of Carl coming back to him.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 9 - No Way Out


FBI Score: 9 out of 10. This was a strong comeback for the show. We said goodbye to a number of characters, said hello to a few new ones, and had a lot of character evolution, overall. A lot happened, and “No Way Out” seems to be setting up some interesting things to come.

Megan Wilde

I'm an editor, wife and mom of two. I love to read and watch good TV and good (OK, and bad) movies. I like pop culture, sci-fi, zombies, comics, Neil Gaiman, Miyazaki movies, Star Wars, '80s nostalgia and all things geeky.

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