WARNING: We're about to recap tonight's explosive mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. If you do not want to be spoiled, get out of here. (But stay away from the highways!) For everyone else, make sure you're not eating anything because we're about to relive the most gruesome and disgustingly awesome moments…
The Walking Dead just delivered the most brutal (and creative!) zombie massacre of the entire series!
Following December's gut-wrenching midseason finale, TWD returned tonight with an extended -- and explosively informative -- premiere that was jam-packed with jaw-dropping revelations. Here are the six most shocking and inanely gruesome moments of the night!
Gabriel Grabbed the Goods: The opening scene of tonight's episode featured a twist that immediately launched us into a fit of rage and frustration. After all this time, it appears that Father Gabriel is still just that whiny little scaredy-cat who is only looking out for himself. While on the night watch at Alexandria, Gabriel the Grinch snuck into the pantry/armory and took it all. And we mean everything! He wiped out every last can, gun and bullet in the entire town, and then, without looking back, he swiftly packed everything into a car and drove away. The only thing that coward left behind was his bible and whatever dignity he had left.
The King's Not-So-Royal Decree: After trying (and failing) to convince The Hilltop's douche of a leader, Gregory, to join them in a revolt against The Saviors, Rick and Co. followed Jesus to a community that they had never been to before: The Kingdom. King Ezekiel was his usual, over-exaggeratedly royal self and he listened to Rick's pleas to join their fight with an air of haughty derision and skepticism. In the end, Ezekiel decided that The Kingdom's people would not take part in The Saviors' struggles, but he did offer one small consolation prize. Ezekiel offered to let our recently escaped Daryl live in The Kingdom for as long as he needed to, so he could hide away from The Saviors' vicious hunt to find him. Fingers crossed this means that we'll finally get that Daryl and Carol reunion we've all been dreaming of!
Not With a Fizzle, but With a Bang: While driving back to Alexandria, our group came across a peculiar roadblock along the freeway. Someone (they're assuming The Saviors) placed cars on the side of the road with a thick steel wire spanning across the width of the highway between them. The Saviors also secured multiple bundles of dynamite along the wire, thus creating an explosive booby trap for the next large herd of flesh-craving walkers. Rick decided that this much TNT would be an extremely useful tool in their upcoming war, and the group works together to carefully dismantle the delicate explosives while a looming sea of walkers slowly but surely headed their way.
High-Speed Slicing: Before they knew it, hundreds and hundreds of undead walkers descended upon our group and their time for dynamite thievery was up. While Rosita, Tara and Carl ran to the safety of their SUV, Rick and Michonne hotwired the two cars on opposite ends of the highway and prepared for the most creatively brutal walker massacre we've even seen. They floored the cars, then drove right through the sea of the undead with the steel wire swiftly slicing through the thousands of walkers like a hot knife through butter. It was overwhelmingly gory and gruesome and totally outrageous -- and we loved every bloody second of it! To make matters even more badass, as the entire group was safely driving away, the one bundle of dynamite they left behind erupted into a huge, fiery walker-killing explosion.
Hide and Go Seek: Jesus managed to snag one of The Saviors' long-range walkie talkies, so now Rick's group has the delightful advantage of listening in on Negan's plans. The Saviors finally realized that Daryl had escaped their "Easy Street" clutches and they dispatched a search party to Alexandria to "turn that sleepy little 'burg upside down" and look for him. Rick's group arrived just seconds before Negan's minions and they were forced to stand back while The Saviors needlessly destroyed their homes in pursuit of Daryl's hiding place. The one thing Rick did find was an empty armory, a bare pantry and Gabriel's bible he left behind. Among all the confusion, there was one clue: Gabriel scrawled the word "boat" onto the last page of the inventory list.
New… Frenemies? Following their clue, the Alexandria scavenger party traveled to the spot of the houseboat that Rick and Aaron stole supplies from earlier this season. They followed footprints believed to belong to Gabriel and found themselves in the middle of a large clearing. All of a sudden, dozens of people dressed in all-back and wielding weapons surrounded Rick's group and closed them into a tight circle while the strangers looked on with menacing faces. And just as it looked as if all hope was lost, Rick flashed a charming smile to his new enemies and the screen cut to black.
What did you think of tonight's midseason premiere of The Walking Dead? How gory was that highway zombie massacre? Why do you think Rick was smiling in the face of danger? Share your thoughts with @LeanneAguilera on Twitter!