'The Walking Dead,' season 6 episode 8: Someday this pain will be useful to you
It seems like everyone has gotten a bit rusty living in Alexandria.
As the burnt up tower comes crashing down taking out a couple of the community's walls, Rick and his people make split second decisions on what to do next --- run or fight.
Hundreds of walkers are streaming into Alexandria, and the townspeople have no choice but to find shelter locked inside their homes and garages.
The tower falls immediately after Rick rescues Spencer and after Maggie sees the cluster of green balloons in the sky. There's one anxiety-filled moment after another as Maggie scrambles to safety atop her post and Deanna fails miserably at shooting walkers only to fall sideways on a table saw.
Morgan and Carol make it inside Morgan's incomplete home; Tara and Rosita rescue Eugene (who was calling ‘help' over the radio) and lock themselves in a garage; and Rick, Carl, Deanna and Michonne get help from Jessie before making it inside her home with Sam and Ron.
Everyone is trapped. The walkers are knocking on their doors. And that's when the fights break out.
Nothing's unfair anymore
Morgan and Carol make it safely inside the incomplete home where Morgan is stashing the inured wolf. Naturally, Carol isn't going to stand by while Morgan lets a killer live.
Though she falls and hits her head (possibly feigning a concussion), as soon as Morgan's back is turned, Carol darts down to the basement to see what Morgan is hiding.
She finds the wolf tied up on a mattress and Denise administering medicine to treat his infected wound. Denise quickly gets out of the way of Carol's knife, but not before Morgan steps in to protect the wolf. Seriously?!
"I don't wanna have to kill you," Carol says.
"You can't," Morgan says. "I won't let you."
Carol keeps threatening Morgan, telling him she will kill him to get to the wolf because she doesn't want anyone else to die. Morgan stupidly thinks he can change the wolf like Eastman changed him.
It was the battle to end all battles between Morgan and Carol, until it wasn't. While the wolf taunts them both, he manages to sneak out of some of his restraints, knock out both Carol and Morgan then kidnap Denise while Tara, Eugene and Rosita look on.
This is how it happens, it always happens
Glenn and Enid are watching the whole thing go down from outside the walls. Their attempt at giving a sign with the balloons was almost a wasted effort since everyone is more concerned about keeping the undead cannibals out.
Glenn sees Maggie struggle to get up her post, kicking the walkers off the ladder then being trapped when the ladder falls. Glenn sees her, but all she sees is the cluster of green balloons floating away.
In Jessie's house, Rick and Michonne are trying to help Deanna after her mishap with the table saw. She's not only wounded from the saw, she's been bitten. The three just kind of exchange knowing glances, and Deanna says, "Well, s***."
Jessie's youngest son, Sam (who hasn't showered or come downstairs since the wolf attack), finds everyone up in arms and scrambling trying to keep the "monsters" away.
Deanna's fever sets in, which means she doesn't have much longer to live. She gives a few final speeches to Michonne about how fulfilling her life was. She got to work with her sons and husband, she did everything she wanted to do with her life. She asks Michonne what she wants out of Alexandria, and Michonne talks about her faith in Deanna's drawn up plans.
Michonne asks Deanna again what the latin phrase on the blueprint for the Alexandria expansion means. She tells her it's something Reg used to say when things go really bad. "Someday this pain will be useful to you."
Elsewhere, Ron gets another chance to take a shot (literally) at Carl. Carl follows him into Jessie's garage and finds him crying over Enid and everyone else. Ron believes they're all doomed, but Carl's all like "don't worry my dad will figure something out." Then Ron's all like "no he's just going to get more people killed, you dad's a killer."
To which Carl replies, "So is your's." Ouch.
Ron stupidly grabs his gun, tries to shoot Carl, then tries to kill him with a shovel before smashing out one of the windows. All this commotion attracted a dozen or so walkers to the garage. Rick and Jessie hear it as well and get the garage door open just in time to rescue Carl and Ron.
Ron lies to his mom, telling her and Rick they were just fighting the walkers. Ron tries to escape to his room, but Carl corners him and takes his gun.
"I get it," Carl says. "My dad killed your dad, but your dad was an a******." Truth.
The break-in in the garage results in a huge swarm of walkers invading the house. The group barricades themselves upstairs with a couch lodged in the stairwell.
In another stressful moment, Rick finds Deanna crouched over Judith's crib. For a split second Rick prepares to smash her head in until she yells out she's still alive. She just wanted to see Judith again before she dies.
Deanna gives another final speech to Rick. She didn't do the things she did for him and his group because she likes him or because he can grow "one hell of a beard." She saved them because they're one of her own. Rick's people and the Alexandrians are all the same now. They're all Rick's people now.
In an interesting hat tip to season one, Rick makes a plan to have everyone cover themselves in walker blood and guts. This is the only way for them all to make it outside and to the armory. Everyone looks a little queasy watching Rick and Michonne rip into walker carcasses.
Everyone in the group wears a sheet smeared with chunky blood and guts, even little Judith and Sam. Oh little Sam, lover of Carol's cookies and coloring. I didn't think I could despise a character more than Ron, but then Sam along and opened his big dumb mouth. He doesn't want to wear a bloody sheet (who does?) but Jessie pleads with him to pretend to be brave. Just do it or you'll die.
The group slowly makes their way outside Jessie's home, inching their way through the hundreds of walkers crowding the streets. They're all terrified and hold each other's bloody hands to stick together.
Stupidly, Sam starts calling for his mom. Fun fact: Walkers don't talk. They're all surrounded by walkers just outside the house and Sam basically sentences them to death. The episode ends at his second calling for mom.
Fans may have missed the importance and tragedy of Deanna's death by walker bite. She's still a relatively new character, and not exactly one of the beloved ones. But her death symbolizes the ending of the old Alexandria and the beginning of a new one.
She also went out with a fight. She confessed she had lived her life exactly the way she wanted to, has virtually no regrets and has much faith in the future of her community. Instead of waiting to die while lying in bed, she manages to get herself up and shoot some walkers in the hallway to give Rick and his group a better chance of making it.
Now that she's gone, it's back to Rick to lead the rest of her people as well as his own.
The Alexandria survivors are going to need all the support and leadership they can get when they face off against the next threat: The Saviors. These guys make the Governor look like a fluffy kitten.
The next episode of The Walking Dead premieres Feb. 14, 2016, beginning the next eight episodes of season six.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @chelseatatham.