Spoiler Warning for this week’s episode of “The Walking Dead”

Spencer & Rick (Photo courtesy of AMC.)
Spencer & Rick. (Photo courtesy of AMC)

Threats are at an all-time high on “The Walking Dead” as the mid-season finale nears. “Heads Up” is an episode that gives viewers everything they were asking for and then some. Important questions are answered and nearly each character is given their moment to shine.

For nearly four weeks, the largest question on everyone’s mind has been “Is Glenn alive?” That question was finally answered as Glenn is revealed to have survived his fall into the walker herd back in the third episode of the season. The episode begins showing that fateful shot of Glenn and Nicholas falling off the dumpster; however, from a new camera angle, the walkers are shown to be eating the corpse of Nicholas. Glenn manages to slowly slide under the dumpster as the walkers feast on Nicholas’ body. The scenes with Glenn under the dumpster evoke a feeling of claustrophobia and are extremely reminiscent of the series’ first episode in which Rick was trapped under a tank as walkers surrounded him.

Time passes and Glenn makes his way out from under the dumpster after seeing that the herd has moved on. Suddenly, Enid’s voice is heard yelling “Heads up” as she tosses a water bottle down to a dehydrated Glenn. Enid alerts him that Alexandria has been attacked, but flees away from him. Glenn begins heading back to Alexandria, but turns around realizing that he can’t go back without Enid. This truly highlights the good nature of Glenn and the fact that even after everything he has been through, he still chooses to save people. He eventually catches up to Enid at which point she refuses to return with him; after talking to her though, Glenn is eventually able to convince her to return. He is shown to be protective of Enid, who is an orphan and has no real family. The two find green balloons and decide to use them as a way of signaling to the survivors in Alexandria that they are alive.

Back inside the walls of Alexandria, each character is shown to be contributing in some way. Father Gabriel plans a prayer circle for the residents. However, Rick tries to shut it down, showing the betrayal and distrust Rick feels towards Father Gabriel after his actions in the previous season. Rosita offers long-overdue machete lessons to some of the unskilled Alexandrians, including Jessie and Eugene. Eugene freezes up after hearing the groans and bangs of the walkers outside the walls. Rosita uses his fear to teach everyone a lesson about how difficult surviving is when people are constantly dying. After many episodes of being in the background, Rosita is finally given her moment in the spotlight as her true survival nature is put on display. She is also clearly worried about the fact that Abraham has not returned from leading the herd away. Maggie has a heartwarming moment with Rick as she tells him that Judith looks like her late mother, Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies).

Morgan and the Wolf (Benedict Samuel) that he has secretly locked away is another major plot point of this episode. Morgan is called to a meeting with Rick, Michonne and Carol where they question him about the Wolves that he allowed to leave and later attack Rick in the RV. He refers to his belief that “all life is precious” for his inability to kill other humans, but Michonne declares that killing is sometimes necessary. After the meeting, Morgan enlists the help of Denise to help treat the Wolf’s wound. In the infirmary, Denise is shown to be slowly improving her medical skills and gaining confidence in herself. She agrees to help Morgan, but a suspicious Carol investigates their secrecy. She asks Jessie to watch Judith and has a very touching moment with Sam, who asks if killing makes someone a monster. Carol finally confronts Morgan and demands to know who he is holding prisoner. The Wolf is likely to play a large role in next week’s episode as Carol and Morgan continue to conflict over killing others. Will Carol kill the Wolf or will he escape?

The incredibly awkward relationship between Ron and Carl is explored in this episode as Ron receives gun training. Rick agrees to train Ron with a gun, but expresses the fact that the gun cannot be fired due to the unnecessary sound that it would cause. Later in the episode, however, Ron is shown in the armory distracting Olivia and stealing ammunition. He is also seen stalking Carl with his gun out; will Ron try to shoot Carl or possibly, Rick?

Ron & Carl (Photo courtesy of AMC)
Ron & Carl. (Photo courtesy of AMC)

Spencer’ sheer stupidity and recklessness is exhibited as he uses a rope and grappling hook attached to a building outside the walls to try to leave. After shimmying halfway across the gap, the rope begins to weaken leaving Spencer dangling over a pack of walkers. The rope eventually falls causing Spencer to drop to the ground. Fortunately, Tara positions herself on one of the wall supports and begins shooting some of the walkers. Rick, Tobin (Jason Douglas) and Morgan are able to pull Spencer up onto the wall. Rick, angry that Tara risked her life to save Spencer, lashes out and begins yelling at Tara to which she responds by giving him the middle finger. Spencer declares that he was trying to make his way out of Alexandria so that he could lead the walkers away, but Rick demands that he ask for help before trying anything so dangerous. This scene highlights the fact that the Alexandrians are willing to contribute, but are not nearly as skilled as Rick’s group.

Later, Rick apologizes to Tara for his anger towards her, but reiterates his belief that she shouldn’t be so willing to put her life at risk. She shares the idea that helping others is just a natural trait that each member of the group possesses. Deanna arrives and thanks Rick for saving Spencer; this scene is critical in the idea that both groups are now essentially “stuck together.” The characters begin looking into the sky as a group of green balloons rises into the air. Maggie runs over from a lookout post to Rick and Deanna and cries out “That’s Glenn!” This hopeful and positive moment is symbolic as green typically represents vitality and rebirth. Suddenly, a cracking noise can be heard as the weakened lookout tower begins toppling over into Alexandria, bringing a section of the wall crashing in. Hope and life are contrasted by death and destruction that will surely follow this breach. Now that the massive herd of walkers are making their way into Alexandria, every single character will be forced to make difficult decisions in order to survive.

Being that “The Walking Dead” is based on a series of graphic novels, many fans will immediately recognize this sequence of events as the “No Way Out” story arc; this is one of the most deadly and story-changing points in the novels. “Heads Up” is one of the best episodes of Season Six and sets up a truly frightening Mid-season finale. With a plethora of threats now inside the walls, who will have what it takes to survive? Be sure to tune in to “The Walking Dead” next Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Jeffrey Kopp is the Community Editor of the Niner Times. He is a senior double majoring in Communication and Political Science. His interests include writing and keeping up with an excessive amount of television shows. He is also the go-to expert on all things “The Walking Dead."