In The Walking Dead winter premiere, “No Way Out,” we pick up right where we left off. Almost everyone’s lives are in danger. Rick, Carl, Michonne and his group go old-school, cover themselves in walker guts and are attempting to walk among the dead to get out of Alexandria.

Meanwhile, Carol and Morgan are holed up with one of the Wolves, fighting over whether to kill him or not. Maggie is stuck up on a post with walkers below, while Glenn and Enid are just outside the walls. And Daryl, Sasha and Abraham could possibly be meeting their fate as they run into the infamous Negan’s group on their way back to Alexandria.

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Introduction to Negan

It looks like we’re going to have to wait a little bit longer to actually meet Negan. His group stops Daryl, Sasha and Abraham as they make their way back to Alexandria. He takes away their weapons and explains that he is going to follow them back to wherever they call home to see what it’s all about. He also explains that anything they own now belongs to Negan. However, just as he’s about to shoot Sasha and Abraham, Daryl shoots a rocket launcher — yes, a rocket launcher — at the gang of bikers and blows them all up. Talk about an explosive beginning!

Blending In

It seems that back in Alexandria, Rick’s plan to cover themselves in walker guts is working. However, once they start moving, he realizes there’s way too many walkers to get through. In a clearing, he makes a new plan to head to the quarry to get some cars to drive the walkers out of the town. Jessie reminds him that Judith probably won’t make it that far, so Gabriel suggests he take Judith back to the church to keep her safe until everyone gets back. Rick hesitates but agrees that it’s best for the baby.

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Jessie wants Sam to go with Gabriel too, but he refuses because, well he’s a whiny bitch. The group keeps moving, but Sam has a panic attack, thinking of all those “kind” words Carol put in his head about the monsters. He stops the group, with Jessie and Ron pleading with him to keep moving. But the walkers get him. Jessie freaks out and starts screaming, thus making her the next walker victim.

Rick flashes back briefly to his love interest, but comes to when he realizes that she’s still holding Carl’s hand pretty tightly as the walkers feed on her. He grabs his hatchet and breaks Carl free. But soon Ron is pointing his gun at the two of them, ready to seek revenge for his family’s death, I guess. Michonne stabs him, but one round goes off. Just when Michonne and Rick start to move again, as the walkers are distracted with the three fresh bodies to feed on, Carl turns around with a bullet through his eye!

Everyone Else

Inside the house with Carol, Morgan, Eugene, Tara and Rosita, they try to make a plan to go after Denise and the wolf. Carol is pretty pissed at Morgan and makes a comment that she should have killed him when she had the chance.

Meanwhile, Rosita gets pretty nasty with Eugene, telling him he’ll never make it if he tries to fight the walkers. But I think she’s just upset that Abraham might be dead.

Outside, the wolf and Denise are waiting for the right moment to make a run for the wall, but Denise is freaking out. They seem to have a brief moment about changing and then run. The walkers start to go after Denise, and the wolf goes back to save her, but he gets bit. She tells him they need to go back to her infirmary so she can save him. However, as they start to make their way back, Carol shoots him from a balcony, and Denise runs to the infirmary.

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She gets to the infirmary, with Heath, Aaron and Spencer, just in time for Rick to arrive with an injured Carl. Denise immediately starts working on Carl, as Rick goes back out to defeat the walkers.

And Glen and Enid make it to the church to get some supplies to save Maggie. They head to the post, and Glen distracts the walkers as Enid climbs up so she and Maggie can get over the wall.

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Alexandria Pulls Together

Rick heads out to kill the walkers by himself. But soon, Michonne and the guys go out to help him. Then some Alexandrians come out of their homes with weapons to pitch in. Carol, Morgan and those guys head out too, with Eugene saying he wants to be part of a story everyone will eventually tell. And then, in a complete 180, Gabriel leaves Judith with another resident, as he too goes out to fight the walkers.

And with Glen’s back literally up against the wall, Sasha, Abraham and Daryl arrive just in time to save him. Daryl then pours gasoline in a stream of water and sets it on fire to draw the walkers away from the town. And then everyone just goes postal and destroys each and every one of the walkers.

Can They Rebuild?

In the aftermath, everyone is hoping that Carl pulls through. Rick is by his bedside, telling him how proud he is of the community and how they pulled together when they needed to. He’s sure that together, they can rebuild and expand and possibly fulfill that vision of Deanna’s to make a great place to live and survive.

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And in a glimmer of hope, Carl moves his hand to show he’s okay.

But can they really rebuild? First, it’s going to take a long time to get those hundreds of walkers’ bodies out of the town. Then they have to rebuild that wall. But there is hope. I think it’s fantastic the way the residents really pulled together and believed in Rick.

I’m happy that Carl is finally going to sport that eye patch that he rocks throughout The Walking Dead graphic novels. And while I’m pumped to add more conflict with the Negan character, I have a feeling he probably won’t be introduced until the end of this season.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.

(Image courtesy of AMC)