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Well mark that down as three in a row. In another sterling effort by everyone involved with this show, episode three of THE WALKING DEAD’S Season 6 — entitled ‘Thank You’ — delivered all kinds of interesting and horrifying moments for us to savour. They really are going all out in the early part of this season, and I love it.

With the relative calm of the past two episodes openings, it was a nice change of pace — literally — to see episode three instantly operating on a different frequency. We tuned into to find Rick, Glen, Michonne and some no names running back towards Alexandria, towards the truck horn, as they tried desperately to beat the horde back, oblivious to the horror that is already unfolding in the place they now call home. This was essentially the entire episode, focusing on the different branches of this group as they split up.

There was Rick with an epic solo run of impossible endurance, Glen, Nicholas, Michonne (and those no names) limping through a town, and once in a while we got to snap back to Darrell basically riding his bike and talking on a walkie-talkie — it was a nice chilled outing for him this week. Before Rick departed on his cross county run he had a few parting words for his confidents. Basically telling Michonne and Glen what we already know, the hard truth that not everyone in this little group is going to make it, that in order to save the people worth saving, some will have to be left behind. This is hard to hear, but it’s true, its survival of the fittest, the lives of Glen and Michonne are just more valuable than those that can’t contribute in this new world. I am sorry but its true and it has been ever since Shane left Otis to die in season 2. That decision then seemed heinous, I have a feeling however that it wouldn’t seem so awful right now. And whenever you want to disagree with such thinking, the show’s characters go and vindicate everything that is being said. Time and time again the unable, the timid, the frightened, screw things up, they get people killed, they cause useful members of society to die. These people shouldn’t be alive, but they are, so everyone around them suffers.

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This is the core theme of the episode, what to do with the weak, leaving those behind that aren’t able to continue, and when the right time to do such a thing is. This is examined at its closest with Glen’s group. The meat of this adventure unfolds as they get stuck halfway home inside a small town, with a couple of members of the party banged up and worse. Michonne tries her best to drive the message home to Heath and is pretty successful in doing so. While they are held up in a pet shop, the two of them talk about what Rick said about leaving the weak behind. Heath is of course adamant about loyalty and that he would never leave his friends, no matter what. What Michonne so succinctly gets across is that he has no idea what he might do when the shit really hits the fan. The truth is that while he has been exposed more than some of his group, he has had nowhere near the exposure that Rick and she have had. Heath simply hasn’t been in the position to make such a call, at least not yet.

He would soon get the chance however as things go from worse to completely terrible for everyone involved. Leaving the pet shop Michonne’s mini group soon gets whittled down to three, having to leave not one but two members behind, both grimly eaten to death thereafter. It was a tough lesson for Heath to receive but one that had to be learnt.

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Glen meanwhile was dealing with a man who was used to bailing on his ‘friends’, bailing on them because he was a coward. Nicholas has been playing ball recently, trying to be a useful member of the team while Glen holds his hand, but alas it all came to be a little much in the face of the bleakest of scenarios. He and Glen found themselves trapped by an insurmountable mob of walkers, the sight then causing Nicholas to blow his own brains out. This is where the biggest surprise in recent memory arrived. Glen, pinned to the ground by Nicholas’ body, is ripped apart, watching in shock as the walkers tear him to shreds, apparently killing him.

Now, there is some speculation that this was only a red herring, that perhaps it was Nicholas’ body that took the punishment and not his own. If that is the case it would be a shame, it would be silly and frankly unbelievable if Glen makes it out of this mess alive. Though assuming he is indeed dead, this is undoubtedly a shock. Glen has been around since day one, it would be sad to see him go but I am always for freshening things up. Out with the old, in with the new.

To be honest I never really liked Glen that much, he was always just kind of dull — I know, what’s wrong with me? — but knowing that someone like him can die certainly casts doubt over everyone else believed to be safe from the proverbial axe. And wouldn’t you know the next character we see after this tragedy is Rick. My heart was in my mouth a few times as we watched him get ambushed by a gang of dirt-bag wolves. I know Rick is more than capable of taking care of himself but for some reason I found myself doubting his future. So it was a relief to see him dispatch his attackers in typically devastating fashion. I always assumed Rick was untouchable, perhaps the only untouchable, but man, they had me for a moment there. Not cool.

‘Thank You’ was truly edge of the seat stuff, from start to finish the tension kept on building, it kept on coming and it got to a point where I was really asking if they would kill Rick as well as Glen. This season just keeps on climbing and climbing. Towards what I don’t know but it’s certainly going places, and it’s largely due to the fact that they are leaving content, exciting content, for future episodes. The problem at hand, the super massive horde, is still not dealt with. This patient storytelling has been crucial to the success of this season so far, and I am so happy that they’ve taken this route. Long may it continue. ‘Thank You’ may have even been better than its two predecessors, and that’s saying something. They can’t possibly keep this up all season but I am enjoying the hell out of it while it lasts. Bring on episode four. Let’s hope Glen’s actually dead.

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Film and TV Journalist Follow: @SamuelBrace Follow: @filmandtvnow