Gene Page/AMC(NEW YORK) -- The mid-season finale of The Walking Dead kicks off with Alexandria's steeple smashing through a perimeter fence, sending a wave of walkers into the heart of the town.
The heroes scramble for shelter. In the fray, Deanna is injured, and joins Rick, Michonne, Father Gabriel, Carl, Ron, Jessie, and her shell-shocked son Sam, who still hasn't left the safety of the upper floor.
Carol is hurt, too, but manages to get to Morgan's house -- the one with the hidden Wolf he's tasked Denise with treating.
Maggie manages to scramble on top of the wall, barely avoiding a grim death. Rosita, Sara, and the endearingly useless Eugene hole up in a garage.
In Rick's house, he assesses Deanna's injury, only to find she's been bitten. "Well, s***," she says plainly. Meanwhile, Ron locks Carl inside the garage with revenge on his mind, and pulls a gun. The pair scuffle, and Ron smashes open a window, letting the walkers in. Carl pulls his own gun and forces Ron to relinquish his. "I get it, my dad killed your dad," Carl tells him. "But your dad was an as*****." The walkers start streaming in, forcing the gang upstairs behind furniture barricades.
Some distance away, Glenn bucks up a deflated Enid, but the pair don't manage to get close to the besieged city for the entire episode.
Carol, meanwhile, plays possum long enough to fake out Morgan, and get downstairs to try to kill the tied up Wolf. Zenned-out Morgan refuses to let her, and the pair go at it, with Morgan knocking her out -- just before the Wolf knocks him out with Morgan's dropped staff. In short order, the obviously unrepentant Wolf takes Denise hostage, first at knifepoint, then at gunpoint after Sara and Rosita give up theirs to save the would-be doctor.
Deanna accepts her fate -- with a revolver to meet it under her own steam, taking walkers with her in a blaze of glory, as Rick and the gang use the old walker guts trick to try to slip past the invading horde. "Pretend you're someone brave," Jessie tells Sam -- and that works for about 15 seconds, until he starts calling for his mommy right as the gang are sidling face to face with the walkers.
While the episode ends there, a special "prologue" aired during AMC's subsequent show, Into the Badlands. The snippet showed Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha chugging along in their recently appropriated fuel truck when they're stopped in the road by a group of bikers.
A ringleader orders the trio out, and to surrender their weapons, explaining everything they own is now the property of Negan -- The Walking Dead comics' notorious, hero-batting villain who will be played by actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
The Walking Dead's sixth season will continue on February 14, 2016 at 9 p.m. Eastern time on AMC.
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.