The Walking Dead episode “JSS” opens with a family whose car is stuck and in need of a jump when zombies approach from both sides. The only survivor is the daughter, who manages to trek out into the woods unscathed, where she draws “JSS” into the dirt.

‘The Walking Dead’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 2

The girl is Enid (Katelyn Nacon). After leaving the corpses of her family members behind, she finds a new car, on whose dirty windows she also draws “JSS.” Still traveling alone, she makes a meal out of raw turtle, using its bones to once again mark her territory with the mysterious acronym. Eventually, she arrives at the fence that separates Alexandria from the zombie-infested world outside.

In the present, Carol (Melissa McBride) is going through the pantry. One of the women, Shelley, talks about the bad noodles and seems to diminish Carol’s cooking skills. Carol spars back and tells Shelley how disgusting her smoking habit is, especially since so many forces are at work to try to kill them all already. When Carol returns to her house, she finds Sam (Major Dodson) on her steps. Her advice to him? Forget about the fact that his abusive father got himself killed or it will eat him up. Sam’s older brother Ron (Austin Abrams), meanwhile, is busy trying to avoid talking to their mother, Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge). He can’t believe that she considers Rick (Andrew Lincoln) a friend.

Maggie (Lauren Cohan) wants to start planting vegetables, which will mean that Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) will have to expand the walls slightly. She appeals to her loyalty to Reg and what he had planned for the community, namely expansion. As for Eugene (John McDermitt), he wants to get rid of the church since it takes up space that could be occupied for more utilitarian purposes. In the infirmary, he and Tara (Alanna Masterson) run into the new doctor – Denise (Merritt Wever) – who admits she had dropped surgery for psychiatry but that she’s still their best bet.

While cooking up some of the pantry provisions she’d collected earlier in the day, Carol looks outside to see Shelley smoking on her lawn. Her cigarette break is cut short, however, when a man with a knife runs into her yard and starts hacking at her. There’s been an invasion – not by zombies, but humans. Most of the group’s main fighters are missing, meaning the likes of Carl (Chandler Riggs), Carol and Jessie are having to take up arms and defend Alexandria and their loved ones.

Carl had been pushing Judith in a stroller and saw Ron and Enid talking. He tried to get away when Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) approached him to apologize for speaking poorly of his father’s group. Carl forgives him and offers to give him combat lessons. Later in the day, Enid pays Carl a visit to tell him that she’s going to leave the community in the midst of the chaos, stating her belief that it was always too big to protect. Before leaving, she leaves a note for Carl, which reads, “Just survive somehow.”

The men and women wreaking havoc in the former safe zone are the “Wolves.” When one of the Wolves attempts to drive a semi through the gate into Alexandria, Spencer (Austin Nichols) fires a fatal bullet. Though it stops the Wolf from entering the community, it causes him to fall on the horn, resulting in the deafening blare that derailed Rick’s zombie exodus at the close of last week’s episode. It’s Morgan (Lennie James) and Deanna’s son who eventually take care of the horn problem – but the community is far from being in the clear.

Morgan, ever the pacifist, tries to fight the Wolves with words, asking them to leave the community. Carol, not having any of Morgan’s diplomacy, shoots the Wolf in the head. Carol dispatches another Wolf when she sees Morgan trying to save Father Gabriel from one. Still not trusting Gabriel, she gives Morgan a gun from the armory, but he predictably hands it over to Gabriel. Once again surrounded by Wolves, Morgan bluffs by claiming that guns are trained on them from above and manages to survive.

Towards the end of the battle, Aaron (Ross Marquand) finds his missing backpack, which had contained pictures of Alexandria and had likely served as the blueprint for the Wolves’ attack. Then, on his way home, Morgan finds himself in a potentially fatal confrontation with a Wolf again. The Wolf, recognizing Morgan, says with a degree of amusement that he realizes that Morgan can’t kill him. In a surprise move, Morgan does exactly what he’s so far been incapable of doing.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC at 9/8c.

Read more about: