SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of tonight’s Season 6 winter finale episode of The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead loves to end the year with a bang and tonight’s Season 6 midseason finale was no different.  Last year’s Season 5 winter finale of the AMC blockbuster saw Emily Kinney’s Beth suddenly die by gunshot and the Season 4 last show of 2013 had a double death with Scott Wilson’s Hershel beheaded by David Morrissey’s the Governor, who was killed himself in the December 1, 2013 ‘Too Far Gone’ episode.

After several episodes that left the fate of Steven Yeun’s Glenn Rhee character unclear and the wall around the Alexandria Safe-Zone coming crashing down to a horde of Walkers, tonight’s Season 6 winter finale of TWD continued the tradition of a major character meeting a bloody and fatal fate.

walking dead 2015 s6 ep 2Despite wide spread speculation that Rick Grimes’ son Carl would be injured as in the Robert Kirkman comics the series is based on, it was another character who met their end tonight. Sunday’s show revealed that the Tovah Feldshuh played Deanna, who had already lost her husband and a son, had been bitten by the Walkers who had gotten into the Safe-Zone. After a pistol packing last stand, the death of ex-congresswoman who ran Alexandria seemingly solidly puts Rick in charge of the community. “They’re all your people Rick, they are,” she tells him on her death bed, with a mocking quip about the Andrew Lincoln character’s facial hair.

Another past TWD winter finale tradition was in play with a divulging post-credits scene on Sunday. In 2014, we saw Lennie James’ Morgan character reappear and discover a map that allowed him to follow Rick, Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon and the other survivors. Tonight, viewers had to wait for a peek at the return of Season 6 next year until the first commercial break of lead-out Into The Badlands to see Daryl, Sonequa Martin-Green’s Sasha and Michael Cudlitz’s Abraham get stopped on their way back to Alexandria by a biker gang who tell them that their “property now belongs to Negan.”

This is the first reference in the show to the villain from the comics that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is set to play. Negan is the one who kills Glenn in the comics.

What did you think of tonight’s TWD winter finale? Was it more of the zombie apocalypse same or a game changer for TV’s top rated drama?

The Walking Dead will be back for the second half of its sixth season on February 14, 2016.