Title: The Walking Dead “Start to Finish”
Air Date: November 29, 2015
Genre: Serial Drama, Horror
The Walking Dead mid-season finale just aired and to quote a notable saying my brother uses “Worse. Ending. Ever.” That’s not to say the whole episode was bad but the cliffhanger at the end? Not to mention it’s not as if we have to wait until next week to figure out what’s going to happen. We have to wait until February. Christmas will have passed, it will be a new year, the Force Awakens will have already come out. What is this madness? While this mid-season finale of the Walking Dead did have some sporadic pacing, the episode overall wasn’t too bad but did leave a lot to be desired.
Once this episode of the Walking Dead gets into full swing we see the aftermath of the ending of last week’s episode on “Heads Up.” The church has come down and completely obliterated a section of the wall surrounding Alexandria. The undead flow in as a seemingly never ending wave. Residents of Alexandria are forced to run and hide wherever they can and find themselves separated in the chaos that is unfolding. We also hear Eugene say “Help” into his walkie-talkie. My guess is this is the same “Help” we heard at the end of the episode “Always Accountable.” After the intense opening we find out cast of characters all divided up into different groups pondering how they are going to escape from this pickle. Deanna also took a bad fall in the opening onto a Saw blade, leaving her with a nasty wound in both her side and leg. We later discover one of those wounds also happens to be a bite mark.
The episode of the Walking Dead revolves around several different groups of characters and their struggle to figure out what to do in their town that’s now overrun by the undead. Once Rick and several others take refuge in Jesse’s house it’s discovered that Deana was in fact bitten during the chaos outside sealing her fate. Carol and Morgan wind up together in the house where he is secretly holding that Wolf from the attack on Alexandria. Furthermore Denise, the poor overwhelmed town doctor is stuck in the room with him. Tara, Rosita, and Eugene are a pair that find themselves stuck in a garage. During the opening of the episode as the walkers are fanning out over the town, Eugene says “Help” into the radio. This certainly seems to be what Daryl and the others heard at the end of “Always Accountable.”
While there are some tense moments this Walking Dead episode came off less than expected. I think the action and pace of the first few episodes of season 6 spoiled me. Ron had a bit of a mental break and was ready to kill Carl in the garage of Jesse’s house. This little scuffle though attracted all the undead compromising their hiding place. Then Carl covers for Ron despite Rick knowing something went down and all Carl does it just take Ron’s gun. I suppose Carl really couldn’t do much more than that given that the bottom of the house was now overrun thanks to the little scuffle. The group then found themselves barricading the stairs with a couch and stuck on the seconds floor.
With Deana being bitten at the beginning of the episode we see her condition continue to decay through the remainder. There is actually one particularly scary moment when Rick overhears Judith crying and heads to check on her. He passes the room where Deana was laying only to find the bed empty and blood stained…then the crying stops. I actually leaned up with anticipation wondering what Rick was going to find. Opening the door to the room where Judith is, Rick sees Deana slumped over the side of her crib with Judith just staring. As Rick approached, Deana makes it to a point to say “Wait it’s still me” sensing Rick was probably prepared to kill her. She tells him she was just wanted to hold Judith one last time. Even though Deana knows her fate it brings about a good feeling that she retains a good outlook on things despite the horror that is present around her.
The whole Morgan and Carol clash towards the end was a tad irritating. Carol is smart and quick thinking. To suddenly try and take on a staff wielding Morgan armed only with a knife just didn’t make sense for me. Not to mention there was a better time that could have been handled, like when the entire town wasn’t overrun with walkers. They don’t wait, however, and the captured Wolf ends up getting Morgans staff and gets away with Denise as a hostage.
The end of the episode brings about Ricks plan to get to the Armory in town which consists of the group in Jesse’s house covering themselves in walker’s guts to disguise themselves. This tactic was used in Season one and in Season five more recently when Carol attacked Terminus. Deana is going to be left behind and she knows this and understands. The group covers themselves and begins to head out. Just after getting off the porch Jesse’s youngest son Sam begins saying “Mom” as the episode ends.
Sam speaking up there is not going to go well for the group I imagine. I was not a fan of that ending at all. All that build up throughout the episode and it just ends. Glenn and Enid were briefly seen in this episode looking over the wall figuring out how to get into town. Glenn sees that Maggie is okay but stuck on a watch platform. Deanna faced the walkers at the end instead of just shooting herself. I like that she went out that way after being pegged as one of the weak when Rick came in. This midseason finale wasn’t a stinker, but it could have been more. The second half of season six of The Walking Dead will begin on February 14th.
- Acting/Characters: Deanna was one of my favorites in this episode, Tovah Feldshuh did great with the character. The situation between Morgan and Carol we knew was coming to a head, but the play out here was frustrating to watch
- Story: The set up here was intense, but the remainder of the episode was slightly boring
- Cinematography: The whole episode played out in the now walker infested Alexandria. Some pretty nerve-racking shots of the walkers breaking into Jesse’s house and a powerful shot of Deanna at the end firing her last few rounds into the undead coming down the hallway.
- Organization: With the group being splintered into pieces in the opening we found ourselves jumping around again to different sets of characters. After a pulse-pounding opening, the remainder of the episode became rather boring with only a few moments of intensity.
- Opening chaos
- Rick using the guts trick
- Deanna's final scene
- The cliffhanger ending
- Carol and Morgan fiasco
- Dull pacing
--Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever