The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 8 “Start To Finish” Review

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The Walking Dead Name drops a Big Villain in the Bonus Scene (Spoilers)

The Walking Dead’s mid-season finale entitled “Start To Finish” started out with a bang. The intensity of the initial “escape by the skin of your teeth” sequences after the watchtower collapsed set up which should have been an exciting sprint to the finish. But ultimately the mid-season finale is as memorable for the mishandling of a key character focused scene and an ending which leaves us hanging until the show returns next year on February 16th. 

Before we get into the details, on a general level this wasn’t a bad episode.  It had some good moments. However, overall it lacked that extra something special that’ll get us super excited about the second half of the season. Probably only the bonus scene which mentions Negan, the name of a big upcoming villain, will get comic book fans excited for things to come.

Perhaps, some plot points would have worked better as the second to the last episode of the year and the mid-season finale could have payed off on many of those loose ends in an immediate, satisfying way. If anything, it’s usually not a good sign when we, as viewers, try to fix in our heads some of the writing issues.

The show has so many characters to service. This becomes glaringly evident when the writing isn’t as tight as it needs to be. For instance, it’s odd how Glenn and Enid took the whole episode to basically climb a tree. And after an exciting close call, Maggie is left with nothing to do because she’s trapped on the scaffold. Not to mention, Aaron, Heath, and Spencer are absent, although I don’t really mind. 

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Something was off about the scene between Carol and Morgan. Maybe Carol hit her head too hard on the cement. It didn’t feel quite right that she’s willing to kill Morgan. Is it within her character to do something like that? Well apparently it is. It shows her survival mentality is swung to the extreme. The way she said she’d kill Morgan in order to kill the wolf to prevent further killings, seemed a little off her rockers. But she’s not wrong in wanting to dispose of the wolf as we later see him take Denise hostage at knife point. It’s just the timing and how Carol went about it could have been handled more thoughtfully.

It’s a little disheartening to see Deanna bite the dust. Of the Alexandrians, she is the character that would have been most interesting to see develop further. Rick is already the leader, but Deanna’s death paves the way for him to look after Alexandrians as if they are his own group. At least Deanna left words of wisdom for Michonne and Rick, then went out with a bang instead of a whimper. In the midst of the chaos, Michonne had a nice moment of reflection in thinking of what she truly wants. It’ll be interesting to see what she comes up with.

What’s annoying about Ron and Sam is how they’re putting the group into dangerous situations through their stupidity. Last episode Enid pulled a gun on Glenn and here Ron pulled one on Carl. When Carl decided to cover for Ron and later say “your Dad’s an A-hole”, this is probably a moment where a more experienced actor playing Ron could have helped the scene. As for Sam saying “mom” out loud while pretending to be a walker … even Judith knows when to be quiet.  A good thing the baby didn’t cry when covered in a bed sheet bathed in guts.

“Start To Finish” is an uneven mid-season finale. The confrontation between Ron vs Carl and Carol vs Morgan didn’t hit the mark. But there are a lot of little solid moments too. Denise asking the wolf to spare Morgan & Carol was nice. Eugene asking for help on the walkie talkie is a good callback to “Always Accountable”, although I thought it would lead Daryl to something more interesting.  And that brief fight between Carol and Morgan was kind of neat too. Still a stronger ending could have helped cap off the mid-season on a high note.

Did you like the the multiple cliff hangers? Did Carol go too far?

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