We all hate these midseason breaks, so Start to Finish is the crappiest title ever … even if it mirrors Deanna’s words. I don’t care. Especially with the little Negan teaser tossed in during Into the Badlands. I will spend the next two months vibrating through The Walking Dead withdrawals. Thanks, AMC!
This midseason finale is like most season finales — a lot of craziness and zero resolution. But, I’m going to chalk this one up as the worst – or the best – or both.
We all know the wall went down and an ass-load of walkers are on their way in. Go figure. So the group has that going for them.
Before the swarm, we get a little peek at what Sam’s been doing in his room all this time. He is eating, which is good. He leaves his lunch plate at the top of the stairs, and “Tiptoe(s) Through the Tulips” back into his room. His music selection is a bit odd to me. Based on his pasty-face, the dark circles around his eyes and some seriously cryptic artwork, I think Misfits (Danzig Era) would be more fitting. But what do I know?
I do like the whole ant-swarm thing. They’re coming in through the window and filing down the wall to devour part of a cookie Sam has left in his room for some reason. Maybe he needs company, or maybe it’s just some good old-fashioned symbolism for the s-t that’s about to hit the fan.
And hit the fan it does. After a moment of settling dust and silence, the fun begins. Barely recovered from the church collapse, Rick finds himself surrounded by a swarm of walkers. They’re close enough to steam up his badge, but of course, they can’t breathe so that doesn’t happen.
He jumps up, starts firing and tells everyone to head to their homesteads. Deanna refuses to listen — and this time I agree with her defiance. Rick really does need to follow his own advice. Standing around with a pistol trying to pick off a few walkers is pretty futile at this juncture. Unfortunately, in her effort to save Rick, she falls onto a sawblade and cuts up her leg. Now she’s damaged goods in tow.
In the hullabaloo, Carol damages her goods, too. While running for the hills with Morgan (grrrrr), she falls down and bonks her head pretty hard. This is not good. We need Carol right now!
Maggie’s also in a bind. She’s alone and soon out of bullets. Barely making it to a ladder, she begins to climb to the top of the wall. I’m really happy that walkers haven’t mastered ladders yet, but my elation soon fades when they quickly knock it down. She manages to grab onto a platform and dangles just out of their reach. Because I know no one is sacred in this damn series, I sit on the edge of the couch and stop breathing. She makes it up within a minute, but if feels like a friggen hour. She’s safe for now. And as she lays there, catching her breath, she sees the green balloons still floating above.
Eugene, whose mental screen appears frozen, stands there staring at the walkers approaching. He snaps out of it when he hears Daryl’s voice on the walkie at his feet. He grabs for it, but Tara and Rosita grab him before he can respond. These “so close” and “almost” moments — good or bad — make me nuts!
Rick, now joined by Michonne, Father Gabriel, Ron (asshat!), and Carl drags a wounded Deanna to safety – wherever that is. They take out as many walkers as they can, but there are just so damn many. Deanna gets bit at some point before Jessie comes out firing and ushers the group into her house.
At least Gimple is nice enough to let us see that Glenn and Enid, the crapehanger, are still alive and kicking. They’re watching the mess go down. Glenn remains positive and determined, and Enid retains her glum outlook on the continuation of the human race. In a final attempt to get her over herself, Glenn brings up their previous conversation. She keeps pouting, so he gives up and heads off. I give him credit … I would have left her blowing up balloons.
Sam is still in his room listening to the oldies. He reaches for a backpack, but when Jessie bursts in and tells him to turn off the music, whatever he was going for is forgotten. He mentions “the monsters” and then everything goes slo-mo … he’s staring right at Rick. Great. Jessie snaps him out of it for a second when she tells him not to be scared. Then it’s back to slo-mo Rick staring … kind of like Morgan in his blurry moments. Aw hell.
Alpha Wolf remains with Denise and strikes up conversation. How quaint. He says a bunch of stupid crap which would be off-putting to anyone with their head on straight in the zombie apocalypse, but Denise spent ten minutes with Morgan, so she’s been subject to his Jedi mind tricks. She, too, thinks Wolfie can change. She hooks him up to an IV. Will this ever end???
Deanna’s bite is discovered, but she remains in good spirits. She listens as Rick tells her he plans to get some flares from the armory to lead the herd away. Michonne brings up the map, saying it will all come to fruition. Deanna says she’s cool with all of it – she’s lived the life she wanted. When she asks Michonne what she wants – for herself, not the good of the group – Michonne has no answer.
Carl finds Ron brooding in his garage. “Enid’s dead! We’re all dead!” drama boy cries. Carl tries to console him, but the minute Rick’s name comes up, it becomes the battle of whose dad is (or was) a bigger killer. Ron sidles over to the door and locks it. He pulls the gun he should have never been given. During their struggle, Ron, genius that he is, tries to hit Carl with a shovel but smashes a window instead. Ring the dinner bell! The passing walkers now turn and swarm Jessie’s house. Ron, you are an idiot.
Thankfully, Rick breaks the lock letting Carl and Ron inside just as the walkers make it into the garage. As any dad would, Rick asks the boys what was going on. They’re both all messed up and sweaty, but Carl insists it was nothing.
Afterward, he gets Ron alone, pulls his own gun and takes Ron’s piece away. Ron says he’s sorry, but he’s still an idiot. At least he’s now a gunless idiot.
Outside, the walkers are so noisy they’re attracting more walkers. Perfect! Just then Judith starts crying. Even better! And Sam is still blaring that crazy music. All we need is a stumpf fiddle band to magically appear on Jessie’s porch to speed up the inevitable.
Rick goes to quiet Judith and sees Deanna reaching into the playpen. Ack! He goes at her with an axe, but she ain’t dead yet. Rick humbly apologizes. She just wanted to see Judith one last time. This is terrible, but images of a Walking Judith were entertaining for a second. Levity is good, no matter how twisted it may be.
He carries Deanna to Judith’s bed, which is nice, but then informs her she’ll need to be watched from here on out. Because … you know. She’s OK with that, but asks that he watch over Spencer and the rest of her crew “like his people.” She puts notes for Spencer and Maggie into his hand. Of course, he doesn’t want to admit it, but they really are his people. He doesn’t answer her, but she knows the answer, so she’s good. Jessie calls to him, and he gets out of the uncomfortable situation.
Tara, Rosita and Eugene are in a garage annexing the unfinished properties … where the Wolf is hidden. To pass the time, Tara watches the walker show outside, Rosita buries her head in her hands, and Eugene reads up on some history with the help of a Zippo. Rosita has become negative. A far cry from last week. She’s sure Alexandria is done and that Abraham is dead. Tara, always positive, says she’s wrong … they just have to earn peace (Alexandria, that is). They haven’t quite paid the price yet. Rosita wants to blast her way into the properties, but Tara suggests they save the bullet. Eugene steps up with a paperclip. It appears lock picking is within his “skillset.” Whoo-hoo!
Carol, who has feigned fatigue with her possible concussion (Morgan’s diagnosis) says she needs to sit and rest a bit. Morgan, believing her, lets his guard down. The second he does, she’s got his keys and is on her way to dispense with the Wolf. That’s my Carol!
At Jessie’s walker-infested house, all efforts are made to keep them out. It’s impossible, so Rick and the rest head to the second floor and use a couch to block the stairway. Rick and Michonne take down two walkers. Then Rick has another plan! It’s one we’ve seen before.
Rick instructs Jessie to gather bedsheets and starts gutting the walkers. The Alexandrian bunch looks confused. When Rick explains what’s going on, they look disgusted. Too bad. They’re getting to that armory, dammit. This is the only way. It’s worked before. Poor Gabriel looks like he’s going to barf.
While Rick puts together their outfits, Michonne pays one last visit to Deanna. They have to leave, Michonne tells the older woman. Michonne offers to send Deanna off with dignity, but Deanna insists she do it herself. It’s her life … start to finish. As Michonne leaves, Deanna tells her to figure out what it is she wants, and to “give ‘em hell.”
Carol busts in to find Denise pampering Alpha-ass. She can’t even believe it and tells Denise to step away. Denise protests. The Wolf watches the exchange. He’s grinning. He knows these people are unraveling. It won’t be long before he gets his chance.
Speaking of which. Enter Morgan … !#@*&%@!!*$!!!
Morgan and Carol face off. Carol says the extermination has to be done and Morgan insists there is possibility for rehabilitation, “even if (they) never let him out!” Wolfie says, “I’d get out.” Morgan ignores this and continues to weave his web of whatever. Carol hesitates. NO! Don’t listen to Hypno-Morgan!
OK. I no longer like Morgan.
Their debate continues. Carol says kill the Wolf. The Wolf agrees it’s a good idea. Morgan refuses this option and knocks Carol out … and if she’s anything worse than knocked out, he better be willing to rehabilitate a walker, too. I am so sick of this crap.
Of course, the Wolf watches all of this go down, sees his opportunity, bops Morgan, grabs the knife, goes after Denise and soon has the upper hand. Denise reminds him of their chat — how he said they’re all doomed anyway. No need to expedite the inevitable. This makes him laugh and just as he’s about to tell her what he likes about people (nothing?), Tara, Eugene and Rosita bust in. Tara and Rosita point guns at him and Eugene stands there looking awkward with his machete.
With the knife to Denise’s throat, the Wolf gets all three to toss over their weapons … holy s–t. Really?! Now he’s got Denise, the upper hand and a gun. This is just too much! To my amazement, he doesn’t kill anyone, but backs out into the sea of walkers still holding Denise hostage.
Rick and the rest put on their new outfits. Sam looks horrified, and Jessie tells him, “We need to look like the monsters.” Just pretend it isn’t really happening. I think back to Carol’s bad advice. Shudder! As the gut-covered group walks out with Rick in the lead, it seems to be working. Hooray!
Outside the walls, Enid (guess she decided to follow along after all) and Glenn climb a tree. Glenn sees Maggie on the platform surrounded by walkers. She doesn’t see him.
Deanna hears the walkers outside of her room. She gets the gumption to open the door and shoot a few, then opens her mouth wide in a warrior’s howl. Deanna’s last stand!
As the group wades hand-in-hand through the walkers, Sam starts yelling “Mom? MOM!” And that’s what we get until February. I feel like smashing my television.
So what the heck do ya think we’re up for in February? I do have some questions to start the discussion, so please oblige me in the comments. This stuff needs discussion, and we all need each other during down time.
- Is Michonne getting weak? Or is she getting stronger?
- Will they ever do enough to “earn” Alexandria?
- Do you think Ron is over it? If he is, will Sam step in?
- How many bullets did Deanna use? Did she leave one for herself?
- What the hell does that Wolf think he’s doing?
And before I go, I have to share my feelings about that little Negan tidbit we got after the episode. That sucked. I’m well aware he’s the epitome of awful, but now I have to wring my hands until February worrying about DARYL! We all know he’s coming … was that clip really necessary? I’m aggravated. You, too? Or relieved to know that it’s finally going down?