This Walking Dead review contains spoilers.
The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 8
For an episode with so much action, not a lot of things of note really happened in The Walking Dead season 6’s midseason finale besides the expected big death. I’m glad the writers knew when to pull the trigger on Deanna, who had been walking on pretty thin ice for most of the season. Since the season premiere, we’ve had the sense that her time was up and that Rick would become the man in charge, as often is the case. And she gets a “nice” send off in “Start to Finish.” Tovah Feldshuh got to show off her acting chops tonight, including great moments with Rick and Michonne, followed by her grand exit, fighting off the walkers that have invaded her paradise.
Otherwise, the episode didn’t quite go as I expected. For one, I thought that perhaps this was going to be a much bloodier affair. But I should know better by now that The Walking Dead is a bit stubborn about trimming the fat in the cast. Instead, we get scenes with characters like Tara, Rosita, and Eugene doing alright, considering their current predicament. And we never get the reunion between Glenn and Maggie that now just seems ridiculously drawn out. When Maggie looked like she was in trouble, I had to roll my eyes. Enough with the alternating “Oh no, Glenn/Maggie!” crap. Let these two be happy for however long they have left. Or just end it already.
Ron’s bit with Carl doesn’t quite play out how we all imagined either, although it does allow for Carl to deliver the best line ever uttered on this show. “Ron, your dad was an asshole,” should absolutely be the tagline for this season’s box set. Anyway, who else wanted Carl’s fate to tie-in with what happened to him in the comics? I did. Either way, Ron needs to get eaten.
And I felt pretty bad for Sam for most of these episodes, but now that we know this kid is going to get someone killed when the show returns in February (that’s definitely what AMC is teasing at the end of the episode), I just hope they put him out of his misery, too. Yeah, I’m in a particularly bloodthirsty mood tonight. But really, I just keep growing more impatient by the second.
I expected Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha to roll in at some point and save the day, actually, although the writers have really enjoyed separating these three from the main group. Instead, we don’t get them in the actual episode at all. But we do get them in a special post-episode prologue that sees them encounter the Saviors for the first time. And we get the first mention of Negan, too:
I didn’t really care for this tease, especially when AMC couldn’t bother to just put it at the very end of the episode. Instead, we’re forced to watch ten minutes of Into the Badlands. Anyway…Negan’s on the show. Moving on.
The Carol and Morgan match up has been coming for a long time, ever since “JSS,” the second episode of the season. These two have very different philosophies about killing, something that has been brought up time and time again. I’m glad they finally duked it out. Did I think one was going to kill the other? It sure would have been ironic if Morgan had had to kill Carol in that scene, but that would’ve meant a zombie apocalypse-like riot on the streets. And Carol couldn’t really kill Morgan because the season has spent so much time fleshing the guy out that it would just end up being all for naught. So it had to end the way it did, and that was a bit predictable, wasn’t it? Wolfie ain’t ever going to change.
So far, I’ve been pretty disappointed by the storytelling this season, and the midseason finale doesn’t do much to straighten things out. That said, the episode did look damn good and the general mood wasn’t as grim as I expected. There was a sense of hope throughout the episode that really surprised me. For once, these characters knew they’d survive somehow in order to rebuild Alexandria. That was refreshing.