AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 6, Episode 8: “Start to Finish”
Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis
Written by Matthew Negrete
* For a review of the previous episode, “Heads Up” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “No Way Out” – click here
This episode begins with young Sam (Major Dodson) up in his room, listening to “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” on vinyl. Tons of ants crawl around the window and down to food he’s left rotting. An indication of the psychological issues lying just beneath the surface. Things aren’t right with this little boy.
Outside, the tower has fallen into Alexandria and torn one of the walls down letting zombies inside. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is on the frontline, alongside Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) determined to help him. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) manages to climb the ladder up to one of the watch posts. Halfway up the dead almost take her.
Eugene (Josh McDermitt) almost gets eaten, except Rosita (Christian Serratos) blasts him out of it. Even Rick and Deanna, plus others, get saved by Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge). After they’re all inside, what happens next?
Glenn (Steven Yeun) watches in horror, continually having to talk Enid (Katelyn Nacon) into staying. He goes on, whether she does too is left to be seen. What’s going to happen with Sam? As the carnage comes back to his house, Deanna injured and general chaos boiling over, the poor kid looks messed up. He’s barely been outside, let alone seen any of the “monsters,” as he calls them.
Morgan (Lennie James) and Carol (Melissa McBride) end up back at his place during the onslaught. She doesn’t particularly trust him. Downstairs, with Morgan staving off Curious Carol, there’s Dr. Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever) having an eerie conversation with the remaining Wolf (Benedict Samuel). He’s pretty much at their mercy, but doesn’t appear to care, and certainly not about them. Still, Denise starts out trying to help him.
Michonne (Danai Gurira) tends to Deanna’s wounds at the Anderson house when she and Rick discover a bite on her waistline. All Deanna has to say: “Well… shit.” Sad to see her go. Some may not enjoy her character. Father Gore likes the way she was envisioning a future for Alexandria, no matter what happened. Great scene with Deanna and Michonne, giving more depth to Deanna as a character, even on her deathbed(/couch). You can see how much she cared as the life literally starts slipping out of her.
In the Anderson garage, Carl (Chandler Riggs) talks to Ron (Austin Abrams). Dickhead Ron comes on with aggression, like always. He tries to go for his gun, but Carl smartly counters. They wrestle for a bit until Rick and Jesse make their way inside. All the noise makes the zombies take notice. Ron’s doomed his own house. The dead come crashing through the gate and into the garage. Even after all that, Carl lets it slide. He speaks plainly to Ron in private, after taking his gun: “Look man, I get it. My dad killed your dad. But you need to know something— your dad was an asshole.”
Deanna and Rick have a very intense, deep conversation. She explains to Rick they’re all his people out there. He is them— they are them together. It’s a hard thought for Rick. Because he’s already shouldering everything, all the time. It’s almost as if Deanna places the survival of society as a whole on him. Back at Morgan’s place, Carol pulls a little bait-and-switch tricking him. She runs downstairs to find out what’s going on.
We quickly cut to the Anderson house. Rick, Michonne and everyone else are pushed upstairs. They bar off the stairs while Rick gets a couple zombie corpses to smear themselves, so they can get to the armoury. We cut back and forth between the people in the Anderson house to a showdown between Carol and Morgan. He will not let her kill the last Wolf, insisting “life is possibility.”
“Someday this pain will be useful to you.”
The final Wolf keeps telling Carol and the others: “You’re not supposed to be here.” We all know he needs to die, Carol knows that. However, Morgan’s not willing to let that happen. He and Carol have a fight— he knocks her out. Then the Wolf knocks him out, pulling a knife off Carol and holding Denise at the end of his blade. The Wolf’s interrupted by Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Rosita with guns drawn. But he’s got Denise hostage, backing out into the nasty zombie shitshow.
Then, another scene where Rick and the survivors make their way out of a horde with zombie guts all over them. A really great montage with excellent music from Bear McCreary. Very inspired sounding stuff, as well as ominous— awesome electronic sound. We also see Deanna take a final stand upstairs, opening the door to face the walking dead with her gun instead of committing suicide.
Season 6’s second half whets our appetite for Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan and hard times ahead for the group. Lots to look forward to, and we do at least see Daryl, Abraham and Sasha run into some of Negan’s crew— an ominous tease.
The Walking Dead returns in all its horrifically oozing glory with “No Way Out” next.