The Walking Dead Review – “Start to Finish” S6E8

Just like that, we are halfway through the sixth season of The Walking Dead. This show is slowly walking itself to an early grave, as another highly-anticipated “shocker” has ended up slow-f*cking audiences once again. The chaos is over almost immediately as anybody of importance made it safely inside for the rest of the episode. Instead of a blizzard of blood, we got a snow day.

Pros:

Eugene, idiot savant: By the conventional meaning of the word, Eugene is not a moron. However, he sure could fool Walking Dead viewers the way he manages to mess up continually and get people killed. This time, though, he comes through with his lock-picking skills. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, right Eugene?

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Carol’s first encounter with uncertain odds: As much of a monster as Carol has been thus far in the series, it was an incredibly tense moment to see her go up against Morgan. The classic case of an unstoppable force going against the immovable object ends up in a stalemate, but not before they both lose focus of the actual goal.

Deanna goes out like a G: How many characters have we seen on this show spew their stupid feelings and heartfelt life lessons on their way out of this world? Bob, Tyreese, Eastman… the list goes on. Deanna went out like a badass, using her suddenly-acquired headshot accuracy to empty a clip into a horde of walkers before staring death in the face and screaming back. Kinda poetic, kinda corny.

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Rick gets a little humanity back: It’s no secret that Rick hasn’t been Sheriff of anything but Asshole City lately, so if Deanna’s death served any purpose, it was to show that Rick still does care about people, and he cares about the welfare of Alexandria. May have been a bit cheesy, but I think that sort of revelation was necessary for Rick.

Carl’s Thug Life moment: I wouldn’t bet a dime on this kid in fisticuffs, but any kid that has the cajones to tell an unstable kid that his dad was an asshole and deserved to be murdered is pretty gangster. Especially when you gotta trust that kid not to pull any funny business while you’re in a walker conga line.

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Cons:

Like, are we the cookie? Woooah: That was one of the dumbest metaphors I’ve sen on the show. It was incredibly heavy-handed and not worthy of the pre-theme music intro spot. Does this show think we’re stupid? Or easily bewildered? That kind of imagery would have worked in Season 1, but trust me when I say we have seen things far worse than ants.

So… did anybody really like Deanna?: Aside from Chris Hardwick, who can seemingly unhinge his jaws to take Walking Dead‘s metaphorical dick in his mouth each week, did anybody give a shit that Deanna died? It seemed that she really got in her own way, both in terms of Alexandria and when she landed on top of a walker. I shall think fondly on the times she shot a walker point blank in the chest several times, or the way she walked around awkwardly while Wolves stormed the streets, but mostly the way she screamed at dead people. Honestly, her passing just means the Rictatorship is coming back, so I’m glad she’s dead.

"Uh, this is embarrassing... what was your name again?"

“Uh, this is embarrassing… what was your name again?”

Uh, where is Heath at?: When Heath’s awesome dreads made a debut, I was excited at the prospect of his character cracking jokes and taking care of business, but it seems that he’s all but dropped off of the face of the Earth. He’s even listed in the credits, but makes no appearance. Now that I think of it, what the hell happened to Tobin? Sasha and Tara helped him up, but then reappeared later without him.

Why is everybody is taking stupid pills?!?: In order of least to most airheaded, here are all the dumbass things our characters did this episode…

9. The room’s not even dark Eugene; why are you reading a book by lighter?
8. Rick’s locksmith skills. The door is made of wood, dude.
7. Deanna rescuing Rick – girl, please.
6. Deanna’s Adventures in Babysitting.
5. Turning over guns and a machete because he had Denise at knifepoint.
4. Denise helping the Wolf in any capacity.
3. Everything about Sam that involves him drawing breath. He is not about this life.
2. Ron’s timing for getting revenge on Carl. And what kind of garage door locks from the outside?
1. Morgan and Carol fighting and then not keeping track of the murderer in the room.

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Negan’s namedrop felt super forced: First off, let me say that I’m tired of being forced to watch Into the Badlands. We knew Negan was coming, but the little preview clip was such a limp-dicked way to go about it. The didn’t even say Saviors, which sounded much more natural than name-dropping Negan. It’s just more proof that AMC is desperate for attention at this point.

Father of the Year, Rick Grimes: Does he even care about this baby anymore? This “sign that there’s hope in the world,” “last remaining tie to Lori,” “my baby even though it’s not my baby” baby? At least when she died in the comic books, it was heart-breaking and served as a cross for Rick to bear. Here, she’s just an afterthought. Yeah, let’s strap her in a bjorn made from the innards of dead people and continue on with life. Your fault AMC. Now you have to wait until she’s an unlikable toddler to kill her off.

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Predictions:

Get ready for a boring next season or two: In the books, the group is still at Alexandria, and it took a mighty sizable time jump to make it not weird. Aside from some cool new settlements around the way, there is little to nothing other than jawing between the Survivors (Rick’s group) and the Saviors (Negan’s group) for over 50 issues. So hand tight, because they were agonizing to read.

Somebody give Jessie a hand: Sam’s perchance to not STFU when appropriate is likely gonna get them murdered. In the books, it’s Ron’s panic that gives them away to the walkers. When walkers begin converging on the group, Jessie will not let go of Carl’s hand. Rick does the only thing a good parent would in that situation and hacks her arm off with an axe to leave them to their deaths. All the pieces are lined up for just that to happen. It was incredibly brutal in the book, but I imagine it will look even worse on TV.

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Daryl might meet Lucille: I don’t like the chronology of these events, with Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham meeting the Saviors out in the open like that. There is a preliminary meeting in the comic books where the Survivors promptly hand the Saviors their asses from inside the fortified Alexandria, but with them heavily outgunned (but not out-RPGed, right Abraham??), who knows how it will play out.

Power couple: Maggie and Glenn have got to make it to the other side of this. They’ve got to… they still need to raise Enid as their surrogate child. There’s no way one of them will die.

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Black Hawk Down: Heath is waiting for a black guy to die so that he can get some screen time back. So who will it be: Gabriel, Scott, or Sasha?

Walking Dead Easter Eggs & Other Tidbits:

Sam’s shitty music: In the creepiest way imaginable, Sam only has one vinyl, and it’s Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” from 1968. This weird little bastard would listen to Tiny Tim. Did you miss it? That’s okay, you’ll hear it at least a half-dozen times throughout the episode.

Sam’s shitty toys: At the beginning of the episode, some of the more noticeable toys in Sam’s room are from the Image title, Invincible, which is just about as old as The Walking Dead in publication years. You can buy the set of Mini-Mates directly from the Skybound website.

Sam’s shitty art: While the world is burning around him, Sam draws a kid being tied to a tree while walkers come to get him. This is a callback to Season 5 Episode 13, “Forget,” where Carol threatens to do just that if he tattles on her.

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How selfish do you have to be to waste a cookie in the apocalypse?

Turns out it was Eugene calling on the radio: This is kind of a shrug “Oh, that’s cool” moment, but isn’t that exciting at the end of the day. The voice that Daryl heard calling for help at the end of “Always Accountable” was indeed Eugene’s.

Judith is getting the Michelle Tanner experience: Pretty cool random fact – baby Judith Grimes is played by twins.


Hush Comics gives “Start to Finish” a D+ for continuing to drag out a story for the sake of dragging it out. This past half-season has pointed out a lot of flaws in the show’s story-telling, leaving viewers to wonder why it matters. The cast has gotten so large and big budget that they now have to resort to Game of Thrones-like story progression, which they seem to really suck at. Killing characters off at this point seems senseless, but that is the way of The Walking Dead. We’ll keep watching, and keep complaining, holding onto hope that the show finds real direction.

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Gene Page.

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