Review: The Walking Dead S6 Ep8 Start to Finish

Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Danai Gurira as Michonne – The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead S6 Ep8 Start to Finish

There goes the neighborhood.

Start to Finish, The Walking Dead’s mid-season finale begins with some suburban wholesomeness with Sam, Jessie’s son, finishing his dinner and returning to the sanctuary of his room where he can just be a kid far away from the monsters. The camera pans to the window sill in his room where an army of ants makes its way down the wall to devour a half eaten cookie from his meal. You’ve got to love the symbolism of ants representing hordes of walkers devouring the inhabitants of the broken community of Alexandria. A nice, subtle way to kick off an episode filled with enough tension and drama to fill two episodes.

As the tower falls so does the wall and its walkerpalooza again in Alexandria. Rick warns everyone to run to the safety of their houses as the walkers advance. He’s joined by Deanna as the first line of defense but they are eventually pushed back by the horde. Morgan and Carol run for their lives and it’s utter mayhem as Maggie has to scale a ladder to get to safety above the walkers.

And that’s just in the first 8 minutes!

Glenn and Enid are just outside of Alexandria looking at the hopeless situation. Enid wants to “JSS” the scene but is pulled up by Glenn on the importance of fighting for your loved ones. Morgan and Enid have a heart to heart and share a moment of honesty that does nothing to alleviate the tension that exists between them. Meanwhile, below them Denise and the Wolf ponder their situation in the basement while she takes a look at his wound. The Wolf accepts his lot in life and his place in a world gone mad. The doc, disagrees stating that he wasn’t born that way – that he is capable of change.

Change, is it really possible? Even when you’re facing the end of the world?

The episode was a character study in how different people handle themselves in the face of  hopelessness and death. How would you react when you’re racked with guilt. When you feel there’s no hope? Several characters question themselves throughout the episode but the ones with conviction, no matter what side of the moral divide they’re on see things clearest.

Start to Finish was a gripping and satisfying mid-season finale. There were several confrontations that have been brewing for several episodes now and the consequences of those battles will have lasting effects on the group moving forward. There will surely be some scores to be settled before the group can move on and heal itself. Like all good cliff hangers, Start to Finish provided more questions than it answered. What happens next? Who makes it out of Alexandria alive? Don’t forget there were several characters in Alexandria who didn’t even appear in the episode.

One indication of where the season is going next was provided courtesy of a two minute prologue during Into The Badlands. It featured Sasha, Abe and Daryl being stopped on their way back to Alexandria by a roadblock of well armed bikers. The short segment laid out all you need to know about the next big bad in The Walking Dead saga, Negan.