The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 8 “Start To Finish” Review

the-walking-dead-episode-608-michonne-danai gurira

The Walking Dead Name drops a Big Villain in the Bonus Scene (Spoilers)

The Walking Dead’s mid-season finale entitled “Start To Finish” started out with a bang. The intensity of the initial “escape by the skin of your teeth” sequences after the watchtower collapsed set up which should have been an exciting sprint to the finish. But ultimately the mid-season finale is as memorable for the mishandling of a key character focused scene and an ending which leaves us hanging until the show returns next year on February 16th. 

Before we get into the details, on a general level this wasn’t a bad episode.  It had some good moments. However, overall it lacked that extra something special that’ll get us super excited about the second half of the season. Probably only the bonus scene which mentions Negan, the name of a big upcoming villain, will get comic book fans excited for things to come.

Perhaps, some plot points would have worked better as the second to the last episode of the year and the mid-season finale could have payed off on many of those loose ends in an immediate, satisfying way. If anything, it’s usually not a good sign when we, as viewers, try to fix in our heads some of the writing issues.

The show has so many characters to service. This becomes glaringly evident when the writing isn’t as tight as it needs to be. For instance, it’s odd how Glenn and Enid took the whole episode to basically climb a tree. And after an exciting close call, Maggie is left with nothing to do because she’s trapped on the scaffold. Not to mention, Aaron, Heath, and Spencer are absent, although I don’t really mind. 

the-walking-dead-episode-608-morgan-lennie jame

Something was off about the scene between Carol and Morgan. Maybe Carol hit her head too hard on the cement. It didn’t feel quite right that she’s willing to kill Morgan. Is it within her character to do something like that? Well apparently it is. It shows her survival mentality is swung to the extreme. The way she said she’d kill Morgan in order to kill the wolf to prevent further killings, seemed a little off her rockers. But she’s not wrong in wanting to dispose of the wolf as we later see him take Denise hostage at knife point. It’s just the timing and how Carol went about it could have been handled more thoughtfully.

It’s a little disheartening to see Deanna bite the dust. Of the Alexandrians, she is the character that would have been most interesting to see develop further. Rick is already the leader, but Deanna’s death paves the way for him to look after Alexandrians as if they are his own group. At least Deanna left words of wisdom for Michonne and Rick, then went out with a bang instead of a whimper. In the midst of the chaos, Michonne had a nice moment of reflection in thinking of what she truly wants. It’ll be interesting to see what she comes up with.

What’s annoying about Ron and Sam is how they’re putting the group into dangerous situations through their stupidity. Last episode Enid pulled a gun on Glenn and here Ron pulled one on Carl. When Carl decided to cover for Ron and later say “your Dad’s an A-hole”, this is probably a moment where a more experienced actor playing Ron could have helped the scene. As for Sam saying “mom” out loud while pretending to be a walker … even Judith knows when to be quiet.  A good thing the baby didn’t cry when covered in a bed sheet bathed in guts.

“Start To Finish” is an uneven mid-season finale. The confrontation between Ron vs Carl and Carol vs Morgan didn’t hit the mark. But there are a lot of little solid moments too. Denise asking the wolf to spare Morgan & Carol was nice. Eugene asking for help on the walkie talkie is a good callback to “Always Accountable”, although I thought it would lead Daryl to something more interesting.  And that brief fight between Carol and Morgan was kind of neat too. Still a stronger ending could have helped cap off the mid-season on a high note.

Did you like the the multiple cliff hangers? Did Carol go too far?

About Sidekick Reviews

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on November 30, 2015, in Comics, Television, The Walking Dead, TV Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. That was my last. I’m done with this show completely. Finale? There was nothing final about that at all. Nothing happened. Point of fact, nothing much has happened the entire season. The show has become repetitive and predictable. The Glenn is dead fake out (leading to his inevitable death later this season is way too predictable) The absence of any character depth. It’s like every main character has become the same person. Deanna; Everything about her was annoying including her death and her advice that sounded more like a death rattle than any powerful drama. The show spent 8 episodes doing nothing. Showing what each of their too many characters were doing at the same time and then having no pay off for it. The “wolf” tied up with rope. He’s not even tied to anything. They never show how Morgan secures him. He doesn’t. He’s tied with rope, his hands in front of him. In front of him. Like he doesn’t have a mouth. How about they treat this survival show with at least some semblance of logistic and strategic believability. The fights between Carl and that kid and Carol and Morgan were dumb plot devices. Glenn and Enid scenes were silly and unnecessary. You’re wrong though they didn’t spend the entire time climbing a tree. They had moved from one side of the town to the other. Then Glenn sees Maggie… and that’s when I realized that this is my stop, I gotta get off. Cause we’re just going in circles. I’ve seen all this shit before. And then the after credits scene just added insult to injury and paved my exit. More of the same. White guys in leather jackets have taken Daryl again (without firing a shot). Oh that’s right we’re still in same general geographic area from season one. The same trees and the same sets. It’s monotonous. Oh look another villainous group. There is no drama in the apocalypse. Remember when this show was a drama? Nothing much has happened with the current villainous group. All the characters have become two-dimensional including the villains. Fear was better than this crap. Why is the tower on the outside of the wall anyway? Why are Rick and his group leaving the house again? Where is everyone else who lives in the town? When was the last time someone died? Really the only explanation they have for Glenn surviving is that he crawled under a trash bin? Why I’m still watching this show? Why if the wall was breached on one side are there suddenly walkers behind them? Why wasn’t getting to the armory ANYONE’S priority?Why are some walkers faster than others yet they never trample over each other? What do you think will happen in season 8? Or season 7? Or the second half of season 6? More of the same. Nothing will happen. I’m out. I’m done. At this point in the television landscape, I can name 100 other shows I would rather watch than the Walking Dead. 100 current and better shows. 100. And that’s too many.

    I have really enjoyed your recaps. They’ve been one of my favorite things about the show.

    • There were definitely lots of problems and things I disliked, but I don’t think I hated it. I totally agree that this wasn’t a finale. I wasn’t expecting that because I heard the producers wanted each 8 episode arc to have it’s own flavor or focus. If this was the set up to the mid-season finale, it might have worked better. Looks like they are still battling the quarry walkers from the premiere heading into 2nd half of the season … I thought there would be more wrap up on stuff like that.

      The kid characters are annoying but I like Deanna so maybe that’s why her scenes worked better for me. I was thinking the exact same thing about the wrist tied wolf, way too easy to free himself if he tried to. Also the antibiotics worked very fast, that pus oozing out was nasty but he looked okay just in time to take a hostage. I kind of feel too that the writers are overusing the stupidity of the kids to put the group in greater danger, instead of finding more organic ways to do it. It’s my dry humor when I say it took Glenn and Enid an episode to climb a tree, I guess it doesn’t come across without me writing in lol or haha. They had nothing to do, like a lot of other characters including those that didn’t get screen time but we know are in Alexandria.

      Yeah, there are a lot of questions and things that don’t add up. Season 7 will be about Negan’s crew, in the meantime I think they will find other friendly communities to work with. You know, the handful of regular supporters of these recaps like you are probably the only reason why I even bother to stay up at night and write. Something happened to my search engine rankings and I hardly get any views anymore, probably even fewer who actually read them lol. Big thanks goes to you!

      • I’m sorry I ranted. This episode annoyed me because it meant there was no pay-off. That nothing happened except in flashbacks. And the fact that Daryl Sasha and Abraham are already in season 7 is just annoying. And they say Negan like it’s a big deal. Sasha makes him say the name. All that was missing was the descending bass notes of impending doom. I never read the comics. The name means nothing to me. Maybe I’ll keep watching but the show has too many main characters and any drama between them is contrived and awkward. Love or hate it’s painful to watch. I still remember my favorite season when they were all split up but instead of one group per episode they had two groups per episode and went back and forth. They should have stuck with that. That was awesome. We still have no idea who the wolves are and they’re introducing the next guys halfway through the season. I apologize again for my barely intelligible rant. I had literally just watched the episode and was really pissed off. I usually let it sit for a day or two. Sorry I got it all over your comments section.

        • No worries, it’s good to get things off one’s chest. A lot of online reaction isn’t liking it either. Maybe once the dust settles, some things for better or worse might come across differently. Then again, there wasn’t any pay off and that’s not going to change. We’ll probably see more of Negan’s crew in the second half and then Negan himself in the finale. But like you said, only people who’ve read the comics would know about Negan. Would have been cool if Daryl tested out the rocket launcher while those bikers were all grouped up together haha.

  2. Underwhelming to say the least. The fight between Morgan and Carol was ridiculous. Like you said, it just didn’t seem right Carol was willing to kill Morgan just to kill the Wolf dude. What a waste of scene time (other than Denise being taken away). Ron and Sam are raging idiots. I get that they have been sheltered and aren’t the grizzled vets Rick, et al, are, but come on! How many times do you need to see bad things happen before you wake up. And how long is Maggie going to last on that platform, and how far away were Daryl and the other two? Too many things left up in the air right now.

    I think viewers are experiencing what comic book readers have gone through. Such great starting potential, then minor lows followed by good stuff, then even longer lows followed by not enough interesting story lines. I’m looking forward to seeing Negan and hope the writing holes get fewer and far between in February. The changes that have occurred since Scott Gimple took over have been good but I think he takes a too focused approach at times. Sometimes it’s better to have a few story lines going on at the same time. Makes for better viewing and a more cohesive show. I think the producers/writers need to take some time to fix the balance and stop getting lost in such deliberate episodes.

    The season started off strong but went bad when Glenn’s fate was left in the air and for too long. A solid Morgan episode was badly timed and then a flat mid-season finale made it seem like a disappointing episode run. Maybe the potential mix of new characters, who are really far more interesting than the Alexandrian’s have been, will be on display when TWD returns.

    • Underwhelming is a good way to describe it. And wasted potential too. It’s unfortunate the writers dropped the ball. Especially that scene between Morgan and Carol. I could see that Carol would want to get rid of the wolf but she would have done it in a more tactful way and without directly confronting Morgan in a fight. Did she really think she could take Morgan on? Not sure if the wolf knew what was going on outside … he’s about to find out it’s over run with walkers lol.

      Another thing is that we didn’t get good character moments, ones that remind us of how great they are and can be. Maybe they added that bonus scene because they realized the mid-season finale wasn’t enough on it’s own. That and they realized that Daryl wasn’t it in. I hope Scott Gimple and producers take a step back and see the bigger picture. I guess the strong start to the season gave us big expectations or high standards to go by. And that’s the way good TV should be. But there were a lot of ups and downs, which is consistent with the show’s history.

      Overall, I didn’t hate this episode but there wasn’t much to love. Only some smaller moments I thought were nice. I hear episode 9 will have lots of death and will be one of the biggest eps. Sounds intriguing but I’m going to keep myself from having big expectations. Let’s hope they do the Negan storyline well. Thanks again for the great comments!

  3. Hey man, how’s it going yo? Sorry I haven’t been around to comment on your previous reviews, but besides the first few episodes in the season I haven;t been too hyped or bothered about the episodes of season 6. I think that’s why I’m a little more forgiving with this episode, I don’t think it was bad episode, it had its moments of action with the walkers getting into town and almost killing several people, sometimes through the fault of other humans, like that asshole who was fighting Carl in the garage (can’t remember the kid’s name). I was gutted about Carol, but she fucked herself over by jumping into that crowd of walkers and not properly protecting her back. The fight between Carol and Morgan came out of left field a bit because like you said it felt like Carol’s need to kill Morgan felt extreme especially since they’re meant to be on the same team. But I did like that fight and when Morgan dropped Carol and I was “Damn, fuck yeah!” That was pretty hardcore and while I don’t agree with Morgan’s no kill policy, I am on his side because I understand his reasons. But it pissed me off not only how those two really didn’t see how them taking each other out would help the wolf, but how the wolf then caught that girl and got away with no one making a move on him at all. Bullshit.

    • Hey there! I’m doing well, hope you are too. No worries about commenting on previous reviews, to be honest there wasn’t that much to talk about except maybe Glenn’s return which most people seemed to have guessed. Yeah, it wasn’t a bad episode, but I was hoping for more quality. You mean Deanna right? I’m glad you mentioned her because I’ve wondered what other viewers like you think about her. I guess her time was up and didn’t serve a purpose anymore lol. It seemed weird that Carol would force the issue at that time. She could have just said, let’s secure the wolf better for our safety and we’ll decide what to do when Rick & Michonne get here etc. The Morgan stand alone episode did a good job of showing us why he believes in not killing. At the same time, that same wolf was released by Morgan before and he came back to kill people. Kind of silly how both Carol and Morgan got knocked unconscious beside each other haha. Thanks again for commenting man!

      • Oh yeah I did mean Deanna, haha my mind’s not functioning too well these days with all the shows I’m watching haha. But yeah that wolf bastard, I hope he gets owned at some point because he’s starting to piss me off a little. I heard from interviews recently that things are gonna get worse in the latter half of the season but I’m not sure what kind of madness this show could create that would be worse than this.

        • I heard there will be deaths when the show returns. It could be good to trim down the cast and focus on the characters we already love. I’m not sure if that’ll address some of the issues. Speaking of the wolf I’m guessing that’ll get wrapped up quickly. Still feels like there’s a lot about the wolves to explore or get closure on yet there’s already a new threat coming.

  4. That was… underwhelming. I guess I expected more from a mid-season finale. I feel like both finales and mid-season finales usually feel “big” on The Walking Dead. Maybe I haven’t always liked them all, but they usually feel pivotal or climactic. This one really didn’t. (I could be wrong about all the finales feeling big, but in mind they typically do).

    It left too many things in the air as well. I liked the piecemeal storytelling throughout the year, but I expected everything to come together more by now. Throw in how annoying Ron and Sam were and I can’t help but feel disappointed with this episode.

    I agree it wasn’t a bad episode though. There were some good moments. The post-credits scene was interesting. I liked Michonne and Deanna’s conversation towards the end. It is just after such a strong start to this season, I feel it tailed off a bit towards the end. Great review man. Hopefully the show picks up steam again when it returns.

    • Hey there. I feel the same way, this felt more like a continuation of an on-going storyline rather that something big or definitive to cap off the mid-season. I guess anti-climatic could be another way to sum things up. I think you’re right, I remember the season 4 mid-season finale was pretty epic when Governor attacked the prison and Hershel died.

      Things didn’t cohesively come together like you mentioned. And a number of key characters weren’t really in the mix. So it all came across as a bit messy. The writing has been better. Oh boy, Ron and Sam were so annoying, really cringe worthy stuff lol.

      Nice to hear you liked the Michonne and Deanna’s conversation too. It’s a minor moment but it worked. They could definitely give more stuff for Michonne to do. I wonder if the post-credit scene was something they shot for the second half of the season but decided to use it to pad the mid-season finale haha. Hoping for bigger and better things when the show returns. Thanks again for commenting!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: