PREVIOUSLY: Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6, Episode 7, ‘Heads Up’: Balloonatics
It’s the mid-season finale, so the gang’s all here except for Daryl, Sasha and Abraham. They’re still driving back from their romantic excursion. But everyone else is on hand to deal with the walker horde invading Alexandria.
Of course, when I say “everyone,” I just mean the regulars, since Alexandria seems basically deserted when the walkers come pouring in, save for all our familiar faces. Remember Tobin, the friendly Alexandrian who was helping Rick brace the walls just last episode? At the beginning of “Start To Finish,” there’s a shot of Rosita, Tara and Eugene helping Tobin up, but the next time we see those guys, Tobin has vanished. Did he die? Is he safe? Who knows? Save for Deanna and the Andersons (who might as well be Ricketeers at this point), Tobin’s the only Alexandrian we even get a glimpse of this episode — including guys we actually know, like Aaron or Spencer.
Considering that so much of Rick’s story this season has been his reluctance to work with the Alexandrians (and vice versa), it’s a let down that none of that comes through this episode. Sure, Deanna tells Rick late in the episode that he needs to start treating everyone like they’re all “his people,” but it’s just telling over showing. And considering how little actually happens this episode, it seems like a missed opportunity. Surely someone other than the core cast could have been stuck in the Andersons’ house with Rick? Of course, a show with a cast this big has to service the characters it already has before it can start expanding, but this episode makes it seem like the Ricketeers are the only ones in the town, while everyone else was out getting groceries or something. It’s a noticeable absence, especially with Alexandria itself under attack. It’s like that episode where everyone mentioned Carol, but we never saw her, but with a whole town.
If you thought a giant zombie attack was going to interrupt Ron’s “kill Carl” plan, you’ve got another thing coming. Ron locks them both in the garage and tries shooting Carl, but Carl overpowers him until a bunch of walkers break through one of the windows. They get away, and Carl even covers for Ron with Rick and Jessie, but that’s just because Carl likes to handle his own shit. The moment he and Ron are alone, Carl draws his gun and disarms Ron, then gives him this amazing speech. “Look man, I get it, my dad killed your dad. But you need to know something: your dad was an asshole.” This would be the funniest moment of the season if Tara hadn’t flipped Rick off last episode.
Carol, meanwhile, has similar problems prioritizing, since she seems determined to kill Morgan’s captured Wolf regardless of what’s going on outside. This leads to a pretty sweet fight between Carol and Morgan, which Morgan wins with a side slam (to be fair, Carol may have been slightly concussed before the fight started). Carol’s been losing it ever so slightly this season, and before she fights Morgan she tells him, “I’ll kill you to kill him, because I don’t want anyone else to die,” which is some Punisher-level logic. Of course, in the confusion, the Wolf is able to knock Morgan out and take Dr. Denise hostage, escaping out into the zombie-infested town. So Morgan’s plan was hardly fool-proof, and the “kill everyone vs. kill no one” debate continues.
Call your mom and alert the media, because Father Gabriel actually got some lines this episode! He winds up in the Andersons’ house along with Rick and the others, which would be the perfect opportunity for him and Rick to have it out, since Rick clearly still hates him for leaving the gate open last season and was tearing Gabriel’s prayer circle fliers down just last episode, but no. Gabriel tells Rick that he’s not going to give up out there, and Rick just says, “Yeah, I know,” like everything’s fine. Considering how little screen time this storyline has gotten, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised it ended with a shrug, but here we are. Considering how bloated the cast has gotten, Father Gabriel’s got to be one of the first on the chopping block, right?
So Deanna gets bitten. She gets one of those long, lingering “Walking Dead” deaths where she gets to give everyone inspiring speeches before she goes (see also: Bob in Season 5). She gives Rick the aforementioned speech about accepting everyone, which is what everyone has been telling him the last few episodes, so nothing new there. She also asks Michonne what exactly Michonne wants from life, which Michonne doesn’t know. In the end, Michonne offers to kill Deanna, but she opts to do it herself. The last we see of her, she’s screaming defiantly at zombies. RIP Deanna, you were a decent character, but you’d served your purpose.
Still alive with Enid, although the zombie horde obviously presents a problem. Glenn does get a glimpse of Maggie, alive, stuck at the top of a tower. Man, after all that needless Glenn business this season, we don’t even get their tearful reunion this episode? Oof. See you in February.
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