Episode Title: Start to Finish
Original Airdate: 11-29-15
After the fall of the Alexandria wall, everyone flees to safety. Carol and Morgan make it into an unfinished house. While running Carol fell and hit her head, so Morgan is concerned she may have a concussion. She fakes weakness and dashes to the basement where Morgan left the Wolf, alone with Dr. Denise. Carol tries to kill him, but , after a standoff with Morgan, he knocks her out, then the Wolf knocks out Morgan with his own stick. Tara, Rosita and Eugene (the voice calling “help” on the walkie two weeks back) rush in, as they were trapped in the garage of the same house upstairs, to see the Wolf leaving with Dr. Denise as a shield, not caring whether he (or she) lives or dies at the hands of the horde.
Poor Maggie is chased back up to the look-out point on the wall, barely escaping with her life; meanwhile, Glenn and Enid look on at the chaos from afar, planning on how to get back in to Alexandria.
Rick ends up in Jessie’s house, with their combined kids, Deanna, Michonne and Gabriel. Unfortunately during the panic to get inside, Deanna fell and was bitten. She lies around, awaiting death, bequeaths the rule of Alexandria to Rick and has a lovely pep talk with Michonne about survival. Ron tries to shoot Carl, but fails. During their scuffle, Ron breaks a window and Walkers are able to get into the house. Trapped on the second floor, Rick decides everyone will camouflage themselves in Walker blood and guts to escape the house and get to the armory. As they are all slowly making their way through the horde, Jessie’s youngest son, Sam, starts repeatedly saying “Mom?”
Season 6 had been pretty crazy up to this point. Outside of the “Morgan episode,” there hasn’t been much time to breathe, since the events of the other seven episodes have taken place over the course of a day and a half, just from three different perspectives. The mid-season finale certainly wasn’t lacking in action, but it unfortunately felt like only half an episode. Actually, I don’t even need another hour to this particular story, but just thirty minutes. Morgan got a 90-minute episode, where virtually nothing happened, so why are we now skimping on the mid-season finale? There has been plenty of action and set-up, but zero pay-off, so it still feels like we’re not allowed to let out that breath.
I’ve come to view the split season plan like chapters in a book: every eight episodes tell a part of the story, and though the last episode may end on a cliffhanger, the viewer still feels like that section has been nicely brought to a proper close. There is no better example than the Season 4 mid-season finale with the fall of the Prison. Everyone’s fate was unknown, but that chapter of their survival ended. This mid-season finale felt like the library took our book away before we could finish this chapter and we won’t be able to check out the book again until mid-February.
As an aside, I can’t even believe the lack of Sasha, Abraham and Daryl, then being forced to watch to the first break of “Into the Badlands” just to catch a two-minute “prologue” with them. This has all been handled very poorly, and the more I think about it, the angrier I get.
After everything that has happened with the Group split for the past seven episodes, there was zero closure to any of it. Now it’s just going to be the viewers staring at the same loose ends for eleven weeks. I should have volumes to write on a mid-season finale, but it wasn’t a complete episode, so I’m just going to complain about that. If I felt used after the is-Glenn-dead-or-not plot, now I just feel cheated, which is by far worse. So no, I’m not a satisfied customer right now. They have a lot to make up for on the Valentine’s Day premiere, starting with the death of bowl-cut-Sam.