Warning: this review contains spoilers!!!
Last week’s The Walking Dead finished with an epic cliff-hanger of the toppling watcher tower crashing through one of the walls of Alexandria. As well as that ‘OMG’ ending, the last episode teased some very exciting drama for this week’s instalment. Maggie finally found out that Glenn was alive through his balloon signal. Ron was about to do something sinister to Carl. Carol was about to find out that Morgan was hiding a Wolf.
This week’s The Walking Dead picks up where the previous episode left off with hundreds of Walkers swarming into the vulnerable Alexandria. The flood of Walkers pouring into the safe haven causes everyone to frantically scramble to safety or else end up chomped to pieces. As always the Walker-fighting and Walker-fleeing scenes provide some edge-of-the-seat adrenaline racing action.
The episode, titled ‘Start to Finish’, sees the intriguing strands teased last week’s TWD resolved in either great, good or bad fashion. Let’s start off with the bad.
After the whole ‘is-Glenn-really-dead?’ fiasco was finally cleared up last week, I expected big things to come for Glenn and his wife Maggie. The couple might have well not appeared in this episode as we barely see anything of them. Along with Enid, Glenn helplessly watches from the distance as Alexandria falls victim to the Walkers.
Meanwhile Maggie has a very close call with a pack of rabid zombies but manages to climb to safety. You always know that she’s going to make it out alive but the fact that she’s pregnant does add some extra drama. Combined Maggie and Glenn get around two minutes of screentime and are ultimately wasted in this episode. After the irritating Glenn deal and the under use of Maggie in the season so far, hopefully the next time we see them will be much more satisfying.
One of the good parts of the episode was the Carl and Ron situation. The bad blood between the teenage boys had been brewing for quite some time with the two at odds over Rick killing Ron’s dad, the affection of Enid and their offscreen competition for who had the worst haircut (Carl wins!). While not the best choreographed fight the show’s ever seen, their scuffle was cool to watch.
Unfortunately for them and everyone else, they alerted a swarm of Walkers who broke into the house. Realising that they’re trapped in and soon about to become lunch, Rick has an idea. It’s the old ‘let’s all rub ourselves with Walker guts so the zombies don’t see us’ trick that we saw Rick and Glenn pull off back in the first season. When the gang hold hands and slowly walk through the sea of Walkers, it’s incredibly tense to watch. It did make you wonder why everybody didn’t smear themselves with zombie guts more often on the show as it sure would have helped them out when they were ever in trouble.
Anyway, Rick’s plan seemingly works, which made a welcome change as it was his mad idea to herd the Walkers away from Alexandria that caused this big mess in the first place. Although, the episode did end with Jessie’s youngest son Sam, who had been living in fear since the Wolves’ invasion, saying “Mom” which will surely attract the attention of Walkers. The cliff-hanger ending was very compelling although maybe a bit too abrupt.
The great part of this episode was the beef between Carol and Morgan. Apart from the zombie action, TWD is at its best when two characters are at odds over conflicting moral views. Killer Carol and merciful Morgan find themselves in a tense standoff over what to do with the captured Wolf and end up in a thrilling fight. Unfortunately the only winner of Carol V Morgan: Dawn of Wolf Justice was the Wolf who escaped with Dr Denise as a hostage. Hopefully she makes it out of that situation alive as for an Alexandrian, she’s a fairly likeable character.
Speaking of Alexandrians, Deanna got bit and is surely gonna become a Walker. While I felt a little bit of sympathy for the old lady, it wasn’t very much as the show never really set her up to be a character I really cared about. To be honest, Tabitha the goat’s death had more of an impact on me than Deanna’s. Anyhow, RIP Deanna.
Overall ‘Start to Finish’ was a decent episode which was pretty entertaining from, well, start to finish. It’s a bit of a pity that season six, which began with four amazing episodes, wasn’t able to keep up its momentum. Still before TWD goes on its unnecessary midseason break , the show left us with a pretty good episode before it returns in February. ‘Start to Finish’ scores a:
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