RECAP: The Walking Dead “Start To Finish” [Season 6 Midseason Finale]

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I can’t believe this show has me rooting against kids. Jessie’s brats?  UGH!  they can go! We open to fragile Sam exiting his room long enough to deposit his empty plate at the top of the stairs for his Jessie to collect. He still can’t make himself go downstairs where “things are different.” He goes back to his room to draw images of the wolves’ invasion, not realizing a more deadly invasion is about to take place (an invasion that is even bigger than the hoard of ants that attack a half eaten cookie left on a plate in his room). The wall is down and the dead are now inside. Carol and Morgan make it to his nearby home.


Deanna runs to protect Rick around is hurt in the process, as she falls on tools left in the yard. Maggie barely makes it to one of the lookout platforms when the ladder falls and she has to muster every bit of strength she has to reach the top, collapsing when she gets there.  She finds solace while looking up and seeing Glenn’s balloons float on by. Eugene, still too cowardly to fight, is rescued by Tara and Rosita as they lock themselves in Morgan’s garage. Michonne, Fr. Gabriel, Ron, and Carl join Rick and Deanna as Jessie provides cover for them to make an escape to her home. Luckily, Judith was with her when the invasion started.  The town is saturated.  Should Sam and Eugene be spared?  There is hope Sam will recover, eventually.  Nothing seems to change Eugene’s cowardice.  Are they both liabilities if the only role they can play is that of “rescued” instead of “rescuer?” OR are Sam and Eugene supposed to be our hope for a kinder, gentler future?


Glenn is already making a battle plan and sharing it with a disinterested Enid – who waxes on about how this is how things always end. (another shortlist contender for “deadweight”?)  Traumatized Sam has been asked to shut off his music and close his blinds. Throughout the episode, he’ll do neither. Jessie asks him to pretend he is someone who is not scared but it is clear he doesn’t have it in him to pretend. Meanwhile, wounded Carol does not want Morgan’s help, making it clear that he is dead last on her list of trustworthy people, especially now that she knows he is a liar – something she never would have expected from him. He hopes they can forge a temporary truce. His captive, the lone wolf, is trying to talk with Denise and is still maintaining that he and his group did nothing wrong. They were only working on freeing people. There is no more fairness in the world, he was wounded breaking into a car with a rusty bumper. He shows Denise his wound and it is ghastly. Before treating him, she tells him that he wasn’t born the way his is,  he changed and he could change again.  He seems interested in her drugs, not interested in her lecture. Back at Jessie’s we learn that Deanna’s wound was not solely due to the tools in the yard she fell on, she was bitten. She will soon join her beloved Reg, and Aidan.


Rick and Jessie talk about the fact Deanna doesn’t have long, knows what happens, and yet is cracking jokes. This is how it ends for her, but not for the others. Rick is determined to save them and has a plan to reach the armory. Michonne comforts Deanna by telling her how it’s clear her plans for the future, the expansion, could still work, even now.  Deanna feels lucky to be able to work with her family to make things better.  Michonne, when asked what she wants, says that she wants Alexandria to work.  Deanna wants to know what she wants for herself and when Michonne counters that she doesn’t know,  Deanna tells her she has to find that out. As Deanna still thinks there is a future to consider, Ron fluctuates between fear and anger – telling Carl that Enid is dead, that they’re all dead, too, and Rick is going to get more people killed because that is what he does. When he calls Rick a killer, Carl tells Ron that his father was a killer, too.  Ron tells Carl that he knows that his brother and mother are are going to die, and tells Carl that he is dead too, before locking the garage door and pulling a gun.  Carl rushes him to fight for the gun.  Genius Ron attracts walkers to the garage when he grabs a shovel to hit Carl, but instead breaks the glass.  


They are made even more unsafe as Rick and Jessie have to break the inside door to access the garage, afterwards placing furniture against the door to try to keep them out. Everyone joins in trying to keep the door closed. Carl covers for Ron, saying a shelf fell, causing the ruckus and damage.  Rick knows better and Jessie suspects more.  Carl later follows and takes the gun from Ron, reminding him that his father was an asshole. I wish he’d added, “an asshole who beat your mother, or did you forget that?” Rick goes to stop Judith from crying when he finds Deanna reaching over Judith’s crib.  He is about to give end her when she screams out to let him know that she is still herself.  She just wanted to see Judith one last time.  Rick tells her that someone needs to be with her at all times, now, and it can’t be Judith. Deanna’s last request is to have him deliver letters for Spencer and Maggie and for Rick to look after Spencer like he was one of his own people – despite his beliefs that there was never time for them to to all come together. She tells him that they are all his people now.  She tells him that she didn’t run to help him because he was a good person or that he could grow one hell of a beard.  She did it because he was one of them.  THAT is the right answer (countering his comment, in the last episode, that he helped Spencer because he was her son).

Tara is helping Rosita deal with her fear that Abraham is dead and telling her that they have earned their place in the community and have to fight to save it.  Carol takes off, leaving Morgan.  Michonne buys the group time to escape to the upstairs as the walkers break through the poorly secured house. She and Rick plan to take two walkers out by blocking the stairs with a sofa and killing the ones who reach through the slightly open side.  Carol makes her way to the cell where the wolf is held, with Morgan right on her heels.  Rick plans to gut the walkers, covering sheets with their scent (blood and guts) allowing all to make their way to the armory.  Morgan thinks that the only way to be better than the wolves is to not kill.  Carol doesn’t want to kill Morgan , but will if  he refuses to let her take the wolf.  Michonne tells Deanna that they are leaving and will end things for her, now, if she wants.  Deanna is not ready to be put down, even knowing the walkers are coming.  She says that she will do it, herself, it’s her life “start to finish” and utters the Latin phrase Reg was so fond of, which translates as: “Someday this pain will be useful to you.” Michonne thanks her for believing and Deanna tells Michonne to figure out what it is she wants, and then tells her to give ‘em hell.  As the others are covering themselves, Sam’s music continues to play.  He is horrified by the sight and refuses to cover himself. Jessie asks him to pretend he is brave.  He agrees and wears a walker sheet.


The wolf tells Carol she should kill him when she tells Morgan she will kill him to kill the wolf to stop anyone else from dying.  A fight ensues and Morgan knocks Carol unconscious.  His wolf captive knocks him unconscious, takes Carol’s knife and holds Denise at bay.  At Jessie’s Fr. Gabriel assures Rick he will be brave, and Rick believes him. As the wolf cuts himself free, Denise begs him not to kill them since he said they were already dead, anyway.  Tara, Rosita and Eugene walk in after picking their way in from the locked garage, the wolf takes Denise –  forcing her to walk out among the walkers, with him. Um, thanks Morgan. Are the writers punishing us for our Morgan fixation, #TWDfamily? Who the BLANK is this guy?  The wolf is able to take Denise by using one of the guns he took from Tara and Rosita, after they  surrendered them to stop him from cutting Denise’s throat.  Back at Jessie’s, the group prepares to move, walking past the indoor herd with no problem.  Glenn climbs a tree and sees Maggie on the platform. Our brave, dying,  Deanna uses her last bullets to take out a few more walkers instead of taking her life.  Once they escape the house, Rick and his camouflaged band are temporarily stopped by the sight of a sea of walkers in the streets.  Sam, of course, flips his lid and begins calling for his mom, as she is walking directly ahead of him, while holding his hand.  I’ve always thought Carol was cruel to Sam.  Now I think she’s seen something the rest of us didn’t.  He may not have been meant for survival, but we won’t know until the show returns.  We have reached our mid-season finale, and I can’t believe it’s over, even for now.  Who made your “deadweight” shortlist?  


What are your predictions for the returning second half of the season?


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