The Walking Dead
“Start to Finish”
November 29, 2015
So, whiny baby Sam still isn’t quite over the whole Wolf attack thing, so he hides upstairs in his room, drawing pictures of what Carol will do to him if he tattles on her (tie him to a tree, leave him as zombie chow), wasting perfectly good Carol cookies (WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, SAM) and listening to “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.” You know, like 10-year-olds do. 10-year-olds are really into 1960s novelty acts.
Anyway, the point is, ants are coming through his window and swarming on the wasted half-eaten Carol cookie because VISUAL METAPHOR.
Outside, the tower falls, crushing one of the walls and allowing the herd to shamble their way inside. Everyone is like, “ZOMGAHHHHHHH!!!” Running from the walkers, running from the walkers, occasionally shooting at the walkers, running from the walkers.
As she is running from the walkers, Carol falls and bangs her head, but Morgan is there to help her inside the house where he’s keeping a Wolf as a basement pet.
As for Deanna, while shooting at the walkers, she slips and falls on a table saw that someone just left lying around, RICK, so Rick has to pick her up and carry her.
Elsewhere, Maggie is chased up a ladder and onto a guard’s platform. Fortunately for her, one of the first things that happens after you die is that you forget how to climb things, so for the time being she’s safe.
Dr. Mullet, panicked, just holds very very still as the walkers pour in around him, which works for a while until Daryl calls over the radio Dr. Mullet is holding. Dr. Mullet responds “HELP,” thereby resolving the big “OMGWASTHATGLENN” debate from a couple weeks ago. Fortunately for Dr. Mullet, Tara and Rosita are nearby, and are able to pull him to safety in a garage.
Ron, Father Worthless, Michonne, Carl, Rick and Deanna manage to make it to Jessie’s where, thanks to a combination of luck and Carol’s desire to clock Morgan over the head, The Baby just happens to be, saving us from a whole laborious, “WHERE’S THE BABY? WE HAVE TO FIND THE BABY!” plot point.
Meanwhile, outside the walls, Glenn and Enid watch the walkers pour into Alexandria, and are like, “Well, that sucks.” When Glenn suggests that they try to help, Enid makes a bunch of “why bother, this always happens, wah” noises. But Glenn is like, “LISTEN, YOU LITTLE BRAT, MY WIFE IS PREGNANT, SO GET OVER YOURSELF ALREADY.”
At Jessie’s, Rick carries a bloodied Deanna up to Ron’s bedroom where that whiny baby Sam sees her and is all, “WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING?” Jessie orders Sam to turn off the music, close the blinds and try to hold it together for once in his life. SERIOUSLY, SAM. PULL IT TOGETHER, KID.
So, Deanna’s a hot mess, and when they pull back her shirt to inspect her wound, they discover she’s been bitten because of course she’s been bitten. “WELL, POOP,” she says because what else is there to say, really. When Rick goes downstairs, Michonne has a moment with Deanna, telling her that she understands her plans for Alexandria, and believes that they can work — even now. Michonne asks her about the Latin on the map, because they don’t have Google anymore, and Deanna explains that it was something Nice Architect Husband used to say. Basically, that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Or something. (Actually, it means “someday this pain will be useful to you” but same difference.) Deanna assures Michonne that she had the life she wanted: she got to work with her family to build a better future. So what is it that Michonne wants?
Downstairs, Rick and Jessie evaluate the situation, and Rick decides they need to get to the armory. Somehow.
Meanwhile, in the garage, Jessie’s other awful kid is moping around the garage, where Carl finds him and is like, “Dude, chill.” But Ron is in no mood to chill, and starts ranting about how Rick is going to get people killed, and how he’s already dead and his mom is already dead and his dumb little brother is already dead and how Carl is already dead and Rick is already dead. And that’s when this moron locks the garage door to the house, pulls a gun on Carl thereby starting a fight before bashing an exterior window with a shovel so as to let in walkers.
While Carl works to block the windows with some shelving, Rick hears the commotion coming from the garage, but can’t get inside. Hacking at the doorknob with a hatchet, hacking at the doorknob with a hatchet, hacking at the doorknob with a hatchet and eventually Rick is able to open the garage door just as the walkers push their way past the Ikea shelving and start shambling their way into the house. THANKS, RON.
The group attempts to block the garage door with an upturned couch, which is not much of a plan. While holding the horde back with the Pottery Barn sette, Rick asks Carl if he and Ron were fighting in the garage, and for some reason, Carl lies? And says that the shelves just fell over? Instead of being like, “Heeeeeey, maybe we shouldn’t give Ron a gun on account of how he pulled a gun on me, let a bunch of zombies into the garage and seems a mite mentally unbalanced…”? Come on, Carl. Don’t be stupid Carl.
Carl then suggests that he and Ron retrieve more furniture from Jessie’s room, where he demands that Ron hand over the gun, informs him that his dad was a jackhole and tells Ron to GET OVER IT ALREADY. Teenagers are The Worst is the one concrete thing I’ve learned about the zombie apocalypse from The Walking Dead universe.
Rick goes to check on The Baby who is crying upstairs, where he finds Deanna slumped over the playpen. Just as Rick is all, “PLEASE TO NOT EAT THE BABY!” Deanna cries out that it’s “still [her],” so he doesn’t hatchet her in the face. Rick helps Deanna back to the bed, while she explains that she just wanted to see The Baby one last time. Deanna then explains that she wrote something for Her Idiot Son and Maggie, before explicitly asking Rick to keep an eye on Her Idiot Son for her, and think of him as one of Rick’s people. They’re all Rick’s people now. Like it or not, Rick, you’re stuck with this band of dummies.
And that’s when the walkers somehow manage to push their way past the ottoman and make their way into the house. So Rick and Michonne herd everyone upstairs and barricade the stairwell with more upholstered furniture, but not before killing a couple walkers and dragging them upstairs, while the newbies are like, “Um, I’m sorry, what is happening here?”
What is happening here is that Rick is fashioning some entrail ponchos for everyone so they can Shaun of the Dead their way out of the house and get to the armory.
Before she leaves, Michonne offers to shoot Deanna in the face, but Deanna is like, “Thanks but no thanks!”
So, everyone puts on their intestine windbreakers, and Carl shoves The Baby under his — because babies love 1. being shoved under blankets 2. viscera — and they verrrrrrry quietly make their way out of the house holding hands. And everything is cool! It’s working!
Except that’s when that stupid whiny baby Sam starts calling out FOR NO GOOD REASON: “Mom … Mom … MOM … MOM!”
So, way to get everyone killed, Sam. (Not that we know that’s what happened next because the writers, who have been trying our patience ALL SEASON LONG, have decided that this is the place where we should leave both the episode and the half season.)
Back in the house, Deanna is about to put herself out of her misery when the walkers come bursting into the room. So instead of turning the gun on herself, she shoots as many walkers as she can. Give ’em hell, or whatever.
Meanwhile, over in Dr. Mullet’s garage, Rosita and Tara pass the time talking about whether or not Abraham is dead — Rosita worries he is, but then
The Writers Tara is like, “He’s not, because I didn’t see it happen.”
Then Dr. Mullet picks the locked garage door so as to make their way into the house.
So Carol is hanging out at Morgan’s Unfinished House of Captive Killers with Morgan, very unhappily, nursing her head wound. When Morgan turns his back for a hot second, she turns off the lights and hides, popping back out to shove him so that she can run down the basement stairs and see what he has locked down there.
What he has locked down there is Dr. Denise and the Wolf he saved because blah blah blah, all life is precious, blah. These two had been passing the time discussing the Wolf philosophy (the Wolves were “freeing” the Alexandrians; they were just going to use whatever was left; nothing is “unfair” anymore, it just is; so on and yadda yadda), when Carol comes bursting in and is like, “AWW HELLLLLL NO.”
But Morgan is hot on Carol’s heels and is like, “Let’s not be hasty! Let’s talk about this!” The long retread of the “All Life is Precious!” “No It’s Not!” philosophical debate ends in a fight, and Morgan manages to sweep Carol off her feet, knocking her out. And that’s when the Wolf grabs Morgan’s Ninja Stick and whacks him in the back of the head, knocking Morgan out.
The Wolf cuts himself free while Dr. Denise is like, “Hey! How about NOT killing me? Just something to consider.” And that’s when Tara, Rosita and Dr. Mullet come bursting in. Holding a knife on Dr. Denise, the Wolf orders them to give him their guns, and they do? They just kick them over? Instead of shooting him in the face or the leg at the very least? As if they’ve never handled guns before? And why did you kick over your machete, Dr. Mullet? He didn’t even ask you for your machete, Dr. Mullet? WHAT IS HAPPENING?
And then the Wolf just walks out the door with Dr. Denise while Tara and Dr. Mullet and Rosita stand around and make sad faces. UGH. EVERYONE IS THE WORST ON THIS SHOW.
And that’s it. That’s where we leave the show until FEBRUARY. You thought waiting to find out if Glenn was alive or dead was bad; now we have to wait a full two and a half months for something to actually happen.
This was a fall finale! Big things happen in fall finales! Sophia was found dead in the barn in season 2; Glenn and Maggie were rescued from The Governor in season 3; Hershel and The Governor were killed and the prison destroyed in season 4; and Sister was murdered in season 5. And in this episode, the fall finale of a season that has been pretty darn exciting so far, the wall fell, a character we kinda sorta knew died, and everyone else locked themselves in garages and talked at each other for an hour. Yes, Carol and Morgan fought; yes, Ron tried to get everyone killed; yes, Dr. Denise was kidnapped; and yes, Rick, et al, are covered in zombie goo while a different idiot kid tries another tactic to get them all killed. But these are issues that won’t actually be resolved until we return from the break.
I just feel like the creators could have done one of two things here to make this satisfying fall finale: 1. make it two hours long and resolve the issues above, and begin the second half of the season with introducing our next threat or 2. tighten up this episode, cut out some of the blah blah blah, and get to it. I do acknowledge that there was enough action that even if they had cut down some of the more philosophical musings between Morgan and Carol, Deanna and Michonne, and the Wolf and Denise, for instance, they wouldn’t have been able to cram everything into a one hour episode. But maybe a 90-minute episode? Maybe they could have concluded the fall of the wall in 90 minutes? Probably?
So, instead, we have to wait a good 10 weeks before we get the satisfaction of watching that dumb kid be eaten by walkers for once and for all.
See you in February. Hopefully then something will actually happen.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC at 8 p.m.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.