After three episodes that were engrossing and engaging at the start of The Walking Dead Season 6, the series sort of stumbled along toward the midseason finale.
Then when it finally came to The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 8, it was just another OK installment with fantastic visual effects that tried to mask a lack of story progression or any real substance for the hour.
Plus, are we really sure Deanna is dead? I mean we didn’t actually see her die…
OK, I know I’m still a bit annoyed over the whole Glenn is dead/not dead scenario, but I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that Alexandria’s leader won’t be making any return appearances in the future.
But it wasn’t really surprising to see her getting killed off, and frankly, I kept trying to figure out which ancillary character would wind up dead for the hour. It wasn’t like the series was planning on killing off any of its big characters, especially considering it didn’t actually finish off Glenn.
Deanna was a fine enough character, but her getting bitten and then imparting advice before she died just felt like the hour was dragging out her death. I’m glad she got a few moments to bond with characters before her end, but unfortunately, her death just didn’t have a big emotional impact for me.
Just another one to bite the dust.
Rick managed to keep his little crew alive thanks to that handy trick of covering up in walker guts. But why don’t the characters do that more often? It’s a cool callback to The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 2, but the characters only seem to think of it when the writers want them to.
Why not get covered in guts when going on a run for supplies? Or why not use it when working on that big walker parade plan? Or why not use it to try and take out walkers as they surrounded the walls before the tower went crumbling down?
Sure, I guess the whole concept is risky, and the use of smell or sound or whatever attracts a walker has been inconsistent enough that it might not work every time. But the way that Rick and company were basically able to bump shoulders with the crowd of walkers made it seem like they had on magic invisibility cloaks.
Granted, Sam calling out to his mom repeatedly at the end of the hour might attract a walker to start a feast on some characters (though, again, I can’t see a major character getting killed), but could no one keep him quiet? Judith was quiet, and she’s a baby.
Jessie has some problem kids. that’s for sure. Sam seems to be having a mental breakdown, and Ron, well, Ron is causing his own unnecessary drama. Fighting Carl over Enid? Ugh, Ron.
It just felt like dumb drama that’s bound to come up again, especially with Carl throwing out snarky lines like Ron’s dad being an a-hole, but you never know, he and Ron could become best friends who wear Chewbacca masks and create a company called Prestige Worldwide. After all, Rick and Jessie are an item now.
Then there was the Carol and Morgan battle that was unnecessary considering the chaos that was going on around them. Couldn’t they have settled the whole situation later? Did they have to get into a fight where the Wolf got the better of them and then be able to escape?
And why would Tara and Rosita give up their guns to him when all he had was a knife? Aren’t they trained in head shots?
I smell a subplot coming up the next half of the season involving a rescue mission for Denise.
After what was definitely a setup in The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 7, I really expected a lot more from this midseason finale. The visuals are always on point, but the story was so lacking, and any real urgency or stakes just didn’t feel there. There were certainly some cliffhanger-type moments put in the hour, but none that really had me intrigued to see what was next.
Now, that little post-credits prologue scene with Sasha, Abraham and Daryl that aired during Into the Badlands had me interested to see where that storyline was going, but it really just made me wish even more that "Start to Finish" was the part that was driving the series toward something and not just spinning its fancy wheels instead.
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Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.