Talking Out The Dead: “Start To Finish”

Kelen Conley: This episode had a ton of things happen. While I hate that it ends on a cliffhanger, many storylines that have been plodding for the last 4 episodes get moving along in a hurry. While I’m definitely not ready to forgive the show for the atrocities it’s committed after a brilliant start, it’s a definite step into the right direction as we head into the latter part of Season 6. It also seems like a lot of the things we’ve been complaining about lately are going to get handled and a new threat is finally being introduced. A much needed change after the Wolves seemed to fizzle out, just like the Terminites in Season 5.

So this is the end of Alexandria as we know it, correct? The walls are down, there are walkers everywhere, there’s no going back from here. It’s not feasibly possible for anyone to hide out in those houses and hope that the walkers go about their business. There’s not enough time in the day to rebuild the walls to make them as strong as they were before. As is the case with any sanctuary the group has found, Alexandria was once again only temporary.

Of course, they have to escape Alexandria first and I can already see that Jessie and family aren’t going to make it. I’m guessing Sam saw what Jessie did to that Wolf that got in their home so he’s traumatized and then they cover him in walker guts and tell him to be calm. He was already losing it before the episode faded to black so it’s likely he gets snatched up and Jessie tries to save him and they both end up dying. Good riddance.

As for Ron, I don’t think he’s dumb enough to get ate up with his mom and brother but you just know he has a hard on for Carl, especially after he pulled a gun on the younger Grimes and still got put in his place, physically and verbally. I think he’s dying too but not before he gets some kind of revenge on Carl for his perceived slights over Enid and the fact that Carl’s dad is not the “asshole” that Pete was.

So good, that makes for three boring Alexandrians out of the way. Who’s next on the chopping block? Denise? Excellent! Thanks to Morgan and Carol’s epic standoff, they both end up unconscious and Denise is now captive of the Wolf that Morgan was trying to save. While I’m okay with Denise getting killed by the Wolf, the bigger issue here is what happened with Carol and Morgan. Morgan is a fucking idiot. I know that Eastman taught him the ways of Aikido but that doesn’t mean he has to be so stupid. You don’t take your eyes off of Carol Peletier.

Making sure she was safe after her spill was the right thing to do but at this point, I wonder if she planned the fall so that she could get in Morgan’s house? That would be so Carol. Also, involving Denise because he’s so determined to keep the Wolf alive so he can rehabilitate him was stupid too but we’re already been over that. He falls hook, line, and sinker for Ninja Carol’s sleeping act, and then he knocks her out because she wants to eliminate the threat to the group? Dammit Morgan, why are you making me hate you?! And then you’re dumb enough to let the Wolf get the drop on you? Argh!

Before I go any further, Morgan is the first person to get the best of Carol since before the prison. The only other thing I could think of that bested Carol in battle was that cop car.

Oh, there are more goodbyes to tend to! Goodbye Deanna! You kind of saw it coming when she showed Michonne and Rick those plans for expanding Alexandria that her time was up. Once the knowledge was passed, there was no need to keep her around for more brooding. She didn’t even get a noble death. They just left her in the house so she could be walker food. This is another Alexandrian that I don’t have to concern myself with anymore, so again, good riddance.

I have to also say props to Gabriel for saying he wasn’t stopping to help anyone if they got in trouble with walkers. I didn’t take that statement as cowardice; I took it as he was going to do all in his power to reach the armory for the greater good of everyone and Rick’s nod was a sign of respect towards that idea. It also frees Carl, Michonne, and himself up if they do need to bail someone out of trouble.

Elsewhere, Eugene, Rosita, and Tara talk and arrive too late to help Denise. I can’t believe how much I’ve come to love Eugene.

The walls come down and Glenn and Enid still aren’t any closer to getting inside. But wait, Glenn spotted Maggie surrounded by walkers. More progress!

And finally, after the fade out of our heroes trying to blend in with the walkers to safety, we come back to Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham. They seem to have run into that same group that was trying to kill them before and they want to take everything that they have. Why? Because Negan is coming!

After a bunch of false starts, TWD is finally introducing a bad ass villain on the level of the Governor and even without comic knowledge; you can just tell he is going to be a bad ass. This isn’t some band of cannibals or a bunch of cops with cabin fever in a hospital. Negan just sounds and feels evil. I cannot wait to see what kind of havoc he creates.

I think I’m going to get into some Season 6 second half predictions on my next part but I think that covers it for now. I’m really just still awestruck by how stupid Morgan was in this episode. Maybe Eastman left some things out from his teachings? Morgan was dumb enough to kill an innocent man so that he would turn so that he would show up again to bite Eastman at the worst possible moment after all.

Dammit Morgan.

Thomas Crawford: I have to agree with you. I know you hate when I do that about this show. Isn’t it better when we are arguing and debating points? Don’t you think we work together better when we are in disagreement about the show?

Maybe it is just me, but I think so.

First off, yes, goodbye to worthless Alexandria. What started out as a possible place for some serious development… ended up being a pit of confusion. That is my take on the entire town.

I made it clear about my feelings in the last column. Do I need to really spit any more venom in the direction of the once happy Alexandrian community? I don’t think I need to go that far.

I’m torn on the cliffhanger as well. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great technique to get fans wanting more. The old adage, “leave them wanting more,” is tried and true in the entertainment industry. It is how you get rabid fans.

That being said, I also hate cliffhangers. The one good thing is that midseason means just a few months of waiting. The worst cliffhangers are the shows or books that make you wait a year to find out what is going on. Not saying any names, but I think you remember a little show that sounded like Breaking Bad (seriously, I LOVE Breaking Bad, but waiting a year between seasons gave me gray hairs).

Moving on. Gabriel… what happened to this guy? Did he just wake up and smell the coffee? I have to admit, I sort of like this attitude. I guess I feel bad for all the horrible thoughts I’ve been having about him since he came into the show. Maybe he isn’t the backstabbing, naive, holier-than-thou type I’ve come to despise?

Could it be, that he has started to see that survival comes first? I don’t know, I guess we will have to see. I have wondered if he realizes that it takes a strong character in TWD world, like Rick Grimes, or else your church following is going to be pretty lax come Sunday.

Deanna is dead. You know, I have vented about this character. I will admit, we are in disagreement about this and probably always will be.

I did hate how she was just spending all her time wandering around and I didn’t like the character. The fact her sons were jerks really didn’t make me like her. However, I think she went out like a boss.

This was her town, and if it went down, she was going down fighting for it. I know, it is corny and I wish I didn’t have the emotional response I did. However, her facing the walkers with that primal look, it just gave me goose bumps.

I knew she looked familiar by the way. That is Terri Feldshuh, or Tovah Feldshuh as her stage name. She is an old school drama stage actress who has been nominated for a lot of awards, including an Emmy nomination for Best Guest Actress playing in Law & Order.

You probably think it is stupid. However, I did like how she went out. I liked how she got bitten, was dying, and still fought for something better. Hey I’m a cynic, but still some things pull at the heartstrings. I say farewell Deanna, I’m going to miss you.

I also agree I love how Glenn spots Maggie. Again, this is one of those implausible things that only happen on television. However, this is what adds drama. I can’t wait to find out what is going to happen next with this setup.

Do you like how I complain about implausible plots in one column, then come to love them in another? I like to keep you on your toes.

We know Glenn isn’t going to die. That is my prediction. If that is the case, then there better be a heartfelt reunion with the mother of his child. I mean, I want some tongue action and butt grabbing Glenn man. Oh, you have to save her from the walkers first. Or she can save you while you are trying to save her. Either way works for me.

Is Carol slipping? This has me worried man. I mean the old Carol would have never have gotten taken down by Morgan. She would have knifed him soon as he got close. Afterwards, she would have finished him off with a stab to the head. I’m just saying, I am worried about our woman man.

I’ll be honest, Carol is too much woman for me to handle. I use that “our woman” thing as a joke. We both love her. The old Carol, Ninja Carol, would have dusted Morgan, the Wolf, and probably Denise just for being in the same house. Then gotten rid of the bodies before anyone was the wiser. Has Alexandria made Carol soft? I’ll throw that one back to you.

The world needs nerds and geeks. Thank you TWD for making that abundantly clear with Eugene. Dude, I’m not saying that as an insult. I have nothing for respect for the guy who has kept himself alive using his mind and imagination. He has zero fighting skills. He can’t even run away from walkers right. Do you remember the short diagonal jog technique when he met Abraham?

He has stayed alive, kept others alive, and even saved Tara with zero survival skills. He has had a lot of help along the way. That is obvious. However, how can you not love this guy? Surrounded by walkers, he freezes. Somehow he manages to call for help. At the same time, he still manages to survive. Kudos to Eugene, keep trucking on man. Maybe he will bring back the mullet in TWD world? That might be too much to ask.

Negan… wow the name just gives me chills. Dude, I think you are right. This is a character that may rival the Governor when it comes to being a bad ass antagonist. I just hope that the writers do this right. The Governor was a character that was bad, but the fans loved him.

I wonder if this guy is going to be like that? Or is it possible that he will be a character more reviled than Andrea?

I’m just saying, there were Governor haters and lovers, but no one even felt sorry when Andrea bit it.

This episode got me juiced and really wiped away a lot of the bad thoughts of past couple episodes. Dude I can’t wait to see what is coming next. I’m going to throw it over to you. What do you think? Are there any predictions I can outright refute? Bring on the second half of the season.

KC: I don’t know if I forgive them for “Now” or for giving Glenn an exotic getaway under a dumpster but this episode was great. It was the perfect way to pick up the pace again after the storyline got slowed down so much once Glenn went “dumpster diving”. And yes folks, I’m here all week.

I was one of the fans who loved the Governor. I didn’t want him to succeed in taking over the prison or killing the group but you can’t help but love when a credible threat is present for the protagonist(s). I compare it to Batman; sure it’s great watching him go toe-to-toe with the Ventriloquist but once the Joker shows up, you just know shit got real. I felt the same way about the Governor. Another example of that for me would be Gustavo Fring. I loved Gus. I didn’t want him to kill Walter but I absolutely loved the guy.

I have a feeling that Negan will be worse than the Governor was because no matter how you slice it, the Gov was still taking care of the people of Woodbury. They didn’t realize how crazy he was until he led them to the prison to fight the “crazy people” who took his eye from him. Negan may be taking care of people as well but just from the little bit we’ve heard about him, he thinks he “owns” any and everything (or any and every one) he runs across. Sounds like an iron fisted ruler if there ever was one.

I really can’t give it up enough for Eugene. We’ve sat here and complained about countless characters since this column started but we don’t give it up enough for characters we love. Aside from the obvious ones of course. With that said, Eugene is pretty stinking cool. Sure, there’s that part where he lied to Abraham and led him and Rosita (and a handful of people that didn’t make it) across country to DC. But since that truth has come out, the show has done a great job redeeming the character.

As usual, I’m sure I was at the forefront of the “Eugene needs to die” movement once everything was revealed. I tend to have that same problem that Rick does, where I’d rather kill first and ask questions later (let’s be clear: there was nothing and I mean nothing that could be done to redeem Noah. NOTHING). But now that we’re a little over a season from my initial feelings on Eugene, I really can’t imagine the show without him. I would prefer to see Eugene move into the unkillable group but we all know how unlikely that would be. Doesn’t stop me from hoping though.

Carol is not slipping and she definitely isn’t going soft on us. What really happened is Carol hesitated (and I think she was off from that blow to the head). Normally, Carol doesn’t have to hesitate but in this case, there were two innocent people in the room and Morgan was stopping her from getting to the Wolf. She would’ve had to injure or kill Morgan to achieve her goal; the knife gave her no other option (and she said she would kill Morgan but I don’t think she really wanted to). She also knew she couldn’t just overpower Morgan long enough to get the job done.

Morgan was better equipped for the fight and it showed with how quickly he disarmed and defeated Carol. And let’s not forget that Carol got back to her knife and gave Morgan a decent tussle before he body slammed her. I’m going to chalk this one up to Morgan having the advantage in close quarters combat. If Carol had a gun though? It would’ve been lights out for the Wolf for sure.

I love how you flip flop from column to column. Lord knows I’m guilty of it too, plus it keeps me engaged. If I ever start getting bored, that’s when this column’s in trouble.

I’m glad you liked how Deanna’s demise was handled. I don’t know, I guess the fact that she didn’t let Michonne kill her when she offered was noble, that she wanted to go out on her own terms so to speak. I just feel like there was more that her character offered while she was on the show that wasn’t explored. She was introduced and her family started dropping like flies almost immediately; we didn’t get any time to see the Deanna Monroe she was before Rick and the Daryls got to Alexandria.

So if anything, I’ll say I’m disappointed with how Deanna was used in relation to the show. If there had been less time spent on developing the other Alexandrians and more time with her (and Reg. Talk about a character with potential), I would probably be more broken up about her death. I guess she did go out like a G though, facing down a hallway of walkers.

I would absolutely love if Gabriel has turned a real corner and wants to truly survive now. While I doubt that we’ll see a man of the cloth like himself start walking around shirtless and smashing walker skulls with his bible, having someone else step up as a strong leader would be welcomed. It might mean that another already strong leader bites it but we both have that feeling that someone big isn’t going to make it out of Season 6.

It’s funny how quick I’m willing to forgive both Gabriel and Eugene as new issues and other characters rise up to make me forget their past transgressions. While I wouldn’t have thought twice if Sasha had blown his brains out after he attacked her in last season’s finale, I’m glad that we’re getting to see his growth as a character, no matter how minor the growth really is overall. This also means that he’ll die as soon as possible now.

And you took the words right out of my mouth about cliffhangers. Waiting a year for the second part of the fifth season of Breaking Bad was torture. AMC just did the same thing with the final season of Mad Men. Hell, remember how rough it was waiting to see what happened after the group was thrown into the boxcar at Terminus? No thank you.

Here’s a prediction for you: I don’t think we’re done at Alexandria. I know I just wrote how glad I was that the group would be moving on from that God forsaken place but I just feel like they will find some way to maintain the community. I don’t know how, I’ve got nothing there, but I just have a feeling.

Here’s another one: someone will betray the group and join up with Negan’s side. This one is a long shot but considering how there hasn’t been anything like that on TWD yet, I could totally see someone thinking the grass is greener on the other side, even with Negan standing over there. That would be an interesting twist.

Last prediction. Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham were trapped on the road by Negan’s band of not so merry men. You’re not going to like this at all… but I think Abraham dies in that spot. I think that would be a huge shock and an excellent way to start the second half of Season 6. I’m already sad thinking about it. But out of the three of them, killing Big Red would be the most likely choice.

Or Negan’s men kill all three of them. Wow. I might need to go get some extra tissues in case that happens.

TC: First off, not a horrible prediction about Alexandria. I must admit that I may be a little hard on the town. However, it just seems to be the focal point of everything that ticks me off about the first half of the season. Maybe I’ll settle down once the second half starts.

On your comments about Negan, I say you are right. I think this is like an iron fisted ruler. I guess looking back we could say the Governor did have some humanity to his character. He was freaking crazy. However, he did seem to show genuine concern for the people of Woodbury.

Negan, I don’t think he is going to be “nice and cuddly” like the Governor. I also want to say I’m glad. We need a new antagonist. The show has sort of drifted away from the group facing off against a major character. I know that it can’t be helped. You can’t have a new bad ass every season. Still, both Terminus and the Wolves seemed to be a bit of a letdown. All buildup with zero substance. I will say it is a good breather. Yet, I’m ready for a real bad guy to show up and shake things up.

I’m not sure if I will get what I want in the second half of the season. I have this feeling that it is going to be like Terminus and the Wolves and they are going to spend the entire half of the season building up to Negan.

I will say that will be okay with me. However, they better bring it after they finally introduce Negan. I don’t want any, “Oh, this is the bad mother named Negan.” Two episodes later… the group kills him and are back on their merry way.

What can I say, if you take half a season to build something up, it better be worth it. I still think they could have done a lot with Terminus. Hell, they could still have done a lot with the Wolves. Who knows, they might do more with them still. That is one thing I definitely want to happen though.

As for your prediction about Abraham… man, I think you are right. I think he is going to be the man he is and fireworks are going to ensue.

Hell, it wouldn’t surprise me if Sasha was the first to fire off and start something. For that matter, Daryl has had a rough go of it as of late. He might do it just to blow off some steam.

Any way it happens, I think Big Red is going to bite it. Sadly, I think he will bite it within the first two episodes. I so want to be wrong about this. I think there is still so much left undone with the character. There’s the issues with Rosita, whatever it is that he has with Sasha, hell, even coming back from the brink of crazy can be addressed more. I don’t think it is meant to be though. Save some tissues, he is a guy I’m going to miss.

I also want to say, isn’t it weird that we kind of agree on how Deanna went out? When I think about it now, I again think you are right. This was another character that could have added more to the story. Sadly, they chose to kill her husband, and turn her into a shell of a person wandering around. At least she did go out in style.

I’m going to wrap this up quick. The point is this post is already getting huge. I don’t have any more predictions to give and truthfully, we have touched on everything that really stood out for me in this episode. So, to put a final point to it, let’s bring on the second half of season six of The Walking Dead. The wait is finally over.

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