The Walking Dead was hugely successful in heightening our expectations and creating anticipation in the first four episodes of season six. Unfortunately, in the last four episodes, all it’s done is delay our gratification. Last night’s midseason finale, “Start to Finish,” would’ve been a great episode if it had actually finished. There are a lot of pieces that have been set in motion, and we were so close to witnessing something huge happening, but the episode ended before quenching our bloodlust.
The series has a strong history when it comes to midseason finales, but this episode — written and directed, respectively, by The Walking Dead regulars, Matthew Negrete and Michael E. Satrazemis — ended with a thud. It’s as though The Walking Dead spent the first four episodes sprinting toward the finish line, and the last four episodes tiptoeing the last few feet. In the midseason finale, the show stood in front of the Finish Line Ribbon and twiddled its thumbs until the end credits rolled. To add insult to injury, TWD pushed the post-credits sequence into the first commercial break of the next show, which may be a smart promotional move for Into the Badlands, but it was a lousy way to treat viewers of The Walking Dead.
Many of the questions we have after the midseason finale can also double as concerns for the series going forward, because the last four episodes have felt like a step back for the series. When The Walking Dead kept the Governor alive in an obvious kill scenario and circled back around to spend another eight episodes finishing him off, it seemed the series had learned its lesson about trying our patience. Apparently not.
Here are our most pressing questions after last night’s frustrating midseason finale.
1. What was the deal with that cold open?
It wasn’t clear to everyone that it was a cookie on the plate (and not meat) that the ants were devouring as they crawled into a window. It was a not-so-subtle metaphor for what the zombie horde was doing to Alexandria, but it was also a callback to Carol’s “you’ll get lots of cookies” conversation with Sam after he caught her pilfering guns from the armory. In fact, Sam’s drawing was also a callback to that conversation.
It’s no wonder Sam is a disaster of a child. Carol traumatized the kid.