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"Start to Finish" fails to live up to The Walking Dead's potential with a midseason finale that is both dull and frustrating.
When the episode faded to black, deferring the end of this scene to February, it felt incomplete rather than suspenseful. We don't know what happens next, but we're also not given a motivating reason to wonder beyond "Do our heroes survive?"
This episode makes it seem like the Ricketeers are the only ones in the town, while everyone else was out getting groceries or something. It's a noticeable absence, especially with Alexandria itself under attack
The Walking Dead midseason finale was a dud in every sense of the term-it barely moved the story forward, it offered no surprising twists, it hinged on plot developments that made no sense, and, well, you call that a cliffhanger?
"Start to Finish" brought on the kind of chaos you'd expect in a mid-season finale.
Honestly, this whole hour felt like a mess...
The midseason finale had way too much potential to deliver such an underwhelming and limp cliffhanger.
As my wife likes to point out, one of the pleasures of the show is how they continuously find new ways to top themselves in terms of gore. This week, that played out as the largest battle yet seen between humans and walkers.
So while 'Start to Finish' is a little unsatisfying in isolation, with its standout moments not quite compensating for the amount left unresolved, it's hard to fault a publicity machine that already has fans salivating for 2016.
It's beautifully shot by Michael E. Satrazemis, with the opening zombie attack especially striking. It subverts expectations, too.
That's an extremely tense moment in that chain for those people trying to get through that horde of zombies... And when we come back, we come back in that moment. It doesn't stop from there. People will be really excited about what's coming.
For an episode that started off with a metaphor so very heavy-handed (we're all meat eaten by ants!), the rest of "Start to Finish" could barely lift its arms to throw a knockout punch that typically comes with a "finale," half-season or otherwise.
Most of that peril is handled off screen. It's as though the show is just working its way toward something it is far more interested in revealing, so it puts forth as little effort as possible until it can make that reveal.