Tonight's WALKING DEAD turned out to be another rather dull affair. The damaged tower outside the wall chose the final moments of the previous ep to fall and take out a portion of the safe zone wall, allowing in the dead. "From Start To Finish" consisted of everyone fleeing the wave of the dead, taking shelter in various houses then mostly just standing around engaged in some of TWD's patented stupidity and making some of TWD's patented speeches instead of doing anything about their predicament. Near the end, Rick suddenly remembers the ol' cover-yourself-in-zombie-stink-camo trick and his group walk out the door between the zombies. The end.
That's the 10 minutes worth of plot that was used to fill tonight's ep. Some of the details:
arrived outside the safe zone in the last episode. He saw the tower
fall and the zombies enter town. An obvious course of action would be to
walk back to one of the many cars that, during the herding operation,
the Alexandrians parked a short distance from the zone, drive it up, lay
down on the horn for a bit and try to lure the zombies away. Instead,
he just stands around throughout the entire ep, speechifying with Enid,
watching the zombies to-ing and fro-ing, doing nothing.
is the only one who even addresses a potential course of action, if one can apply that label to what he suggests. He
wants to stand around and do nothing for a while until, hopefully, the dead bunch up
somewhere convenient for him, he can slip out and get to the armory without being
eaten and maybe use flares to draw them away. No hurry, though. Rick could, of course, do this right away using the zombie-stink camo trick he employs 20 minutes
later--no need to lazily wait around while people elsewhere in the zone are probably fighting for their lives and dying--but TWD is still
lost in self-parody mode, so as has been the case throughout this season,
memory of that particular technique is turned on and off depending on
whether its convenient to what the writers want to arbitrarily happen
next. If Rick were to do this right away, it would preclude burning
through yet another ep with idle chatter, therefore Rick only thinks of it
near the end when his situation deteriorates.
situation deteriorates because Ron, being an idiot, is all teen angsty
over what he sees as Coral trying to steal his girl and with an
army of the dead outside (and he's trapped inside with, among others,
Rick and Michonne), he decides that's the perfect moment to try to kill his
rival for Enid's hand. Only on TWD. He makes his move and in the
utterly pointless struggle that ensues ends up smashing a door and
letting the dead into the home in which he and most of our heroes are
Morgan and Carol end up in the same place
together. Carol gets it in her head to go downstairs and kill the Wolf
whom Morgan has stashed there. Morgan decides he won't let that happen.
There's a brief struggle, Morgan strikes down Carol, even though she'd
earlier suffered a concussion, the Wolf gets Morgan's stick and brains
him with it then manages to escape with a gun and the town's doctor in
tow. The Wolf had promised to kill everyone and having him simply leave
without harming anyone after he'd gotten the drop on his captor and five
others reeked of a major cop-out, an effort to keep Morgan around a little longer.
Whenever a TWD
finale comes along, be it mid- or full-seasonal, the primary question on
everyone's mind is "Who is going to die?" It would be nice to have a
TWD that encouraged people to look forward to watching for some reason
other than what "shocking" death will happen in the finale. This time
around, Morgan was the only major player who had been overtly set up for
death but I've thought it quite unlikely he'd have finally been brought
on as a regular only to be destroyed so soon. My instincts proved
correct; TWD opted for a redshirt. Earlier this evening, Arnold
Blumberg, the "Doctor of the Dead," was on Twitter running a poll on
"who's going down tonight." I chimed in with my guess:
turned out to be correct. Deanna has been doing little more than
standing around making grotesque faces and, worse, plans for the future
lately. If the axe was going to fall on one of the minors, she was the
obvious pick. She was bitten by a zombie near the beginning, spent the
ep dying and engaging in the usual Dying People cliche's (giving last
speeches aimed at imparting hope to those who will go on, writing notes to those left behind, getting to see the baby
"once last time," etc.) and ultimately went out like an idiot, wasting
the ammo she'd intended to use on herself on the zombies approaching
her, thus ensuring she'd suffer a needlessly horrible death being eaten
alive by rotting monsters. No loss there.
paper-thin plot for this entire season has taken place over a period of
only about 24 hours and for weeks, TWD has been merely waging a delaying
action aimed at doing as little as possible in order to stretch that
plot to the bigger-audience finale. It's a rut into which the series has
always fallen. In the end, this midseason finale arrived and we were
given what looks more like just another delaying action.
 I'm not sure what sort of mind one must have to sit through this ep without greeting the characters' actions with utter incredulity. Everyone runs into houses but no one looks for potential weaknesses that would allow the dead access. Because of this, no one bothers to attempt to barricade any potential weak spots until the dead are already breaking in. For all the talk, talk, talk that consumes much of this ep, no one in any of the various groups talks about what they can do to deal with the situation--the thing that should be foremost on their minds. Only Rick gets a few throwaway lines regarding a potential plan but he's in no hurry. In what should be a fairly extreme emergency, there's no sense of urgency at all. As usual.
Among those holed up there is Jessie's son Sam, who gives an all new
definition of "annoying" to the Annoying Kid trope. He spends most of
the ep in his room listening to a record of Tiny Tim playing "Tiptoe
Through The Tulips" played in an endless loop. The world has ended, Tiny
Tim goes on. On the other hand, one could see "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" played in an endless loop as a perfect metaphor for TWD.
 Carol suffers a concussion because, when the monsters break into town, she runs and--yes--falls, one of the particularly worn horror movie cliche's; by my count, TWD has used it three times this season. At least she didn't twist her ankle.
 The way in which he gets the gun and escapes is bullshit. the Wolf is hemmed into a corner with both Tara and Rosita pointing
guns at him while he holds up a knife and threatens to stab the town
doctor. In such a situation, one could see Tara giving up her weapon;
she's a civilian and one with a personal stake in the matter--but Rosita
could have dropped the guy before he even flinched. She doesn't strictly through arbitrary plot contrivance.
 And btw, Blumberg's "Doctor of the Dead" podcast is great, even if he is more of a fan of TWD than he should be.
 Deanna, who is on her death bead, gets up to see baby Judith that one last time. Rick walks up to check on her, sees Deanna is no longer in her bed then goes into the baby's room to find Deanna hunched over the crib--figuring Deanna had already died and turned, he rushed to kill her, stopping at the last moment when he realizes she's still alive. It provides for a cheap jump-scare and the "see the baby one last time" melodrama but how stupid can Deanna possibly be? She's probably only minutes away from death which will turn her into a flesh-eating monster and she goes into the baby's room?