Since last week’s episode of The Walking Dead left us with questions, lots of questions — Would Ron shoot Carl? Would Carol learn Morgan’s secret? Would the collapsed tower turn Alexandria into an all-you-can-eat buffet for the walkers? — we expected answers, lots of answers, from the fall finale. But how many did we actually get? Read on and find out!
IT’S GO TIME | As “Start to Finish” began, Sam was holed up in his room, listening to “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” and coloring a picture of himself tied to a tree and surrounded by monsters (thanks, Carol!) while ants swarmed a half eaten cookie. Outside, the dust had scarcely settled from the tower collapse when the walkers were all over Alexandria. On the positive side, their gate-crashing thwarted Ron’s plan to kill Carl. On the negative side, their invasion damn near got Maggie bitten before she could get safely to a rooftop, and Eugene was so petrified by the situation that all he could do was utter the “help” from “Always Accountable” and wait for Tara and Rosita to save him. By the first commercial break, that trio was in hiding together, Carol and Morgan were stuck together, and Rick, Deanna, Carl, Ron, Gabriel and Michonne had taken refuge at Jessie’s.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST | Watching walkers flood the east wall, Glenn deduced that the west wall would soon be clear enough for him and Enid to make their way into Alexandria. Rather than thank heavens that she was with someone who had a plan, the teen again wanted to pack it in. “This is how it happens — and it always happens,” she sulked as she watched the walkers rush the community like it was a Target on Black Friday. Do what you want, Glenn finally said. But he wasn’t about to give up on his pregnant wife.
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At Jessie’s, an already traumatized Sam became even more traumatized when Rick and Co. stormed his room. And that was before Michonne discovered that poor Deanna had been bitten! “Well, s—,” said the older woman (who I miss already). In a nearby house, Carol — suffering from a likely concussion — was forced to table her issues with Morgan and trust him to protect them. Meanwhile, Morgan’s captive Wolf did his best — worst? — to get in Denise’s head. It didn’t work, though. “You can change,” she insisted.
HOUSE SQUALL | Waiting for Deanna to turn, Rick explained to Jessie how he planned to lead the walkers away the first chance that he got. At the same time, Michonne assured Deanna that her blueprint for Alexandria’s future could work — could still work. In the garage, Carl interrupted Ron having a “We’re all dead” meltdown during which he tried to get his nemesis killed by attracting as many walkers as he could. When Rick and Jessie intervened, Carl covered for Ron, then redeemed himself (in my eyes, anyway) by demanding that the psycho give him the gun. To underscore how very, very much Ron needed to get over this crap, Carl added succinctly, “Your dad was an a–hole.”
Shortly thereafter, Rick went to check on Judith and discovered Deanna crumpled terrifyingly over the crib. He was just about to axe Deanna when she blurted out that she was okay, she was still herself. Knowing that the end was near, she gave Rick notes for Maggie and Spencer, and asked him to look out for her son the way he does for all his people — especially since they now were all his people. (Great last monologue.)
DIRE STRAITS | Rather than predict doom and gloom like Rosita was, or shut down like Eugene (apparently) was, Tara gave her gal pal a pep talk. And ol’ mullethead (who hadn’t been so shut down after all) redeemed himself with a bit of MacGyver-ism. After walkers overtook Jessie’s house, Rick set in motion a plot to dress everyone in walker-gore-soaked sheets and make a break for the armory. “What about Deanna?” asked Gabriel. Good question. She would end her life herself when the time came, she told Michonne. (Turned out, the Latin on her blueprints translated to, “Someday this pain will be useful to you,” by the way.) Before Michonne left her, Deanna reminded her to figure out what she wanted and “give them hell.” Once Sam saw his mom covered in walker guts, his freak-out increased exponentially. “Pretend you’re brave,” she suggested.
Once Carol had gotten away from Morgan, she made a beeline for the Wolf, knife in hand. When Morgan caught up with her, he refused to let her kill his hostage, and it sure looked like somebody wasn’t leaving that room alive. Instead, Morgan just knocked out Carol, and in turn, the Wolf knocked out Morgan. The Wolf was just about to slit Denise’s throat when Eugene, Tara and Rosita busted in. That saved Denise’s life, but it didn’t altogether save her — she left as the Wolf’s hostage! As the hour drew to a close, Rick and Co. started making their way out of her house; Glenn got a glimpse of Maggie; Deanna took out a few last walkers; and it looked like Sam was about to have a freak-out that could get his whole group killed.
UPDATE: The “coda” that aired during Into the Badlands found Daryl, Sasha and Abraham encountering another small army of Saviors, and this time they confirmed their leader’s name: Negan! (Watch the scene in its entirety below.)
So, what did you think of the fall finale? Hit the comments!