In the previous episode of The Walking Dead, Rick’s group and the Alexandrians were making plans on how to deal with the herd outside their walls, with Rick wanting to leave the Alexandrians out of the planning all together. While Rick was not ready to trust the Alexandrians, he did help save Spencer’s life and he gave Ron a few basic tips on how to use a gun, a decision that may come back to haunt him since it appeared that Ron was going to use said gun on Carl.

Meanwhile, we learned that Glenn survived and watched as he struggled to connect with Enid during their return to Alexandria. Alas, once Glenn and Enid arrived just outside of the community, they realized they would be unable to get past the herd surrounding it. Luckily, Glenn managed to release some balloons as a signal to Maggie and the others. But before they could celebrate Glenn’s survival, a tower fell and the wall keeping the community safe from the herd began to collapse.

In the winter finale of The Walking Dead season 6, “Start to Finish,” the herd invades Alexandria and all of our favorite characters are in danger. In a tragic twist, one character does not survive and the episode ends on several cliffhangers.

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Glenn and Maggie

It looks like that long-awaited Gleggie reunion will have to wait until the show returns for the second half of the season. In one of the episode’s most intense moments, Maggie is separated from the others when the herd invades the community. She manages to take out the walkers closest to her and make it to the ladder that leads up to the makeshift watch station. Walkers are pulling on her as she tries to climb the ladder and it starts to give, ultimately falling all together. Luckily, Maggie still has a grip on the landing and is able to pull herself up to safety. But how safe can she really be up there all alone?

Meanwhile, Glenn and Enid are still outside of the community when they see the walkers getting in through the east wall. Glenn says that means the west wall will be the first to clear up so that is their way in, but Enid is having none of it. She starts to lose hope again and keeps insisting that this is what always happens. But Glenn argues that their friends are in there, including people who care about her, like his pregnant wife. He tells her she can go if she wants to, but abandoning the people you care about in their time of need is how you lose them. I am glad the show paired these two up. Not only do these scenes prove that Glenn is going to be an excellent father, but I am hoping they will lead to Glenn and Maggie taking Enid in and making her part of their growing family. It would be similar to what they do with a different character in the comics.

Toward the end of the episode, Glenn climbs a tree so he can see inside the community. He is able to spot Maggie up on the watch station. And I think she sees him, but I can’t tell if she can see that it is Glenn. Either way, their actual reunion will have to wait until the mid-season premiere.

Rick and Company

As the walkers enter the community, Rick yells for everyone to get inside, all while trying to take out some of the walkers on his own. Deanna comes to him and says he needs to get inside as well. When things look bleak for Rick, Deanna steps up and saves him, getting injured in the process. Rick helps her and they meet up with Michonne, Carl, Gabriel and Ron. They all run for safety but are trapped by the walkers. Luckily, Jessie arrives and shoots some walkers, clearing a path for the others to make it into her home.

Rick and the others take Deanna up to Sam’s room — where the poor kid has been hiding out since the Wolves’ attack — and Michonne starts to patch her up. Alas, when Rick comes back to check on her, Michonne discovers that Deanna has been bitten. This leads to some fantastic scenes between Deanna and Michonne, and Deanna and Rick.

Deanna tells Michonne that she is lucky because she got to work with her family to make things better right up until the end. Deanna asks Michonne what she wants and Michonne says that she wants this place to work. Deanna knows that, but that’s not what she meant. She asks Michonne what she wants for herself. Michonne does not know, so Deanna tells her to figure it out.

Later, Rick finds Deanna trying to make it to Judith so she can see her one last time. Rick helps her into a bed and Deanna tells him that she wrote notes for Spencer and Maggie. Rick will make sure they get them. Deanna then gives Rick one hell of a speech in which she tells him that all of these people, both the Alexandrians and his group, are his people now. She says that is why she risked her life to save him. Not because she likes him or because he is a good man, but because he is one of them. These final scenes with Deanna are heartbreaking but so well-acted.

Carl vs. Ron

While Rick and the others are dealing with Deanna’s approaching death, Carl goes to check on Ron. Ron starts blabbering on about how they are all dead and Rick is to blame. Rick is going to get them all killed because that is who he is. Carl tries reasoning with Ron, but the kid is too far gone. He locks them in and pulls his gun on Carl. Carl manages to wrestle the gun away from Ron, so Ron comes at him with a shovel instead. Alas, Ron slams his shovel through the window, drawing walkers toward the house.

Their fight is interrupted by walkers trying to come in through the window. Carl manages to block it until Rick and Jessie get the door open. They then close the door just as the walkers break through it. Rick orders everyone to find things to block the door to keep the walkers from getting into the house, but it is clear that won’t work for long.

Alas, when Rick asks Carl what happened, Carl covers for Ron. Ron also lies about the fight to cover his own behind. Carl then confronts Ron at gunpoint and demands that he hand over his gun. Ron does and Carl says he understands why Ron is angry. He knows his dad killed Ron’s dad. But as Carl astutely points out, Ron’s dad was an ass.

As unlikely as it is, I hope Carl’s actions here do not come back to haunt him. I hope Carl covering for Ron actually makes an impact with this kid and he stops trying to kill Carl and Rick. But this being The Walking Dead, Carl’s generosity here will probably lead to something horrible happening down the line.

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A Way Through

The walkers that are drawn to the house, thanks to Carl and Ron’s fight, begin to break through and Rick realizes that they have to leave the house. In order to do that, they need to cover themselves in walker guts and hope the walkers ignore them like they have in the past. (As long as it does not rain, that is.) Rick organizes everything while Michonne goes to tell Deanna that they have to leave her behind.

As Rick and the others are preparing to leave the house, Michonne informs Deanna of what is happening. They have one final conversation that reminds me a lot of Michonne’s final moments with Andrea. Michonne asks if Deanna wants her to end her life before they leave, but Deanna says no. She is not ready yet, but when she is, she wants to do it herself. She tells Michonne to go and Michonne thanks her for believing. Deanna still believes and she tells Michonne to figure out what she wants. Michonne promises that she will and Deanna tells her to “give ’em hell.” These two excellent Michonne-Deanna scenes make me wish we had seen more of their friendship.

Michonne comes downstairs and everyone gets ready to leave the house. They even tuck baby Judith under Carl’s makeshift poncho to keep her safe. But little Sam is still freaking out and Jessie’s solution is to tell him to pretend that he is someone who is not afraid. I know Jessie is trying here, but wouldn’t it have been easier to give the kid something to make him sleepy and just carry him out? Maybe they didn’t have any booze or cough syrup on hand or maybe they just did not have enough time, but she has tried this “be brave and pretend” thing more than once and it is clearly not working.

As everyone clears out of the house, Deanna is about to kill herself when she makes a different call. In her final moments, Deanna decides to use her bullets to take out as many of the walkers as she can. We do not actually see her die, but it appears that she will be consumed by the remaining walkers.

The group makes it out onto Jessie’s porch and they holds hands. Rick starts leading everyone through the walker herd and it seems like his plan is working. But then Sam starts losing it again and he begins to call out for his mom. This is the cliffhanger the episode ends on.

Morgan vs. Carol

As they are fleeing from the walkers, Carol trips and hits her head. Morgan helps her inside one of the houses and, of course, it is the same house where he is keeping the Wolf prisoner. Morgan tries to check out Carol’s wound, but she does not want his help. She is honest and reveals that he is the furthest down on the list of people she trusts, even though she never thought he was lying. Carol tries to get up to see what is going on, but she seems to get dizzy and Morgan argues that whatever they have to settle can wait.

Alas, Carol disagrees and she uses her head injury to trick Morgan into leaving her alone long enough that she is able to slip past him into the basement where he is keeping his Wolf prisoner. Denise has been down there with the Wolf this whole time, but she gets out of the way when Carol shows up.

Morgan arrives a moment later and gets between Carol and the Wolf. She wants him to get out of the way so she can handle things, but Morgan refuses to do that. Carol says she does not want to kill Morgan, but she will if that is what it takes to kill the Wolf and prevent him from killing anyone else. Morgan says he will not let her and they get into a fight. It’s awful and dirty and I hate every second of it. Morgan gets the upper hand and basically slams Carol to the ground, knocking her out in the process. The Wolf then makes his move and knocks Morgan out.

Once Morgan and Carol are down, the Wolf proves that he has not changed and never will. Just as Tara, Rosita and Eugene show up, he takes Denise hostage. Tara pleads with him to let Denise go, saying that they will not survive out there, but the Wolf pushes Denise out the door and follows after her — right out into the sea of walkers. If Denise survives, I hope we get to see a nice moment between her and Tara since poor Tara was forced to watch her get taken hostage. I do not know what their relationship status is, but I hope this brings them closer together because they are both lovely women who deserve happiness before the writers decide to kill them off.

Other Happenings

— In the post-credits scene that I hope you all managed to see because it aired during the first commercial break of Into the Badlands, we find out why Sasha, Abraham and Daryl have not made it back to Alexandria yet. They are stopped on the road by a group of men on motorcycles. The leader of the group tells them to step out of the truck or they will kill them. Daryl, Sasha and Abraham cooperate and the leader is pleased. He tells them to hand over their weapons, and when Daryl asks why they should, the leader says that none of their things belong to them. He says, “Your property now belongs to Negan.” And with that, we go into the hiatus until the show returns in February.

— Tara, Rosita and Eugene escape the herd by running into a nearby garage. Alas, the door to the house is locked, so they are trapped in the garage with the walkers pounding against the door. Poor Rosita starts to wonder if this is it, but Tara tells her that it is not over. Tara’s continued optimism is a thing of beauty and makes me fear for her continued survival. But for now, Tara manages to convince Rosita that Abraham is still alive and they still get to save the community. Eugene then lends a hand because lock-picking is part of his very limited skill set. The trio makes it out of the garage and we realize that they have been in the same house with Morgan and Carol all along.

— We also learn that Eugene was the one to call for help over the radio in a previous episode. That one word is all he gets out before Tara and Rosita pull him to safety.

— Gabriel steps up a bit in this episode, proving that he may become useful to the group after all. I guess we will see if that continues once the chaos really begins.

What did you think of this episode of The Walking Dead? How do you feel about Deanna’s death? Are you sad to see her go or do you think it is necessary in order for Rick to take over leadership of the community? How do you think the Alexandrians will react to losing their leader? How do you think Rick and the others will deal with the herd and how many lives will be lost in the process? Are you disappointed that we did not see Glenn reunite with his loved ones in this episode? What did you think of that post-credits scene? Did it make you more excited for or more fearful of Negan’s upcoming arrival? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, February 14 at 9pm on AMC.

(Image courtesy of AMC)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV