UK VOD TV: The Walking Dead Season 6 Mid-Season Finale (Episode 8)
Neil Brazier | On 07, Dec 2015
Warning: This contains spoilers.
Not caught up with The Walking Dead Season 6? You can still see Episode 1 until Sunday 13th December.
Previous mid-season finales in The Walking Dead have given us intense cliffhangers or major character deaths, something tasty to chew on while we wait the months until fresh meat returns to our screens. Season Four’s Too Far Gone featured the prison getting overrun and the end of The Governor. In Season Five’s Coda, we lost Beth. The last scenes of this season’s Episode Seven had set high expectations, as the walls of Alexandria fell and the herd of walkers that had been building up outside were finally let in, arriving spookily through a curtain of dust. After an intense opening sequence, as the characters flee to safety, the balloons released by Glenn and Enid (originally a sign of hope) float away and with them, the power of the episode.
Although Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) does bid farewell, it is a long, drawn-out infection thanks to a bite rather than being ripped apart by the undead. This allows her to keep giving speeches to motivate Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), whispering encouragement and positivity from her deathbed. Her words are cliched and repetitive, reminding us that she and Alexandria have taught Rick how to live as much as he has taught them how to survive. Punctuating her points with long stares and hand holding, she even manages a zombie fake-out when she appears looming over Judith’s cot, bloody and drained. It may not be the big character death that we had hoped for, but it will leave Alexandria now under the leadership of Rick, which may not impress everyone, especially Deanna’s son, Spencer.
One person who certainly won’t like the new arrangements is Ron (Austin Abrams), who finally confronts Carl (Chandler Riggs) and at gunpoint. As if life wasn’t going to hell outside the house already, Ron wants to bring that inside. The teenage scuffle breaks the back door, allowing the walkers inside and when questioned, Carl shows empathy and lies to protect Ron. This could be Alexandria’s influence or further proof that Carl is growing up, taking some of the burden from his father. Ron’s mother Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) remains blissfully unaware of her children’s problems, both of Ron’s murderous intentions and Sam’s (Major Dodson) post traumatic stress disorder.
It is Sam who looks most likely to cause the drama that this episode lacks, but that will have to wait until the season returns. He embodies the innocence of Alexandria before Rick, remaining in his bedroom drawing, ignorant to the apocalypse outside his window. Throughout the episode, Sam is pulled further and deeper into the real world, until he is covered in zombie guts, walking through the herd. Unable to pretend to be brave like his mother asked him to do, he could be the demise of the whole group. If only there were a promise of cookies in it for him, the situation may have worked out differently, but Carol (Melissa McBride), now exposed as not just handy with a cooker, has other things on her mind. Her and Morgan (Lennie James), still at loggerheads about the Wolf locked up within the walls, do just enough to provide him with opportunity to escape. But even this doesn’t provide enough of the tension that we have come to expect from a mid-season finale, nor with the high intensity of Season 6’s earlier episodes.
It is left until the post-credits scene and the tease of the season’s next big villain before the episode is able to claw back some excitement. Unfortunately it is too little too late, a two-minute preview of what to expect doesn’t help with what has come before. Glenn (Steven Yeun) peering over the wall and seeing Maggie (Lauren Cohan) provides more emotion than Deanna’s death, but the lack of fear and not a single over-the-top walker sequence aren’t able to match our expectations, especially since it is this that will linger in our minds until February.
The Walking Dead Season 6 is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription. You can also buy and download it on pay-per-view VOD.
Photo: Gene Page / AMC
Need to catch up with AMC’s zombie series? See Where can I watch The Walking Dead online legally?