Start to Finish

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"Start to Finish"
The Walking Dead episode
File:Deanna faces the herd.png
Deanna faces the herd before letting out one last defiant scream.
Episode no.Season 6
Episode 8
Directed byMichael E. Satrazemis
Written byMatthew Negrete
Featured music"Tiptoe Through the Tulips" by Nick Lucas
Original air dateNovember 29, 2015 (2015-11-29)
Running time43 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
  • Merritt Wever as Dr. Denise Cloyd
  • Corey Hawkins as Heath
  • Benedict Samuel as Owen
  • Jason Douglas as Tobin
  • Austin Abrams as Ron Anderson
  • Major Dodson as Sam Anderson
  • Christopher Berry as Bud
  • Mandi Christine Kerr as Barbara
  • Katelyn Nacon as Enid
  • David Marshall Silverman as Kent
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Heads Up"
Next →
"No Way Out"
The Walking Dead (season 6)
List of The Walking Dead episodes Logo.png Search Start to Finish on Amazon.

"Start to Finish" is the eighth episode and mid-season finale of the sixth season of the post-apocalyptic horror television series The Walking Dead, which aired on AMC on November 29, 2015. The episode was written by Matthew Negrete and directed by Michael E. Satrazemis.

The episode focuses on the survivors fleeing and finding shelter from the gargantuan swarm of walkers that have invaded the Alexandria Safe-Zone.


The church tower smashes three panels of the wall, and everyone scrambles for whatever shelter they can find as hundreds of walkers pour inside Alexandria. Eugene (Josh McDermitt) finds a walkie-talkie on the ground and yells "Help!" into it, before being rescued by Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Rosita (Christian Serratos). Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is forced up the ladder to a lookout post and lies back on the platform, trapped but out of sight from the walkers that surround the lookout post.

The home of Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) hosts a group of Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Carl (Chandler Riggs), Judith, Michonne (Danai Gurira), Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh), and her own sons Ron (Austin Abrams) and Sam (Major Dodson). They discover Deanna was bitten while saving Rick. Later, Carl checks on a distressed Ron who blames Rick for what's happening and lashes out at Carl, breaking a garage window and drawing the attention of walkers. Rick breaks down the interior garage door to get the boys out as the walkers enter; Carl covers for Ron but confiscates Ron's handgun.

Meanwhile, Carol (Melissa McBride) runs with Morgan (Lennie James) to take shelter in Morgan's house. Carol feigns a concussion in order to have Morgan drop his guard, and she attacks him and breaks into the basement. Denise has been locked down there treating the captured Wolf (Benedict Samuel). Carol bursts in and threatens the Wolf with a knife, but Morgan interposes himself between them. They fight and Morgan defeats her but he is then blindsided by the Wolf.

Eugene picks the interior door lock of a garage to gain entry to the attached home. He, Tara, and Rosita end up walking in on the Wolf who holds Carol's knife to Denise's throat, taking her hostage. They surrender their weapons to him, and the Wolf escapes with Denise.

Outside the wall, Glenn (Steven Yeun) convinces Enid (Katelyn Nacon) to enter Alexandria and help the others. They climb the wall opposite the breach and spot Maggie trapped atop a lookout post.

The damage Ron had caused in the garage allows the walkers to break through into Jessie's house, forcing everyone to retreat to the second floor. Knowing they will soon be overrun, Rick decides to make a desperate attempt at escape: he kills and guts two walkers, hoping they can camouflage themselves with their insides and pass through the herd. They slowly make it to the porch while Deanna, left behind, kills several walkers before letting them kill her off-screen. Holding hands to stay together, the group enters the walker-infested street, quiet but for a frightened Sam who repeatedly calls out for his mother.

In a post-credits scene, Daryl, Abraham and Sasha are still headed back to Alexandria, but are stopped by a group of bikers blocking the road. One of the bikers tells them to give up all their supplies and their truck, to which, Daryl asks, "Why should we?". The biker then claims, "Your property, now belongs to Negan".


The episode marks the death of Deanna Monroe played by Tovah Feldshuh.

Critical reception[edit]

"Start to Finish" received poor reviews from critics. The episode received a 36% rating with an average score of 6.23 out of 10 on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The critics' consensus reads: ""Start to Finish" fails to live up to The Walking Dead's potential with a midseason finale that is both dull and frustrating."[1] According to Rotten Tomatoes, "Start to Finish" was the worst reviewed episode of the series until it was surpassed by the eight season episode "The King, the Widow, and Rick".[2]

Matt Fowler of IGN gave it a 7.3 out of 10 and wrote in his verdict: ""Start to Finish" gets points for keeping Alexandria around and in the mix, but loses a bunch for dropping us right as things started to get exciting. Especially since the rest of the episode was filled with conflicts we hoped we wouldn't have to see in the midst of a giant walker invasion (Carl/Ron, Carol/Morgan)."[3]

Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave it a C+ grade and wrote, "Sure, a bunch of cliffhangers sounds like a smart way to close things out for the year, but none of this is promising us the sight of anything new. All we have to look forward to now is clean up work, and while I’m sure the back half of the season won’t just be Rick and the others making their way to the armory, precious little in this episode suggests otherwise. The only scene tonight that sets up a new storyline happened after the credits—happened, in fact, ten minutes after “Start To Finish” had actually ended. But judging this hour on its own terms, it’s full of clumsy, stupid people doing clumsy, stupid things."[4]


The episode received 13.98 million viewers,[5] an increase from the previous episode, which had 13.22 million viewers overall.[6]


  1. "Start to Finish". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  2. Davis, Brandon (December 1, 2015). "The Walking Dead's Midseason 6 Finale Is Worst Reviewed Episode Of Series". Comic Book. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  3. Fowler, Matt (November 29, 2015). "The Walking Dead: "Start to Finish" Review". IGN. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  4. Handlen, Zack (November 29, 2015). "Walking Dead shuffles through its midseason finale". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  5. Porter, Rick (December 2, 2015). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Into the Badlands' gets a 'Walking Dead' bump". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 5, 2015. Retrieved December 2, 2015. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. Porter, Rick (November 24, 2015). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Walking Dead' rises with Glenn's fate revealed, 'Into the Badlands' down in week 2". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2015. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

External links[edit]

Other articles of the topics Speculative fiction/Horror AND Television : Spend (The Walking Dead), Crossed (The Walking Dead), Open Your Eyes (The Walking Dead), Sing Me a Song (The Walking Dead), The Key (The Walking Dead), Bonds (The Walking Dead), Claimed

Other articles of the topic Speculative fiction/Horror : What It Always Is, Silence the Whisperers, The World Before (The Walking Dead), East (The Walking Dead), The Damned (The Walking Dead), Four Walls and a Roof, Do Not Send Us Astray

Other articles of the topic Television : The Obliged, Finn Little, Coda (The Walking Dead), Alone (The Walking Dead), List of Aqua Teen Hunger Force guest stars, Some Guy (The Walking Dead), TV series
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