AMC aired the midseason six finale of The Walking Dead on November 29, 2015, “Start to Finish.” This episode is pivotal as it features the death of Alexandria leader Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh). Still, more importantly, Negan’s name is mentioned for the first time, setting up the next set of conflicts for Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group. This episode also reveals the fate of Glenn (Steven Yeun), who escapes death by shimmying under a dumpster.
Deanna’s death follows a pattern of killing off female characters in midseason finales. This was also seen in season 2, with Sophia (Madison Lintz) and Penny Blake (Kylie Szymanski) in season 3. Other females who died in midseason finales include the season 4 deaths of Meghan Chambler (Meyrick Murphy), Lilly Chambler (Audrey Marie Anderson), Alisha (Juliana Harkavy) and in the fifth season Beth (Emily Kinney) and Dawn Lerner (Christine Woods).
In “Start to Finish,” Deanna bravely joins Rick and the others to fight off walkers who have infiltrated Alexandria through a damaged wall section. She is severely injured and begins to slowly bleed out. She says her farewells and is courageous until the end.
Negan is referred to by name for the first time in The Walking Dead
On their way back to Alexandria, Daryl (Norman Reedus), Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) are stopped by a group of bikers who block their path. One of the bikers tells them to hand over the truck and the supplies within. Daryl asks, “Why should we?” To this, the lead biker states, “Your property now belongs to Negan.”
The next episode reveals the fate of the bikers; Daryl blows them up with an RPG that Abraham found in an earlier episode. Their lives are spared, but this act draws Negan’s attention to Rick’s group. Other events unfold, which lead to the season 6 finale, “Last Day on Earth,” of which Rick’s group is lined up unprepared to experience the wrath of Negan in his first appearance in the series.