Ok, so raise your hand if you thought that Terminus was going to be a safe place. Anyone? You back there, was that your hand up? No? Oh, you’re on a Bluetooth, oh ok. So nobody. Bueller? Nope. Well you’d have been right. If there has been an overriding theme to this half season, to this show I guess, it would be not to trust ANYONE in the zombie apocalypse. Not a one. It has almost never turned out well for any of this group, and I doubt it’s turned out well for any other groups either.
Rick hasn’t been an overly large part of the last 8 episodes. He gets a lot to do here and this episode is definitely more exciting than the previous weeks have been. What I don’t understand is why they can’t make every week as exciting as the finales. We could still get a good sense of the characters in between scenes of importance, but instead things seem to move at a mosey instead of a run. In juxtaposition, it makes the exciting scenes all the more exciting, but the rest of the show suffers. By my count, there were probably 3-4 very memorable scenes from these past 8, but there could have/should have been so much more. Either way, we’re at the end now and I’m interested to see what you all thought of how it all ended up.
SPOILERS AHEAD. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN ‘A’, THE 16TH EPISODE OF SEASON 4, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
This was an episode filled with flashbacks to the Prison, a simpler time. It starts with a flashback showing Rick, Glenn, and Maggie getting back from a run. The flashbacks are all scenes between Rick and Herschel. They show the progression between Rick, hunter of animals and men, to Rick, pig and vegetable farmer. That was the Rick we saw 16 episodes ago. Done killing. Looking for the good in people. Looking to settle down and live, rather than be on edge and survive. Herschel, shown in a flashback not as a ghost, talks him along this path telling him that now, now that they’re relatively alone and safe, it’s time to let your guard down and enjoy the spoils. Things can be peaceful, it’s time to show Carl the other side of the coin. Sure didn’t last long. I think these flashbacks are there to show us what a folly that was, or at least how back down Rick has fallen since the battle with the Governor.
The world they’re wandering through? There’s no room for vegetables and pigs. Rick, Carl and Michonne are taking their time, meandering to Terminus. They’re running through the woods, camping, eating canned veggies, and talking about how hungry they are all the time. They stumble across a few walkers and decide to camp for the night in a broken down SUV. While Carl is sleeping, Rick and Michonne talk about things and wonder how it’ll be when they arrive. Unfortunately for them, they’ve been tracked.
When Joe and his crew step out of the woods, guns drawn on all three, it immediately gets more tense. We know from last episode that they’ve been tracking Rick, who strangled their buddy Lou, for a while now and their looking for blood. Right as they start to countdown to blowing Rick’s brains out, though, Daryl (adopted last week by the group) comes out and stops them. He tells them that Rick and the others are good people. Well, Joe’s code doesn’t allow for liars, Rick killed their buddy making him a bad guy, making Daryl a liar. So you choke out on crazy dude’s homie and equal payback involves beating Daryl to death, making you watch Michonne get assaulted and Carl get ‘Deliveranced‘, and then blowing your brains out. Those seem a bit unequal.
Unfortunately for Kris Kristofferson and the Bizzaro Highwaymen, they didn’t see as Rick’s eyes glazed over. If it’s ever finally stuck for Rick that Shane was right, that you have to do some horrible things to protect people you love, it’s probably right now. Rick headbutts Joe, and then proceeds to rip out his jugular with his teeth. The rest of the group is so shocked that they quit beating the others up and just watch as crazed Rick stands over Joe, who’s bleeding out. Michonne takes a gun and shoots two of them, Daryl crushes another guy with his boot, and the last one, who tries to threaten them with killing Carl, is gutted by Rick in a very agonizing and slow manner.
Rick has definitely turned a corner now. He knows it. Carl knows it. There’s nothing he wont do to another person to protect his own. It took two episodes of a really slow slog these past eight weeks to get there, but he’s finally there. The next morning they head towards Terminus, but decide to sneak around to check it out first. It still seems eerily silent when they arrive. Rick buries some guns ‘just in case’ (I see you there, Checkov) and Michonne tells Carl that, no matter what, he doesn’t need to be afraid of her and his father. Carl thinks that everyone will be disappointed because he’s the same as them. I can see the book now, “Carl Grimes: Just Another Monster Too.” Michonne tries her best to console him. They sneak, unseen, into Terminus and surprise the people there. They seem young, and speak nicely enough even giving them back their weapons after they’d patted them down. As they start to lead them into the courtyard though, Rick notices something is wrong. One of the guards has Herschel’s watch.
Rick pulls his gun on the guy while noticing Glenn’s armor, Maggie’s poncho and a slew of items from the other survivors. Turns out Terminus might not be the ideal place. (Who’d have thought!) They shoot the hostage and start to herd Rick, Carl, Michonne and Daryl through the buildings. Along the way we see: A pile of bloody bones (are they cannibals?). Shipping containers filled with people screaming for help. A room filled with candles and graffiti that says, “Never Trust.” and “We First, Always.” Yeah. I’m pretty sure by now that they’re not offering any sort of sanctuary that anyone would want.
When they finally herd them into a courtyard near the fence, everyone is surrounded. In turn they force Rick, Daryl, Michonne and Carl into the nearest shipping container. Inside, of course, are the group who arrived from last week. Everyone is reunited and they look to Rick who, uh oh Termites (my new name for the Terminus folks), has that glazed look in his eyes again. This would have been the perfect spot for a Schwarzeneggerian one-liner, or some bad-ass line about how they’ve unleashed the devil or death or something. But what they came up with was, “They’re screwing with the wrong people.” Well, ok. At least it will probably lead to some Awesome Action Grimes sequences…. at least 8 episodes from now in the mid-season cliff hanger from season 5.
What did you guys think? Do you like the imprisonment ending? Will the show not drag as much now that Rick has deciding to go Full Bad-Ass? I guess we won’t know for a while, but I feel like the second half of this season was short on surprises (except for creepy Lizzie), long on talking and walking, and generally subpar for an “action” show. There’s potential for a great action series here, but it needs to be less self-referential and needs to move at a much quicker pace. The pieces are all there, now will they take all the money and ratings they have and make something truly memorable with it next time? I hope so.
This week marks the end of the season, so we have a winner for the Walking Dead prop bet competition! This means some very lucky person has won a copy of TellTale Game’s first season of The Walking Dead video game! I’ll be in contact shortly. As for this week, here are the totals.
Michonne Katana Kills/Daryl Crossbow Kills (This Week – Total): 3/0 – 28/7
Mentions of Shane/Lori/Governor (This Week – Total): 0/0/1 – 3/3/9
Total Walker Kills (This Week – Total): 7 – 147
Blade Kills/Gun Kills (This Week – Total): 0/3 – 47/54
Rick Human Kills: 2 – 3
Tyreese let Carol live! (1 pt.)
Lizzie was definitely our Dissector! (1 pt)
Rick/Carl Walker Kills: 3/0 – 3/4
Rick and Beth won’t be together because Beth and Daryl… (1 pt)
Carol is back! (1 pt)
Judith is back, and alive! (1 pt)
Talking Dead Guests (This Season): Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Scott Dimple, Steve Yeun (Glenn), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Melissa McBride (Carol), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha), Norman Reedus (Daryl), Emily Kinney (Beth Greene), Michael Cudlitz (Sgt. Abraham Ford), Alanna Masterson (Tara), Greg Nicotero, Danai Gurira (Michonne)
No Repeat Guests from this Half-Season.
In the end, between our top two, we had a tie between a Mr. Doug Compton and a Mr. Jordan Adams. With a total walker kill count of 147 for these 8 episodes that gives the tie breaker, and the prize, to Mr. Doug Compton! Congratulations!! It was actually a really close competition the entire 8 weeks with a lot of people with over 10 pts. I hope everyone had fun doing it! Here’s the final top three…
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