There were a lot of great, exciting moments in tonight's The Walking Dead finale, and they were all rendered moot by the dumb final line poor Andrew Lincoln had to deliver as Ring Leader Rick Grimes: "They're gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out...they're screwing with the wrong people."
Pretty big talk from a guy who's currently weaponless and locked in a train car.
This episode brought us back to the original zero, sheriff/farmer/Mike Tyson wannabe, Rick. Rick has changed a lot over the course of four seasons. He's gone from being the determined father/husband to being the reluctant-ish leader to being someone who sees the ghost of one of the worst characters the show has ever seen to being a leader again to being a farmer and then back to leader. Now he's kind of sort of the determined father again, but really, I think he's just hungry as fuck. The whole first part of the episode is all about how he, Michonne, and Carl need to find food. And when a taut, muscular neck appears in front of him in the form of Daryl's new mentor, Joe, Rick just has to take a bite. And now he has a taste for flesh. Dun-dun-dun.
After Rick, Michonne, Carl, and Daryl handily dispose of Joe and company (Did anyone have a little moment of panic there, like, they can't kill off any of these people, can they? They're our best ones!), the four of them continue on the road toward Terminus. Since Rick has been around the block a few times, he decides to take the back way in, surprising a couple of nerd boys, named Alex and Gareth. The two men seem unfazed, and are all, "Sure buddies, come on in. We love new people here, no big deal." Then Rick and his friends get a tour of Terminus, including an introduction to Chef Mary, whom we met last week. While being offered a plate of food from Alex, Rick notices a shiny chain in Alex's pocket and Rick knows IMMEDIATELY DO NOT PASS GO DO NOT COLLECT $200 WITHOUT A DOUBT that the chain is attatched to Hershel's watch that he gave to Glenn. Rick pulls out his gun and starts copping a 'tude.
Alex and Gareth are not big fans of Rick's new hostility, and they sic the incompetent snipers on him and his pals. Rick, Michonne, Daryl, and Carl duck into a room filled with candles, which, honestly, I thought was going to reveal itself to be Glenn and Maggie's new sexytime love nest, but actually turned out to be a very on-the-nose shrine to how the founders of Terminus really feel about newcomers to their little sanctuary. The walls are filled with cryptic messages like, "NEVER AGAIN. NEVER TRUST. WE FIRST. ALWAYS." And suddenly our zeroes are feeling a little less welcome.
The group winds up outside again, and they're trapped. Gareth and Alex make a big show of having the ring leader, the archer, the samurai, and the kid walk in a line and enter a train car, which at first seems empty, but upon further inspection is filled with all of their best friends, new and old, including Glenn and Maggie, who are surprisingly not having sex right at that moment.
This episode also featured a segmented flashback from happier times, times when Hershel still had most of his body (his leg was already gone at this point, RIP. #NEVERFORGET). The flashbacks had many layers. Many. Layers. First of all, there was mention of the aforementioned watch. Rick asked Hershel about the time, and Hershel made a big speech, as Hershel was wont to do, about how he never knows what time it is anymore because he gave his beloved watch to that scumbag who's screwing his elder daughter. So, that.
But also, the flashbacks were all about helping Rick reinvent himself as a farmer, which sure, it showed us a bit about Rick's transition over the past season, but also it informs us a little bit about Terminus, I believe. Hershel realized that they, the zeroes, could have a good thing going if they started to raise animals and grow crops. They never quite made it happen, of course, thanks to some sick pigs and suspect water. But the people of Terminus, they're living the dream. They have beautiful flowers and plants, and they have livestock...in the form of newcomers who reach their camp looking for sanctuary. Mary's food is people, is what I'm saying.
The beginning of the episode also helped lead me to this conclusion. Rick was going on and on to Michonne and Carl about setting traps along a path so that the bunnies basically have no choice but to find themselves ensnared. Kind of like how Terminus is located at the end of a railway. It's a trap!
- I love me some Carl and Michonne, and no moment was better in this episode than when she opens up to Carl about how her son died and why she turned her boyfriend and buddy into her personal zombie pets. She's just great. NEVER KILL HER, SHOW.
- Also good, of course, was when Rick bit the crap out of Joe's neck, because come on. Maybe Rick will transition well into Terminus's cannibal society. Don't knock it 'til you try it with a little BBQ sauce and cole slaw, Rick.
- Where's Beth? She was wearing a sheriff's hat in the flashback. Maybe she's now serving as some sort of enforcer in Terminus. She seems like just the type of person they'd happily welcome into their fold.
- Tyreese and Carol are still on the outside. Tyreese and Carol, you're our only hope!
What did you think of this episode and the season as a whole?
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