The Walking Dead has just ended its fantastic fourth season. There were many deaths, and none were without controversy among fans. The Governor had a slightly less of a role than in season 3 but when he was there he was center stage in all his evilness. The Governor of course died in Episode 8 as did Hershel. Some fans disliked the second half of the season because of the way it split the entire gang up. I didn’t mind as each had a very powerful story and some characters such as Tyreese and Carol had such powerful character moments that I cannot wait for what is in store for them during season 5. For all those who have been following the show most of the groups have finally reached Terminus, the end of their Burma death march through the land of the living dead. Except of course for Carol and Tyreese, who haven’t reached Terminus. Though I wonder if the fire during episode 14 ‘The Grove’ is a hint of things to come. Below you will find a recap of the episode shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia.
In a flashback, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is seen talking to Hershel (Scott Wilson), depicting a much happier and peaceful time back at the prison. It then jumps to a flashforward, showing Rick, his hands bloody and trembling, his face also bloody as he stares off into the distance while sitting beside a car.
In the present-time, Rick, Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) are sitting by a campfire in the woods before going and checking their snare trap for animals, where they find a small rabbit. Cries for help are heard as Carl sprints forward in the woods with Rick and Michonne giving chase. They come across a man who is struggling to fend off a herd of walkers surrounding him. Carl raises his gun, but Rick stops him as they are outnumbered and it’s too late to save the man as walkers rip into his face and devour him as they watch on helplessly.
That night, Rick and Michonne talk about their concerns regarding Terminus while Carl is asleep in a nearby car. Soon, they are ambushed by Joe (Jeff Kober), Dan (Keith Brooks), Harley (JD Evermore), Billy (Eric Mendenhall) and Tony (Davi Jay), as Joe holds a gun at Rick’s head and confronts him for killing Lou as Carl is held at knifepoint by Dan, who forces himself on Carl prepared to rape him. As Joe begins a countdown to kill Rick, Daryl (Norman Reedus) arrives and stops it, saying that they are good people and offers to sacrifice himself for Rick, Carl and Michonne’s protection. Joe declares Daryl to be lying and proceeds to have Billy and Harley beat up Daryl and Joe informs Rick that they are going to beat Daryl to death, then rape Michonne and then Carl, and finally kill Rick.
While Dan struggles with Carl, Rick fights back, forcing Joe’s gun to go off near his ear. Joe gains the upper hand, holding Rick tight while asking him “What you gonna do now, sport?” Rick responds by biting into Joe’s jugular vein, ripping it as Joe bleeds to death. This provides enough distraction for Michonne to grab Tony’s hand, forcing his gun back and shooting him in the head, killing him. Michonne then shoots Harley in the head, while Daryl crushes Billy’s head with a stomp. Rick, his face splashed with blood, angrily mutters “he’s mine”, marching at Dan with a knife, stabbing him repeatedly to death as Michonne embraces Carl and they watch on.
Catching up with the flashforward, Daryl wets a rag and gives it to Rick, allowing him to clean off the blood before they head to Terminus. On the outside of Terminus planning to sneak inside in case the place is really not a sanctuary as believed, splitting into two groups: (Rick and Daryl, Carl and Michonne). Carl and Michonne head off together, where they have a bonding moment, with Carl saying that Rick is proud of him, but feels that because of the thoughts in his head, he doesn’t deserve it and he’s just “another monster”. Rick buries his Colt Python in a duffel bag of guns in the woods. They sneak over a fence, coming into a large room where Gareth (Andrew J. West), Alex (Tate Ellington), a broadcasting woman, and several other Terminus members are located. Gareth has them put down their weapons and frisks them, welcoming them to Terminus and warning them not to try anything stupid as Alex shows them around.
While Rick, Michonne, Carl and Daryl wait in line for food being prepared by Mary (Denise Crosby), Rick looks around and takes notice of residents possessing several of his group’s items such as Daryl’s poncho, the orange bag that they took off the dead hitchhiker in “Clear“, Glenn’s riot gear, Bob’s khaki cargo pants, and finally Hershel’s pocketwatch. Rick slaps down the plate of food, taking Alex hostage at gunpoint as Terminus residents aim their guns at them. Rick demands to know where their people are and why their group has the pocketwatch, riot gear and poncho. Alex claims to have taken the pocketwatch off of a dead person, and Gareth claims that the riot gear was from a dead police officer and the poncho was on a clothesline. Mary accidentally shoots and kills Alex while attempting to kill Rick, prompting a shootout as Rick, Daryl, Carl and Michonne flee, looking for an escape route. They ultimately make their way to the back entrance, where they are stopped when they see the outside fence is lined up with Terminus soldiers, guns all aimed at the group. Gareth orders the four of them to lower their weapons. After this, Gareth calls them by specific codenames to walk towards the boxcar: Rick (Ringleader), Daryl (Archer), Michonne (Samurai) and Carl (Kid) in that order.
Inside they find Glenn (Steven Yeun), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Bob (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Eugene (Josh McDermitt), and Tara (Alanna Masterson). Abraham remarks that they won’t be there for long, which Rick responds “No” and that the Terminus group will “Feel pretty stupid when they find out”. Abraham asks “find out what”, and Rick delivers the final line of the season: “They’re screwing with the wrong people.”
The season finale hit the characters pretty hard. Both Rick and his son Carl seem right back at the start of the season with a rather rancorous personal relation. Michonne finally comes clean to Carl about what happened to her kid during the initial stages of the outbreak. This revelation seems to be a form of redemption for a character that didn’t need redemption. It may have been better for this background story to have been revealed at another time and instead put more focus on Daryl and his quest to find Beth. The show’s creative staff had to run a tight rope. Already I have come up with suggestions about how to improve the episode but what I want is to know are all the plot denouements. There wouldn’t be much of a show left if that happened. ‘A’ is a good Walking Dead episode, its effective and frustrating in the best traditions of the show.
Score; 8.4 / 10. A good Walking Dead episode and season finale, but give the gang a break already.