Monday, March 31, 2014

The Walking Dead, Season Four, Episode Sixteen: A

The gates at the prison open up and a car drives in containing Maggie, Glenn and Rick.  Maggie greets Hershel.  Rick heads off to the fence to kill the walkers who have gathered there.  In the present, a dirty, blood covered Rick is spaced out leaning against a car.

Rick, Michonne and Carl are sitting around a campfire talking about how hungry they are.  They decide to go and check the snares that Rick has set up.  Rick says that they will stay a day or to get some rest and talk about how close they are to Terminus.  Carl wonders what they are going to tell the residents about the stuff they have done.  Rick says that they are going to tell them who they are and Carl wonders who they are.  A zombie comes of the woods and Michonne takes the lead.  They find a rabbit in a snare and Rick shows Carl and Michonne how he set the snare.  Suddenly, someone calls out  help and Carl takes of running, forcing Rick and Michonne to follow.  Rick grabs Carl and pulls him back before he can fire his weapon and the man gets devoured by zombies.  Rick, Michonne and Carl take off running and meet a group of zombies on the tracks.

Back at the prison, Hershel wakes Rick saying that he wants a hand with something.  Beth enters the cell and takes Judith.  Rick ties on his gun but Hershel tells him that he is not going to need it and that it will just get in the way.

Rick manages to kill the zombies in front of them but there are zombies behind them.  They keep hurrying down the tracks and find a 4x4.  Carl sleeps in the 4x4 and Michonne and Rick sit by the fire.  Rick says that all they talk about anymore is food. Rick says that they are close and they only need to make it through another day.  Michonne wonders if Terminus is legit.  They pause when they hear a noise.  Rick points out that they let people into the prison and Michonne points out that the governor let people into Woodbury.  Joe puts a gun to Rick's head and Rick and Michonne find themselves surrounded.  Joe tells Rick that today is the day of reckoning.  Carl wakes and finds himself surrounded.  Darryl steps out of the bushes and stops Joe's countdown.  Darryl is told that Rick killed Luke and that they have nothing to talk about. Darryl says that Rick and Michonne are good people and offers up his blood instead. Joe again says that Rick killed their friend and that means he is not good people.  Darryl is attacked and Harley orders him beaten.  Carl tries to get out of the car to help and one of the men puts a knife to his throat.  Joe says that they are going to beat Darryl to death, then have their way with Michonne and Carl before shooting Rick.  Rick again says let him go. Rick head butts Joe in the stomach, while in the distance it looks like someone is trying to rape Carl.  Rick tries to get up and fight and bites through Joe's carotid artery. Michonne grabs the gun from the man holding her and shoots him.  Darryl manages to beat off his attackers.  Rick grabs a knife and stabs the man who was trying to rape Carl, after he starts to beg. Michonne holds Carl, as Rick stabs continuously.

At the prison, Hershel and Rick are talking about the pigs and horses they have seen.  Hershel wants to start growing their own food and tells Rick that he cannot do it himself.  Rick says that he has to go on runs but Hershel wants to teach Rick, so that he can teach Carl.  Hershel adds that the war is over and that Carl needs his father to show him the way because now it's a question of what Carl's life is going to be. Hershel tells Rick that he owes him and that they can make things better now.  Rick leaves for a run.

A dazed Rick now sits with his back to a car.  We are back to the opening sequence.  Carl is asleep in the car and Michonne watches over him.  Darryl wets a rag and gives it to Rick, who suggests they save the water to drink.  Rick starts cleaning up and Darryl says that he didn't know what they were.  Darryl explains that he was with Beth and that now Beth is gone.  Darryl admits that he new Joe was bad but he had a code, which was simple but it was something.  Darryl adds that he was going to leave but he stayed and that is when he saw who the group was attacking.  Rick tells Darryl that this is not on him and that him being back with them is everything.  Rick calls Darryl his brother and Darryl tells Rick that anyone would have done what he did last night.  Rick says that it was all him that is why he is here now and that all that matter is keeping Carl safe

Rick, Carl, Michonne and Darryl make their way down the tracks. Rick assures Michonne that he is okay and Michonne affirms the same.  They decide to head through the woods the rest of the way because they don't know who the Terminus people are.  From the woods, they see Terminus and Rick orders them to all spread out and watch for awhile.   Carl chooses to go with Michonne and she brings up her son Andre.  Michonne says that they went to a refugee camp, which got worse and worse but she refused to leave and was coming back from a run and saw that the fences were done and heard the moans.  That's when she found Mike and Terry, who were high when it happened.  Michonne says that she could have stopped it but she let them turn and then made it so they couldn't bite or scratch and that it wasn't sane. The walkers didn't see her when she had her zombie slaves and Michonne says that she was gone for a long time but then Andrea, and Rick brought her back.  Michonne adds that Carl does not have to be afraid of Rick or Michonne.  Carl says that Rick told him that he was proud of him because he was a good man.  Carl adds that he has these thoughts and that he is not what his father thinks he is and is just another monster to.  Carl and Michonne hug, as Rick watches from a distance.

Rick puts down a bag of weapons and buries them just in case, as Darryl watches.  The four of them then hop over the fence, fully armed.  They enter a room were a woman is broadcasting that Terminus is a sanctuary and community for all.  They are asked if they are here to rob them and Rick says that they simply wanted to see them first.  Garret welcomes them to Terminus and Rick introduces everyone.  Garret asks if they are here for sanctuary and when Rick says yes, Garret asks for them to lay down their weapons  They lay down their weapons and Alex pats them down.  Garret says that they aren't bad people.  Michonne is handed back her sword, Rick his gun, Carl his gun. Darryl picks up his crossbow.  Garret leads them outside to the welcoming, where Mary is barbecuing.  Garret explains that they invite people in to get stronger.

Rick suddenly grabs a hold of Alex, who just happens to be wearing Glenn's watch.

Rick enters the prison and stops to see Patrick, who is sitting on the floor playing with the lego. Rick tells Patrick that he brought them back for Carl. Patrick says that he isn't ashamed that they're for ages four to twelve.  Carl is cleaning a weapon, as Beth looks on with Judith on her lap.  Rick tells Carl that he needs his help with something and that he is to leave the gun behind.

In the present, Alex tells Rick to put down the gun if he wants answers.  Rick asks again where he got the watch and Alex claims he got it off a dead walker.  Rick asks about the riot gear and the poncho. Suddenly the Terimnus people start shooting and Rick et all find themselves being driven into an area.  They run into a room which has names written on the ground and looks like a candlelight vigil. Michonne says that the people weren't trying to kill them and Rick agrees that they were aiming for their feet.  When they get to the gates, they find themselves completely surrounded.

Rick, Hershel, Carl are digging in the field.  When Carl's hat falls off Rick jokes about getting Carl a farmers hat. Rick puts the hat on Beth's head and says, "there's a new sheriff in town." Hershel says that it can be like this all the time and Rick replies that it being like this now is enough.

They are ordered to put down their weapons.  Rick is then ordered to walk over to the rail car and Rick says that he is not going anywhere without Carl.  Garret calls out that if he doesn't move now, they will kill Carl and Rick will end up in the freight train anyway.  Rick walks over to the freight car.  Darryl is then ordered to follow Rick and so he does.  Michonne is ordered to stand behind Darryl, leaving Carl standing by himself.  Rick is ordered to enter the freight train and he yells that he won't go without Carl.  Garret is adamant that he won't enter without Carl.  Carl is ordered to start walking towards the line and Rick enters the train followed by Darryl, Michonne and finally Carl.  The door is closed and locked..

Inside, Glenn, Maggie at all make their presence known.  Glenn introduces the rest of the group to Rick saying that they are good people and helped him get there.  Rick replies that they are his people now.  Rick walks over to the door and says that the Terminus people are going to feel foolish when they realise what a mistake they made screwing with him.

And that was the season finale of The Walking Dead.  I don't know about you, but to me it was a let down. I expected something big and what we got was more character development. I suppose the word is anticlimactic. I expected someone to die and no one did. The flash backs to the prison were juxtaposed to the present time to represent the fact that Rick is no longer the farmer but has embraced his darker side and is no longer conflicted with it.  Rick is going to do whatever he had to do to keep Carl safe.  This did't feel like a revelation to me, as this was always pretty clear.

As for the season itself, I found it to be incredibly nuanced though I know many thought it was the worst season of The Walking Dead yet.  This season, at least the second half was about adding depth to the characters.  We learned more about their back stories and what makes them tick.  This was noted by the revelation of what Darryl did before the apocalypse happened.  It confirms my belief that it took the apocalypse and a separation from Merle to make Darryl who he is. When Rick calls Darryl his brother, for Darryl that means that he has come full circle.  This time, we are meant to believe that Darryl finally has a brother he can look up to and keep him on the moral right.

We had the touching scene with Carol and Lizzie (who should never have been lift with Judith). Who isn't going to feel creeped out if told to look at flowers.  Yeah, I'm not looking.  These scenes represented closure for Carol as far as Sophia is concerned.  Now she knows, no  matter what she did, Sophia probably was destined to die.  Carol said that she was to kind to live. It takes a certain mentality to survive in a zombie apocalypse and Carol knows this without a doubt now.

We had Michonne refusing to give up and they finally added depth to her character.  I do however need The Walking Dead to stop doing the whole juxtaposition thing between Andre and Carl because it turns Michonne into a mammy.  A white child not matter who precious cannot replace a Black woman's own blood.  It's sick and historically/racially so damn problematic.  It's not the caring about Carl that I have a problem with, just the idea that Carl somehow represents a replacement of Andre that they keep inferring.

Glenn and Maggie are the couple of The Walking Dead.  Nothing is going to separate these two but death. Maggie makes this clear when she has Glenn burn the picture he carried of her sleeping.  To this I have to say kudos to The Walking Dead, as this is set up between an inter-racial couple is something not seen on the media.  It is however worth noting that culturally, Glenn is still very much a blank slate and could be read as White as any of the other cast members.  The only reference to the fact that Glenn is Asian was made way back on the farm when Glenn first met Maggie. Due to the setting, The Walking Dead has been able to ignore many of the pressures that real inter-racial couples face.

This season we also got the addition of Abraham, Rosita and Eugene.  As a fan of the comics I was excited by how much the actor looked like the character in the comics  That being said, a zombie can eat Eugene at any time and I won't miss him.  We don't know anything about Rosita yet but I hope that she is going to be a strong character.  At this point Abraham really hasn't left his military way of thinking behind.  It will be interesting to see if The Walking Dead is going to follow the comics and move the group to Washington DC.

Finally, though the final episode was a let down, and the time spent ruminating on The Governor went on for far too long, I did enjoy this season.  I liked getting into the mindset of the characters that we have come to know.  The ongoing question of The Walking dead has been can these characters ever get back to who they were and I think we now know that there is no going back.  They have been changed irrecoverably and not all of it  for the better.  Childhood as we can see from the kids, is a thing of the past.  It can exist while the dead roam the earth.  This is a world of kill or be killed and so each person is marked.  Each person, no matter where their morals stand is a killer.  The zombies in a sense are not the only dead walking the earth.