How does that quote from Jurassic Park go? “Hold on to your butts.” They should have shown that before the season finale started. We’ve been hearing all season long that this finale was going to be particularly brutal with a crazy ending. Well, it was certainly brutal, but the ending ….we will talk about later.
I have a real love/hate relationship with the use of flashbacks; I have been waiting months for this episode and to be taken back to the beginning of the season is mildly annoying, but it was really great to get one more day with Hershel. It was also nice of him to take the responsibility for turning Rick into a farmer. While I understand the use of the flashbacks, they were interrupting the story that I wanted to see and they, mostly, seemed to be really blatant illustrations and reminders of how all of the characters have changed. Carl cleaning the gun while young Woody Allen plays with Legos? I get it. I think we all watched Carl’s innocence die when he shot his own mother.
While Rick, Carl and Michonne are walking along to Terminus, Carl asks such an interesting and sad question. “Are we going to tell them? Everything that has happened to us. All of the stuff we’ve done. Are we going to tell them the truth?” He knows that they have done some questionable things, but they were necessary for survival. Right? It’s a good question; who are they? They are definitely no longer the people that we are seeing in the flashbacks and we haven’t even seen the worst of it yet. Oh Carl, you have made me so angry lately, but when your instinct was to run and help that poor man being attacked by walkers, I just wanted to tell you to get back in the house. Every time you do something brave and adult I immediately picture your father carrying you to Hershel’s farm with that gunshot wound. It is so tragic that such a young man has to make so many adult decisions and face ugly things that no one should ever face.
Enter the Claimed Clan; what an ugly, ugly group of human beings. You could feel the disgusting glee wafting off of them at the prospect of rape and murder. For me, this was the most visceral scene thus far in the series. I haven’t been this upset since Zed got the gimp out. Thank goodness Daryl hadn’t bailed on these bastards like he had planned. Daryl just keeps proving to us why he is a great man; telling the men to take the blood that they’re looking for from him. Swoon. The events that occurred after this statement were so ugly and so brutal, but they were epic. Rick may have been playing farmer, but when that disgusting excuse of a human went after Carl, the Ricktatorship was back in full force. I actually raised my hands in the air and said “FUUUUUUUUUUUCK!” when he bit that guys jugular out. Just when I thought it couldn’t get more exciting, his crazy voice said, “He’s mine” regarding the pedophile. Yeah, it was over the top, but that death was pretty kind considering the man’s actions and I needed that revenge almost as much as Rick did. Big kudos to Chandler Riggs for that look on his face as he watched his dad go caveman.
All of that violence seemed to lift the fog that had been clouding Rick. He has his brother Daryl, he has Michonne and he has Carl. He seemed back to himself when they were walking to Terminus.
The moment between Michonne and Carl was beautiful. We finally know what happened to her family and we also know exactly what made her turn so cold. It’s really wonderful that she has returned to her normal self just in time to help Carl realize that he isn’t the monster that he fears he is.
Always the sheriff, Rick and the gang scope Terminus out before sneaking in the back door. (Shall we start taking bets on how long it takes for Carol and Tyreese to unearth Rick’s gun stash and save the day?) I really loved the visual of Rick, Carl, Michonne and Daryl standing in a perfect line, staring Gareth and his people down. They are an army, a team and they can communicate without speaking. This does not bode well for anyone who would be foolish enough to mess with them. I’m looking at you, Gareth.
Now, we all knew that Terminus was suspicious, but we weren’t sure how. Good old Rick, noticing Glen’s riot gear, Maggie’s poncho and Hershel’s watch just as Alex says, “The more people become a part of us, we get stronger.” So, is that literally or metaphorically? As our group is herded by gunfire along the “A” route to their train car, we get to see what looks to be a cemetery of sorts; a room filled with candles, flowers and names. Names of people who ended up on the BBQ? This route has clearly been used many times to herd people by gunfire. Creepy.
The final showdown between Gareth and Rick was very interesting. I found it very telling that Gareth referred to them as Ringleader, Archer, Samurai and Kid; everyone knows that you don’t name your food. More than that, if you want to break someone down, you start by taking away their identity. I know that I sound like a broken record, but this place just smacks of cult. No way is it just cut and dry cannibalism. Crazy thought, but perhaps that funeral home was a way to trap people and save them from Terminus. Terminus has a radio frequency, maps and signs leading you to it; why would they need that funeral home?Beth may be the safest person on the show right now.
It is so great to have everyone back together and I couldn’t be more giddy about the return of The Ricktatorship. I am quite happy that we did not lose a main character, however, they really had us believing that was going to happen, so, the ending of the season was not as nail biting as I had anticipated and I am very conflicted by that. Regardless, Terminus, you are definitely fucking with the wrong people.