The finale! The season finale! The one were everybody dies!
Oh, the anticipation.
So, rather than allow myself to spiral into despair before I even know anything, let’s take a look at what happened last night.
Alright, so this episode jumps around a lot in time, especially in the beginning, so let’s all try and keep track, okay?
The episode opens on a flashback. The gang is all at the prison, welcoming back Glenn, Maggie, and others from a supply run. Herschel (*SOB* HERSCHEL!) greets his eldest daughter with open arms and there are smiles all around.
It’s a touching moment, even as prison folk are using crowbars and knives and sharpened sticks to kill the walkers at the gates. It serves to remind us of everything our heroes once had… Y’know, to really make those losses hit home.
Cut the the present, where we see Rick, alone, hands shaking, face drenched in blood.
Kind of reminds me of Rapunzel.
So, some shit has clearly gone down since we last saw him, smiling at the antics of Carl and Michonne.
The group is pretty much starving, having had very little to eat, even as Ranger Rick give us a nature lesson, and teaches all of us how to create a snare.
They caught a rabbit, but it’s a teensy weensy one, barely enough to feed one person, let alone the three of them. Suddenly, though, a man’s cry for help in a nearby clearing send Carl running to his rescue, because nobody has taught Carl to stay put EVER.
Anywho, it hardly matters as this poor MoFo is already outnumbered by a huge margin, and his shouting has attracted more walkers, and, more importantly, although Carl is already taking aim to help the dude out, Rick won’t let him, leaving the man to be eaten alive, face first and everything, so that they can mosey along down the tracks, slicing stray walkers to bits along the way.
Cue another flashback. Herschel wakes Rick to give him a lesson, once that he won’t need his gun for, and one that will help him chill the fuck out.
Flash forward, and we see Carl sleeping in a broken down truck and Rick and Michonne having a campfire chat.
But the moment is ruined when Joe’s gang of bandits finally catches up to them.
Daryl shows himself, telling Joe that these are people he knows. That Rick is a good man.
Joe views that as a lie.
But the real problem here, even as Rick and Michonne are being held at gunpoint and the other gang members aim to beat our favourite redneck to death?
Well, the real problem is this guy.
This… Does not sit well with Rick. He headbutts Joe and the two scuffle, Michonne and Daryl fednign off their respective attackers, as Carl desperately tries to escape this… Ugh.
It is a tremendous performance by Chandler Riggs, though. Probably the best he’s ever done. He’s terrified and desperate, and later, scared again.
Rick, with no weapons and having just gone off the deep end, finishes Joe off by ripping out his throat with his bare teeth.
And then he finishes the pedophile off himself, gutting the man with his own knife, cutting him from stomach to sternum.
Meanwhile, Michonne, because she’s the best, holds Carl close, both to comfort him and to shield him from what his father is doing.
Now, we’ve caught up to that shot in the stinger, before the credits, where Rick sits against the car.Daryl joins him and the two share “I love you, man”‘s as Rick cleans himself up a bit.
Inside, Michonne tends to Carl, who hears everything his dad says.
Carl is shaken, but the point is that Rick will do anything to keep Carl safe.
They approach Terminus but, rather than head on through the front gate, they creep in through the woods to stake the place out before they make their move. We get a nice moment where Michonne reminds Carl that they’ve all done things, citing her loss of her child and letting her boyfriend and friend turn as her example. But Carl doesn’t have to be afraid of them.
Before hopping the fence, though, Rick buries their weapons cache, even checking his usual ginormous revolver for a semiautomatic something-or-another.A father has to keep his baby safe after all.
Once in the train yard, they come across a building with a woman narrating a script about the awesomeness of Terminus into a small radio broadcasting set-up, and a small group of people who are apparently making more signs to put up all around the everywhere.
So, Tasha Yar isn’t alone.
The group is greeted by a dude named… I forgot his name. But it was something old-world-y and unusual. The point is, weird name guy and his friend jovially tell them that their plan to scope the place out without being seen was a smart one, and he talks them into a quick search.
The Termites (yes, that’s what I’m calling them) take the group to go and grab a bite at Tasha Yar’s Neverending Barbecue (trademarked), only for things to… Uh… Devolve.
See, the problem is that Rick is a pretty observant guy. He sees a woman wearing a very familiar poncho. A man just lounging about in riot gear for some reason. And the smiley guy is sporting a pocket watch with tremendous sentimental value.
The other problem? They’re way the fuck outnumbered in Terminus.
After another commercial break, we get yet another flashback, this time showing a moment where, while poor, ill-fated Patrick plays with the world’s last Lego set, undeterred by the recommended age, Carl is more interested in taking apart his gun, cleaning it, putting it back together. Learning his weapon’s ins and outs.
Rick tells him to set his gun down and that he needs his help. And it’s the birth of farmer Rick.
Meanwhile, this Rick is a pretty far cry from that Rick.
A shootout and a chase seen ensue, with rooftop snipers doing the brunt of the shooting. If you watch closely, you will either come to the conclusion that the Termites are the worst shots ever, or Rick and the gang are being herded.
And we get our first glimpse into the source of the episode’s title.
And here I was hoping it was a “Happy Days” reference.
Anywho, as they run through an area riddled with bullet holes, meaning this isn’t the first time the Termites have pulled this shit, Rick spots a pretty impressive pile of human bones, picked clean.
The group runs into a building with an open door, and inside are hundreds of lit candles and writing on the walls. “Never again. Never trust. We first always.”
But, my take on this is that they tried to be a haven, but somebody or some group betrayed them. So now, they are the betrayers, and they use their subterfuge to lure potential would-be betrayers into their trap and use them as a food source before they can event contemplate stealing supplies or murdering the Termites.
Or maybe I’m reading too much into this.
They’re rushed out into an open area, where they are quite thoroughly surrounded by at least a dozen Termites with machine guns.
And guy whose name I can’t remember tells them to throw down their weapons and entre a nearby train car, or they’ll kill Carl.
The procession is drawn out, but the group, including Carl bringing up the rear, march into the car, labeled “A.”
But guess who else is inside?
That’s right. EVERYBODY.
…Actually, it’s almost a let down. I mean, I love the cast to bits, but having everyone still pretty much accounted for (sorry Beth) takes away from anyone-could-go-at-any-moment charm of this show.
But it doesn’t matter what I think. It also doesn’t matter that they’re all trapped in a steel box with heavily armed cannibals just outside.
Because we get another flashback.
Herschel tells Rick that it can be like this all the time. The kids are laughing. They’ve got food and safety. Rick tells him that it being like this now is enough.
And back in the present, in that probably foul-smelling train car that I’m sure is hot as balls in the Georgia heat, Rick tells them that the Termites are going to feel “pretty stupid” (meaning “pretty dead”) when they find out that “They’re screwing with the wrong people.”
And that’s the end of the season.
*Folds hands primly *
That’s how it ends? That’s how it ends! You spend half a season building up to Terminus, taking your own, sweet-ass time, killing more minors than walkers in the process, and you leave an entire season on a cliffhanger?!
Well, I guess we’ll see what happens in 7 months.
(Good Lord, seven months?)
Alright! But we can still point out a couple of things.
There is a duffel bag in the woods that is full of all of the weapons.
Carol, who we know will do straight up anything for these people and not feel a lick of remorse about it, is still out there, along with Tyreese and Li’l Asskicker, who may end up being a valuable asset, since hopefully these people wouldn’t want to kill a baby, at least.
Also, let’s not forget Beth.
Oh, how could I ever forget Beth?
Well, she’s still out there and, despite the Interwebs claiming that Tasha Yar is wearing Beth’s sweater, I’m not convinced, and not only because they’re several sizes apart. She was abducted in a car, from outside of a funeral home that someone had been holing up in. The only cars we’ve seen at Terminus have been the burnt out, shot up ones. And why would a Termite be living in a funeral home outside of the supposed sanctuary, preparing bodies for burial rather than consumption.
Ooh. Maybe the culprit was a Terminus escapee! That would tie the storylines together neatly.
Or maybe Beth is going to find herself in the TWD spin-off the producers are planning. Because she’s the most interesting and essential character in the series. And a second group of survivors in Georgia as opposed to a completely different locale with all of it’s new dangers and possible safe zones would never be seen as redundant.
Okay, so maybe not.
The point is, everybody’s still either alive or at least not certainly dead (I’m looking at you, Beth!) since last episode. And we still have a man, a woman, a girl, and a baby out there, three of whom we know are still headed straight to Terminus.
My money’s on Judith.
Until next season!