The episode opens on Janeway– I mean, Deanna, and her family mourning Adjen’s loss in what must be their traditional way:
With a mix tape!
Then, Carol is baking a casserole to a sick beat because that’s how she rolls. Sam visits her.
Sasha, in her birds’ nest, is tears eyed and looks to be as losing-it as ever.
A knock on he door finds Deanna with a “Sorry about your kid” casserole… Which she doesn’t accept. And she grimly burns the card.
Alexandria looks awesome. In like a Stepford Wives kind of way.
Oh, and also, there’s someone skulking about just outside of the gates, apparently.The Alexandria welcoming committee demands the surrender of their weapons(Ha!) but Aaron clears them and insists that Rick speak to Diana, the “Oz the Great and Powerful” of their little settlement.
The season resumes! And I’m still not upset that Beth died. I mean, I’m bummed for Maggie, but…
Well, the episode opens with a montage that includes the gang leaving Grady, burying Beth, and places that have fallen (Woodbury and the prison) as they decide to pursue what would have been Beth and… What’s His Name’s plans. We also get a glance back at the girls that Carol had to kill, and I think the show has shifted from killing every black character to killing every little blonde girl…
But wait… I don’t remember any of these flashbacks…
In this episode, we’re actually going back in time, seeing Carol and Daryl’s adventure chasing after Beth’s kidnappers, and finding out just how Carol ended up in the hospital.
And, actually, the episode starts out even further back, in the moment just after Rick has “banished” her from the prison at the beginning of last season. Solo Carol takes a second to cry, and then seems to just get on with living, finding a safe haven and setting up a living space, until she sees plumes of smoke coming from the direction of the prison. She heads off towards the scene, and we see fire reflected in the windshield.
It’s the Doctor Mullet show!
Good golly, I never thought I’d miss Beth.
Well, we haven’t seen Beth for a while, so I suppose it’s only fair that we get a Beth-heavy episode in repayment.
The episode opens with her waking up in a sparse room at Grady Memorial Hospital, quickly getting up to look out over Atlanta, being confronted by a police officer and a doctor, who both look very well put together for everything that everyone ELSE we’ve seen has been through. They tell her that they found Beth at the side of the road, alone, and that, had they not brought her in, she’d be a “rotter” right now… So she “owes” them.
The doctor takes her on a little tour of the patients, flatlining a guy who he says has shown no sign of improvement. He flips off the man’s equipment and stabs him in the head once he’s flatlined, and she accompanies him to their body-disposal system, which looks like just dumping them down an elevator shaft.
Beth goes to get the doctor a meal, and is asked by a man if she remembers him. She says that she was fighting a walker and then everything went black. “One was high on your thighs but I got there first.” Ugh. Enter creepy officer Gorman.
The doctor’s office is peaceful if a little cluttered, and he’s living the good life eating guinea pig and listening to music and admiring a painting he saved from the garbage. Beth comments on the record, saying that she still sings…
Because of course she does.
Later, the pseudo-police bring in a man who has fallen from a balcony while fighting off a walker, and they force the doctor to work on him, despite his warnings that this guy isn’t going to make it and it would be a tremendous waste of resources. The woman who brought the patient in doesn’t take the news well, turning to slap Beth so hard that it reopens the stitches on her cheek.
Because the mark of a hero is always taking your anger out, physically, on a smaller person who is recovering from various injuries.
Gorman and the first cop we see (Dawn) drag in a woman (Joan) they’d earlier said was missing, holding her down as they saw her arm off because he’s been bit. They force Beth to help.
Beth goes to get new scrubs and meets Noah, who tells her that he’s pretty sure that there’s no getting out of this place. He’s planning to get out of there, though, and go back to his walled home in Richmond, especially after the people in the hospital left his father to die.
Beth tells Dawn that she’s not planning on staying long, and Dawn very sweetly informs her that things aren’t bad where they are. That they’re doing good. Dawn is dedicated to keeping things going, and that they’ll be rescued someday. But until then, “If we take, we give back; it’s only fair.”
Thank you, comrade Dawn.
As Joan recovers from her hasty amputation, Beth mops and hums a little tune. Joan speaks to her very cryptically, giving Beth more reason to worry about being where she is. Like she needed more reason.
Then, back in her room, she looks for the lollipop that Noah snuck her only to find that Gorman has stolen it. He sucks on it a bit before forcing Beth to do the same, but his creepster tendencies are interrupted by the doctor.
Gorman tries to intimidate him, but the doctor tells him that, someday, Gorman will need someone to help him once he gets sick or hurt or bit. Beth asks the doctor why he stays, and instead he takes her to the ground floor of the hospital, where walkers swarm on the other side of a gate. The doctor tells her that this is his reminder of why he stays whenever he thinks about leaving.
Then, on the roof, he tells her about when it started, how the had evacuated the hospital only for ever patient to be turned pretty readily. With pretty much only him and Dawn left, they had to get to a deal, wherein they’d use resources to help survivors recover, and the survivors would then work their debt off. Beth isn’t so convinced, but the doctor seems to really think that what they’ve got there, flawed as it may be, is still better than “out there.” He tells her to give a patient his medicine and call it a day…
But, when she does, the man has a seizure and dies. Dawn questions her about it, but Noah takes the fall, claiming to have unplugged the respirator while mopping. The doctor gave her the wrong drug name, and she tells him that, but he denies it pretty impassively, even as Dawn beats Noah in punishment. She also confronts Beth about it anyways, as she knew it was a lie. She tells Beth that everything is done or the greater good there. She says that Beth would either be dead or a burden outside of the hospital, citing her wrist scar as proof that Beth’s simply not meant for this world.
Later, tending to Noah’s black eye, she tells him that she wants to escape with him. She steals an ID badge from a filing cabinet and a key from a locked desk drawer, and comes across Joan’s body, looking like she’s taken her own life, just as Gorman comes in. He tries to force her into having sex with him, but Beth’s virtue is saved by walker Joan biting a chunk of his throat out.
Hooray..? I mean, yeah, hooray, but… Blech.
On her way out, Beth tells Dawn that Gorman was looking for her in her office. Dawn thanks her, and we hear the sounds of screaming and moaning as she and Noah make a break for it dow the elevator shaft. Armed with Groan’s gun, a flashlight, and having used seven round of ammo before they rush out into the daylight. As Noah struggles to keep up with her, limping along, she is left to fend off the walkers herself… Using what looks like way more bullets than she should still have…
Because a few of the cops from within the hospital have arrived outside, firing into the group, and tackle her to the ground as Noah squeezes through the fence. There’s a moment’s hesitation on his face, but she smiles as he hobbles away.
Dawn confronts her back inside, and Beth tells her that Groman attacked her, and Joan, and that Dawn herself has let it happen. Dawn tells her that she’s trying to keep her officers happy so that they do a good job. Beth tells her that nobody’s coming… And Dawn doesn’t take it well, walloping Beth in the face. As the doctor looks her over, Beth accuses him of purposefully telling her to give the man from earlier the wrong medicine. He knew the man was a doctor, even knew him professionally, and that would have jeopardized his position in the hospital, since he’s the only doctor and he’s got t pretty good in there.
Beth… Well, apparently she gives zero fucks anymore. because she’s got something sharp in her hand and murder in her eyes as she comes up to the doctor. He’s saved by the arrival of a new persona on a gurney… A familiar face…
Ah! Ah, no, not Carol! how did anyone even take her out? What, did they bazooka her int he face? Because we all know that nothing can actually kill Carol…
Well, I guess it’s going to turn out to be Noah that Daryl dragged into the church at the end of last week’s episode…
Or maybe Morgan!
Here’s hoping for a baller reveal and, if we get another Beth episode before that, that there’s at least one full-blown musical number, complete with back-up dancing walkers.
Until then, this actually wasn’t a bad episode, and I do appreciate that, while it almost seems like the producers don’t know what to do with Beth (and haven’t for, like, two seasons), that doesn’t mean that they’re just going to kill her off because it’s easier. The last moment, when she finally grows a pair of lady-balls, made me actually respect her character a little bit more. Like, “Oh, there’s a reason she’s still on this show. Good for her.”
But, until next week, when it looks like we’ll be catching up with Ford, his lady-friend, that girl whose name I keep forgetting, Dr. Mullet, and (panic!) Glenn and Maggie. Fingers crossed that Dr. Mullet isn’t too much longer for their world!
Hoo-boy. These cannibals are spry, man.
Must be something they’re eating…
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!
These titles are getting shorter and shorter. If IMDB is anything to go by, and admittedly it often isn’t, next week’s episode is just titled “A.”
But that’s next week.
We’re here to talk about this episode, “Us.”
The episode opens with Dr. Mullet and Tara leading the way down the tracks towards Terminus, the former talking her ear off about video games and treating a penny like it’s the most precious thing ever created.
That night, Abraham sits Tara down to talk to her, since she refuses to sleep. He lists things he’s notices, like how Eugene likes her, but how he saw Tara looking down… Oh, what is her name? With the no pants? Yeah, her shirt while being served dinner. And he figures that she’s following Glenn on his borderline suicide mission because of either something she did or didn’t do.
So, he’s a pretty observant guy. Maybe Dr. Mullet shouldn’t be such a know-nothing know-it-all to him, or anyone else for that matter. The next morning, back on the tracks, they come across a Terminus sign… And Glenn takes off running, a relieved smile breaking out on his face.
Roll credits, blah blah blah blah, and we get to see Joe’s crew, where Daryl has taken a short leave to go hunting. After one of the ruffians rather grotesquely takes out a walker trapped in their perimetre wire, pissing on its carcass as well, of course, trouble-maker Len heads out to find him.
We catch up briefly with Rick, Carl, and Michonne, the latter two of which are taking their time balancing on the tracks.
After Michonne knocks herself off while trying to psyche Carl out, he generously splits his hard-won candy bar with her. The dynamic between the two of them, starting way back in “Clear” (which is my personal favourite episode so far, and that’s really saying something considering how much we should all know that I love Glenn and Maggie by now) is awesome. She’s what Carl needs and Carl’s what she needs, creating a friendship that’s also sort of a surrogate mother-son relationship. So, that’s awesome. Despite Rick’s concerns about their water supply, he smiles along and they head further down the road.
Back in the woods, Daryl has just shot a rabbit he’s been waiting for for hours, and Len, the douchiest douchebag in Joe’s camp, shoots it at the same moment, laying Claim to his breakfast. Joe shows up to intervene, since Daryl doesn’t know their rules, and in a sort of backwards King Solomon moment, chops the rabbit in half. But Daryl’s got to say “Claimed” for whatever he wants, so nobody’ll fight him for it. But our favourite redneck doesn’t want to roll by their rules.
Along the tracks with Glenn and company, they’re slowing down. There’s a concrete tower they can climb into to rest, but a walker stumbles out from the height. And, because Dr. Mullet is too fucking stupid to move out of the way from clearly visible certain doom with ample warning, Tara has to be knocked out of the way, twisting her knee.When Glenn asks her if she wants to stay, she says she can keep going, and… Well, damn, now she has pants, but that chick traveling with Abraham points out that Tara will do anything Glenn asks, so he should stop being an ass. Glenn ignores her and offers his riot gear to Eugene in exchange for just letting them continue on.
Which is stupid because Glenn doesn’t actually owe them anything, necessarily.
But love isn’t blind. It’s actually just… A special kind of special.
Somewhere else, Joe explains the rules to Daryl, saying that you have to claim what you want, you can’t steal, and you can’t lie, otherwise a beating with varying degrees of severity will ensue.
Glenn, now unarmoured, approaches a dark tunnel with the rest of the gang close behind. Abraham says they’ll go up and over, but Glenn says that that would take an extra day, and that Maggie went through, so he will, too.
Abraham can hear the walkers inside, though, so he bids them good luck and gives them two cans of peaches and a flashlight and bids them good luck. Whatsherface gives them hugs. Dr. Mullet complements them on their character and tells Tara she’s hot.
Tara tells him she likes girls.
He claims to have already known this.
Glenn smiles to himself.
And the moment is awesome.
As they walk inside, Glenn tells Tara that he knows what she’s going through, having lost all of his family himself, and she tells him that she was the first to jump in at “Brian”‘s idea to take over the prison, even with the fact that some lives would probably have to be taken.
Joe’s group plus Daryl settle in an empty auto body shop, with all of the thugs “claiming” their cars to sleep in, since Daryl doesn’t seem keen on conforming to their ways. Instead, he picks himself a nice spot on the ground a ways away, using his garbage bag of supplies as his pillow. Joe and Len both notice his lack of reaction to being booted from the cars.
Back in the tunnel, they come across a freshly collapsed portion, walkers still active and trapped between the chunks of concrete. Glenn hands Tara his gun and takes his knife and the flashlight to examine the walkers, making certain that Maggie isn’t among their ranks and stabbing them as he goes along. BUT HE ONLY STABS THE WOMEN. And then Tara stomps on one of the men’s heads. Aaaand they climb to the top of the heap, where a couple dozen walkers wander towards them, and Glenn pauses, looking them over one by one and saying that, since she’s not one of them, Maggie made it through, and so they will, too, despite their lack of ammunition.
Abraham and company, meanwhile, have found a van with a single walker inside and a note written in the windshield’s grime. “Leave Momma Be.” They, of course, do not, and they have a nice new mode of transportation, all set to go, until Dr. Mullet decides to belittle… Oh, man. WHAT is her NAME? But, anyways, he wants to be navigator, and she’s not here for it, since she’s in the know about his general uselessness. She finally caves, telling him that they’re just going north.
Meanwhile, back at the cave-in, the worst plan ever has been hatched. Remember how I listed all of the things that Glenn has done wrong this episode? Well, add to that leaving their only light source in a dark tunnel of unknown length and filled with an unknown number of walkers who they now won’t be able to see, PLUS climbing down a pile of loose rubble with one of their party sporting a lower limb injury, and this is gonna turn out fine, I’m sure.
Whoop, no. I lied. Tara’s gonna slip, and her leg is gonna get trapped under a particularly stubborn rock, and then they’re gonna talk and then the walkers will notice them, and she’ll shout at him to go, and more will come, but he won’t abandon her.
THAT’S what’s going to happen.
Dr. Mullet, meanwhile, has gotten… Fuck, I’m never gonna know this woman’s name, am I? Well, he’s given her shoddy directions, but ultimately gotten her to come around to where that same tunnel lets out, saying that they ought to be around here if there were no considerable delays. Then, as Abraham is knocked awake and bickering ensues, he spots something odd.
Back in the garage, Len accuses Daryl of taking his half of the rabbit, and Daryl denies it, but a check in his bag reveals the front half of the poor little rodent.
Joe asks Len if he planted it, like Daryl accuses, and Len denies it, so Joe gives him a hard uppercut to the gut and tells the other men to teach him a lesson “all the way” because… Drumroll please… He saw him do it.
Now, in the tunnel, Glenn uses the last of him ammo to fend off the walkers, but he only takes out about a half-dozen before his clip runs empty. Just as he’s about to resort to using his rifle as a club for some reason (because doesn’t he have any bullets for that?), a man shouts to “Get Down!” and a group opens fire on the miniature hoarde.
And guess who it is?!
After freeing Tara from the rubble, Glenn introduces her to Maggie, claiming to have met her on the road and saying that the younger girl felt compelled to help him after hearing his story, because she’s just good like that. Maggie gives her a hug, and you can fucking see/smell/hear/taste the guilt in Tara’s eyes. Then they go and join the others, having made camp in the tunnel since they were pretty much able to secure it (how, I do not know), and Sasha and Bob are in disbelief at Abraham’s tale.
Abraham tells them all that now there’s nothing keeping them from Washington, and Tara tells Glenn that she’s going with them. Her pseudo-dept is kind-of repaid! But Dr. Mullet contradicts Abraham, saying that three more days and they’re at Terminus, so they may have supplies or manpower. Sasha agrees to go with the to Washington after Terminus; she needs to see if Tyreese is still alive. Bob agrees to go wherever she goes.
Then… Sigh… A lovely moment where Glenn and Maggie catch each other up is ruined by my anxiety over this being a moment of foreshadowing or metaphor or some other such BULLSHIT, because Maggie finds the photo of her that Glenn has been carrying, and she convinces her to let her fucking BURN it because they’ll always be together and he’ll never need a photo of her because he’ll have the real her by his side and blah blah blah blah blah blah MAGGIE WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!
I mean, really, look at this screen shot. Is this not a metaphor?
Sigh, you assholes…
The next morning, Daryl wakes up to the crew setting off, and finds Len outside, with an arrow in his eye.
Daryl is about to cover his body with a sheet, and then decides against it, leaving the sheet in a heap and following Joe as he takes a swig from a flask and tells him a bit about his plans for the immediate future. They’re on their way to Terminus, but not for sanctuary, since he doubts that men like them will be welcomed with open arms, but rather to hunt down a guy who was hiding out in a house that they’d claimed, strangled one of their own, and left him to turn and attack them all as a walker. One of their group got a good look at him.
Because he was staring at him as he was being choked and their prey was hiding under the bed.
Oh! Right. That’s why this sounds so familiar.
Because Daryl’s now with a group on people who are going to hunt down and murder Rick. And probably Carl. And Michonne, but, y’know, after horribly raping her because they as much said so in that episode where they’re all actually in the house. And, after hearing this and having refused to conform to this group’s dynamics for this whole series of events since they’ve found him, he claims a small tomato or berry or something growing at the side of the tracks, right as another guy is about to grab at it.
So, awesome. Except for the many ways in way it’s not.
And, now, at last, it looks like the first of our heroes have arrived at Terminus.
So, let’s just go with a Terminus slideshow for now and give our thoughts:
One gate, no locks or visible guards posted.
A second gate, also unlocked, and it has a sign which has all of the same handwriting as every other sign we’ve seen thus far.
Pastel colours. Weird as shit.
Tasha Yarr as slightly creepy hippy lady.
Nobody else in sight.
Sooo… Is this a huge cannibalism scheme or what? Because, and I’m not judging just observing, but everybody else in the world is starving, and Tasha’a over here looking a little bit ponchy. Plus she’s grilling something. WHAT IS THERE LEFT TO GRILL?!
The answer… Is people.
There could also be some kind of creepy Stepford thing going on. There could be drugs in the food or water.
Or she could be a Super Saiyan.
Who the fuck knows?
So far, I’m standing firm equal distance between the cannibal and drugging theories. Because both are completely different levels of creepy than we’ve seen on the show so far. And I’m all for non-flu-y new threats. ‘Twould be quite welcome, since I’m pretty sure that everybody and their Momma (who they did not let be) knows by now not to trust any of the other survivors.
But we do need to see some casualties, certainly, in the finale next week. Even with Herschel it’s been a while. And it was quite a while before that, too. So, what have we got?
An uneasy truce between Tyreese and Carol.
A romance who a lot believe to be doomed, but who I’m holding out for, especially since the whole doomed romance/Romeo-Juliet thing is such a cliche at this point that it would be a really disappointing thing to see, just from a writing standpoint, let alone from that of a person who actually “ships” them. But, given the imagery of Maggie’s photo burning, plus the fact that Glenn has worked very hard to continue on in Herschel’s sort of morality, and we all know what happens to the group’s moral compass time and again, and then counting the huge number of errors and irresponsible moves made by Glenn in this episode alone, it’s not looking too good for the two of them. But I still don’t want them to die. It looks so much like one of them will that I don’t want to believe that the writers have gotten that lazy.
Especially since we still have an upcoming standoff between Rick and the group with which Daryl is now traveling as a part of. Add the fuel of the fact that Daryl still doesn’t know about Carol’s banishment onto that fire, and we might just get a major character death that none of us were bargaining for. Daryl or even Rick might die. And wouldn’t that shake some shit up?
I mean, consider, Michonne is a friend and role model for Carl, able to keep the boy straight.
She’s a surrogate mother.
And Carl is probably safe because I think enough people too short to ride most carnival rides have gotten got this season.
Who do you think is going to bite it/get bit?
Personally, I think the biggest deal is Daryl/Rick… But mostly because I don’t want to even think about Glenn or Maggie.
Oh, right, and, uh, are we ever gonna see Beth again, or…?
Until next week!
You guys… I don’t even want to do this one. I’m so depressed…
Well, prepare to have your whole fucking day ruined.
The episode’s stinger, before the credits, is a shot through a window, as a teakettle steams and whistles, of a girl laughingly running circles around a walker as it, y’know, tries to eat her.
After the credits, we see Carol and
the devil Lizzie sitting on a log and musing on what it might be like at Terminus, whether it’ll be safe, if they’ll have food, if there will be other children there… How long until they get there. The moment is sweet. Hopeful. You actually kind of feel for Lizzie for the first time in… Ever. You want her to be around kids her age because, heck, maybe it’ll help her not be a crazy person for a while.
Then, Tyreese wakes from a fevered nightmare and it kind of kills the moment.
The next morning, after finding some maple syrup to put on Tyreese’s wound but not to eat, apparently, they discuss the girls. Lizzie is way too tough when it comes to people, but she doesn’t see walkers as a threat; rather, they’re victims. They’re different. Mika, meanwhile, “doesn’t have a mean bone in her body,” according to Carol.
Later, as they walk further down the tracks and discuss Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, they smell a fire off in the distance, but are unable to see it anywhere. The group splits up so that Tyreese, Lizzie, and Li’l Asskicker can rest while Carol takes Mika aside to look for food, but also to give her a little pep talk about how she’s got to toughen up. Mika says that she would never be able to kill a person. She’ll kill walkers if she has to, if she can, but she’s good at running and that’s what she plans to do. Carol tells her that Sophia ran, and that it wasn’t enough for her.
Meanwhile, Tyreese leaves Lizzie with the baby (WHICH THEY NEED TO STOP DOING) to go and kill a walker along the tracks, but he leaves it alone when it falls, its leg caught between slats of wood, and Lizzie asks him to spare it.
Back with Carol, Mika, who is the sweetest little girl in the world and DAMN IT I hate the writers of this show more than I ever have in this moment, tells her that everything is alright, brightly saying that her mom always said that everything works out the way that it’s supposed to. And then she spots a house where they can rest, smiling because she feels like her point has been proven.
The girls are told to wait outside, unsupervised because nobody is able to commit past mistakes to their long-term memory in this universe, and Lizzie starts to panic. Mika thinks that it’s because they see a grave marked with a cross and a pair of kids’ shoes, but her older sister starts going on about how Carol and Tyreese will find a walker inside and they’re going to kill it. Mika shouts at her that she needs to stop that shit, that they’re not people, and Lizzie tells her with an eerie calm that she’s wrong.
Their shouting match calls the attention of a walker that was in the house, but at the end opposite where Carol and Tyreese went in. Mika takes it out with three shots as Judith cries and Lizzie screams. Not out of fear for herself or the baby, as the characters think, though.
Mika apologizes for yelling at her, and helps coach her sister back to “normal” by looking at some flowers and counting calmly. So, clearly, Lizzie’s been a psycho since the beginning, and I really feel like their dad should have disclosed that shit from the beginning.
Once inside, they’ve got a roaring fire, fresh water from a private well on the property, plenty of pecans and peaches, they’ve spotted deer, they’re playing with puzzles, and Mika has found a doll which she’s named Brizelda Gunderson. Tyreese is in disbelief of how good they have it and, once again, a member of the group suggests staying. This time it’s Mika, and she’s little, so it’s understandable.
But, the adults in the situation, for some reason, immediatelyt relax. In front of large windows. In a wood frame house. Like they’ve never been in that situation before. Like this isn’t the exact same scenario they were in when Carol finally found her daughter, zombified in a barn, and then that house was swept away by a massive hoarde of walkers.
Yeah. Like none of that happened.
Because, again, whatever’s got all of them carrying to walker virus or whatever it is also seems to have affected their sense of consequences and their ability to learn from mistakes made repeatedly in the past.
The next day, as Carol puts on a pot of water to make tea on this stove which inexplicably still has gas, we catch up to that initial image of a girl playing with a walker. Carol sees Lizzie outside, letting the walker get closer and closer, and rushes out, stabbing it in the head.
Lizzie loses it. She tells her that she was just playing with her. The walker wanted a friend. Lizzie would have led her away from the house.
Carol tells her that she could have died. Because of course.
Lizzie tells her that it’s the same thing. That she killed her. And… Wait for it… “WHAT IF I KILLED YOU?! WHAT IF I KILLED YOU?!”
The next day, Carol takes Mika out for a walk again. She tells her that she needs to learn to defend herself, and that even though Lizzie is bigger and stronger, Mika is smarter. The little girl even is able to tell Carol that that fire they smelled is still burning, because the smoke is still black; it would be white if it were finally out. BUT, Mika doesn’t want to hurt anyone. She really, really doesn’t. Because she’s the sweetest character they’ve ever had on this show, and she can’t bring herself to shoot the deer, and she smiles despite that because, hey, at least they have peaches, and I love her, and damn it, that’s never a good thing on this show.
Later on, Mika follows Lizzie as her sister sneaks off to feed mice to the walker that got stuck between the railroad tracks.
Mika tries to pull her away, but Lizzie is adamant on showing her sister that she’s right. She’s so confident that she’s about to let the walker bite her. A group of burnt walkers stumbling out of the woods towards them gets them moving, though, and they run back to the house. Mika almost gets bitten when she gets tangled up in the barbed wire, but Carol and Tyreese arrive, and they, plus the girls, take out the walkers, all of them kind of terrible shots. Most noticeably, though, Lizzie fires alongside them, looking visibly shaken.
That night, Carol talks Lizzie down, and says that, yeah, it’s tough, but it’s a part of growing up now, and that it’s going to change you. This after Lizzie tells her that she knows what she has to do now. AND NEITHER ARE BEING SPECIFIC ABOUT WHAT, EXACTLY, THEY MEAN.
And, by the way, any time somebody says any variation of, “I know now what I must do,” it is never a good thing. Not once. So, please, in that event, ask for clarification before allowing them to take any kind of solo action.
The next morning, Carol and Tyreese go hunting and he opens up to her about his nightmares of Karen, and about how he’s okay with taking a while to get to Terminus, or even staying at this little house, because he trusts Carol.
Carol feels turrible, and it looks like she might confess, but she offers him comfort and they decide to head back to the house. Where Lizzie is waiting. With her knife out. Dripping with blood.
The blood of her sister.
Because now Mika will turn and she’ll wake up different, but then they’ll all see that Lizzie was right. And she’s so fucking proud of herself, and she promises to do Judith next.
I’m so mad. I’m so mad for so many reasons. There was no reason for this. The characters have been fucking up so much lately that I’m wondering how in the hell-o kitty they’ve even survived this long. Tralala, let’s ponder the insanity of this child, but continuously leave her alone with smaller, weaker children who will defer to her, and who wouldn’t be able to fight them off if they tried, and who we actually know wouldn’t even fight her off because we’re concerned about the fact that the one is a consistently self-proclaimed pacifist who is dedicated to the crazy one as they are, in fact, the only blood relatives either of the has left on this earth and, B.) that the other one is, in fact, AN INFANT.
Oh, my gosh.
This fucking show. It’s killing me inside.
It’s like season 3 of Downton Abbey all over again.
That poor girl. I was hoping she’d either grow as a character, or stick to her metaphorical guns and actually stay away from literal ones because, damn it, it would have been really interesting to see how a character could potentially survive like that.
And, I know, the whole point they’re constantly trying to make on this show is that the good ones don’t survive, you have to do awful things, you ave to become hard to live in this world, blah, blah, blah, but there would have to be at least a few survivors who are still decent human beings statistically speaking, or by sheer luck! Or if the people who have done bad things could keep their heads out of their asses long enough to protect those better people because they’re their metaphorical link to the small spark of goodness still left in themselves!
ANYWAYS. Back to what’s happening in the show.
Carol tells Tyreese to take Lizzie and Judith inside, assuring Lizzie that she’s just gonna tie Mika up so that she doesn’t go anywhere when she “comes back.” Then she tearfully unsheathes her knife and we get to go to commercial so that we can take two minutes to reflect on our lives and how they’ve come to this point where we emotionally destroy ourselves every Sunday evening and then we call it entertainment.
Later on, Tyreese has cleared Lizzie’s room of any weapons or sharp objects, and her fucking box full of mice, and he says that she confessed to feeding the walkers at the prison and to doing THIS to that rat or whatever because she “was just having fun.”
He muses that maybe she was the one who killed Karen and David, but he can’t figure out how she could have gotten their bodies outside. But, ultimately, he and Carol realize that they can’t let her be around other people. And, the next morning, she takes Lizzie out for a walk, tells her that she loves her and that everything works out the way that it’s supposed to and to look at the flowers and count to three, and, to quote a Facebook friend, puts her down like it’s Old Yeller. “She’s my psycho; I’ll do it.”
They bury the girls next to the other grave already there and head on inside. Sitting at the table with the unfinished jigsaw puzzle, Carol slides her revolver over to Tyreese… And confesses.
She explains her reasoning, trying to stop the spread of the infection, and when he asks if it was quick, she promises him that it was. But he can do what he has to and he can kill her if he wants to. Because, really, at this point…
Sophia 2.0 got got and Carol had to put down another surrogate child. So, let Tyreese know the truth like he deserves because he’s a good man and… Because he’s a good man, he forgives her. “But [he] won’t forget.”
So, they pack on up and head back out on the train tracks towards Terminus.
AND THEY STILL FUCKING LEAVE THAT STUCK WALKER ALIVE-ISH.
So, what have we learned from this week’s episode?
1.) The writers are bad people and they hate all of us.
2.) New RULE #1 for the Zombie Apocalypse: Sociopaths need to GO. Just right fucking away. It’ll save us all a lot of trouble later on.
Now, with two episodes left in the season, it still looks like next week is going to be featuring only a part of the cast, with Daryl and his new captors/crew possibly meeting up with and/or fighting against Glenn and Company, possibly with a glimmer of Rick, Carl, and Michonne, if the trailers are anything to go by, but we all should know by now that the previews are often pretty misleading.
Because 1.) The writers are bad people and they hate all of us.
I’m gonna go and cry some more now.
See you next week if I can pull myself out of the pit of despair in which I currently wallow.