Two plotlines became quick and bloody during last night’s finale, one ending and another beginning. As expected, Daryl’s new posse of bandit rapists caught up to Rick, Michonne and Carl and proved that yes, they were indeed bandit rapists.
As soon as I saw the odds, that it was the show’s three biggest badasses (and Carl, but he’s not so bad himself these days) against “only” five guys, it was clear what was going to happen. Rick specifically displayed brutality that we’ve never seen from him on that level before, pulling a Jack Bauer and ripping out Joe’s carotid artery with his teeth. After that, it was all downhill for the bandits, with Rick saving the worst for the leering creep who was about to try and rape Carl.
They got exactly what was coming to them, though I am surprised that wrapped up so abruptly and relatively neatly. I think Daryl sort of got off easy with Rick in terms of palling around with those guys, and it’s hard to know what Carl is even thinking these days. Kid has to be so messed up now, nothing phases him, though almost getting raped was cause for his head on Michonne’s lap in this case, which you can hardly blame him for.
The entire evening was interspersed with flashbacks of Herschel’s (wrong) advice that Rick could totally just be a peaceful gardener and teach his son to be the same. I’m not sure we needed an outright onscreen reminder of how much things had dissolved since the prison, but it was nice to see Herschel again at least. Though nothing is more forced than a scene where Walking Dead actors are forced to laugh after years of scowling and screaming.
I’m incredibly thankful that we learned that Terminus was a cannibal trap before next season even starts. I was really not looking forward to spending six to eight episodes with Rick slowly noticing little clues that things were amiss. Instead, it took all of five minutes for him to spot all their looted gear, and stumble upon their weird cannibal cult ritual area as they were herded through a rabbit trap (this show is not subtle with symbolism).
Now, the gang finds themselves in quite a pickle indeed, but at least they reunited with the biggest chunk of their group in the train car. The situation looks pretty dire, but as Rick said in PG-13 fashion, “they f***ed with the wrong group.” Tyreese and Carol are still out there, so I assume they’ll be of some assistance rather than falling straight into the trap themselves. Having like 11 people in that container is pretty crammed already.
No one died in the finale, which is a little surprising, but there wasn’t really a moment I could have seen any of the cast actually being offed. I thought maybe for a split second Daryl might get dropped saving the others by his former group, or the cannibals might just outright execute Carl to show they mean business, but both would have hit the wrong dramatic beats to work effectively.
Terminus will be a new and interesting dynamic for the show. They’ve gone from wandering, to farm squatting, to prison squatting, now to being prisoners themselves. It’s a new situation for nearly the entire group to be unarmed and (relatively) helpless. Members have been captured before, but then the rest of the squad mounted up to save them. Now, it’s only Tyreese and Carol still out there, and that would be quite a task for just them.
The Walking Dead continues to be the best, average show on television, and I’ll look forward to seeing it return later in the year.