The Walking Dead continues to be as watchable as watchable gets, and honestly I had a brief vision this week of flashing forward into the future and seeing 20% of the current cast still shambling around in season ten. It’s a show really without an ending, or really even a possible ending. Are they going to just kill all the walkers? Have Daryl mix up a cure in a whiskey distillery? If the ratings are there, this show has the potential to last forever, for better or worse.
The backend of this season has a clear end goal in mind: get everyone to Terminus for a reunion, but it’s apparent that it’s going to take until the finale to get there. As for what lies in store once they arrive, I have no idea, though I’m sure we won’t know until season five. I’m trying to imagine a different structure than Woodbury, a pretend idyllic Pleasantville run by a smiling dictator, and wondering what sort of community they might find there. I’m done digging into the comics for answers though. It’s more fun this way.
We once again joined Daryl and Beth after their little cabin in the woods drunken bonding adventure last week. Also, we’re back with Maggie, Sasha and Bob. This whole half -season is explicitly about character development as they wander through the woods and down train tracks, and even subcharacter Bob got his own flashback so we see how he met the group, something that was never addressed as season four started.
I like Bob, probably because I like the actor playing him, but he’s gone from “who the f*** is that guy?” to one of the more engaging characters. I think that his whole plotline with Maggie and Sasha was a bit pointless as people reallllly don’t need to be learning the lesson of “it’s better to stick together” like two years into the zombie apocalypse. I especially don’t understand Maggie’s motivations to simply ditch them. Like, she knew they were probably going to Terminus too. What’s the point of being up the tracks a few miles ahead of them, subjecting yourself to 10 vs. 1 walker battles?
I suppose I understand Sasha’s actions a bit more, as after all that walking and how freaking awful Woodbury turned out to be as a supposed “safe haven,” I sort of get why the best plan might be to just hole up with Bob for a while. But still, without confirmation that anyone from the prison group is actually dead, it’s in all of their best interests to find them.
Terminus seems like a pretty obvious trap, but what would you do in the zombie apocalypse? Wouldn’t you want to take the chance that it really could be a sanctuary, given that your other options are sleeping on top of semi-trucks or furnitureless apartments? Even after all the shit with Woodbury and bandits and so on, I’d still probably hold out hope, and curiosity would get the best of me. As such, I can’t really blame their mass migration there, even though it’s pretty obvious for the sake of the show, it’s all going to go terribly wrong.
Dale and Beth’s tale was particular sad, probably more so than last week when they were given the entire episode to themselves. We always knew some vague approximation of Daryl’s sob story about his crappy redneck life and family, but seeing him finally become less cynical and be ready to settle down with Beth and make new friends with the house owner, and then have that idea shattered, was probably the saddest thing that’s happened to him on the show.
From the way it looked, whoever owned the house led a bunch of walkers to the door to hopefully purge the place of whoever was squatting (in this case Daryl and Beth). When Beth came out alone, they snatched her up and drove away, leaving Daryl despondent and with no way to catch up. I will say that backing himself into, and then subsequently out of a corner while being attacked by a dozen or so walkers was one of his top three most badass moments of all time. And he’s got like a top fifty list at least.
Also sad is seeing Daryl join up with Joe’s gang that almost killed Rick. Obviously it’s perfectly within his skill set to be a part of a group like that, but he’s been such a good guy for so long, it would be rough to see him go rogue. We know little about Joe and his gang, but they were talking about raping Michonne at one point, and a heavily armed group of grizzled white males doesn’t exactly seem like the love and sunshine brigade.
I knew Joe would show up again because they cast an actual recognizable face in the role, Jeff Kober from Sons of Anarchy. I have a hunch that Daryl will end up dismantling the group himself at some point and won’t go full bandit, though the loss of Beth might throw him for a loop for a while. I’d guess Joe will be a pretty major character for a little while, though I’m not positive how long his arc will last before someone guts him. That posse of his sure is formidable. Could they be from Terminus? Are they the ones roaming around setting up these signs? We’ll see.
I assume we’ll be back with Carol, Tyronne and the girls next week, along with perhaps Glenn and his new band of tag-a-longs. The group is really splintered now so we’re entering Game of Thrones territory where it can be two weeks or more before a certain group gets screen time again. It can be annoying, but it can give the show room to breathe as well.
I’ll keep watching, because it’s just so watchable.