The Walking Dead had its most eagerly-anticipated episode of the second half of Season 4 with the finale, A. Sheriff Rick’s band of survivors, having been split up after the Governor’s attack on the prison where they were residing, are finally meeting up at a place that offers them the promise of sanctuary:
Is Terminus really the peaceful, hippy-like commune it appeared to be at the end of last Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead, Us; or, is it a much more sinister, and deadly, place, where one or more of the main characters will lose his/her or their life/lives?
The Walking Dead episode, Us, opened up with a flashback of Rick’s car entering the prison compound where they stayed. Carl is there at the gate, as is Herschel, to greet Rick and Maggie, who is also in the car.
Rick is actually remembering this somewhat happier time, as the sits, bloodied, against a car. Why he’s sitting there will likely be explained soon, but The Walking Dead went to its first bunch of commercials.
“How hungry are you on a scale of 1 to 10?” Rick asks them after the commercial break. .
“15,” Carl answers.
“28,” Michonne says.
They go and check some traps, and there’s a rabbit in one of them. Rick tells them they’ll stay another day or two.
Carl: “When we get there, are you going to tell them?
Michonne: “Tell them what?”
Carl: “About all the stuff we’ve done?”
He worries that the people of Terminus won’t accept them, if they know what sort of people they really are, and what they’ve done.
Checking traps, they hear someone yell for help –Carl goes running, gun drawn, with Rick and Michonne following closely behind. Carl is about to open fire. but Rick holds him back. A man is surrounded by zombies, getting eaten alive. They run, and kill some zombies at the railroad tracks. Some of the zombies that had been eating the man also follow from behind them.
Flashback #2: Again, Herschell is alive. Rick is about to strap on his gun belt, but Herschell tells him he won’t need it, that it will “only get in the way.”
Back in the present, Michonne, Rick, and Carl dispatch several of the walkers pursuing them.
They are hungry, and around a campfire, Rick asks Michonne: “Have you noticed, that’s all we talk about — food.”
As they’re talking, Joe and his band show up, and one of Joe’s men holds a gun directly to Rick’s temple. Joe says: “You screwed up, do you hear me? You screwed up.”
I’m guessing that Daryl (Norman Reedus) will help them.
Joe: “Today’s the day of reckoning, sir. Restitution. Now, I was thinking of turning in for the night of New Year’s Eve.” He counts down, like it’s New Year’s Eve. When he gets to 8, Daryl tells him to stop. He says that “These are good people.”
Joe: “This man killed our friend. You say he’s good people. That, right there, is a lie. Beat him, fellows. Bea him all of the way.” Joe’s men pummel the crap out of him. Joe tells him they’re going to beat Joe to death, then the girl, then the boy, then Rick.
Rick heads Joe’s crotch, with the back of his head. Joe’s gun goes off, and Rick tries to punch Joe, and Joe says “Let’s see what you’ve got.”
Rick viciously bites him in the neck, apparently ripping out his jugular vein, and killing him. Michonne gets the gun of the man who had been holding it towards her,, and shoots several of them, and Rick stabs another one over and over, the man who had been holding Carl. They have somehow survived this encounter, but there’s likely more violence to follow.
Flashback #3: Herschell is telling Rick about feral pigs in the forest, that they can catch and domesticate, and the horses they’ve seen. He tells Rick that “the war is over,” and he says he’ll teach Rick how to grow plants from seeds, also. He was the person behind Rick’s transformation into a man of peace, at least, temporarily. He tells Rick that the prison is “a good place to start.”
Again, we see Rick, very bloody, sitting on the ground besides a car. Carl and Michonne are inside of it, Michonne cradling Carl’s head. Daryl shows up with a piece of meat which he gives Rick to eat. Daryl tells Rick of how he fell in with the group that Joe led.
Rick: “Is she dead?” he asks about Beth.
“All I know is she’s gone,” Daryl says.
He tells Rick he didn’t know “what they could do.”
Rick: “It’s not on you.” Then, Rick tells Daryl: “You’re my brother.”
Daryl: “I owed you two last night. Anyone would have done it.”
Rick: “No. Not them.”
They talk about keeping each other safe, and not knowing what happened to anyone else.
In the morning, they walk down the railroad tracks, asking each other if they’re “okay.” Rick says that they’re “getting close” and “should be there before sundown.”
They walk a bit in the forest, and spread out, watching Terminus, before they decide what to do next.
Michonne: “When I told you about Andre, you never asked how he died.” Michonne tells Carl what happened. She, her boyfriend, Andre, and a friend, Terry, were at a camp.
Michonne was on a run, and when she came back, the fences were down, and Michonne said her boyfriend and Terry had been bitten. She allowed them to turn, and she then walked them on chains. The walkers didn’t seem to realize that she was alive, as she led them on the chains.
She said she was “gone a long time,” until “your dad brought me back.”
Carl: “I’m not what he thinks I am. I’m nothing but a monster, too.”
Rick lays a bag of weapons in a hole in the ground. He’s got an arsenal with him. He buries it, saying “Just in case,” after he gets a gun out.
“Termins. Sanctuary for all, community for all. Terminus.” a woman speaks over a loudspeaker. Rick, Michonne, Daryl, and Carl are all armed.
“Welcome to Terminus,” says a man who calls himself Garrett. “We came here for sanctuary. Is that why you’re here?”
Garrett says that first, he needs to see everyone’s weapons, if they’d just lay them down in front of them. That’s what they do, and they get patted down.
Garrett tells them that as long as they understand that they’re not stupid, there won’t be “any problems. Just solutions.” He asks Rick, Daryl, Carl, and Michonne to follow him.
Mary tells them that they’ll “fit right in there.”
They are about to be served, but Rick sees that one of the men has a stop watch that he recognizes. Rick grabs him, holds a gun against his head, and says: “Where the Hell did you get that watch?”
Michonne has her katana, and Daryl still has his crossbow, which he aims at the men around the grill. Apparently, they were allowed to have their weapons back.
Then, The Walking Dead went to another commercial break.
Flashback #4: Patrick is alive, sitting against a wall of the prison, assembling a Lego vehicle. Carl is messing with a gun, maybe taking it apart and reassembling it, or cleaning it, or something, and Rick tells him that he “needs his help with something.” He tells him to leave his gun behind; he won’t need it. He’s about to tell Carl about what Herschell taught him.
In the present, someone with a rifle is up on the roof. Rick keeps asking “Where did you get the watch?” over and over again, as he holds the gun to the man’s head.
Garrett tells him “I guess you don’t trust us any longer.” Rick shoots the guy he’s holding in his head, killing him. A gun battle erupts. Rick, Michonne, Carl, and Daryl take off running, with gunfire blazing from the rooftop. They run to a room lit by candles all over the place. Painted on the walls is “Never Trust,” and “We First.”
They exit that room, back outside. The man with the gun on the rooftop is pointing the gun at them.
The Walking Dead went to yet another commercial break.
Rick and the others are told “Drop your weapons! Now!” They have little choice but to comply.
“Ringleader, go to your left.” He says do anything else, and the boy dies. Then, he says: “Now the archer. Now the samurai.” The man yells: “Stand at the door. Ringleader, archer, samurai, in that order.”
“Ringleader, go in the door.” Rick enters the train car, and then the others follow, and finally Carl also enters. At least, they didn’t kill him or the others, yet.
“Rick?” someone says. Glenn, Maggie, Sasha, and Bob are there with Sergeant Abraham Ford, Dr. Eugene Porter, etc., though Carol and Tyreese are not in the railroad car. Possibly, they’re in a different one, or are…elsewhere, and we’ll see them again next fall.
Flashback #5: “There’s a new sheriff in town,” Rick says of Beth, who is cradling baby Judith, with Rick’s sheriff’s hat on his head.
Back in the present, inside the train car, Rick says: “They’re screwing with the wrong people.” This happens right at the end of The Walking Dead episode, A.
The Walking Dead Season 4 ends with a cliffhanger, of sorts. Though none of the survivors is in actual physical danger, yet, they are all being kept in the railroad car for a definite reason. Terminus is not, at all, a place of “sanctuary,” as Mary and Garrett had promised.
Hungry for more of The Walking Dead? Sadly, I’m afraid we’ll have to wait until the fall to see what happens in Season 5. The old world of The Walking Dead is gone; Rick is back to being a bad-ass; and there’s little doubt they’ll make good their escape, get the stash of weapons Rick has buried, and wreak havoc upon the evil-doers at Terminus. Why can’t it start NEXT WEEK, though? Please leave your thoughts and comments below, and let me know what you thought about the Season 4 finale of The Walking Dead!
Written by: Douglas Cobb