“Those who arrive, survive.”- Terminus motto
Well, the season finale of The Walking Dead aired 30 March 2014 on AMC, but was it worth the hype? The answer in short is yes but it left much to be desired. The episode does a brilliant job with some flashbacks to the prison, with how the farming star and Hershel’s talk about what type of man Rick should be (survivor or farmer) and what Carl should be. It also plants a few key clues that help later on in the episode to understand why the watch was important. This episode is also heavily centered on the Rick, Michonne, Carl, and (Daryl when he appears) dynamic.
Two big scenes were in the episode. One is the Joe and Rick scene. And the other is arrival and events at Terminus. Joe and his group ambushed Rick, Michonne, and Carl on the road. Joe wants revenge against Rick for killing one of his men from “Claimed”. Daryl testifies they are good people but Joe says that is a lie, and has Daryl beaten because he broke the code. Rick gets into a fight with Joe because Carl is being beaten and raped despite Rick pleas. He bites Joe’s neck off effectively killing him while Michonne kills the others with a handgun and Daryl beats the life out of his attackers. The rapist was killed personally by Rick’s hand and Joe’s knife. Carl is emotionally upset and is comforted by Michonne. The whole scene is pretty much in line with the comics with minor alterations specifically Michonne not being a part of it, instead it was Abraham. Personally, this scene was intense and I am glad that Rick was able to kill Joe and the way in which he did that only made him more awesome.
This spot is claimed.
The arrival at Terminus was interesting. In this episode, we got to see whether or not Terminus is the sanctuary it promises or is it too good to be true. The latter is the answer. It seems that they lock up anyone that happens to come there looking for sanctuary. It also appears that they might be cannibals, locking up their prey and keeping them alive until they are to be eaten. However, they could just be farmers who are a little weary of strangers, but I doubt it. Why else would they herd Rick and his group into a trap by herding them with rifle fire when the fight broke out and then lock them away in a train car with Maggie and her group? Also, the lying about Glenn’s watch and the riot gear makes these people less than trustworthy. Terminus also makes some parallels with the snare trap Rick step up for the bunny earlier in the episode. The slip-knot was put into a funnel shaped ground so that the prey would have nowhere else to go but the trap. It seems that is what Terminus is too, as the map looks like it is funneling people into Terminus (all tracks seem to lead to Terminus). And cannibals aren’t something new to The Walking Dead as there was a group of them in the comics (called The Hunters) and in Telltale’s game. Another piece of evidence that lends credit to the cannibals’ theory is the amount of meat available at Terminus, however no livestock is seen in sight. So where does the meat come from? Also, when Rick and the group were running through Terminus, they pass what appears to be a pile of bones and flesh. These bones could be human or perhaps maybe they are not cannibals and they are eating walkers (which seems unlikely). We will see what Terminus truly is in the next season which airs in October.
Daryl discovering the weird altar room at Terminus
This episode provided clues to what Terminus might be and was a major conclusion to the question of what kind of man Rick is and for his son Carl. The answer was presented indirectly that Rick is the kind of man that will do whatever is necessary to protect his son when needed. While Carl describes himself as a monster. The conclusion to Season 4 was well done and one of the best episodes this half of the season. Although, if the writers really wanted a bigger cliffhanger than the prison group in the train car, they could have left it with just the shadows of Glen, Maggie and the rest of the group. In a way, I am glad they didn’t as there is still too many unknowns at the conclusion. Tyrese and Carol are still traveling to terminus, they will probably play a major role in the escape of Rick and the group. And there is also Beth whose fate remains unknown after she was kidnapped. Perhaps the person who took Beth is Father Gabriel from the comics, although in the T.V. series everything is game so nothing is set in stone. But the conclusion leads me to conclude that the future looks bright for Rick as he proved at least in this episode that he is capable of leading again and he will do whatever it takes to protect his people as evident in his last line “They’re screwing with the wrong people”.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10