Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Walking Dead: Season 4 Episode 16 - A

Hello fellow Walkers and welcome back!  Well, another season of The Walking Dead has come and gone.  When looking at this entire batch of 16, I think we may have had our strongest season yet.  Clearly, AMC has thought so too as they let the current (and 3rd) showrunner Scott Gimple keep his job!  It certainly was surprising that none of the major characters lost their lives in the finale, but they sure set up a nice cliffhanger to get us going strong in season 5.  Let's dive in and discuss some of the key moments of the episode!

Discussion Points
  • If there was one major theme of this season it would have to be Rick's journey from peaceful farmer back to brutal survivor.  The finale attempted to mirror the 2 sides of Rick through flashbacks to the timeframe at the beginning of this season.  We were back at the prison and under the guidance of Hershel (great to see him again!), Rick hung up his guns in a Yoda/Luke at the Dagobah cave moment (your weapons, you will not need them) and tried to be a good example for Carl.  It worked for a little, but nothing lasts forever in this world.  It would seem that the dream of a peaceful existence is now a very far fetched dream.  All of our major characters are on their guard at all times. 
  • The episode focused on Rick's trio with a chance encounter with Daryl early on.  As we learned last week, Joe was out for blood after Rick left a walker bomb in the house with Team Joe's friend in the bathroom.  It set up a pretty intense standoff with Rick, Michonne and Carl all in peril.  Granted, if we watched The Walking Dead: Joe edition.  Rick certainly WOULD BE the enemy here.  Everybody is out for themselves in this world.  And Rick certainly did kill one of their people to survive.  But, they also seemed to be pretty despicable human beings at the same time.  I mean, I'm pretty sure that one guy was planning on raping Carl.  I barely wanted to type that sentence!  Daryl almost abandoned the group, but stuck around and found out that it was Rick that they were going after.  He tried to stop it but only got himself in trouble in the process.  A bloody encounter followed with Rick doing a backwards headbutt into Joe and getting a loud deafening gunshot by his ear.  The 2 came to blows end ended with Rick in a rough position.  His solution?  Bite Joe's neck and let him bleed to death.  This caused enough of a distraction to give Daryl and Michonne the upper hand with their captors.  All that was left was creepy rapist dude with a knife to Carl's neck.  But he pretty much freaked out when Rick started marching towards him with the death stare.  And then he got what was coming to him, again....and again....and again...and get the point.  Rick delivered many more than needed stab wounds to that dude.  Of course, it's hard to rationalize in defense for the other guy in this situation!  
  • Lots of bonding moments followed.  Rick and Daryl caught up on what has been happening.  Rick called Daryl his brother and he was glad to have him back.  Everyone knows that Beth is missing now (and she'll continue to be missing into season 5).  Michonne and Carl did some more bonding yet again.  Carl explained that he can never be the man that Rick wants him to be.  He knows that he has a cold heart and a "dark passenger" (I think that expression/term has become a punchline after the way Dexter ended!).  Meanwhile, Michonne talked about what happened to her family.  I think I may have missed what happened to her son Andre in this whole scenario but it had something to do with her boyfriend and his friend being all high or drunk and having been turned.  Michonne became angry and forced them to live on as walkers.  It was pure dumb luck that they ended up protecting her from being sensed by walkers.  She told Carl that she had become a monster and it wasn't until Andrea and then eventually Rick that she was brought back.  Maybe there's still hope for Carl.  But with bada$$ daddy back, it's certainly not going to be easy! 
  • Our 4-some arrive at Terminus, but do not go in the front gates.  They bury some weapons, just in case, and then hop the fence.  We get a brief glimpse at some of the bizarre sights of Terminus.  We saw a lady operating a microphone (perhaps broadcasting the radio transmission they heard in the 1st half of the season?).  It would appear they have some kind of electrical power here.  We met Gareth who "seemed" like a decent dude at first.  They applauded Rick and crew's efforts on the entrance but then frisked them before giving them a tour of the place.  We see Mary again grilling up some fresh, well that might be spoilerish to the comics to say what it might be.  I didn't mean to read a spoiler but they appear to be everywhere!  Rick sensed that things were a bit of when he saw Hershel's pocket watch that he gave to Glenn.  Rick grabbed Alex and everyone's guns went up, including the snipers on the roof.  Ohhhh boy.  Gareth promised answers but only if they put the guns down.  Of course, that was a lie as he gave a hand signal to unleash hell on them.  The gun shots were strategically close but not hitting any of them.  The 4 ended up being led through some crazy maze.  I never saw the movie Saw, but it seemed like some kind of game that would've been in one of those!  (Cue anyone who has seen the movies to say, "What the hell is he talking about?")  Eventually, they were cornered by guns all around them.  And things got intense.  Rick was made to "take the A train" first and escorted to a train cabin, labeled A.  Followed by the Archer, Daryl.  Then by Michonne.  And much much later, Carl.  I had a horrible feeling that Carl was going to get taken out and that it was going to be Rick's fault.  But alas, they all made it into the train.  And, not surprisingly, our gang was mostly reunited!  Glenn, Maggie, Sasha, Tara, Abraham, Eugene, Rosita.  Everyone got acquainted and Daryl insisted that the newbies are all friends of theirs now since they helped save our people.  Abraham suggested they wouldn't be friends for too long.  And Rick, back to his old self or into his newly formed bad a$$ier self, implied this will not be short lived.  He said they're going to feel pretty stupid when they find out who they decided to mess with.  

You go Rick!  So, pretty intense episode.  Pretty awesome season overall.   And a very decent cliffhanger.  Who are the folks of Terminus?  Well, they're not friendly it would seem.  And we really didn't expect them to be.  One shot that stands out to me was a gated in area of bones???  It seemed like bodies were mutilated or torn apart and possibly burned.  I'm sure we won't get through a whole summer (or even a day) without discussing what scenario from the comics this most likely is going to be.  But, I'll try to hold out for a bit!  We should also note that we didn't get an update on Tyreese, Carol and Judith.  I would think it's a safe bet that they'll be coming in for the assist as we start the new season!  Well, it's been fun recapping yet another season.  And I'm sure I'll be back in some capacity next season as well.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you in the fall!         


Zainab Sher said...

I have been absent for a long time from your blog so sorry about that :D
I binge watched whole episodes before the finale so I was very very excited for it.
I loved the finale, seriously. It was awesome. At first I thought I was watching the wrong episode with that flash back, lol but it went pretty intense soon.
Here are my points about this episode.

-I know why Joe's group had to be gone/killed but I wish they were not that despicable. We could have some more seasoned hands to take care of terminus along with our gang. Joe could have been a new perspective to the group but well.. that ship has been sailed now.

-I was so happy when Darryl and gang got united and then rick called him his brother, it was awesome. :')

-When they reached Terminus, I think Rick and Darryl must have a B plan between themselves. I am sure that is one of the reasons why Rick was pretty confident in the end.

-Rick's eye to details is pretty awesome. But I wondered why were they not taking them hostage at once, they were surrounded by them when rick took one of them hostage and it hit me that we would not have seen the terminus then. Group running through terminus is basically for us and them to "see" terminus. There was a church type place with candles that said something like trust no one and it looked like a cult set up for killing. We also saw human ribs and intestines and 2 containers filled with people shouting help!
Kudos to writers seriously.

-The moment I saw glenn and the gang in container, I felt happy and relieved. I know they'll be fine in season 5 as long as they are together.

my 2 cents for episode. :)

Mike V. said...

Hi Zainab, welcome back! No worries on "taking a break" from the blog. Sometimes, I do too! lol

- Good points on Joe's group. I was thinking that last week that their conflict would happen IN Terminus and that they might end up working together. Naturally, that's not what happened. But yeah, it would've been interesting to make them less despicable anyway because then there would be even more justification to them wanting Rick dead for the murder of their friend. It would be conflicting for the audience too even though most of them (the non-Rick haters) would still be hoping Rick pulls through. Still, I think what they were going for here was more Daryl's growth as part of the team. He joined up with this band of people who were very similar to Merle. It was his past. But he has a family now. A good family. And of course, we had to see Rick back to his brutal ways and possibly willing to go even further with the brutality than ever to keep his crew alive.

- Yeah, Rick buried those guns outside the fence. Surely, they have some kind of plan. Though, I'm not sure what that plan could be unless we missed a scene and Tyreese, Carol and Judith joined up with them already. lol I guess maybe someone's going to try and escape to get the weapons.

- Hmm...I think I missed the containers of people. It definitely seems like this is the place from the comics that I'm still not speaking about! lol I think they didn't take them hostage at once because yes...they wanted to show the viewers the lay of the land...but also Rick and crew surprised them. They're used to people coming through the front gate where they have the advantage. They had to lure Rick and crew into that setup.

Thanks for your 2 cents! And welcome back! Always fun to discuss the show with more people!

MJ said...

Have to say - I was a little let down by the finale. That article with Gimple where
he talked about such intensity and such a huge cliffhanger that the fans will be
dying all summer - didn't feel that at all ! But I did enjoy the show - just think
it was a little over-hyped. Like his comments should have been made after the finale about what is to come ! LOL

Enjoyed seeing Hershel again of course - and a little back story on why/how Rick started farming - though I think we all kinda knew that didn't we ?

Glad it wasn't just me - cause I never did hear what happened to Michonnes kid either. Guess we are to assume he got turned or killed cause they were high ?

My husband and I are both sick and I have to admit we paused and discussed whether
the intent was to rape Carl or were we imagining it - but we def got that vibe too. And eeeew ! Especially with a woman there ! Just saying. If these guys were just looking for revenge for their friend then you can say they might have a point - but no they were evil for what they had planned for Michonne and Carl. Thrilled to see Daryl back and that he did not have some big choice to make like I feared.

So - still no confirmation on the "C" word - but that one pan thru the yard def points to it being so.

At one point we see our group in a shot from the fenceline - so I was not surprised Terminus had people outside the fence. Was surprised by how many there were. And totally picked up immediately that they were not being shot at but were being corraled. What I don't get is - why give them their weapons back at all once they took them? What - they need the illusion of the fair fight in order to take people?
Have to admit as they walked single file towards the train and Carl was last I was like walk faster damnit and catch up ! LOL I too was sure something bad was happening to him.

I had read a thing where they thought Mary had Beth's sweater on, but it turned out to be another chick with Maggie's poncho and then Hershel's watch.

Leslie said...

WOW! After seeing that opening shot of a bloody Rick with that expression, my first thought was that something bad happened to Carl. Sure didn’t expect what happened though. Very intense stuff from every perspective! So happy when Daryl showed up! Great moment afterwards with Rick and Daryl and another nice moment with Carl and Michonne.

Nice to see Hershel back, but agree with MJ that we pretty much already knew all that stuff, but I guess they were reminding us of Rick’s journey.

I was also surprised none of the major characters died or that we didn’t see Beth, Carol, Tyreese or Judith.

I also thought they were gonna take out Carl when he was the last to start walking toward the train. Speaking of the “C” word that we are not speaking of yet, besides the shot with the bones behind the fence, the leader guy said something like, “We get stronger when new people come” when he answered Rick’s question about them letting new people in. He also said that’s why they put the signs up.

MJ, at the end, I said, “That’s it?” I felt the same way you did from the pre-hype about the cliffhanger. I loved the episode, but felt like they left us at a natural break in the action for the summer.

Good to see Andrew Lincoln live on Talking Dead finally. Still sounds weird hearing his natural accent. Funny that he called the people in Terminus, “termites”. Looking forward to seeing Chandler Riggs on TD next season.

Mike V. said...

Hey MJ, sorry you guys are sick! Ironically, my son is too so my comments here are going to be brief. Leslie I saw your comments too!

I agree that the cliffhanger was hyped up way more than it should've been. I had a feeling it wouldn't be anything too crazy because I feel like Kirkman is always overhyping things. lol

Okay, so I'm not the only one that knows about the "C" word. lol

I'll try to comment more later!

Mike V. said...

Kirkman Interview -

mj said...

At this point its impossible not to know 'C' word. last week EW strongly hinted but this weekthey flat out said it! Leslie I totally missed 'new people make us stronger' - blaming my brutal head cold! But with the 'C'thing - that has quite the double meaning now. Ewww!

Talking Dead was great - agree on finally having Rick on. And they already stated Carl on next year.

Read gimple and Kirkman- but not Andrew Lincoln yet. So do we think Tyrese and Carol coming to the rescue? Ricks confidence has me agreeing with Zainab that there is already a plan in place. Rick trusts no one at this point

Zainab Sher said...

I agree it is not a nail-biting cliff hanger like that of Sherlock season 2 finale but it is good nonetheless since I am going to come back for next season.


Thanks Mike for your kind answer. :) I'll be visiting your blog often. Why don't you do recaps for Game of thrones, seriously, that show deserves a good recap writer.

Mike V. said...

Thanks Zainab! Actually, I've been discussing that I probably will do something with Game of Thrones. In the past I usually just post long comments in our weekly discussion threads. So, at the very least I'm planning to post separate discussion threads for Game of Thrones.

The problem is...having read the books I need to be very careful with spoilers. So, within those posts I may have to distinguish within those posts what is safe for all readers and then what is safe for book readers. lol

The other issue is, my daughter (Child #2) is going to be born at the end of the month, so things are about to get even busier in my house! Not sure I'll be able to keep it up all season, but I think I'll still be able to get a brief discussion post up each week. We'll see!

Zainab Sher said...

This is a good news, may she brings happiness and good luck to your family. :)

Nah GOT can wait then. good luck

Mike V. said...

Thanks Zainab! Oh, I'll be watching and commenting on Game of Thrones regardless! lol It's just a matter of how MUCH I can write. I'll still plan on posting separate discussion threads, because we tend to get really into it and it gets too mixed up with other shows.