In last week’s episode, we learned the importance of forgiveness along with how to humanely put down a psychotic child. This week, the show is back to jumping between the various splintered factions all headed towards
a plot device a town called Terminus. Is it good?
(For the sake of simplicity, we’ll stick with recapping each group’s story in a single thread rather than the A.D.D version that ran tonight).
Run Glenn, run!
Glenn’s group continues trekking towards Terminus while Eugene continues to act like a complete tool. Abraham is still convinced, however, that he’s the mulleted messiah who will save the world from the zombie apocalypse. Rosita has also changed into long pants, which as a male I found to be a very disappointing turn of events.
Well, the booty shorts had a good run.
That night while the others slept, Tara confides in Abraham that guilt, rather than Glenn’s animal magnetism, is what keeps driving her to help him find Maggie.
The next day, the group comes across a sign written in zombie blood for Glenn to go to Terminus (signed by all three in what must have been the most disgusting signature ceremony in history). I expected Glenn to just pass out like he always does, but instead, he immediately takes off running with a ridiculous looking grin on his face. You can’t really blame the guy; who wouldn’t run at the beck and call of Lauren Cohan?
I’m not just using this as an excuse to throw in pictures of the actresses, honest. — The editor
Later down the road, Glenn finally slows his pace enough for the others to catch up. Abraham points out that they should probably rest a bit before continuing their mad sprint towards an unknown town. Glenn, however, seems dead set on breaking a world speed record and protests.
Before the argument can continue, however, a suicidal zombie hurls itself from a structure above them towards Eugene. Abraham leaps in to protect the Mulleted Messiah, shoving Tara out of the way. This causes her to flop in a manner that would make Dwayne Wade or the entire Duke basketball team proud while injuring her leg for the second time on the show.
To her credit, she bravely soldiers on through the pain to stay by Glenn’s side… which leads them to a dark, zombie infested tunnel with a blood stained message from Maggie and Co. to follow them inside.
At this point, you have to wonder if that was Maggie’s post-apocalyptic way of asking for a divorce. Even if the zombies (who you can hear hissing inside) weren’t there before, asking someone to go through a pitch black tunnel to get to you rather than JUST GOING AROUND IN THE DAYLIGHT seems stupid at best, deviously evil at worst.
But even Abraham knew that Glenn would be too stupid not to understand the risks. After giving him two cans of beans and some well wishes, he takes his group topside while Glenn heads inside. Tara goes into the tunnel as well… although Eugene’s disturbing attempts at hitting on her make escaping into the Tunnel of Doom appear to be a much more preferable option.
While Rick trudges forward along the railroad tracks towards Terminus, Carl and Michonne bet each other over who can stay balanced on the tracks the longest.
Carl wins and takes Michonne’s favorite candy bar, but splits it with her anyway (awww!).
Rick, in a rare moment of happiness unburdened by a mental breakdown, smiles at his companions having such a sweet interaction. (AWWW!).
But before things can get too mushy, one of them leaves a candy wrapper on the ground. Not only is this a blatant act of littering, but the camera angle lets us know that it will mean something much more important (and scary) later in the show.
Daryl is out hunting rabbits when one of the douchebags from the new group he’s in birddogs the kill from him. He then begins to taunt Daryl over his (correctly) assumed loss of a woman. Before blades can be drawn, however, Joe comes in to settle things down.
Dropping knowledge like some sort of redneck Socrates, he explains how there are no rules, but there must be rules, so if you want something, just yell out “CLAIMED” like an insolent 5-year-old and it’s yours. I remember this economic system failing spectacularly when I was in third grade, but Joe’s posse seems to be pretty dead set on sticking to it.
To make sure there are no hard feelings over Daryl not knowing the “claimed” rule, he splits the rabbit in half, giving each man one part.
Later on during their journey, Joe insinuates that Daryl shouldn’t try to be such a nice guy and should instead start getting in touch with his inner douchebag like the rest of them. Daryl scoffs at this notion, but Joe rightfully points out that he doesn’t seem to be trying to leave their group, either.
Joe and The Gang enter an abandoned car shop and start “claiming” everything in sight. Daryl, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to get some sleep. When he wakes up, however, the man who stole his rabbit kill from before is “claiming” that Daryl has now stolen the other half of the rabbit from him, as well.
Joe steps in, determines that Daryl’s accuser planted the evidence, and proceeds to beat the hell out of him. Later, Daryl finds his accuser with an arrow through his head. He considers covering the body with a blanket for a second, but decides against it.
This was a very small moment that might have some pretty big repercussions. The more human/studly Daryl we all know and love would have covered the body out of respect for the dead. But the old Daryl that we met in Season 1… not so much.
We later see Daryl and Joe walking along some very familiar looking railroad tracks with the rest of the gang. Joe tells his new prize recruit about how they are headed to Terminus, but not for sanctuary, saying that “guys like us” are never welcome anywhere. It’s a moment where we want more than anything for Daryl to protest being classified as “one of them”, but he almost seems to accept it.
Later down the line, Joe tells them about a “piece of excrement” who killed one of their team inside of a house they found. That “piece of excrement” happens to be Rick…whose son happened to drop a candy bar wrapper…which happens to be picked up by the one man who actually saw Rick’s face.
Flight of the Mulleted Navigator
After leaving Glenn and Tara to their suicidal tunnel exploration, Rosita, Abraham, and Eugene come across a working minivan (which makes Glenn’s decision to ditch the group look even stupider).
Abraham kills an enraged/zombified soccer mom and tells Rosita to drive while he gets some sleep. Eugene insists that he navigate them towards Washington D.C., but instead leads them right back to the other side of the tunnel. After getting (rightfully) chewed out by Abraham and Rosita for going against orders, Eugene pulls the old “I’m going to have to live with myself after I save the world card,” which is pretty hard to argue with.
Break On Through to the Other Side
Inside the Tunnel of Doom, Glenn and Tara predictably come across a horde of walkers. Tara then predictable injures her leg again. (Seriously, this woman’s propensity for knee and ankle injuries is becoming a very real/bizarre liability).
Just when things look like they can’t get any worse, automatic gunfire rings out, killing the rest of the zombies. Glenn looks up to see his former group along with Sasha, Bob, and Maggie. The two run towards each other and embrace, which I have to admit was a really nice moment.
When Glenn introduces Tara to his wife, however, he leaves out the part where she was a member of the group that stormed the prison and killed her father. Instead, Glenn just says that he couldn’t have gotten here without her, causing Maggie to embrace Tara in one of the most awkward hugs imaginable.
Eugene then demands that they go to Terminus rather than head to Washington so he can save the world. Swayed by the power of his mullet, Abraham agrees.
Later that evening, Glenn takes out the creepy Polaroid he took of Maggie sleeping. She promptly takes it from him and burns it, explaining that he will never need a picture of her again because she will always be there… because things always work out like that in this completely normal and predictable world that they live in.
End of the Line
After heading out of the tunnel, our combined group reaches a beautiful looking sound stage with huge block letters painted onto it that spell out ‘Terminus’.
They walk inside, head past some beautiful kept gardens, and come upon a woman cooking up some
human remains barbeque. She smiles, asks if they’re hungry, and then warmly states “Welcome to Terminus.”
I really wanted her to follow that up with “All are welcome! All are welcome!”, but I guess we’ll just have to wait until next week’s season finale for the creepiness to begin in earnest.
There was so much that I both loved and hated about this episode.
On the positive side of things, seeing Daryl fight against his “dark side” while in the presence of this new group has me on the edge of my seat more than any zombie attack we’ve experienced lately. His character arc, which has been so triumphant and well received, is now facing the very real possibility of being undone by the baser aspects of his nature.
As a comic book reader, I love, LOVE the way that Eugene is being portrayed Josh McDermitt. It would be easy to just simply portray him as a weirdo, but McDermitt instead has the audience wondering if Eugene really is a genius with aspergers or a complete and total fraud.
On the other hand, I have more than a few issues with the Maggie/Glenn storyline.
Yes ladies, the reunion was beautiful; I was squealing right along with all of you when it happened. But aside from the strangeness of the whole “follow me into a dark tunnel if you really love me” thing, hasn’t anyone wondered why Maggie doesn’t ever mention (or seem at all concerned about) her missing sister, Beth? I know that they are just half-sisters, but still, that’s flesh and blood… which should still mean something I would think.
Also, the way the Maggie and Glenn’s groups met up felt all types of contrived. It took a lot of coincidences and/or luck for them to all end up in that tunnel together. And all arguments about “true love” aside, going into a pitch black, zombie infested tunnel when safer passage would have only take an extra day is all types of stupid. It would have been much more believable if they’d met up in Terminus instead of the tunnel she told him to enter, but I guess the end result is still the same.
All complaints aside, however, this installment could be classified as the closest the show gets to a “feel good” episode, which we probably needed after the child killing from last week. Next Sunday, however, brings us what looks to be a fairly grim season finale.
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