The Walking Dead: A

Posted on March 31, 2014

The-Walking-Dead-Season4-Episode-16-Review-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLOAndrew Lincoln in AMC’s The Walking Dead

 

Well, that was an oddly uneven end to the show’s most oddly uneven season. We suppose it was thematically appropriate, if nothing else. We enjoyed most of the hour but ended it feeling torn. On the one hand, things happened and the plot lurched forward. On the other hand, it stopped so abruptly that we couldn’t even call it a cliffhanger. Even worse, they ended it on the lamest ’80s action movie one-liner you could come up with. “They screwed with the wrong people.” Oh, GOD.

Come on, AMC. If Megan Draper can tell Don, “Fuck the agency!” then we think the Walking Dead viewership can handle a well-timed F-bomb from one of its lead characters. Certainly, if you’re going to serve up scenes depicting one man ripping another man’s throat out with his teeth while a third man attempts to rape an underage boy, your reticence regarding naughty words comes off pretty ludicrous. And we haven’t even touched on the implications of the Terminus scenes. If ever there was a time for Rick to look directly into the camera and say “We are going to FUCK THESE PEOPLE UP,” then now would have been the time. In fact, it could have been such a mega-fistpump moment that it would have turned this entire episode into a classic. Instead we got a lot of advancement and tension, with an incredibly limp ending. Ah, Walking Dead. You’re consistent in your disappointment, we’ll give you that.

Then again, if Rick did say something that declarative, it might have come across a bit nuts, since the directing and writing failed to properly convey what was going on in Terminus. We’re all for subtlety in the storytelling and we had no problem figuring out what was happening, but the show was strangely reluctant to show or tell the audience that Terminus was practicing cannibalism. The explanation of how a trap works – by being set along a trail and hidden in plain sight so the prey can walk right into it – was an attempt at some subtlety and metaphor, which we appreciate. We’re not gonna knock the show for trying to inject some layers into its writing. But allusions weren’t enough to sell those final minutes. The entire final scene (as well as that lame-o last line) hangs on the revelation that monstrous things are happening in Terminus. This was not the time to get cute about it. Show the audience what’s happening. Otherwise, Rick looks completely deranged.

Then again, we suppose that was at least partly the point, as we returned once again to the “Is Rick a farmer or a fighter?” question. We can’t groan hard enough at this one. This is what the show does. It focuses on conundrums that are only conundrums for the characters. The audience is never on board. Should Lori choose Shane or Rick? Well Shane’s a psychopath, so the answer’s Rick. Let’s move on. Should we stay on this farm? No, you’re too exposed. Let’s move on. Where’s Sophia? She’s dead, you guys. Let’s move on. Does the Governor have a point? No, he’ll kill anyone who crosses him. Take him out and let’s move on. Is Rick a farmer? No. He’s the only law man in a completely lawless society and he’s an idiot for thinking otherwise. Let’s MOVE ON.

The good news is, despite the show returning to the question long after it’s been answered (Rick killed a guy in cold blood just to get safely out of a house just a few episodes back, remember)  Rick himself appears ready to move the fuck on. Which is good, because if he’d spent any time agonizing over what he’d done, we think we’d need to walk away. Is there anyone who watched last night’s episode – especially any parent – who didn’t completely understand and accept Rick’s actions immediately? Every parent we know would rip out a guys throat in order to save their child from being raped and murdered. It was an awesome scene; both shocking and immediately acceptable at the same time.  And while the pacing was as off as it always is, we kind of liked that the Claim Gang was dispensed with so immediately. Carl seems a bit tortured by what they’ve become in this world, but that scene with Michonne, Daryl and Rick taking out the entire gang was definitive. They’ve become survivors. So hardened and tested that it’s entirely believable that the three of them could take out that gang in a matter of minutes. It was the perfect setup for the shootout at Terminus. Rick’s done agonizing over shit. We can totally get behind this turn of events so long as they don’t hand Rick another series of fuck ups. We’ll take Action Rick and his Band of Battle-Hardened Survivors over Farmer Rick and His Roaming Psych Ward any day of the week.

Still, it’s deeply annoying that Carol and Tyreese are nowhere to be seen and that Beth is just “gone,” according to Daryl, who suffers from Lost-itis, wherein characters fail to tell other characters crucially important information. And there’s certainly a huge chunk of information missing regarding Glen’s group. The pacing is still a bit off and the show is still relentlessly, almost ridiculously dark, but there’s so much improvement that we’re trying to be optimistic about its future. All the good character work done this season means that when Rick tells Daryl that he’s his brother, the moment is poignant and deeply earned.  Give us a group of people with deep bonds in order to combat so much bleakness. Give us smart people who’ve learned how to survive and don’t waste time on dumb shit.

In other words; fine, they’re all cannibals at Terminus. And there are bands of roaming rednecks and psychopaths all throughout the Georgia countryside. Darkness, come. We accept. Just so long as Rick, Daryl, Glen, Carol and Michonne get to band together to be the Justice League of Throat-Rippers and Decapitators, we’re all good.

 

 

[Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC]

    • Saturnine

      “Just so long as Rick, Daryl, Glen, Carol and Michonne get to band together to be the Justice League of Throat-Rippers and Decapitators, we’re all good.”

      Absolutely.

      • ScarlettHarlot

        Amen.

      • sundaynightaddict

        As much as I enjoy this show, faults and all, last night was the first time in four seasons that I found myself actually cheering at the screen (when Rick ripped that guy’s throat out).

        • Saturnine

          Seriously. I’m not really a fan of the toothy sinew-stretching zombie biting on the show (go figure), but I was thoroughly impressed by the human biting. I don’t even want to think what that says about me.

        • Inspector_Gidget

          Same here. It’s the first time I really felt like, THERE is the Rick Grimes from the comic. He’s used to be civilized but that doesn’t work any more.

          That’s a spot-on analysis of the show’s “dilemmas.” They never really are dilemmas. And it finally feels like they came down on the right side without looking back.

          This episode worked for me, despite the lame censored last line. Kind of disgusting that you can rape to your heart’s content on almost any show (women have been dealing with that for years) but an F bomb? Time to get all Puritan up in here! I think it may say more about the FCC and what people complain about than it does the show.

        • ScarlettHarlot

          I didn’t cheer, but that’s because I was crying and that moment snapped me out of it. I can usually handle the tension and violence on this show, but the sound of that guy’s belt unbuckling actually made me start crying. I needed something as drastic as Rick eating a guy’s neck to break that.

          • marlie

            I just kept thinking “they’re not going to go there are they? ARE THEY?”

          • Ashley Reed

            my fiance and I were like…”no…they aren’t…woah…this isn’t….OH MY GOD IT’S LIKE DELIVERANCE!”.

            SO glad there was some good old fashioned jugular biting before anything really…unsavory…happened. Did you see on The Talking Dead about how the “neck” Andrew Lincoln bit was RAW CHICKEN. For some reason that’s even grosser to me.

      • The Critiquette

        …And Maggie. I like Maggie too.

    • LuisaNL

      I thought he said: “they’re screwing with their own people”? which is puzzling.

      • Michelle

        That’s what I thought he said too! I was so confused.

    • Sobaika

      I wish they’d been clearer about the cannibalism too. They only reason I’d realized was because of rumors from the books and they brief (brief!!) flash of human remains.

      • ScarlettHarlot

        Agreed. I think my mind only went there because I had been so upset by the human meat locker in The Road.

        • Elizabeth Davis-Simpson

          That is probably the most indelible movie scenes of all time for me. The Road still creeps into my thoughts at random moments, even all these years after.

      • Isabel

        Where is Judith? Was she the first meal?

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          I’m hoping that Carol, et. al. haven’t made it to Terminus yet (they were probably delayed by several days when they stopped at the cabin). I was screaming at the TV when they tried to give Carl some meat (It’s people, soylent green is people!)

          • ScarlettHarlot

            I’m with you, I’m hoping the smoke Carol and Tyreese saw has something to do with havoc the Grimes gang is creating at Terminus. (Unless that was just Daryl and Beth’s cabin burning? I don’t have clear handle on all the time lines, obviously!)

            • Angela_the_Librarian

              I think that the smoke was supposed to be from the cabin burning down, but it did seem to smoke for a really long time (over the course of a few days if I remember correctly) and I’m not sure if the fire really would have burned for that long (of course realism isn’t this show’s strong suit)

      • sundaynightaddict

        I was surprised that they didn’t give that “flash of human remains” more than the split second it got. Anybody who’s not that observant definitely would have missed it.

        • Saturnine

          *small voice* “I missed it” :-). I also missed a bone pile and a body part (arm?) on the grill when they were being herded into the train car area.

          • sundaynightaddict

            See! I missed the body parts on the grill lol. Don’t these people know we are doing a million other things, too, while watching! :)

            • Ashley Reed

              WHAT! I totally missed that. Off to my DVR…

              And I’m glad (?) we’re so firmly in the “cannibals” camp. In my household we are strictly no-spoilers – so no books, no googling, just my fanatic watercooler conversations and the chats here. I said “I think that’s people” when Maggie and co arrived last week, and then when I saw the bones this week I was like “yup, totally people”. No one at work believes me!
              But…(can I ask an obvious question?)….why? Why turn to cannibalism? Just because? To gain some weird cult-like strength (“We shall BECOME zombies without BEING them!”)? Or…because they taste good?

            • sundaynightaddict

              I haven’t been able to wrap my head around “why cannibalism” either. It’s not like other post-apocalyptic scenarios where all the animals are killed or inedible or anything. There should be a LOT of venison available if my many years spent living on the east coast and dodging deer in the road are any indication

            • Fay Dearing

              I don’t get it either. People seem to be the only zombie victims (no zombie birds, deer, dogs, etc) and while zombies are fast they’re not deer fast. There should be plenty of venison around in the country. Plus, we’re NOT that far into the zombie apocalypse all things considered. We’re what? A couple years? That’s not enough for people to start forgetting things like all the diseases that can come from eating your own kind. And since everyone rises as a zombie I would worry that eating people could either A) cause you to become a zombie faster or B) make you into something even more horrible. Unless they think that eating zombie flesh when alive gives you immunity or something? I think I’m trying to apply logic to something illogical.

            • Isabel

              A new twist on the Zombie story. It’s easier to drug people and then boil them than to go out hunting for venison (need to use up gasoline to drive a distance and bring back Bambi and bullets to kill Bambi) or go to a store to pick up canned goods (again, need the gasoline and need to fight off zombies locked inside the store.)

              Remember, that in the siege of Stanlingrad, people ate people to survive. The German army completely cut off the supply lines to the Russians. They started on rats and dogs, but there were so many people left, that the had to resort to other protein sources to love.

            • Mismarker

              I got the feeling something pretty horrible happened at Terminus which wiped out the majority of the group (the names written on the floor in the candle room) and caused a seismic shift in how they chose to survive. I would suppose these people figured out it was easier to hunt people than it is to hunt animals. Especially when you set up a honey pot and have the food come right to you.

            • ladybane

              I’m with you… I just don’t get a little fortress of Zombie Apocalypse survivors managing to create a secure little compound that depends of luring a few surviving stragglers in, here and there…. What happens if no one manages to get there for a while? They start eating each other?
              That’s some seriously lame priorities and I think just shows the writers shocking for shock value. I think I’m breaking up with this show.

            • The Critiquette

              Isn’t it obvious? They keep the people they capture alive as long as possible, eating one body part at a time…you can survive without a leg…then an arm…etc. So a single victim who wanders in can potentially feed two people, maybe more, for a week. And don’t forget they advertise on the radio, with signs for miles in every direction…and yeah they probably also have a raid party that goes out and brings people in, and forages/hunts for other food sources as well. It’s obviously a very tight and well-run operation.

            • Ragnarockette

              I think because there is no food. This episode (and the one before) put a lot of emphasis on the characters starving to death, and how difficult it is to find any game meat out in the woods. And the flashback bit showing Rick farming was meant to give contrast – Rick and the prison group decided to take up gardening to get food…while this group found a more sinister way.

          • sk8tfan

            Me too! I have to watch it again because I was talking about it with a friend and he pointed out all these things that I missed-I almost felt like we had watched different shows.

        • MilaXX

          right after that they ran past some other train cars and you here people banging on them screaming for help

        • editrixie

          Yeah, I totally missed it. I didn’t realize it was about cannibals until this morning, reading through my LiveJournal, and someone mentioned it. I tend to work while I’m watching it, so if you weren’t eyeballs-on every second, you’d have no idea. I found that really frustrating. And they didn’t even discuss that on Talking Dead!

      • Mismarker

        I agree that for some viewers who haven’t read the books or haven’t kept up with internet speculation, cannibalism might be a stretch considering what was actually shown in the past two episodes. For me, not killing them + copious amounts of meat (is the grill running 24/7??) + human remains + obvious allusions in the dialogue (“Make you a plate.”, “When people become a part of us, they make us stronger”) + train cars full of people screaming for help + powdered milk = cannibalism. It could end up being something else but I have no idea what else it could be! Looking forward to the writers making this crystal clear in the first episode of next season and hearing exactly what happened to Glenn’s group after the false warm welcome.

        • http://twitter.com/janedonuts Jane Donuts

          Yeah, as a person who hasn’t read the books or bothered with Internet speculation, it was not at all clear to me that they were cannibals. The lead hipster guy does not scream “cannibal” to me, and the charred human remains could have been from any number of evil things happening. Also, what does the powdered milk have to do with anything?

          TLDR: Help me, I’m clueless.

          • Mismarker

            I’m not sure it makes a difference, but the remains were not charred. They looked fresh. I took the powdered milk as a sign they are feeding the captives (so want to keep them alive for the time being) but not willing to give them meat or any fresh foods they may be growing. Why give the good stuff to the people who are going to be tomorrow’s meal?

      • MilaXX

        I must be super suspicious because the minute Glenn and them walked in last week and Mary offered them food I immediately got a soylent green vibe.

        • ScarlettHarlot

          That makes me think, how does the Terminus con work when played out, uninterrupted by Rick? Do they actually waste some of their “meat” (yuck) on their future victims, just to lull them into a false sense of security? Or do some people get a chance to earn the status of non-food? Why the charade at all if everyone is going to wind up in a cattle car?

          • Asmith610

            I’d say the less violent approach they take with their visitors, the less likely it is that one of their own people get hurt or killed. Plus I’m sure they try to avoid shootouts near the entrance to keep up the facade. Get them in, fed, trusting you, unarmed, then stick em in the train car.

          • Heather

            I would guess, since their approach seems to be to give them food asap, is that it’s drugged. People dig in, then find themselves locked up when they wake up.

          • MilaXX

            I think the meal Mary offers is doped, designed to knock out hungry newbies. Perhaps once in the train cars they pick and choose who joins.

          • Grumpy Girl

            I keep wondering how it works if zombies come in? From the road, or that fence Rick and team climbed didn’t seem super sturdy. What obvious thing did I miss to keep the zombies out? (especially given Michonne’s story of how they overran the refugee camp).

            • Sambook

              I did see what looked like sharpened sticks/zombie booby trap outside the fence they jumped over to get into Terminus from the woods.

      • mlurve

        I read an interview with the showrunner (Gimple) and comics writer (Kirkman) in THR and they refused to confirm that these guys were cannibals. I thought it was fairly clear so maybe they’re just playing coy, but I found it interesting.

      • The Critiquette

        They’re leaving it to our imaginations and speculation for now. Do they have to spell everything out? I’m excited to get all the details and info (including that “missing chunk” of how Glen, Maggie et al ended up in the boxcar) in the first episode of next season.

    • ScarlettHarlot

      It was uneven, to be sure, but I was so happy to see Hershel again! I didn’t realize just how much I had missed him. Does anyone have thoughts on the powdered milk containers Rick saw in Terminus? Is that how they keep people alive long enough to eat them? Or is it supposed to make him think of Judith?

      • hmariec19

        I was just going to ask about the powdered milk containers! At first I assumed they had been for Judith, but since Carol and Tyreese are nowhere to be found, Judith certainly couldn’t be there. So is that all they’re feeding these people? Reconstituted milk? Seems like a poor diet to feed people you’re eventually planning to (retch) eat.

        • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

          Works for veal.

        • Mismarker

          Mere sustenance. They probably wouldn’t waste their more valuable food stores on what will be tomorrow’s dinner.

    • ScarlettHarlot

      Part of me doesn’t mind the practicality of the notion that Beth is “just gone,” since he didn’t have a vehicle to track her, so the odds of finding her are slim. However, that’s not the precedent the show has set. We’ve seen characters reconnect against odds too many times (Rick & Lori, Rick & Morgan, Andrea & the Prison, etc, ect.) to believe they would just give up like that because that hasn’t been their experience. I mean, the same people who spend a half season looking for Sophia just give up on Beth…she’s gone?

      • Mismarker

        Rick meeting up with his family was just pure dumb luck. And with Sophia, they had a secure home base from which to spend days, and days, and days searching for her. Circumstances are different now. At this point in the story, I think it works for Daryl to just resign himself to Beth being gone. But it is a bit “Lost” in that he didn’t share the particulars of her disappearance! She was straight up abducted!

        • ScarlettHarlot

          Right, I just don’t buy that Rick wouldn’t want to KNOW what happened.

        • Ashley Reed

          I was of the thought process that Daryl thought Beth drove herself off in the hearse when swarmed by walkers (thus leaving her to drop her bag), leaving him behind – not that she was abducted.

          • Mismarker

            I would buy that if Daryl and Beth had found the hearse near the house and had some dialogue about using it as a getaway if things went south.

    • Mismarker

      I wish they could say “fuck” on this show. Lord knows why they can’t. Mad Men said it. Breaking Bad got one “fuck” per season. Rick’s final line was straight out the comic but there he says, “They’re fucking with the wrong people”. Would have been so much more effective!

    • Dee

      On Talking Dead, Andrew Lincoln said that was the only take where he said “screw” instead of “fuck” but for WHATEVER reason, they wouldn’t let them have the fuck.

      I wish we’d have had some preview of what was happening in Terminus before everyone got there. The audience already knows new places are going to be bad, there’s no real suspense there. Watching the characters march into it would at least at some tension.

      • Saturnine

        Maybe TPTB were thinking about the syndication deal? But then, the network could always dub the line with the reliable (and 70s-themed) “They FREAKED with the wrong people!!!!” :-)

        • Dee

          You know, that MIGHT have actually been preferable!

    • lynde1038

      Rick’s overall journey from conflicted to tortured to acceptance has worked for me. Once they had a stable place and it all seemed to be working, it makes sense to me that — with Hershel’s urging — he’d try to set aside the violence to be a different example for Carl. He wasn’t just trying to give him “normalcy,” he’s trying to pull him back from the edge of psychosis. Having that 6 months of relative stability, with Carl seeming to recover, would reinforce the idea that he’d made the right choice, so trying to stick to it never struck me as particularly idiotic.

      Once the fences came down, the Governor killed Hershel, and then destroyed their home, it didn’t take Rick very long at all to re-embrace the need for violence. And it definitely felt to me like he’s done agonizing over it. He seems to have accepted that he can both a loving father, friend, and “brother,” and the kind of guy that rips out another man’s throat with his teeth when need be. I’m guessing future agonizing will be over the realization that he didn’t actually pull Carl back from the edge — the way he was drawn to the brutality in this episode was haunting — and figuring out how can he help his son balance his violent impulses and his humanity.

      It IS absolutely hilarious that they can show the “hero” ripping out a guy’s throat with his teeth and attempted child rape, but can’t say “fuck.” Come on!

    • Zippypie

      We needed a good loud “fuck” at the end. Because the whole Terminus thing was not clear just how “bad” these people are and the fact that they are feeding them milk like veal calves to make them nice and tender for eatin’. (I haven’t read the comic – I’m just guessing) And after the throat ripping and almost-Deliverance scene, we need to see Rick be as strong as possible. Right now, I’m kind of on the fence as to whether or not Grimes & Gang will prevail and I know we’re supposed to actually be filled with hope for them against the odds. Bah. Let Rick declare to the Universe “We’re going to fucking kill them all!” and let it play out.
      I was very disappointed that Daryl didn’t just say “Beth was grabbed by someone in a car”. Why would Rick accept “she’s just gone”? That means NOTHING. And was stupid. I really groaned at that. And it dampened the bro moment between them.
      I say CAROL to the fucking rescue again. Carol is badass. She can and will do anything to protect her family of people. And Rick is going to owe her big time.

    • Daktari100

      For me, it’s the little details that are getting in the way. Do rednecks really use words like “conundrum?” Why didn’t the random glasses guy, who was calling out for help, just run away? Why would people who have been exposed to so much brutality be so ready and willing to trust the people in Terminus? Also, the newer characters look a bit cartoonish, in my opinion, too much like comic book characters and not believable as real people. I’ve been watching since the beginning, so I am in for the ride, but the show seems to be taking a direciton I’m not really loving.

      • Theresa

        My husband thought that the Claim Gang leader (where the heck have I seen that guy before???) was the one who got choked out and passed out on the floor in front of the bed, so he was the one who saw Rick before he blacked out. That’s just a guess, since I can’t remember what the guy on the floor looked like.

        • Isabel

          Jeff Corber – he played a baddie on Law & Order – Special Victims Unit – religious leader who made teen girls preggers and killed all males in the church. imdb says he was also on the Sons of Anarchy.

          • VermillionSky

            On SoA he was the original deputy sheriff’s brother who ran for mayor or something at some point. A corrupt land developer.

          • Scoobydrew

            YES! I always refer to him as THAT GUY. I know sh*t is about to go to hell, when he shows up.

          • Grumpy Girl

            China Beach–wasn’t he on that show? (Dating myself….)

            • Mismarker

              I know him only from China Beach. He was a hottie on that show. And quite troubled, if I remember correctly.

        • http://stillmovingswiftly.tumblr.com/ Kate L.

          He was also on Buffy (as two different characters, seasons three and six), and more recently is the landlord who propositions Jess and Nick on New Girl. He is deeply creepy to me, but I also love seeing him pop up.

          • Boobs Radley

            Oh yeah, he’s creeptastic, which makes his casting excellent.

        • editrixie

          The funniest thing about Jeff Kober — I was watching an episode of Dog Whisperer once, and Cesar was taking this woman to learn meditation so that she wouldn’t pass her stress on to her dog, and the guy he took her to was…Jeff Kober! I laughed so hard I choked, because every time I see him, he’s evil and terrible, so the idea that you could learn to destress and meditate around him… LOL.

        • wisdomy

          I’ve loved Jeff Kober since China Beach, but he’s definitely a “Hey, it’s that guy!” kinda actor. Honestly, I’ve always thought of him as Willem DaFaux.

    • paintedfish

      Thank you! I didn’t understand why the talk was all about Rick’s inner torment when any parent would go into berzerker mode to save their child. In retrospect this episode was all about the “monster” you become. We know our gang will behave monstrously at times but will still retain their humanity. That’s what I want to see, our gang doing what needs to be done. Carol in charge!

    • Heather

      I don’t think the question they were asking is whether Rick is a farmer or a fighter. It is about being the person Carl needs to get him through. Pretty sure the whole show circles around that relationship. If Carl dies, there is no point for Rick anymore (don’t think he cares much about Shane’s baby TBH).

      • Mismarker

        Yes, yes, and yes. Also, a pretty big eff you to the Carl who told unconscious Rick that he didn’t need him anymore and would be fine if he died.

        • Heather

          well, he is ~14–felt true to a character of that age. He figured out pretty soon afterwards how un-true that was.

          • ScarlettHarlot

            Yeah, telling off parents is pretty standard teen behavior, so it did seem reasonable given their circumstances. At least he didn’t kill his sister to prove that zombies are fun, unlike some children on the show. :P

          • Mismarker

            Totally. 14 year old me said some pretty rough stuff to my parents back in the day! But I think a lot of Carl’s anger stemmed specifically from the fact that Rick had gone soft while playing farmer and wasn’t able to keep any of them safe. New savage Rick is gonna be able to do what needs to be done in order for him and his son to survive.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        “I don’t think the question they were asking is whether Rick is a farmer or a fighter. It is about being the person Carl needs to get him through.”

        Yes, and the choices he has as to what kind of person he’ll be are conceptualized and articulated as a fighter or a farmer, over and over again, sometimes overtly in the dialogue.

    • MilaXX

      I had pretty much the same reaction. As long as Rick didn’t sink back into despair and there are some attempts not to be straight up idiots I’m willing to hang in there. When the previews showed Rick just sitting there stunned, I was afraid we were going to get another Rick breakdown moment. I am not here for that anymore, so I’m glad he shock himself out of it and they moved on. It was weird they couldn’t drop the f bomb. Did they use up their one curse for the season?

    • Baghag

      Didn’t anyone else see the pile of human bones that were picked clear??? They were shown when the group was being herded into the trap….

      • Virginia McMurdo

        I did!

      • Scoobydrew

        ME TOO

      • editrixie

        Well, a lot of us watch it kind of halfway, listening to things and then looking up when it appears something interesting might be happening. So I totally missed anything that gave a hint about cannibalism. Basically, if Daryl isn’t talking, I’m usually focusing on my work or screwing around on the internet.

      • Columbinia

        Yep, a pink and white heap.

    • bellalynne25

      Telling you what, that last line KILLED me, and I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who felt that way. It was unbelievably lame. So many more appropriate and more badass ways they could have done that. And I also cheered when Rick ripped out the guy’s throat. Maybe my favorite part of the whole season right there. BAMF Rick needs to stick around.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      I really could have done without the flashback scenes this episode. It seriously messed with the momentum. I don’t think anyone needed to be reminded that Glenn got his pocketwatch from Herschel or that Rick tried to cast aside the violence of the world to become a farmer (egads, that was explained ad nauseum the last two seasons!). Without those scenes we maybe could have checked in with Carol and Tyreese, or maybe could have dropped a hint about Beth’s whereabouts. Apart from the flashback scenes the rest of the episode was intense and they seem to be on good footing for next season.

      BTW: I love your comment about them becoming the “Justice League of Throat-Rippers and Decapitators.” Brilliant!

      • VermillionSky

        By that last flashback I was yelling at the screen “stop wasting time on prison scenes. I need to know what happens at terminus!”

    • VermillionSky

      If they saved Judith from perishing at the prison to have her be eaten by hipsters and hippies I might just walk away from this mess.

      At least Rick got his mojo back. I’m thrilled we aren’t going to be plagued with the claimed gang for a whole season. They were annoying.

    • Asmith610

      I read that the final line was taken straight from the comics the way Rick said it. Can anyone verify? It might make a little more sense as to why they wrote it like that if so… I agree, an f bomb would have been a much better way to end the season!

      • VermillionSky

        In Talking Dead they said that they filmed it both ways, and the decision was made to use the family friendly version to appease the censors. I can’t remember which one they said was the original comic book line. You know, because somebody who is willing to watch a man rip out another man’s throat with his teeth might get offended if they hear a naughty word.

    • Scoobydrew

      I don’t think they were subtle in the cannibalism aspect as all …. from the minute Glen and the gang walked into Terminus and Mary offered them a meal I was thinking it was one big gingerbread house. From Rick talking about the skimpy rabbit, saying how all they talk about is food… and then ripping a throat out with his teeth … and the sign WE FIRST, ALWAYS … The Donner Party went upscale.

    • dickylarue

      A few things; Loved the episode and the 2nd half of this season. Last night actually gave me a LOST vibe which never happens on this show. Rick was in full Jack mode. The throat ripping was incredible. Was it well executed? No. Execution is always the problem on this show except when it comes to makeup and special effects. That said, I was fully satisfied. The cannibalism is for real. They herded them up like cattle, showed bodies picked clean in a flash and they feed them milk like poor veal. The best thing, for me, was the signal that Rick’s hand wringing about being what Shane told him and others he had to be in the apocalypse appears to be over. And quite honestly I hope they spend some real time figuring out the most compelling way to get them out of that cattle car. I hope they look at Breaking Bad and how clever they got when Walter painted himself into a corner. This show always feels like it rushes things story wise and it’d be nice to see something elegantly plotted next season.

    • Mismarker

      I feel like candles would be more of a commodity in a ZA. But let’s just burn a thousand of them in this weird room. In the middle of the day. Unless they are making candles from…. blech.

      • http://twitter.com/janedonuts Jane Donuts

        Yeah, that was dumb. As was the fact that the rooftop snipers missed every shot.

        • Ashley Reed

          I think that was the point – the snipers were using bullet spray to block other ways out, thus funneling Rick et al towards the train car (like the rabbit to the snare….see how that tied in? Adorable.).

          • Mismarker

            Yes, they were deliberately firing at their feet. Rick even said something like “I don’t think they’re trying to kill us”. Also, you could hear chatter on radios or from the leader about where the guns need to fire in order to get them to “A”. I saw a screenshot which showed some of the path they run. It was absolutely riddled with bullet holes. Which means they’ve used this funneling technique many times before.

            • DeebaCee

              Exactly. I just rewatched a few minutes of the end because I was looking for the apparent ‘arm on the grill’ (which I didn’t find). While re-watching I realized that every door that the gang ran through was marked ‘A’ and the train car that they ended up in was also marked ‘A’. They thought they were running away and escaping, but the Terminus folks were strategically shuttling them where they wanted with their snipers.

            • jeeplibby02

              I’m going to need to watch this episode again, as I’ve spent the last two days wondering why the episode was called “A”.

        • Columbinia

          The rooftop snipers were herding them to the boxcar, not shooting to kill.

    • Jeannie Shmina Greenwald

      I’m surprised that Rick’s biting the (human) enemy is even a thing. His mouth and teeth were the ONLY weapons he had available. I said, “bit him!” just seconds before Rick did just that. Why in the world is Carl disturbed by that? He was saved from being raped and murdered. Why the hell is he giving his dad the side eye??

      The ending was beautifully…anti-climactic. Frustrating.

      • sunshine and chaos

        I think part of the uneven ending/non-cliffhanger feeling to the season
        finale may be that it felt more of a penultimate episode to the season.
        I read an interview with Robert Kirkman this morning and he said that
        Terminus and the missing characters are dealt with fairly quickly in
        season 5. I would have liked that dealt with in the final episode and
        then wait with anticipation for October as to how Rick and the gang deal with everything.

      • lynde1038

        We got several shots this episode of Carl seeming “transfixed” by the excessive grue. First, when he was watching the guy in the field get eaten, then when watching Rick go nuts on the attempted rapist. Like he was fascinated or enthralled by the violence. Then he admitted to Michonne that he tried to be what Rick wants him to be, but says he keeps having “thoughts” and he’s just another monster. In other words, all that time on the prison farm didn’t necessarily turn him away from his “budding psychopath” path. So Carl seems to be giving Rick the side-eye, not because he thinks his dad is a monster, but because he doesn’t want his dad to realize or think HE’S a monster.

    • Columbinia

      I dunno. TLo finds more to be optimistic about than I do. “Walking Dead” is still a slow, brooding plod from one fresh Hell to the next with an unendling supply of sociopathic alpha males competing with the zombies for victims. And the zombies took all the road signs. There are no street signs in any town, no highway or route signs, the place name signs are all gone. It is a trackless waste where even rabbits are scarce. And now in a world of free-roaming undead feral cannibals we get a band of alive, domesticated, cunning old-school cannibals. Great. And let me pause to gag a bit.

      I’d say that the purpose of Tyreese, Carol and Beth being unaccounted for and perhaps outside the fence (along with Rick’s buried cache of guns) is that they’re going to need them out there to get free and defeat the new bad guys. Maybe those three wll do a better job of reconnoitering the Terminus from the outside instead of spending their time having backstory heart-to-hearts. A few days of watching the routine of the Terminus might have clued them in. Well, at least they added Rosita, Tara and Abraham to the warrior roster. They’re gonna need more fighters. Be that as it may, I don’t know that I’ll be around for season 5.

      • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

        Not only do we get cannibals, but we get a show seemingly unwilling to shove it in our face that they are cannibals. They gave little hints and clues, but me personally I would never have worked it out myself or even thought of it except for seeing people mention it on the web and saying it happened in the comics. I said last week the vibe I got from that place was sister wives, which is a hugely different vibe from people who eat people.

        I’m a bit unhappy that they are going in this direction because hello, could we not have some NICE TIME for these people, even if it is just a short time. But no. We had the governor for such a long time, and now we have to have new baddies who we know nothing about nor do we care about, and according to the people in charge we do not have to know or care about them because in s5 they will be dispatched with very quickly, which leads me to ask what is the point of putting us all through this? Why even go down this cannibal road?

        It is just so irritating.. either you commit to a storyline and see it through or you just wander about in circles, and we have been wandering about in circles for a long time now.. and I don’t feel like we are getting anywhere useful. Now the show does not even have the excuse of show runners who keep changing as to why it is so.. directionless.

        I am happy to see some Breaking Bad people are getting involved with the show – director of this episode was Michelle Maclaren who did a lot of work on BB. But even she could not save this episode from being angry making for I think many of us who watched it. :((

        Sad as it is, I will keep watching regardless, but I would love to enjoy watching this show instead of being led towards hate watching it. :(

        • Mismarker

          I saw a screenshot from a scene that was deleted from the finale and I’m starting to think there is a reason for the coyness. All signs may point to cannibalism but I’m not sure it’s going to be that clear cut. There is something else at play here.

        • Columbinia

          Yes, why be coy about what the community at the Terminus is? The name is forbidding enough.
          I think the comic book/graphic novel origins show. There’s a lot of visual stillness and not a lot of dialogue to fill out, explain or move things along.

          • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

            I also think that Robert Kirkman is egotistical enough to think everyone who watches the show has read the comics, so therefore things do not need to be spelled out for the audience.

            But I would suspect a portion of the people who watch the show do not read the comics. I suspect it would be a fairly high portion actually. Some viewers might have read a few of them here and there, and then of course there would be a section of viewers who read them regularly. Some viewers might not even know there is a comic!

            So for those of us who do not read regularly, cannibalism is not something on our radar. It certainly is not a subject we know a great deal about. And if you know nothing about veal you would not recognise what the powdered milk might be used for. If people do not read recaps and reviews and forums on the web, they probably have zero idea what is going on at Terminus.

            So overall I think it would have been better to give us more information to consider in the many months before the next season.. :)

    • DinahR

      I’m in the camp of people who did not see the pile of bones or cartons of milk, so if I had not seen the internet discussion, I would not have made the connection all the way back to Rick’s bunny snare. Yup, very soft focus and fuzzy. Everything at Terminus was rushed, but oh well.

      Why emphasize the candle lit sanctuary room over the specific details on the cannibalism? What was that about? The names on the floor.. the thought of all those wasted candles burning in a room where no one even was. The camera spent a paused moment there — and it stuck out because it was so random — but they blazed over the telling details. Seems odd.

      Also, was Carl almost spared?? It seems like they weren’t going to send him in the cattle car until Rick asked for him. What was it about Carl that gave the group pause? His age, or did he do something that made them think he’d be better as a dinner guest instead of being dinner?

      Y’know, I could really have done without the cannibalism so close on the heels of the Governor’s second demise. I’m way more interested in the trip to Washington and finding out what ’caused’ the apocalypse (if that character really knows…) or even just what the Apocalypse was like in Texas. Those characters have new information to share — or sweet sister o’ mercy, I hope they do — I’d rather cover some new ground with them for a while (worldbuilding?? just a teeny bit, pleeaase? is that even an option on this show?) before diving headlong into this ‘make you a plate’ business.

      • ~Heather

        Part of pausing in the candle room was to see the larger messages painted on the walls: Never trust. We first, always. And the candles add a nice ambiance.

    • ~Heather

      “Why do you let people in?” Asks Michonne. “People become a part of us, we get stronger,” says Terminus Alex. Those folks in the ‘square’ were wearing Maggie’s poncho, the scientist’s old riot gear and Glenn’s orange backpack. And the first line given to both parties as they entered in episodes 15 & 16 “Looks like you’ve been on the road awhile.” It sounds so inviting, are they a religious cult? Things are not looking up for our motley group. Luckily Rick won’t let his crew give up easily.

    • Justine

      You’re recaps are so good. I can hardly stand it. Almost better than the episodes themselves.

      As I keep saying – aren’t the zombies the enemies? WTF people.

    • jilly_d

      Right on, boys. Though I didn’t mind the “allusions” to the cannibalism – when Rick pulled out that pocket watch I bellowed “OH GOD THEY ATE GLEN AND MAGGIE!!!” But my husband and I were SO there on that last line. In that pregnant pause before Rick answered, hub yelled “WHO THEY JUST FUCKED WITH!” and then the actual line just fell flat. I said the nearly the same thing as you guys: “Aw come on! Breaking Bad got one Fuck per season!” Overall loved the episode though. That moment with Rick and Daryl was amazing.