The Walking Dead Review: “A”

Editor’s note: this review will contain some spoilers. I will try to keep them to a minimum, but they’re be there nonetheless. You’ve been warned.

It’s been quite a season of AMC’s The Walking Dead. The prison is overrun, the governor is dead, and our remaining heroes are scattered to the winds. A lot of people were calling for a major shake-up like this, citing that they were getting frustrated with the prison as the predominate setting. I could have gone either way, and I’m pretty happy with the direction the season has taken, especially in the second half.

AMC's The Walking Dead

This week’s episode finally brought most of the remaining survivors together at Terminus, the town that’s been calling for survivors and setting off alarm bells with fans of the show for a few episodes now. But before we get there, we need to address the events of the first half of the episode.

Daryl’s gang finally catches up with Rick, Michonne, and Carl, and it’s absolutely brutal. Carl and Michonne are picked to get raped (and possibly murdered), and Rick gets to watch before he’s killed. Daryl, of course, tries to intervene, but the gang turns on him immediately, and sentences him to be beaten to death.

Unarmed and outnumbered, Rick uses the only thing left at his disposal: sheer brutality. He tears out the gang leader’s throat, and turns the tables on his attackers. Everyone is dispatched, but the man who attempted to rape Carl is given a particularly grisley – and well deserved – death. The fade out to the soundtrack of Rick stabbing the man over and over again was extremely affecting; kudos to the sound team there.

AMC's The Walking Dead

We get a couple of nice scenes with Carl coping with the brutality and Michonne helping him through it, but we’re quickly ushered off the the second half of the episode where our intrepid heroes finally check out Terminus.

They wisely choose to reconnoiter the town before making themselves known, but didn’t do a terribly thorough job of it. They introduce themselves to the people running Terminus, and everything seems fine for a few minutes, right up until Rick starts noticing townsfolk walking around with Glenn’s pocket watch and the prison’s riot gear. After that, things take a pretty serious turn. Guns are drawn, threats are made, and our survivors run through town, dodging bullets, and completely ignoring Rick’s trapping advice to Carl earlier in the episode.

That trapping thing, by the way, bugged me. Watching the scene at the beginning of the episode, I immediately knew it would come back at the end, most likely used against Rick and company. I hate heavy-handed symbolism like that.

AMC's The Walking Dead

At any rate, they’re quickly directed into a trap, surrounded, and forced to surrender. They’re put into a train car (flashes of the Holocaust here), where they finally reunite with Glenn, Maggie, and they’re new friends. While things look quite grim, Rick is far from cowed, and confidently states that the people running Terminus don’t know who they’re messing with.

All in all, I was very satisfied with the finale of The Walking Dead, although the way they were trapped and surrounded really bothered me. Despite that, I’m glad to see an exciting new set of dangers, and I’m really glad to see Rick giving up all pretenses of humanity, and just being a badass.

Grade: 4 zombies heads out of 5

10 Comments

JonMarker

Just glad they did the huntsmen comic with a more diplomatic ending, shaking up Carl, but not being as dramatic as the comic would lead us to believe. Plus I see them pushing Daryl into the role of that burnt guy with the wife problem from the comic. Probably using the kid as the reason for a last minute separation.
Of other note, the mind is more scarier of what it can imagine when we don’t know what is actually happening and how closely they are holding to the proper script.

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Dave

It’s been a while since I read that part of the comic, but I too really liked they way they did it on the show.

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callofgaming

The Walking Dead: The show that comes out in October, right when school starts. Now we have a long wait ahead of us.

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Pi3rK

I like the nothing-to-lose / don’t-give-up spirit they put in this season.

Everytime the characters have something to fight for, someone tries to take it right away from them, and have the force to fight back like there is no tomorrow.

The deeper in the apocalypse, the better we realize how and when you have to trust or rely in the person around you (both with or against you).

A great season overall (could have been perfect in a 15 episodes format, the Daryl & Beth in the cabin is the weakest link) and a good ending to it. Most of the prison core reunited, but how will Rick react when Judith is back, How about Carol meeting with Rick again, Where is Beth… and What the hell is Terminus ?

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Dave

It is interesting to see how desperate they can make these characters, and how that affects them and their interactions with each other and outsiders.

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Foolish Lego

Even after the ZA… there will be Lego :)

I liked the finally… but man, what a cliffhanger. Lets see how Tyrese will solve their little problem… at the end of the year :/

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JonMarker

I wonder if the bricks in the show was a nod to you and fan base of like minded producers , product placement or to show the different level of maturity(sp?) that Carl is on vs. the noobs, the younger, and a few just over his age, because he is then shown cleaning and I believe he was at the reassemble stage of working on “his” gun.

Yes I put his in quotes, because there are so many times and reasons he had the gun taken away and possibly there still might be more.
Oh yeah and now that have called you the producer, do you consider yourself the producer? I just want to have and use a proper title. Hence the stranger question.

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Dave

I guess “producer” makes sense. It’s actually something I’ve never given a lot of thought to.

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