[Previously] GUYS. Guys. GUYS. I’m not going to say I told you so, but we all know I did. Hahaha, like what Terminus was wasn’t telegraphed a mile away. Also, we’ve all read/seen The Road, and played Fallout (or you SHOULD HAVE.) Wow, there was a lot of channeling of The Road in this episode. Also, I think overall this ep worked. Maybe not the way the writers/final edit wanted in some places, but come on, let’s get to it.
Rick, Maggie and Glenn come back to the prison after a run, because we’re dealing with flashbacks and HEY, THERE’S OL’ DOC RAISIN EYES, Hershel! Aww. Everyone’s happy, everything seems well in hand.
And then we cut to now, a shot of Rick’s hands, covered in blood and shaking. So…everything’s NOT well in hand. I would just like to congratulate the crew on that awesome shot and transition. *slow clap*
We’re flashing back a bit before the scene above to find the Richonne’s Family setting up a fire in their safety net of tin cans on strings, off to check their snares. Rick wants to teach Carl all he can, and my serious question is which came first, Cormac McCarthy’s The Boy and The Man or The Walking Dead’s Rick and Carl? (Remember, I’m NOT a comic book reader, so I genuinely don’t know. Also, no spoilers, omg.)
Carl wonders what they’ll tell the folks at Terminus about them, about what they’ve done. About what they’ve had to do. Rick, a steely glint in his eye and a tick in his jaw says, “We’ll tell them ho we are.” Which I took to mean name, rank and serial number. No more, no less.
Rick shares a protip with the boy on how to make a slip knot snare:
-when they hear a man screaming for help over the din of Walkers. Rick knows they can’t help him, which upsets Carl (seriously, you’ve all read The Road, correct?) and they watch in grim horror as the man’s face falls victim to the gaping maw of the undead. They try to slip away without detection, but one Walker sees them, which leads to all the Walkers following.
Rick is still injured, so they can’t take off at a run. And anyway, they find more Walkers feasting on someone just ahead on the tracks. Time to start killing.
FLASHBACK: to the
Dagobah System Prison where Hershel tells Rick to come, come, my home this is. When Luke Rick makes to grab his lightsaber pistol, he’s told “Your weapons; you will not need them.”
Rick rolls his eyes and straps it on anyway, because he’s about to be confronted with his greatest fear: weeding. [cue Darth Vader breathing]
NOW: They’re on the run, they find an abandoned car, a Flat Cat Walker, and they can hole up inside for some sleep (Carl) and planning (Rick/Michonne). Michonne, because she’s the best of all of us, wonders if Terminus is another Woodbury. (IT’S SOMETHING, OKAY, AND I DON’T LIKE IT.) Rick hears something in the woods, but disregards it for WHY I DO NOT KNOW because NOW JOE HAS THE DROP ON THEM. They’re freaking surrounded, gun to Rick’s temple and Michonne’s skull, and a fucking creeper with a knife gets Carl and THINK OF A HAPPY PLACE.
Joe’s all, “Your day of reckoning has come, boy!” and starts a count down to killing when DARYL MOTHER TRUCKING DIXON comes out of the woods and says, “Oh, hell naw. That’s my family, and they’re good folk, and maybe you could get your pound of flesh from me.”
To which Joe’s all, “I’ll take more than a pound. Time to beat you to death until you die from it!” And Michonne goes, “That’s a bit redundant,” to which Joe yells, “Okay, new plan. Daryl: you’re getting the boots, well done. That pretty kid in there with the real pretty mouth is getting the Deliverance Squeal Like A Pig treatment, followed by some more Lady Raping because goodness knows there’s not enough of that in the world. Dad here’s gonna watch, and then I’ll consider my pound of flesh paid in full.”
I AM NOT GOING TO ADDRESS THE CARL SITUATION BECAUSE IT’S REALLY HORRIBLE AND I THINK ABOUT THE ACTOR HAVING TO PLAY THAT AND THERE’S SOME INNOCENCE GONE IN THE WORLD AND GAAAAH.
Rick has had it up to HERE (points to Joe’s jugular) and head butts Joe, causing his gun to discharge right by Rick’s ear. He loses it, in every sense of the word. He then BITES OUT JOE’S THROAT. (Sorry, but this all requires capslock.) He’s all, “You wanna see a monster? RAWR!” He took a page out of the Walker book and ended that mo fo. (And according to The Talking Dead, it does taste like chicken!)
Rick bit a guy! Rick, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you’re probably wanted for murder.
Daryl is able to get away from a hellacious beating, Michonne shoots most everyone in the head, and then Daddy Rick has had it, okay? It’s just been enough. So how about he calls up that knife stabbing monster he has living inside of him and gets medieval on ol’ Mr. Hillbilly Rapist there by repeatedly stabbing the guy for daring to threaten his son? Just over and over and over and Carl can’t look away and he really, really wants to.
THERE WILL BE NO RECASTING OF CARL AS THE CATAMITE TODAY.
FLASHBACK: Doc Hershel is explaining that humanity is all around us, it binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter [points to Walkers].
Well, Daryl’s headed off for a run, and he needs Rick’s help. Who knows what could happen if Rick isn’t there?
Doc: [squints] Difficult to see. Always in motion, is the future. If you leave now, help them you could; but you would destroy all for which they have fought, and suffered.
Rick: [blinks, waves at the ground] It’s just some fucking radishes. I’ll be back, jeez.
Doc: [leaning on cane] A
Jedi farmer must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi farmer craves not these things. You are reckless. [looks at Carl] Never mind. There is another.
I’M JUST SAYING THERE WERE A LOT OF SIMILARITIES, OKAY.
NOW: Rick is against the car, hands shaking and bloody and Carl is awake inside, scared of his dad as Michonne holds him. Daryl shows up, gives Rick some water to clean up because he’s got a little [rubs at face] Joe on your cheek. Daryl is clearly feeling guilty for being with that group, but please. Like he could have known just how bad they were. (And there goes my theory that he was trying to find out about Beth.)
Rick tells him to can that stinkin’ thinkin’, and then gives him the Highest of Bro Fives: “You’re my brother.” Rick >>>>>>Merle, so Daryl’s all red-eared and bashful. N’awwww, those two!
Rick’s got something primal in him, but it’s centered around keeping his loved ones alive, it’s not meanness like it was with Merle. Michonne gets it. She makes a point of telling Carl later that they all have monsters inside them, even her. And he’s not scared of her, is he? Because her dad and Andrea brought her back. That’s why it’s important to stay together, to keep each other safe in every sense of the word. (Michonne is the better Yoda.)
Carl says that his dad wouldn’t like him, wouldn’t think he’s any good if he only knew the thoughts he had. (Son, you’re in a ZA. Everyone’s having Really Dark Thoughts. Just don’t act on them. And the fact that you’re WORRIED means you’re not lost.)
They all push on, getting off the road for Terminus to do RECON, because they’re smart. (But it won’t matter. I called the hidden snipers/spotters.) Rick buries a bag of guns – including his Colt Python – in a shallow ditch outside the fence. They scale it, drop down, and the camera angle changes, letting us know they’re being watched. Shit.
They sneak into the building where an old woman is broadcasting, “Terminus. Those who arrive, survive,” and several hipsters are making signs for that band you’ve probably never heard of, pfft. They’re all clean faced and healthy and smiling and WHOOOP WHOOOP KLAXON OF WARNING BECAUSE IT’S THE APOCALYPSE and these people are making signs for their Hide-N-Seek League and their Harpiscord Jam Band-Off, and they’re so hip and with it that they’ve moved BEYOND Vegan, HINT.
I mean, hey, let’s just check you for hidden weapons, thaaaaaanks. And they give the group BACK their weapons, making nice faces about how cool it is to have more people involved in crafting hour, and are they down with artisinal knitting? Because that’s a thing that maybe Rick’s folks could be into, no pressure, just follow us to meet Mary where she can fix you a plate, because you guys look like you might have The Hunger.
And Rick checks out their gear, and it’s not that he has any issues with slogan tees and scarves in summer, it’s that it’s a familiar scarf. And…Glenn’s riot gear. Daryl’s fucking poncho? Hmm, maybe that’s a common thing, they ARE hipsters, after all. WAIT JESUS JUMPED UP JOSEPH THAT IS HERSHEL’S POCKET WATCH. NOPE. Rick pulls his gun on one of the leaders (there goes the only guy who knew how to brew PBR).
FLASHBACK: Back at prison, we see Patrick playing with Legos, Legos Rick got for Carl, who is cleaning and maintaining his sidearm like a gee dee MAYUN.
Patrick: [sniffs, rubs eyes] “Sometimes the bricks pinch my fingers and it gives me such an ache.”
Rick gets Carl to come out and weed the damn radishes with him, giving him the Yoda “your weapons… you will not need them” talk.
AND NOW WE HAVE CARL PULLING HIS GUN ON THE HIPSTERS AND WHICH KID IS ALIVE, FOLKS? CARL. Carl is alive.
The Hipsters are all, “Yeah, we’re so Vegan that we’re anti-vegan? You’ve probably never heard of that before. Look drop your weapons, you’re surrounded.”
Rick wants to know where the others are, and Gareth (Of course the Lead Hipster’s name is Gareth, of course.) gives a signal and gunfire breaks out.
The group takes off running, but the snipers on the roof shoot at their feet, driving them to where they want, wearing our group down. They run past a tarp that is important to note.
They run past a train car (with the letter A on it) and hear people begging for help. Sorry, too busy running for our lives right now! Then, they duck into a building and come across some Buffalo Bill-level creepy shit.
Written on the walls: NEVER TRUST. WE FIRST, ALWAYS. Okay! Wish I could stay… They bolt out of there and are immediately overwhelmed by camo’d troops in the bushes, some snipers on the roof, and they’re fucked.
Gareth directs them to drop their weapons, line up in order of Ring Leader (Rick), Archer (Daryl), Samurai (Michonne) and finally, the Kid, making sure everyone knows who’s boss: Gareth. They’re forced into the train car and realize they’re not alone.
GLENN! MAGGIE! SASHA! THE REST OF THEM!
FLASHBACK: Hershel smiling benevolently at his fucking radishes. “It can be like this all the time.” Can it? Can it, Herhsel?? Because Hershel has been wrong A LOT. We’ll talk about that in a second.
NOW: Rick’s grit floats to the top. He had something ancient and necessary rise up in him out on the road, and it’s not backing down now, not after all he’s lost, not after all he’s found (his family! He found Daryl! And Maggie! And Glenn!). He gives them a call to arms: “They’re fucking with the wrong people.” (That’s what he meant to say.)
So let’s talk about Yoda-Hershel. I know the show (and the actors!) loves Hershel. He’s the moral compass, the tether to their humanity. Guess what? It’s a different world now, and he was wrong about people being rehabilitated once bitten. He was wrong about the barn. He was wrong about good people in the world. He was wrong about taking Rick away from his hyper-vigilance. He was wrong about the prison being forever. (I love Hershel. I get what he is. I’m just saying that they’re in a VERY UNIQUE WORLD, NOW.)
And it’s high time the Ricktatorship came back. That’s what keeps you alive. We need him on that wall, we WANT him on that wall, and we’re about to see these fucking Cannibal Hipsters get what’s coming to them.
Well, in October. I hope. So while that last two minutes felt a little flat for me, it still got me really excited. It didn’t feel so dire, and I’ve come to expect a dire ending. And…I like it.
Also, I’m feeling pretty vindicated about saying the paintings in the house that Michonne found were foreshadowing. MY THEORY: someone got away from Terminus, and they painted those pictures because they couldn’t speak about the horrors they saw. IDK, I like it.
What are your thoughts? Remember to not be a hater and DO NOT SPOIL US FOR WHAT’S TO COME, omg. And if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, I’ll be back recapping that show next week. Otherwise, it’s been a pleasure talking shop with you for this season, and I’ll see you in October! <3