Welcome back, survivors! [Previously] Oh, how I’ve missed being filled with utter despair… Which is to say, hooray for having our show back! If any of you are first-timers here, let me break it down for you: one, I cuss. A lot. I get excited, it can’t be helped. Two, this site is dedicated to shows we love. If you want to insult, tear down, or be snarky, this ain’t the place for you. The world is full up on negativity, and I just want to get excited about cannibals, Walkers, and proper weapons care with friends, okay? Okay.
And don’t think for a second that we’re not going to talk about Carol being the best of all of us, by which I mean that she is becoming Daryl Dixon. Conversely, Daryl? He’s becoming old school Carol. Let’s check in at Terminus.
An ominous: THEN
We open on a group people whimpering in a train car as the sounds of people being tortured (let’s get real. We ladies know what “torture” is happening outside) echoes in the empty car nastily.
Sweet-faced innocent boy who will turn up in a surprising way later: We shouldn’t have put up signs! We led them here!
Hipster-Fixie-Upper-Middle-Class Gareth: We were trying to do something good. We were human beings.
SFIBWWTUIASWL: What are we now Gareth?
Gareth: [turns to the camera, a Norman Bates-esque grin blooming across his face]
If you don’t think that I sang a la Barbra Streisand, “People… People who eat…people. Are the luckiest people! In….the world.”
No less ominous: NOW.
Cut to! BAD ASS MAD MAX- STYLE weapons being fashioned. Holy smokes, I never thought of the broken belt buckle/brass knuckles punch-pierce insta-weapon before. AWESOME. But! I want to talk about that studded leather belt with the spikes. If you watch the Talking Dead (which you should be, omg), you’ll know that Rosita took her giant hoop earrings…
ProTip: Hoop earrings are a STUPID thing to wear in a ZA, because that is a) gonna get caught on something like a GAWPING WALKER MOUTH, or b) is going to be ripped out of your ear, leaving a blood trail.
…unrolled them, and pierced them through leather. If those were indeed gold, that is a soft metal and not doing you any good. Gotta think, people.
Anyhoo… Rick rips off a jacket’s zipper and starts sawing off a Buffy-sized stake from the interior of the train car. Holy shit, I love everything happening. Oh, Terminus, tsk tsk tsk, you’re gonna get your asses reamed. They’re all prepping, Daryl’s on point watching through a crack and gives them the heads up that four people are coming.
Rick: GO FOR EYES THEN THROATS.
Michonne: [grins, tightens grip on her insta-weapon fashioned from the nightmares of her enemies]
Door: [doesn’t open]
Roof: [opens] SURPRISE MOTHER FUCKER FLASHBANG SMOKE BOMB WHAAAAAT?
Well that didn’t work out as planned. They’re dragged out coughing (Rick clawed at someone’s face—DNA evidence, Rule #1, ladies) and bound.
Huh. That was anticlimactic.
OH, I’M SORRY, DID I SAY ANTICLIMACTIC? Because holy shit #2, we’re given a woozy Rick’s POV as he’s dragged into warehouse. Just in time for Halloween: a body is on a table, two dudes cutting it up [so I’m assuming that because everyone is infected, there is no human sushi in this world? Everything needs to be cooked to a nice medium well?] and in the back corner are industrial buckets labeled BURN, FEED, WASH. Oh, that’s nice that they’re maintaining OSHA standards for kitchen prep.
Fun fact! The guy on the table? Alex, the shivery brother from before. Thanks, Talking Dead!
Rick is dropped next to a long, stainless steel trough along with Daryl, Medic Bob and Glenn. More folks we don’t know/don’t care about are lined up. A blood-splattered guy starts sharpening a big ol’ knife while another uses a baseball bat to practice his swing behind Rick. Ah, we’re going cattle slaughterhouse method, gotcha. Bat Boy gets a nod, lines up at the guy at the opposite end, swings for the fences, whack! to the head, then Knife Guy slits their throats, just like a cow minus the giant meat hook impalement.
(Side note, this is the greatest thing ever. I couldn’t help but think about Troy McClure explaining how a slaughterhouse works during this scene, because I’m broken inside where it matters.)
They begin systematically moving down the row and OH MY GOD I AM STANDING UP AND CRAMMING MY FISTS INTO MY MOUTH DARYL, GLENN NOOOO!! Our guys are the last ones. The blood is pouring thick and running toward the drain, Rick manages to take his secret stake out of his coat YES, hell to the yes, Rick. Meanwhile, Gareth shows up with clipboard in hand, doing a l’il ol’ inventory on shot counts, barely sparing Glenn.
Gareth: Uh, fellas, I don’t see your TPS reports?
Knife Guy: Oh? I’m pretty sure I CC’d you?
Gareth: …yeah, nothing’s showing up here.
Our Group: WHAT.
Gareth: I’m going to need you to come in on Saturday, get those done. Thaaaaanks. [points to sign: A SUCCESSFUL CANNIBALISTIC OUTPOST IS AN ORGANIZED CANNIBALISTIC OUTPOST—smiley face.]
Army Medic Bob gets them to let him speak. He’s got a plan, see? They have a solution, see? (If I was him, I would have been all “I HAVE VALUABLE MEDICAL SKILLS ERGO KILL THEM NOT ME.”)
Gosh, Gareth hates the whole “sticking to protocol” thing, but… his hands are tied here. Oh, and he knows about the bag in the woods, Rick. “What’s in it?” He puts Bob to the knife and asks calmly again. “You really gonna let me do this?” OOOH, that shaaarp point is right at the eye ball, yeesh. Rick gives up the guns, scopes, compound bow and a machete with a red handle.
Rick: That’s what I’m gonna use to kill you.
Gareth: Ha, so funny, Dead Man Walking! Did you not see the clipboards? We have the powe—
Gareth: Wait. [flips through schedule] We don’t have the newbie snipe hunt scheduled until Thursday?
Outside: OH OKAY HOW ABOUT SOMETHING EXPLODES! Got your attention now?
YES. Yes, you do. And are you seeing that the Intro is new? This one is going to take me a bit to pick apart, we’ll need more show, but here’s what I’m seeing. We have the gun, the all important symbol of the sheriff, of order, but we also have a wheelchair (bike wheel?), sleeping bags, documents burning, watch (trying to get back to older times), AWAY WITH YOU on a creepy building, baby shoes on a cross (JUDITH? Or just what she means: hope for a future generation lost? Oh, I think that one because kids growing up in this world are going to be jacked the hell up, let’s get real), some dark tunnels, more shots of Terminus, Zombie POV, ravens, and a lone businessman turned Walker. Zombies are the ultimate consumer, so I like that it’s a businessman.
Judith, Carol and Ty are still making their way to Terminus. Carol won’t stay, she says. Life’s short, plenty of tweens to kill, flowers to look at, Ty gets it, right? A Walker comes out of the woods; Ty leaves it to Carol, because he can’t do it. Son, you better nut up. She notices the giant herd headed their way, craaaaaap. They break off into the woods to hide. Gunfire explodes, and I’m confused about the time line. I won’t spoil what’s coming ahead, just put a pin in this, okay? It gets the Walkers’ attention.
(By this point, shouldn’t those Walker eyes all be milky white? Like, if they’re deteriorating – and they are – why aren’t the eyes? Because that makes sense to me. I KNOW IT’S NOT REAL HUSH. I’m a sciencetician, okay?) It sounds like Terminus was being attacked—do they even want to find out? Yeah, they do. They take a separate track to get there to avoid the Walker Herd. Dibs on alt-punk choir group called Walker Herd.
This deviation in the path means they run into a douchey Terminus guy, setting up bottle rockets and chatting on his walkee about the chick with the sword and wanting Carl’s hat after he’s bled out. Carol pulls iron on him, because she is the best. OH SHIT SON YOU’RE ABOUT TO GET TOLD.
Douchey Terminus Ballcap: You don’t have to do this! We have a safe place! We’re good guys!
Carol: [dry as the desert] We’re friends with the kid and the chick with the sword.
DTB: [shits pants]
Ty: So… you have a plan, Carol?
Carol: [looks off into the sunset, a cold pounding in her temple and a twist in her gut] I’m gonna kill people. [somewhere a lonely cowboy strums a guitar]
She leaves Ty/Judith with the guy. She’s going to load up on zombie guts and walk in with the herd because CAROL IS A MUH FUH GENIUS, oh my god, I was kicking my heels and fist pumping at her ballsy move.
Terminus guy is strangely calm. Talks about not having friends, just people he survives with. “Horrible shit just stacks up every day. You get used to it.” TRUER WORDS, MY FRIEND. Oh yeah? Well big guy teddy bear with a heart of gold Ty won’t get used to it because he’s the kind of guy who saves babies.
“That’s why you’re gonna die today. And why that baby’s gonna die. Or, you can get in that car, get out of here, and keep on being lucky. Why haven’t you killed me? Why the hell are you even talking to me? Take her, take the car, and go. I don’t want to do this today.” Hm, I think you do, Douchey Terminus Ballcap. I think you always do. The world is full up on guys who are truly waiting for the chance to give in to all of their sick, dark fantasies, and my money’s on you being one of them. You have the smell of Reddit on you.
Carol approaches Terminus when our group is about to be pulled from the train car. (So what was that gunfire from earlier? OH! Was it the flashbang dropped in the car? I’m confused. Anyone?) She has a bag—not Rick’s—sees them being bound, gagged and dragged off. She gets up to a high vantage point with a seriously awesome scope on her high-powered rifle and sees the herd approaching. She aims at a propane tank, then launches a fucking bottle rocket at it, oh my god. I FREAKING LOVE THIS WOMAN. All the Walkers go flying or falling. AHHHHHH!!! This was so cool!
Now the Terminus perimeter has been breached, uh oh! And the Walkers who were merely dazed are getting to their feet.
[Baseball announcer voice] It looks pretty bad for the local boys! Farewell, Terminus, it’s been a thin slice of heaven!
INSIDE WITH RICK & Co., the Terminus guys are freaking out. Rick uses his stake to cut his zip ties as Gareth goes running to check and see if his vintage New Order and Bauhaus albums were damaged in the explosion. THEY WERE FORMATIVE, OKAY, YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND.
Terminus Mary looks up to see flambe Walkers on the hoof headed her way. Some guy inexplicably scoots on his back like a flipped turtle as a Walker bears down on him, then bears down on his face. By eating it. (OH MY GOD. I’ve kissed dudes like that. You really don’t need all that spit, okay? Or teeth. Or to eat his nose. …what were we talking about?)
RIGHT. Carol sashays into Terminus with the back portion of the Walker herd, smart, so she doesn’t get popped by a sniper.
Knife Guy and Bat Boy are talking about protocol when Rick gets the drop on them, THROAT STAB and THROAT STAB TWO: STABBED HARDER. He cuts Glenn and gang free.
The group still in the train car are panicking. Carl knows Dad’s coming back, Maggie still has her daddy’s watch, oh! Right! She uses the chain to cut her own stake. There’s pandemonium outside, Terminus people being eaten (HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES? Mmm, tastes like bitter irony [finger kiss]) and still Carol comes on. She ducks into a doorway, takes out two snipers, oh my gosh, this woman, but unfortunately catches a Walker’s attention. She closes herself in because saving bullets is important.
Rick & Co. grab knives, anything useful as they walk through a horror show. (If you’ve played Fallout, it’s basically a creepy Raider’s den with bodies hanging.) Aaaand there’s the meat hooks. Our group will shoot to kill, it seems. Terminus peeps don’t deserve quarter.
Glenn wants to help everyone out, even those not in their group, because “that’s who we still are.” But I bet they’re going to free those guys just to be eaten, and… yep. Bye bye, tattoo face. (Wanna bet he was one of the original torturers/rapists from the THEN montage?)
Carol is in some kind of antechamber where all the victim’s personal goods are sorted. Very, um, Holocaust of Terminus, and it’s incredibly disturbing. She finds a watch she likes, then notices the GINORMOUS PILE OF WEAPONRY. Daryl’s crossbow? Or just close enough? Just close enough.
Rick uses a busted off car mirror in the street to see what’s around a corner (and who’s shooting at them). Side shot of a Walker getting her limbs blown off by gunfire, awesome, then a head shot (sloppy shooting, sniper. Lots of wasted bullets. One shot, one kill, come on). Daryl saves Rick’s neck by killing a Walker coming up behind him, because they are the best Apocalypse Bros who ever lived. There’s a good six folks with semi-autos going after Walkers. Rick takes the one in back around the neck, gets his gun, then shoots/kills the humans and several Walkers, leaving everyone else to be eaten.
Now they don’t have to double back! See, it saved time.
Carol is now in the “Never again. Never Trust. We First.” candle and name room. It’s all show, and she’s smart enough to know it. Terminus Mary creeps up on Carol, wants her to drop her weapons. (Hey, there’s the opening montage shot of a door with hands pounding, shadows of Walkers under it). Carol lays down the bow and rifle… but not quite, whirls around, shoots at the woman, gets her down, then it’s hand-to-hand because they’re both tough old birds. Ultimately Carol gets the drop on her, because she’s CAROL, and Mary stands panting. (WHERE WAS A HEALTHY HEAD BUTT?)
Mary: The signs? They were real. This was a sanctuary. Then they raped and killed and they laughed. But we got out and we got it back. You’re the butcher or you’re the cattle.
Carol: [yawns] Where are my friends?
Carol: [shrugs, shoots her in the leg] WHERE ARE THEY?
Mary: So, go ahead and Mozambique me, pls.
Carol: It’s like you haven’t been paying attention. [leaves her there wounded as bait, opens the door so they’ll go for her.]
Carol just unlocked the Cold-Hearted Executioner trophy! DAMN.
Back at Murder Cabin, three straggler Walkers capture Ty’s attention outside, leaving DTB a chance to get his hands around Judith’s neck. WOW. Ty puts his weapons on the ground, hands up, Judith is screaming, DTB says “GO OUTSIDE. ONE TWIST, MAN. DON’T MAKE ME.”
NO, TY. YOU BETTER NOT. You are dead and Judith is dead, regardless, SO GO DOWN FIGHTING. Nope, he goes outside where he’s pulled away by a Walker. Are you FUCKING kidding me?
DTB gets walkee, looking for his friend while outside there’s banging, Ty yelling, then utter silence. Ooh. Yeah, muh fuh, you best be afraid. DTB pulls a knife and holds it over Judith.
(OMG, children in peril, my skin is itching, my ovaries and aching, and I’m about to go FULL MAMA BEAR. No shit, I was at the zoo with my daughter Sunday, and I had a flash in my head of what I would do if a tiger or gorilla got out of its enclosure, and had the full mental picture of shoving her behind me, possibly dropping her over a fence into a tree top, keys in fist, the inexplicable sound of a shotgun cocking a bullet into the chamber, and then “COME ON!!!” hero yell.)
Ty comes in with a full body tackle, knocks DTB to ground, beats his hand into the floor knocking the knife loose, and then Mike Tyson’s the guy’s maw. “Yeah. That’s how it works. I WON’T.” He continues beating the dude. Ty has some feelings to work through, and DTB was conveniently located. Good thing Judith is too little to take this in?
Eugene and Co are still trying to find a way to open the door, Michonne is making a gee dee makeshift katana out of spare wood. Sasha—with a very good question, one I am interested in as well—wants to know what the freaking miracle cure is.
UH, WE’RE GONNA DIE, Camaro Cut. STORY TIME. (I still maintain that Mississippi Mudflap Cracker doesn’t know diddly.)
Eugene is smart enough to know that if anyone else knows, he’s then expendable. He’s not going to go Red Ring (lol. In the end they all go Red Ring, SCREW YOU, XBOX, PS4 5eva!), but if he does, the cure dies with him. So he’s an utter cock knock, but we knew this. FINE. “It’s Spam. We have to live on Spam, Cheetohs and Mountain Dew.” Spoken like a true Redditor.
He claims to be a Human Genome Project muckity muck, working on microorganism weaponology, and wants to “flip the script” once he gets a look at DC’s playbook. Uh huh. Wow, you sound like such a sciencetician, Eugene. BUT WAIT. RICK OPENS UP THE DOOR, GETS THEM OUT, YELLS GO FOR THE FENCE. It’s hand-to-hand all the way through. It’s pretty boss. (Nice bonus: BatBoy now a Walker). Abraham has the barbed wire fence covered so they can flip over it into safety.
They head through the woods to the hidden bag. Rick wants to take everyone at Terminus out. “They don’t get to live.” He knows what’s what, and what’s right. BUT!!
CAROL SHOWS UP. OH MY GOD. She’s all cleaned up like she washed in a river, or something? Continuity whaaaat? Oh, wait, she was wearing a tarp/poncho. She just washed her face I guess. DARYL GOES RUNNING TO HER, CRYING A LITTLE AS HE HUGS HER UP OH MY HEART. <3 <3 <3
SO. WORTH IT. So worth it. <3
Rick: did you do that?
Rick: [proud papa feels]
HUGS ALL AROUND, Sasha and Ty, Medic Bob and his right hand… [Still not a fan of his, sorry, he’s the ultimate Nice Guy, imo] Oh, so lovely. I’ve wanted this for a whole season! Carol shows Rick that Ty is holding Judith. RICK SEES HIS BABY GIRL, TAKES OFF RUNNING WITH CARL AT HIS HEELS. I’M NOT CRING YOU’RE CRYING. Little Asskicker back with her family! It’s a nice moment, one they all needed.
We also learn that Ty beat DTB to death. He had to, and so he did. Okay! Carol’s proud of you. We all are.
So…that’s it for Terminus? Two and a half eps at that big set? Okay. They push on as a much larger group, but back to being family with some new additions. Rick makes an adjustment to the Terminus sign: NO sanctuary, crossing out everything else.
Final flash to THEN
Rapetime in Train Car D! JFC. A young girl is dragged out after Mary is thrown back in. Gareth hugs her—that his Mama!—vows to take it back, delivers the “butcher/cattle” line with his brother Alex shivering next to him. And…okay? So they’re coming back later in the season? Or Gareth is?
AND WHERE IS BETH?
So Carol. Let’s talk. If you don’t like Carol Peletier, then I don’t like you. She started off with more feelings than she knew what to do with, weak and vulnerable because of them. Then Sophia died, and she started to get hard. And wow, did she get hard. “Look at the flowers.” But she still had emotion. I think if she hadn’t found our group at Terminus (or found them dead), she would have gone Section 8, all emotion lost, left Ty and Judith (she said as much), and would live simply to save her own skin, doing what she needed to in order to survive. (Deep down would have been feelings, because she cared about that group profoundly, but they would have been buried DEEEEEP.)
And that, my friends, is how we met Daryl Dixon: hard, determined not to care, doing what he needed to do in order to survive. The longer he was with the group, the more he opened up until we have him at the end of last season, walking his legs off to look for Beth instead of pushing on. We have Daryl having a gee dee emotional breakdown at the sight of his best friend (or more, depending on how you ship) alive, well, and a freaking hero among heroes.
I love how this is turning the archetypes of heroes on its head regarding women and men. LOVE. And I love that these two are the people who we really should try to emulate in a similar situation.
NEXT WEEK: HOLY SHEEP SHEARS, MORGAN IS BACK, ONE OF THE BEST SIDE TOPIC CHARACTERS EVER. Oh man, I want so much more of his story, I am OVER THE MOON. Click here for ep. 2: STRANGERS
Tell me all of your delicious thoughts, folks!! It’s so good to be back! Note: I am SPOILER-FREE. There is NO discussion of the comics here, okay? The fun for people In The Know is watching me flail blindly. Respect the no spoiler rule!