Are these people cannibals? So, pretty much the only atrocity we haven’t been subjected to, YET, on The Walking Dead is cannibalism. And I don’t know if you noticed, but as the Terminus shooters were herding Rick and company through the streets and alleys, there was a glimpse of…”meat” laid out behind a chain link fence. Also, there were voices coming from several stacked shipping containers yelling for help.
Plus, before Rick, Carl, and Michonne met up with Daryl, they dwelled on how hungry they were. Foreshadowing? I think so. Then, later, before the poop hit the fan in Terminus, there seemed to be a lot of meat-ish looking food to be had.
Just sayin’. I mean, I hope I’m wrong, but, after all, this is The Walking Dead.
Highlights from the season finale, “A”:
– Rick, Carl, and Michonne are still on their way to Terminus. And they’re hungry. Seriously, a lot of time was spent on talking about how hungry they are. Not that food hasn’t always been an issue, but the first part of “A” seemed to focus on it. A lot. Rick teaches Carl and Michonne (how did she not know this?) how to set up a snare to catch small game TO EAT. This is obviously important and very heavy-handed foreshadowing for what would happen once they get to Terminus. More on that later, though.
– They camp for the night on the road next to a trashed vehicle, which Carl is sleeping in while Rick and Michonne shoot the breeze outside. Suddenly, Joe and his band of nasties show up! Somehow, Joe worked out that Rick killed one of his guys back in “Claimed,” and he and his men have been tracking the trio ever since. (Wait, what? How did that happen? It must have conveniently taken place off camera, because it was certainly not shown that Joe and/or any of his men saw Rick at all! Not to mention Michonne or Carl! WEAK.) Joe has a gun to Rick’s head, another guy is covering Michonne, and a creepy pedophile is eyeing Carl in the vehicle. Then, Daryl comes out of the shadows and tries to convince Joe not to kill his friends. Joe and his guys turn on Daryl start to beat him. Joe declares that Daryl will be beaten to death, Michonne will be raped and killed, Carl will be raped and killed, and then, Rick will be killed.
So, let me just point out, we’ve had child murder on this show, and now we’re faced with the rape of Michonne and Carl. Disgusting.
Rick flips out and bites Joe’s throat out (literally), which allows the other guys to be taken down. The creepy pedophile is viciously killed. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about this scene, because I had to look away. It was too much. Joe and his men certainly deserved to die, and if my son had been threatened in a similar manner, I think I would have reacted in much the same way; however, it’s something I decided not to watch due to it’s graphic nature.
– The next day, Rick, Carl, Michonne, and Daryl continue on their way to Terminus. (Daryl explained what happened since the prison, and Rick welcomed him back as a brother.) When they reach Terminus, they decide to scout it out and go over a fence rather than enter through the front gates. Carl goes with Michonne to scout rather than Rick, and the boy explains to her that he’s having “thoughts” and is not who is father thinks he is. What? Not sure what that meant, but at least he and Michonne had a nice moment, so that’s good, I guess. See, she had noticed that Carl was kinda avoiding Rick and asked him about it. I inferred it was because of Rick’s recent tough decisions (not helping a dude surrounded by walkers, etc.) and the brutality with which he took down Joe’s group, but it wasn’t explained.
– Before going over the fence, Rick buries a bag of guns, ammo, and arrows in the woods as a just-in-case plan. Seems smart to me! They hop the fence and enter a warehouse, where they find the lady on the radio broadcasting that Terminus is a safe place. Other folks are there, too, making signs…or something. They are greeted nicely enough, told to disarm, searched, and then welcomed to Terminus. They even get their weapons back! So, Guy who Appears to be the Leader from Terminus (GAL) tells Nice Guy from Terminus (NGT) to show them around, and he leads them out into an open area, where Tasha Yarr (TNG, anyone?) is cooking bits of mystery meat. She offers it to them, and Carl is just about to take some when Rick notices that NGT has a pocket watch that looks suspiciously like the one Hershel gave to Glenn. Rick also sees someone in what looks like prison riot gear and someone else wearing a poncho that looks like Maggie’s (It was Maggie’s, right? I think so.) Rick grabs NGT and holds a gun to his head, demanding to know where the watch, the prison riot gear, and the poncho came from. A sniper appears on a roof, but NGT waves him off, trying to calm Rick down. It doesn’t work. Then, GAL appears on a roof, and after a couple of half-hearted attempts to diffuse the situation (during with NGT pleads with GAL not to “do it”), signals gun fire from the roofs. Rick, Carl, Michonne, and Daryl are herded through streets, alleyways, and buildings (It was so very like the way Rick described the animal snare, btw. TOLD YOU IT WAS HEAVY-HANDED FORESHADOWING. It was also during these scenes that they ran past the “meat” and the stacked containers that had people inside yelling for help. I had to rewind it a couple of times to make sure I saw and heard what I thought.) until they reach a fence and a line of gunmen. GAL threatens to kill Carl unless Rick cooperates and goes to stand in front of a train car. Slowly, they are each forced to line up in front of the car before entering into the dark car. Once they are inside, they see Glenn, Maggie, Bob, Sasha, Tara, Abraham, Mullet Man, and the other girl.
– The episode actually ended with a grain of hope, when Rick states that the Terminus folks have messed with the wrong group of people. I thought it was hopeful, at any rate.
FADE TO BLACK on the episode and season four of The Walking Dead.
There are still lots of loose ends, of course! Where’s Beth? Who snatched her? Was it conveniently someone from Terminus? And what about Tyreese, Carol, and Judith? I think they’re probably already at Terminus somewhere, because as Rick and co. were entering the train car, the camera let us see trampled powdered milk boxes. I’m thinking that those point to Judith, somehow. Hopefully, she’s still alive, but maybe they already made a meal of her! IF they’re cannibals. IF! Of course, they could just be another group of crazies.
WHY DID RICK AND THE GANG BELIEVE IN TERMINUS? Arrive and survive? Come on! Obviously a trap. At least, Rick had the foresight to go in the back way. Ugh.
Also worth mentioning about this episode where the frequent flashbacks we got of happier times at the prison when Hershel was teaching Rick how to be a farmer. We got a little more story about why Rick seemed to eschew weapons and leadership in favor of planting. Turns out it was all for Carl, of course. That wasn’t hard to figure out, though. Still, it was nice to see the show address it.
So, I think that’s it for me and The Walking Dead! There was just too much this season. Too much gore. Too much violence. Too much sadness. Not enough…hope.
The world is already a dark place with too many evil people. But, at least there’s hope.
[[Featured image courtesy of AMC.]]