Monday, March 31, 2014
The Walking Dead 4.16
The hype building up to the season 4 epic finale was almost unbearable. It seemed like it was everywhere, who will make it to Terminus, who will survive? The producers were making comments that kept us all on the edge of our seats anticipating their twisted meanings. Norman Reedus was tweeting pictures of The Walking Dead character figures with swapped heads. Steven Yeun tweeted a picture of a figurine holding up Glenn's decapitated head. It was all gut wrenching! And loved every second of it! We survived and now left waiting until season 5 begins in October, seven months away.
After reading posts about The Marauders, I decided to check out the comics to see what could be in store. Yikes! I'm glad I was prepared. During their travels Rick, Michonne, and Carl come across an abandoned SUV and decide to camp there for the night. As Rich and Michonne are talking, they hear movement in the dense forest behind them. When nothing emerged they continued their conversation until a gun was pointed at Rick's head. They were surrounded. Joe's group, The Marauders, caught up with Rick. They had been tracking him since the house incident.
The elevated threat was intensified when Joe explains that, in order to torture Rick prior to killing him, they would first 'take' the lady, then 'take' his son. Rick wasn't having that! But, what could he do with a gun to his head. Enter the hero - Daryl - who tries to explain to Joe how he knew them and that they're good people. The twisted leader of the group Joe, answers Daryl by explaining that they couldn't be good people since they killed his associate and left him to turn. Then Joe instructs his goons to teach Daryl a lesson "all the way"... which we learned with Len that meant termination.
While Daryl is getting the snot kicked out of him, Rick is trying to plead with Joe, and Carl is being tormented by a Marauder goon. This is the transformation that I think a lot of us have been waiting for. The metamorphosis from Farmer Rick to this bad-ass Rick who isn't going to take anyone's shit. Andrew Lincoln did a fabulous job translating this for us. Rick quickly moves his head back, head butting Joe and momentarily disorientating themselves. When both Rick and Joe get their senses back, Joe gives Rick a big bear hug and asks him "What are you going to do?" The next scene was barbaric - and I loved it! It was right out of the comic. Rick rips the Marauders throat out with his own teeth!
The rest of Rick's group uses this to their advantage and start to fight back. Michonne is able to fight off her assigned goon that had a gun to her, she turned the gun on him and he was shot through the head, and then she shot some other goon that was attacking Daryl. Daryl finished off the rest of the group that was attacking him. When they all had finished, just the goon holding Carl was left. Rick claimed him for his own kill and gutted him and ran the knife up to the goons throat. Awesome! My boyfriend and I had just been talking about how much more gruesome and gory the comics were compared to the series, so I love that they brought some of that to the screen.
Let's just get this out in the open - while some were anticipating a death in the group, I for one am thrilled that (as far as we know) none of the group met their demise in the finale. There were some tight spots, but I think this is why we love these characters so much; they are survivors. There are many things that I love about this show, one of them being how they take something that seems mundane and twist it so it was more of a foreshadowing technique. When Rick was showing Michonne and Carl the snare trap, it was foreshadowing to when they reached Terminus and were corralled.
I'd also like to say that I loved that Rick thought enough to check Terminus out before just walking right in and surrendering like the other group had. I think they should have watched the camp a little more before jumping the fence and sneaking in, but - it still was awesome. Rick also buried a tote bag with weapon just outside of the gates, which I'm sure will come in handy next season. After jumping the fence, they are surveying the surroundings when they come to a huge warehouse room with what seemed to be workers in it. The lady could be heard repeating "all who arrive survive" when she noticed the group, she stopped as did the other workers. This is when we are introduced to Gareth, who seemed to be a nice guy: they asked them to put their weapons down to get patted down, then they are given their weapons back.
When the group is led to the welcoming center, they meet Mary and are offered a plate, when Rick starts noticing Glenn's watch, (Daryl's) Maggie's Poncho she had been wearing, and the prison assault gear - all were being worn by other people, Terminus people. (When watching Talking Dead, I loved how Andrew Lincoln kept referring to the people in Terminus as termites.) Rick knocks down the food and takes a Termite by force demanding to know where his people are. There is a stand off, then Gareth makes the move and the Termites open fire on Rick, Carl, Michonne, and Daryl. What I found interesting that not one of them were shot... and the snipers and guns on the roof seemed like they were intentionally not shooting them, just corralling them - leading them to where they wanted them to go.
Along the way, while running from bullets that are raining down feet from them; they ran past an area that seemed to have raw meat and bones in it, like it was the Termites left-over carcasses in there. While running there were also screams, someone pleading for help. The entered what seemed to be some sort of ritual room, that was quite creepy. And eventually they were corralled back by the tracks and fence. When they were surrounded Gareth demanded that they put down their weapons, and one at a time line up to enter into some kind of train car.
They're trapped! Once they were in the door closes behind them and as they are surveying their new surrounding, they notice there are more people in the cart. Glenn, Maggie, and the rest of their group emerge from the darkness!! HALLELUJAH!! I'm ecstatic that they have found one another. With only minutes left in the final episode for the season, Andrew Lincoln (Rick) delivers the perfect line (not exactly like the comic, but close enough) - when some of the group are doubting that they will make it out alive, Rick reassures them... "they don't know who they're messing with."
Where's Beth? So many people are downing Maggie for not wondering about her sister. She was so focused on finding her husband - has she forgotten about her sister? I don't think so. I think (and as Lauren Cohen explained on Talking Dead) that Beth was holding onto this hope that Glenn had everyone and that when they found him, she would be with him. But, now that they have reunited ... what's going through Maggie's mind? I thought for sure that when they saw each other again that there would be more hugging - but I think with all the trauma and what they've been through, hugging is kind of out of the question. You can see it in Maggie's face - when she sees them - she realizes that Beth is not with them and there is almost a horror in her face. My other question would be, was that Beth yelling for help when the group was running through Terminus trying to get out (or was it just someone falsely leading them astray)? If you read the comics (which I had to go and read to understand what people were talking about) another proposed theory out there is that Beth was taken by Father Gabriel - who shows up about this time in the Comics. Guess we'll have to wait... seven months...
I'm hoping that after The Grove, that Tyreese, Carol, and Judith are just taking their time - and maybe they won't make it to Terminus. I don't know if they all should reunite there or if it would be better for them to not arrive. IF Beth was taken by Father Gabriel, maybe the trio will meet him as well and as such they reunite with Beth. But again, we'll have to wait to see what the writers are going to torture us with... we have to wait seven more months...
My final question for season four is, who was leaving all the bodies with the titles on them ("Rapist" "Murderer" "Rich Bitch")?? Watching the marathon yesterday, there was an episode in the first half of the season when The Governor and his newly joined group go out and start discovering these bodies, dead bodies, and on them there was a crudely made sign with what we could only assume was the reason they met their demise. Then, when Beth and Daryl are at the country club, there is another body with the same thing, the crude sign stating "Rich Bitch" on a dead persons body. It's food for thought anyway... for the seven months we have to wait.
This episode also featured some great scenes of the gang back at the farm. It really showcased the differences between life and the concepts of what we need, when we need it. At the time, in the prison, Hershel was the voice of reason for Rick and helped him to reconnect to life, to his children, and to his morals. That was how to survive then, now in the present of the episode, Rick has to evolve - they all have to - in order to survive. If you don't - you don't make it...