Here we go, y’all, the season finale. It’s an hour and a half long (scary!) and Norman Reedus is scheduled to be on Talking Dead after the show (ominous!) and man have they been posing Glenn with a lot of baseball bats this season. So we’re in for some crap, here, is what I’m saying.
PREVIOUSLY ON THE WALKING DEAD: The best full season since season one, hands-down, and the best half season of the show ever. If they’d just not bothered with that nonsense with the hospital it would be the best season the show’s ever had.
We begin with… Morgan! It’s Morgan again! Hi, Morgan! And he’s at the beginning of the show so maybe he’ll get some dialogue this episode oh crap there’s a dude pointing a gun at him they’re gonna kill another black guy aren’t they.
Morgan is quite calm:
Interesting fact about the Wolves? Apparently they carve those Ws into their own foreheads as well as their victims? Wolfie and Morgan have a rational and surprisingly calm conversation about how Wolfie is gonna steal all his stuff and also kill him along the way and then some other dude attacks Morgan from behind. Then this happens:
Morgan proceeds to beat the living crap out of both guys with a bo stick. That’s not a joke. Also not a joke: there were a lot of jokes on the internet about Ninja Turtles, right? This isn’t me being original at all. But it turns out that Lennie James actually trained with the same guy who did the fight choreography for the most recent movie.
(If you don’t remember the part in previous episodes where Morgan was a ninja, you’re not alone, by the way.)
He beats them unconscious, tries to shoot a walker, and discovers the gun that dude was pointing at him has no bullets in it, so he baseballs the thing’s head off instead. He loads the wolves into the car he was sleeping in, honks the horn, looks around for a second– the implication is that he’s making sure there aren’t any walkers nearby, not trying to attract them– and he’s on his way.
Rick wakes up in an abandoned house, his face all bandaged up. Michonne’s in there watching over him. She’s a bit surprised he never told her about the whole gun thing, and then Carol and Glenn and Abraham come in and Carol, who knows the answer, asks Rick where he got the gun and helps him make up a story. Michonne asks her why to bother to lie, and Carol gets the first line of the episode:
There’s gonna be a meeting tonight where they’re gonna decide if they’ll kick Rick out. Rick puts together a plan to take over the town if that goes poorly. Everybody actually seems pretty cool with the idea.
Scene! Maggie blahblahs with Deanna, trying to make her see reason about Rick. Or at least see you don’t actually get to do this, sweetie, and let’s keep this from going poorly. It doesn’t actually work and she leaves a bit pissed. Reg catches up to her to mansplain about cavemen for a minute. Maggie doesn’t respond but the disdain in the look she gives him is excellent.
Outside, Sasha is burying dead Walkers. Which is probably a good thing, because she’s killed so many of them lately. She also, uh, lays down in the pit with them? Which is less of a good thing. Do we need to go on a run for some Zoloft? I think we might.
We check in on Daryl and Aaron for a sec, just to remind us they’re out there, and then Carol’s in a room with Rick and she’s handing him another gun. She explains why she didn’t tell Michonne about the guns. And Carol gets another line of the episode:
“You said you don’t want to take this place. And you don’t want to lie? Oh, sunshine. You don’t get both.”
I’m thinking they may have to deal with Carol’s crazypants next season. I love her to death, but sooner or later her heartlessness is going to catch up with her. Then again, she already got away with setting two people on fire, so maybe not.
Daryl and Aaron find a dude in a Bad Idea Red Poncho. Rick leaves his sickbed and wanders around. He walks past Deanna and doesn’t do that two-fingered eye-pointy thing, but he should have.
Meanwhile, it’s bad idea time! Glenn and Maggie have a talk, and Glenn tells her he loves her, which is TV-talk for I’m about to die. He spots Nicholas climbing the wall, earning the Carl award for this episode, and like an idiot, follows him. Father Gabriel also leaves the compound through the traditional way, having a conversation on the way out about how he doesn’t have or need a gun. This will work out well for everyone, I’m sure.
(I need to name this series of reviews “This will work out well reviews,” I think.)
Speaking of Carl, he and Rick have a conversation about how maybe Rick ought to try not to kill anybody tonight and just tell them how it is, instead. It’s a testament to how far gone these folk are that Carl is really only half-heartedly trying to talk his dad out of using murder or the threat of same as a substitute for basic conversation.
Oh, did I mention bad decisions? Because Daryl and Aaron have found what looks like a food factory, and…. well…
Come on. Of course it’s a trap. It’s been the zombie apocalypse for like two years. Take a couple of minutes and look carefully at these three giant trucks full of food, and by food I mean zombies, and find the rope that’s going to activate what is really obviously a trap.
Because it’s a trap. Daryl opens one of three or four big eighteen-wheeler storage trucks, and the others all pop open at once, and they’re stuffed with walkers. Dozens and dozens of them. Some of them impaled on hooks. Tight quarters. It’s bad. D&A dive under one of the trucks, which doesn’t help much, and try to fight their way out. This happens, because it’s Daryl:
(Last .gif, I swear.)
And then they’re trapped in a car. Trapped in a car, completely surrounded. Aaron gets the door stuck on a walker’s head, and can’t quite pull it shut for a second. They’re in real, real, real big trouble.
This is the 28:00 point in the episode, by the way, with about 36 minutes left, and I’m pretty sure it was the last time I breathed or blinked for the rest of the show.
They start looking for something to cover the windows with. They don’t find that, but Aaron finds a helpful note in the glove box: TRAP. BAD PEOPLE COMING. DON’T STAY.
This may perhaps have been more useful ON THE GATE INTO THE COMPOUND, mysterious benefactor.
Back to Alexandria. Carol’s bringing Pete a casserole, and also his marching orders. He’s to go treat Tara right the hell now. He grumps about it and two seconds later she’s got a knife at his neck. Line of the episode #3: “Come at me. No? Yeah?” She nods. “No.”
Two of the three members of this family have now seen Real Carol, by the way.
“Play your cards right, and maybe you don’t have to die,” she says, then shoves the casserole into his chest. “And I want my dish back clean when you’re done.” Pete waits for her to leave the house, drops the dish on the floor, then commences to wreck his kitchen, screeching about how he’s not in his house.
In the woods, Glenn is still tailing Nicholas, who shoots him. From ambush. In the shoulder. Because he is an idiot. By the time Nicholas gets to where he thinks the body is, Glenn is gone.
Rick and Jessie have a very awkward conversation.
Back to Daryl and Aaron. Daryl is literally more comfortable in a car surrounded by zombies than he was in Alexandria, and says as much.
He and Aaron have a quick talk about which one of them is going to die so the other can live. Then he lights a cigarette, because why not.
Aaron’s having none of this “one of us dies” nonsense, preferring a scenario where they both do, because we’re Care Bears and togetherness is nice. They’re about to uselessly sacrifice themselves when … NINJA MORGAN STRIKES! And they’re both safe, surprisingly quickly, because Ninja Morgan is just that awesome.
Aaron is clearly suspended halfway between I’m alive normal person adrenaline and that was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen geek adrenaline, which is part of the reason why I like him so much. Daryl asks Morgan why he saved them.
“Because all life is precious,” he says. Aaron immediately invites him to come live with them, a request he declines, because he’s looking for something and he’s lost.
And he hands Daryl the map he got from the church earlier in the season. The one that says “Rick Grimes” on it.
Father Dumb-n-Crazy is walking through the woods in a nice clean white shirt. He spots a zombie eating someone– another survivor? This close? Who got taken out by one zombie? These people, man. He spreads his arms wide, saying “I’m ready,” and commercial break.
Well, turns out he’s not ready, because as soon as the zombie– which has a noose around his neck, by the way– gets near him, he loses his nerve and manages to fight it off, using the noose to tear its head off, which I feel ought to be more complicated than it is. He brains the decapitated zombie-head with a rock, then takes out the guy it was chewing on (mercy kill, mind you) while getting no blood whatsoever on his shirt, which qualifies as a superpower. He then collapses in the road sobbing.
Abraham’s checking in on Tara, and Eugene and Rosita area already there. Eugene’s asleep, and Abraham tries to duck out but Rosita’s having none of it. She waits for him to sit down and then knocks a dish off the counter, waking Eugene up. I love the look on her face in this scene.
Eugene apologizes and thanks Abraham for keeping him alive. He uses about a thousand words to do it. Abraham apologizes back.
Gabriel comes back to the compound. Deanna’s other son lets him back in, then asks him if they can talk about Aidan at some point. Then he says he has to go to the meeting and asks Gabriel if he can lock the door. Which, sure, I’ll do that, except not really, as the gate clangs shut and then slides open again. Fr. Gabriel’s not here right now.
(And, okay, for the most part this half-season the writers have done a good job of avoiding people making insanely dumb decisions to let cool things happen. But really? This is the best way y’all could come up with to get the gate accidentally left open? I know the idea is supposed to be that they’re soft and think they’re safe and aren’t paying attention, but still. Writers. Try harder, people.)
In the woods, Nicholas is chasing Glenn. It doesn’t go well for him.
On the one hand, Glenn’s shot and almost certainly still malnourished. On the other hand, Nicholas is Nicholas, and I feel like he ought to be catching more of a whupping here in what appears to be a pretty even fight– at least until Nicholas manages to get some walkers after Glenn. Three of them. And Glenn’s already on the ground. They cut away.
Michonne and Rick are talking. Rick offers her the gun, if she wants it. She tells him to keep it. Well, I guess Michonne is onboard with the whole coup thing too, in the same “I don’t really want to, but whatever” way everyone else is.
Rick sits on the bed, listening to the voices in his head– literally, Morgan’s doing a voice-over– and spots something outside the window. Uh-oh. Gate’s open. And judging from the amount of blood on the gate, there are walkers inside.
A bunch of things happen at once: Rick, running around looking for the walkers. Gabriel gets back to the church to find Sasha, who continues to not be in a good way. She asks for his help.
“No,” he says.
Meanwhile, it’s gotten really dark really fast and the meeting has started. Maggie tries to delay, because there are lots of folks not there, but Deanna’s adamant that it’s time to get started.
Rick’s running through the compound. Sasha tells Gabriel she wants to die. He basically tells her he deserves to. She screams at him and goes after him.
Zombies attack Rick.
Michonne, at the meeting, defends Rick.
Rick kills one of the zombies– there are three, it looks like– which is intercut with Sasha and Gabriel fighting.
Nicholas is running through the woods. And it may not sound like it from the recap, but I wasn’t kidding when I said it had been about 20 minutes since I blinked. I had just hit the holy shit they just killed Glenn offscreen moment when he jumps Nicholas again. Because this is a man who once killed a walker while tied to a chair, and give me a break.
Carol defends Rick.
Rick’s pinned on the ground by a walker, and in a kill that I had to watch twice, puts his gun under the thing’s chin and just pushes upward, eventually destroying its brain with the gun’s barrel.
Glenn has Nicholas on the ground, and at this point he’s just beating the hell out of him.
Abraham defends Rick, with the newest line of the episode: “Simply put? There is a vast ocean of shit you people don’t know shit about. Rick knows every fine grain of said shit. And then some.” That’s the whole thing. His entire speech.
Rick blows the zombie’s face off, causing an immense amount of blood to land on his face.
Back to the warehouse, where the Wolves have red poncho guy. They slit his throat. Because we needed to be reminded about that.
Maggie defends Rick.
Deanna, speaking for the prosecution, tells everyone what Gabriel told her the other day. Jessie, awesomely, basically tells her that her testimony is stricken from the record because Gabriel isn’t there.
Glenn has a gun to Nicholas’ head.
Sasha has a gun to Gabriel’s head.
The Wolves start playing loud music and flashing lights inside the trailers, and the zombies all obediently file inside. Clever!
Some dude is talking about his family. Meanwhile, Rick wanders in with a dead zed over his shoulder. He looks like this:
Nicholas is begging for his life. Glenn, still nominally human, can’t kill him, collapsing in a teary heap next to him.
Sasha really wants to kill Gabriel, and Gabriel’s not bothering to beg. Maggie shows up, and very slowly and carefully gets Sasha to give her the gun.
“You should let her,” Gabriel says. “They died. They all died because of me.”
Maggie takes his hand and helps him up.
Back to Rick, who points out that the gate is open and that they got in, because they always will. Exact words. While this is all happening, we see Glenn helping Nicholas back to Alexandria, Maggie, Sasha and Gabriel praying, and Rosita watching over Tara, who wakes up.
Oh, and the Wolves are looking though the pictures of Alexandria that Aaron keeps in his bag. Uh-oh.
“I was thinking how many of you do I have to kill to save your lives?” Rick asks, which might not be terribly endearing. “But I’m not gonna do that. You’re gonna change.”
Right about then is when Pete shows up. Drunk. Angry. With Michonne’s sword. Reg tries to hold him back and Pete slits Reg’s throat with the sword. Abraham puts him on the floor with a quickness. Deanna, bawling, looks at Rick.
“Do it,” she says.
And Rick turns and shoots Pete in the head.
Cue for Morgan to show up, with Glenn and Aaron.
“Rick?” he says.
And after the credits, Michonne starts to hang her sword back up over the mantelpiece, then thinks better of it and puts it back on again. Sorry, Michonne. You don’t get to put your sword away.
The last shot of the episode is Red Poncho, walking again, and the words “Wolves not far” painted on the side of the car Aaron and Daryl were stranded in.
Guys, my heartrate didn’t calm down for fully 45 minutes after this episode ended. Like, “Do I need to see a doctor?” territory. The last finale that was this stressful was the mid-season of Season 4, and the last one before that was never. Spectacular, spectacular episode, and a spectacular season as well.
I want to thank Gene’O and Diana and the rest of the crew at Sourcerer for letting me do these recaps. They’ve been enormously fun, and I hope y’all have enjoyed reading them. I’m going to be quiet around here for a bit– I have three A to Z posts coming, but other than that the best way to find me is at my own blog at infinitefreetime.com or on Twitter at @nfinitefreetime.
What’s next after that? Well, this, maybe:
(Good to see that the show is maintaining their commitment to bad typography. Don’t dead open inside! The fear walking dead!)
Is it summer yet?