With only 2 (one after tonight) episodes remaining in the season, all of the story lines are starting to tie together. We get a quick flash of the Rick/Carl/Michonne group. We get a Maggie and Glenn reunion. We have Daryl.
The title of the episode “US” refers to when Daryl and Joe are talking. Daryl blurts out there ain’t no us, meaning he wasn’t ever going to be part of that group. But Joe sarcastically asks him if he’s leaving. We have a continuation of the internal struggles of Daryl. Is he a rogue, drunkard, murderous outlaw or is he the domesticated guy that looks out for his own. Does he revert back to who he was before the apocalypse or does he continue with the man he’s become since joining the prison group? I think it’s pretty evident that Daryl is leaning way way more towards being who he’s become. But the free life style and having somebody understand his roots and getting his drink on will push him to the brink.
Also, the feud between Len and Daryl also served to symbolize the struggle Daryl faces. At the start, Daryl is the outcast and knows he doesn’t fit in. He’s reminded constantly by Len that he doesn’t fit in. But as the episode continues, Len is killed off and Daryl is welcomed into the group by Joe to take his place. So symbolized Daryl feeling more and more comfortable and slipping back into the role of the man he used to be. You can see this when he goes to put a sheet over Len’s body. Prison Daryl would have done it. Yet he stops halfway through and leaves the body uncovered.
Rick, Michonne, and Carl are shown in the episode as a quick flash. On their way, Michonne and Carl are bonding over competing in a game. At first, I thought this was just a throw away filler scene. But after the episode was over, I started to think. I really think Kirkman wanted to remind us of the close bond between Rick and Carl and the human side of this group of characters because we haven’t seen them in a while. But why? Why would he feel the need to do this? I honestly think Carl or Michonne will die next week. The Walking Dead is adding more and more foreshadowing. And I can’t see this scene being included in the 2nd to last episode of the season for no reason.
Glenn and Maggie reuniting was a very nice emotional uplift after a long and harsh season. But it was quite foreboding to have Maggie tell Glenn to burn the picture of her because he’ll never need it again. That’s a bold statement and one that will usually come back to haunt in this new world. I suspect there will be another separation of the two (will one die?)
Tara is character that continues to confuse me. She seems like a throw away character that doesn’t bring anything to the story. Yet she’s still here. Then I thought, well, Glenn needs Tara to find Maggie. After that, she’s toast. Right? I was sure I was right when Tara gets stuck in the train tunnel. But Glenn stays loyal to her and nearly dies to not leave her behind. Is she going to develop into a more important piece in this storyline going forward?
Then there’s the dynamic of Rosita, Abraham, and Eugene. Abraham acts like he’s in charge. But he’s clearly taking orders from Eugene. Abraham is the brawn and Eugene is the brains. But Eugene clearly has gotten their group into a lot of trouble in the past and Abraham has instituted all of the rules that have kept the 3 of them alive. So why is Eugene still calling the shots? And Rosita sees that Eugene is a dipshit, but Abraham does not. This leads to infighting between Eugene and Rosita.
Finally we have the first glimpse at Terminus. After referencing it for several weeks now, I haven’t been able to get a read on what it would be. Now that Terminus makes its first appearance, I am more confused than ever. The location is pretty awesome. You can blockade things with train cars. You have the building and solid gates. You have a good vantage point and a clearing to see if danger is coming. But when they arrive, the gate is not locked at all. That’s a weird flag in my mind. Then they are able to go in several levels of the compound without so much as a person coming out to say hello. But there are no walkers and there are tons of gardens with vegetables growing. So you know it wasn’t overrun by walkers or war. Finally, the group meets a lone woman who greets them creepily and says “WELCOME TO TERMINUS”.
So what can we expect in next week’s season finale and going forward?
Terminus is going to be a cult. I just feel it. There is noting good about it at all and I don’t think everyone will come out alive.
The group with Daryl and Joe is going to kill Carl or Michonne. They are hot in pursuit of Rick and they’re going to find them.
Maggie is going to find out exactly who Tara is and what she was involved in.
We will be left with a huge cliff hanger going into season 5.
What do you think?
And we’ll leave you with the kill of the episode.