Boy, what a mess Rick has become the past few episodes. Without the outside world protecting him from everyone seeing how deranged he had become, we left the last episode with Rick being knocked out by Michonne and everyone wondering how Rick could have lost his damn mind. Also, what’s up with this “W” business carved into the skulls of walkers? Maybe Negan? Maybe a wild calligrapher? Let’s recap.
First off…..WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD. DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT CAUGHT UP TO THE FINALE. Thanks.
The 90 minute episode starts out with Morgan (YAY Morgan! by the way, he’s British?!) eating peacefully in the woods. It seemed to be that he has finally come back to reality and is no longer as crazy as he was when we had last seen him. A man approached him as he was cooling off his freshly made oatmeal and with gun in hand, began a conversation. This man was disheveled, beaten up and had the now reoccurring motif of the “W” on his head. He begins to explain that this was not how things normally went and that the conversation being had was almost like going to the movies for him.
After a few minutes of back and forth, it appeared that this man was apart of a group called “The Wolves”. I can only assume that this is an adaptation of the group from the comics known as “The Scavengers” and are not a friendly kind of people. As they continued, it appeared to be that Morgan was helpless from this man, and that he was going to kill him. Another member of The Wolves popped out of the woods in an attempt to stab Morgan, only to be promptly smacked with a wooden staff and they both got the snot kicked out of them by Morgan. After short, matrix kung-fu style encounter, Morgan knocked the two out and set them inside of a nearby car and honked the horn.
When I first saw this, I thought that this was Morgan giving them a chance to survive if they could get passed the walkers, but in an interview with Lennie James on the Talking Dead, he said that was Morgan making sure that there were no walkers around and that he was sparing their lives almost as a second chance. Either way, I can see that biting him in the ass later on. This was just the opening few minutes of the show!
As we went through the episode, we watched Rick do Rick things, Carol do Carol things and Glen do Glen stuff. Rick was all beat up from his encounter with Pete, the over jealous abusive husband of Jessie, with whom Rick has taken a fancy to. He pulled a gun on the people of the development and did his crazy, I’m Rick, you all need to look at me or you will die kind of thing. He is the type of character who is human enough to make mistakes but strong enough that even when you know he’s in the wrong you still root for him. Needless to say, people in the town were freaked out and wanted to have a meeting about what had happened the day before.
All while this stuff is happening inside of Alexandria, Daryl and Aaron have been scouting 50 miles outside the town, looking for future candidates to welcome into the community. Tracking a particular man with a red poncho, they stumble across what seems to be a food factory, which looked to be somewhat accessible. Daryl suggests they keep looking for the man but Aaron insisted that they search the factory and attempt to bring back food. Daryl obliged and they entered into the space. As they walked in, it seemed to the viewer that this place was too good to be true. It almost resembled that of Termius from earlier on in the season. With that said, they open a semi-truck with what they had hoped to be filled with food. How wrong they were.
The gates of the trucks flung open and released what had to be close to 100 walkers, all clawing and chomping to make our resident badass, Daryl, their next meal. With the help of a cool metal chain whip and some luck, they made it into a car that was parked inside of the lot. I personally thoughT Daryl was a goner but I mean, Daryl Dixon does not go out without a fight. When all was said and done, Morgan came to the rescue of our stranded scouts and thus, Morgan was about to be reunited with Rick (it’s about damn time).
Back at Alexandria, Glen notices that douche of a human that let Noah die (spoiler) climbing to go to the outside, even though it had been forbidden for those two to leave after the stuff that went down earlier in the season. Either way, Glen follows, only to be shot in the shoulder and hunted down by him. I actually gasped when Glen got shot but I had to know that this wasn’t Glen’s time, they have something much more traumatic in mind for him, if they decide to follow the comic. Glen gets away and ends up confronting the guy at the end of the episode, getting into a fist fight and putting a gun to his head. Glen wanted to pull the trigger, for Noah and for himself, but Glen is the purest character on the show and never acts unless he needs to. Good Guy Glen is Good.
In the midst of the chaos around him, Rick seems to find the time to think and come to the conclusion that he has to get the people of Alexandria to see his way. Even if it meant killing some of them. He formulates a plan with Carol, who by the way is now a certified cold blooded badass, to take the town by any means necessary. Carol is on board and does one better by going to, now dubbed by Chris Hardwick as “Porch Dick”, Pete’s house to scare him into line. She basically walks in with food, tells him to man up and do what he’s got to do and threatens to slit his throat is he doesn’t (like I said, Bad Ass). He responds by whimpering until she leaves and destroying his brand new house. He clearly has a problem with Rick and it was about to come to a head.
As the episode wound down, I was beginning to worry more and more about who was going to die. With so many characters up in the air, it felt like a Game of Thrones episode where it literally could be anyone. On the side, we had Father Gabriel, who had gone crazy and finally decided to kill a walker and sob in the streets about it, going nuts and leaving the door to the community open, to allow walkers to get in. At this point, he has no remorse because all he can think about are the sins that he has commited because of his cowardess. Either way, we find Sasha, who has been losing it since Tyrese died (spoiler), inside of his little makeshift church. She comes to ask for guidance and he basically goes crazy and tries to kill her. Long story short, Gabriel is a loser and a coward, so nothing happened (phew).
The town meeting had begun at this point and the main topic was Rick. He was on the block to be exhiled for his actions but many people in the town, even Jessie, came to his aid and spoke very highly of him (Abraham could not help but say as many bad words as he could because well, Abraham). All the while, Rick had noticed that the door to the community had been left open and that there was nobody on watch. He eyes a trail of blood, which could only mean walkers. Rick hunts down the undead, killing one with a amazing gun through the neck, explosion type deal (boomer style) and realized how he can get through to the people. He carried the walker through the town to the meeting and plops it right in the center.
Deanna tells the group that she does not agree with Rick and that his way of life isn’t the way to be (which is why she is probs gonna die). Almost immediately, she realizes how wrong she is, when Pete shows up with Michonnes katana. He threatens Rick and attempts to attack him. Deanna’s husband tries to intervene, only to have his throat sliced. Pete was immediately brought to the ground and all eyes were on Rick. Sobbing and angry, Deanna realizes that the world needs Rick Grimes and tells him “Do it”. Pete is shot between the eyes and there is now a shift in power. Rick is back in the drivers seat and once again, doing Rick stuff. The final image of the episode is Pete dead, with Rick holding the smoking gun and Morgan, Aaron and Daryl showing up in the aftermath. Rick and Morgan meet eyes, realizing that they knew each and that maybe things have changed since they last met.
Some highlights of this episode were that this episode was unforgiving and gave a chance for the characters to evolve. There were parts that were fast paced and kept my heart thumping. The biggest letdown was also the biggest relief in my mind. No major characters died. I feel that many people need a major character to die in a finale to make it a “good” finale but I disagree, it should depict the direction in which the show is going and do it in a way that is exciting and meaningful. The Walking Dead did a great job at this by showing that, although they were safe inside the walls from walkers, they were always going to be in danger. Whether it had to do with people in the community or people outside, like the Wolves, trying to take every last drop of what they have. Rick was right and he has always been right when he said that they were the walking dead, not the zombies. The people who were alive were living on borrowed time and Rick wants to make sure that it lasts as long as it possibly can. Looking into next season, the only words that I can leave people with are that:
The Wolves are coming. Be Ready.