The Walking Dead: “A” Review
*****Read at Your Own Risk, Spoilers ! *****
“A” was the final episode of The Walking Dead’s fourth season that end with a bit of “was that all?” While that final moment of confusion may have left some people with a sour taste in their mouth as they have to wait another 6 months to continue on with the story, the episode was actually rather good. The individual pieces and everything coming together to point the group into a new dangerous situation were well done. However, as a finale it wan’t quite as strong as it could have been.
The flashback to Maggie, Glenn, and Rick coming back to the prison to be greeted by Carl and Hershel was odd. Only moments later we saw Rick sitting alone traumatized and covered in blood. The reality of something intense is sinking in and the only thing he can do is think back to a better time.
Back in current times, Rick, Carl, and Michonne are still on the road, camping in the woods. Michonne makes a great comment that Rick is still healing up. For the group it’s only been days, maybe a week since the events at the prison. They haven’t had much time to deal with everything that is going on. But their moment of peace is quickly interrupted. For whatever reason, Carl went tuning to save a man who was screaming for help as a man was surrounded. As they move away from the dead man we see that there are a number of walkers attacking what was presumably the man’s companions. There are a lot of walkers and while they take down a few, they don’t get them all and flee.
After they’ve reached a safe distance we get our first glimpse at the same truck that Rick was leaning against in the cold open. The truck isn’t in the stat of mess we saw earlier though. There was an amazing walker that’s body had rotted out on the side of the road. Michonne dispatched the head, which was the only thing that could still move. And they sit relaxing as they discuss what they are doing and the state of things. It was a nice moment until Joe appeared with a gun to Rick’s head.
The rest of Joe’s group appears a moment later. It isn’t until Daryl appears when the situation gets even more intense. Daryl stands up to Joe and vouches rick. Joe calls it a lie and orders the men to beat Daryl. We all know what lying gets with their group. As Daryl is getting his punishment, one of the men attacks Carl. Joe is not reasonable like he claims and is willing to kill them all for what Rick did to survive. Rick took a lesson from the walkers and bit Joe’s through. It gives Michonne the time to take a gun and kill her attacker and one attacking Daryl. The only man standing was the one who was ready to rape Carl and he wasn’t going to let Carl go without dying. Michonne was ready to kill the man when Rick said he was his. Rightfully the man let Carl go. One should be afraid of a man who bit another mans neck open. Rick stabbed the man repeatedly as Michonne cradled Carl.
Rick is still having his flashbacks of after the governors first invasion. They were great scenes as we got a bit more of Hershel imparting some of his wise words. We saw ricks change from the man in charge slowly becoming the peace enforcing man we saw at the beginning of the season.
Daryl is feeling a lot of guilt about running with Joe and his men. Daryl knew that they were bad but he was alone. You could tell that Daryl really appreciated rick when he said that he was his brother. They really are a family unit. Daryl does his best to comfort rick about what he did, but Rick can’t accept that. Rick sees himself only as a monster.
With everyone on their way to Terminus, he decides that unlike Maggie and Glenn’s group they would take the route through the woods. They don’t trust these people at Terminus.
We learned about how Michonne’s son Andre died. They had apparently been at a refugee camp. Her boyfriend and friend had been high and let Andre die as the camp went down. She kept the two men who’d been bit as punishment for not protecting Andre, for being irresponsible. It was a great way to learn more about her story and establish that Carl is struggling with being a monster too.
Rick and his group snuck into terminus. Inside the warehouse people seem to be working peacefully, but there are only a few of them. Their greeting was fairly pleasant. Gareth was surpassed but handled the situation with grace. They even let them have their weapons back. As they were being offered a plate of food, Rick begins to notice various belongs of his long lost friends, like riot gear, a watch, and a poncho. Rick is quick to attack his ominous hosts when he sees through their flaws.
During one of the flashbacks we saw the kid playing with toys for a much younger age bracket while Carl cleaned and assembled his gun. It really showed the great difference between Carl and other kid’s. Something that had been echoed in the scene between Carl and Michonne in the forest. He realizes that he’s a monster just like his father.
Gareth is quick to make up lies for Alex. Rick sees through it all, but it gets them in the midst of a firefight. They are cornered into the location as they run through Terminus. Through the compound there was a gate where we saw the remains and meat of numerous people who’ve been killed. Everywhere they go the gun fire is hearing them towards an unknown location. Michonne realizes that’s what happens as they shoot at their feet.
Our groups realization that they are completely trapped is great. There’s nothing they can do. They are ordered to go to a trailer one by one as they leave Carl behind. In the train trailer they are ordered in a single file line. All four of them are ordered inside the trailer only to see Maggie and Glenn’s group. All of them are friends now that they are locked up inside. Rick seems to think that despite being locked up, the folks at Terminus are messing with the wrong people.
Disclaimer: I gave this episode a B because as a season finale it didn’t deliver the impact that it needed to carry an audience into season 5. If this had been the penultimate episode it would have been in the A- to A range..