Don’t worry, The Walking Dead doesn’t kill off any more kids this week. Perhaps feeling guilty over the heights of grim they scaled last week, it’s another comparatively upbeat, adventuresome effort. Rick and Michonne even smile.
Not to mention: it’s the penultimate one before the finale, so the plot advances too. Good news for those sick of all that forest-walking, but do I agree with them? Spoilers to come!
Glenn and Maggie as pine cones
I used to find Glenn and Maggie a ray of comparative sunshine amid all the glum moaning, but I’ve started to find their love-drenched happiness annoying of late. Maybe I’m getting old and grumpy, or perhaps their snog-glee has become quite repetitive and crushed any other aspects to their characters. I’m choosing the second option.
Even separating them hasn’t helped, as they just pine. They’re like dogs, or pine cones. This week they find each other again, so at least that’s a shift. Glenn gets to display some unflattering myopic selfishness and a moment of striking pleasantness that reminds us why we like him – both directed towards Tara.
The Abraham/Rosita/Eugene gang trudge around behind Glenn as he searches for love, and get to display some personality. Abraham is enjoyably gruff, Eugene is fun in a inscrutable way and Rosita is also there. It looks like their storyline is more being put in place for season 5 than anything else, really.
Daryl as Leather-Jacketed Bad Boy
Meanwhile, Daryl Dixon is still hanging out with some Leather-Jacketed Bad Boys – he’s apparently slipped into a different post-apocalyptic world from the eighties. We establish that they’ve got a beef with Rick, to up the ante for next week’s finale. I don’t buy the suggestions that Daryl might turn evil and join them, though. He’ll start stabbing the Leather-Jacketed Bad Boys as soon as they threaten his real friends.
Finally, finally, we reach TERMINUS in the episode’s closing scenes. It’s weirdly deserted and contains one lone hippy. The writers want us to think this is a scary cult compound, and since we’re due a finale next week, perhaps it is? Or maybe the last one will focus on Rick/Carol/Daryl tramping to TERMINUS and we’ll do it properly next year?
In short, I would rate this episode D for Decent. I’m enjoying most of the current storylines so have no problem following them along a little while longer, but can’t pretend much here blew me right away. The tunnel full of zombies was a lovely visual though.
Season Finale Walking Dead Pool!
As we’re coming to the end of this run, thought it would be fun to make some death-predictions, because surely they have to kill someone next week to make it seem suitably finalesque? Here are my favourite candidates:
Mute backdropping Beth has leapt to the foreground in recent days. Overdue character development, or writers warming us up to care about her death? She was last seen bundled into a car, so don’t be surprised if she’s being chopped up and served as stew in TERMINUS as we speak…
Butch hairycop Rick hasn’t had much to do lately, despite being the supposed main character. Is the poor bastard getting a well-deserved rest, or are we being reassured that the show can carry on fine without him?
Poor tortured Tara is grasping for redemption, and those kind of people often end up sacrificing themselves to get a desperate moment of nobility.
Rosita has little personality beyond general toughness. Does that make her a blank slate for later development, or disposable cannon fodder?
Or maybe No-One is this year’s finale character death of choice? In many ways, wouldn’t that be the biggest twist of all? I’m not ruling it out.