A group of survivors reunite and arrive at the Terminus. Meanwhile, Daryl is at odds with his new group.
Continue reading for a spoiler filled recap and reaction to The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 15 entitled “Us”.
The Walking Dead’s penultimate episode of what has been a half season of fragmented narratives, focuses on the formation of a larger collective, or in the case of Daryl, bringing him into the fold with his band of not-so merry men. As somewhat disjointed as some story lines, particularly the lone scene with Rick’s group, may have initially appeared, the stories interlocked in a way that paints a bigger picture of how the finale might shakedown. Hot on the trail of Rick, the “Claimers” are set up as hostile adversaries when they inevitably will arrive at the Terminus’ front gates with Daryl presumably caught in a compromising position by having to terminate his current gang in favor of his former group of survivors.
After the roller coaster ride that was “The Grove”, this week’s episode, which served to lay the groundwork for the finale, took a step back in terms of ratcheting up the intensity one would expect from a penultimate episode. And while many of the survivors reached the end of the line ie. the Terminus, “Us” oddly did not deliver a deep sense of satisfaction. Glenn and Maggie fans may feel otherwise, but even their reunion is underwhelming despite the anticipatory build up over many episodes. This is not to say, “Us” is a complete let down but that the true pay off of all the character development and the reveal of what the Terminus actually is may be reserved for the season finale.
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Glenn’s hope for reuniting with Maggie makes him reckless as does Tara’s guilt for her role in separating them at the prison. It’s a shared remorse that keeps Tara and Abraham up at night. While Tara’s guilt is alleviated when Maggie and Glenn are reunited, it’s not so simple for Abraham to wipe his moral ledger clean.
Glenn felt responsible Tara life’s, but I did feel a bit of a disconnect that after desperately searching for Maggie at all costs, he would sacrifice himself and any chances of a reunion in order to save Tara. Chalk it up to his growth in character or perhaps Glenn choosing to lose his life rather than to lose his humanity. After Tara gets saved, Glenn continues to protect her by saying he met her on the road, not at the prison. Will this seemingly harmless white lie, put a wedge in between Maggie and Glenn if she finds out the truth, after all Tara did play a role in the events that led to Hershel’s death? Does the photograph of Maggie burnt up foreshadow what happens to their relationship?
Outdoor Cat Who Think He’s An Indoor Cat
Daryl’s segment is the strongest, in part because he’s the most intriguing character on the show but also because he’s consistently written. Rarely, if ever I do a question why Daryl makes an odd decisions that feels out of character. Another reason is that as man of very few words, Daryl speaks with his actions.
The scene with Carl and Michonne sharing a candy bar is contrasted with how Daryl’s new crew operates. At first, Daryl is reluctant to play by anybody else’s rules but he’s staying with the “Claimers” until a better opportunity presents itself. I do think by the end Daryl believes the rules are fair and simple: don’t lie and it’s rightfully yours if you’ve claimed it.
Unlike many of the prison group survivors, Daryl has a huge chip on his shoulders – that finger on the trigger mentality that can’t truly be domesticated. As disreputable as “The Claimers” may be, they might be a better fit for Daryl than he’d like to admit though he’d toss them aside for Rick’s group in a second.
Welcome To The Terminus
So the survivors finally make it to the Terminus and as a viewer I’m left with many puzzling questions. Woodbury had a fortress of walls and guards, but why does the Terminus have no locks at the gates or anybody on patrol? Do they not worry that a swarm of walkers could easily bust down those fences? Judging by all the flowers and vegetables, the inhabitants have been there for some time but why is there only one woman in the courtyard? Mary (Denise Crosby) is oddly welcoming to armed strangers without even questioning them. If our survivors get lulled into a false sense of security, it may not end well for them.
At this point in the season, “Us” fell short of my expectations, especially after last week’s pivotal episode. The Terminus reveal is a little anticlimactic though there is potential for some great twists and turns. Daryl’s story line as expected carried this episode though we got no word on what happened to poor Beth. While I was somewhat entertained with Glenn’s story, his reunion with Maggie was not as emotionally uplifting as was likely intended. Lastly, Rick’s story line felt under serviced in the latter half of the season and in particular this episode. Many of my comments are not exactly positive, I still have hopes that the finale can pull it off.
Did you feel emotional when Glenn reunited with Maggie? What do you think about the Terminus?