Mar 17, 2014
Walking Dead Recap: Are We There Yet?
It’s reunions, claimer justice, and the end of the line on this week’s penultimate episode of “The Walking Dead” season four. We lay eyes on Terminus for the first time and things smell rotten in Denmark. We also get a little insight on exactly who Joe and his group of bad ass scoundrels are in regards to the zombie apocalypse. No need to dilly dally. Here’s our recap of episode 15, “Us.”
We pick this episode up with the images of dead children and flowers still a visible memory, but we don’t really get a chance to deal with it within the group yet. Instead the main focus is on Glenn’s unstoppable search for Maggie and Daryl’s somber march with Joe and his pack of survivalists.
The episode begins with Glenn finally coming into contact with the first of Maggie’s makeshift notes alongside the signs for Terminus, the apocalyptic paradise at the end of the rainbow. Not sure how he missed any of the other ones or how it took until now to find one, but he sees and is off like a dog that smells bacon.
Abraham and the crew follow along and we learn a bit about each of them via some tidbits of dialogue. Rosita is not a pretty face and questionable clothing choices! She’s got a brain and she’s fairly tough! She even butts heads with Eugene quite a few times, showing that he’s not the only smart one of the bunch.
Eugene is quite an ass though. He talks and talks, mullet blowing in the breeze, trying to win the heart of Tara despite her clear tastes for women.
Abraham is still a dick, but he’s got that soft center that really shined through in the comic.
The real star in this episode is Tara though, for he continued decision to stick by Glenn and her desire to sacrifice herself as some sort of penance. She doesn’t hesitate to travel into a black tunnel with Glenn in search of Maggie, even when Abraham and the others decide to call it a day and go back to their mission to DC.
Of course, it is telegraphed that Abraham, Eugene and Rosita were never going to get too far away from this storyline. It provides a nice moment though and a bit of divine rescue later on.
For now though, Glenn and Tara travel into the abyss while Abraham’s crew return to the road to hijack a vehicle.
Elsewhere, Daryl is trying to settle into his new living arrangement with Joe and his men. Norman Reedus referred to them as The Claimers in the behind the scenes video for this episode, most likely due to their makeshift set of laws where you claim something that you want otherwise it is up for grabs.
Joe and The Claimers provide a nice look at how groups seem to cling together no matter their situation. For Joe, he sees the apocalypse as a coming together. It’s a world that was tailor made for him and the men he’s surrounded himself with, not a hellscape that we’ve been conditioned to see it as to this point.
The Claimers most likely represent a polar opposition to that of Terminus, a structured society that claims sanctuary for all. Joe and The Claimers have that true freedom and found it in the simplicity of their nature. Joe goes on to call Terminus a false hope and you have to kind of agree with him in regards to people like him.
Daryl has trouble with Len, a fellow member of the group who seems to see Daryl as a weak link. Joe sees potential though and helps to cool tensions while taking Daryl under his wing a bit to teach him their ways. Robert Kirkman claims that Daryl doesn’t fully trust or agree with this group, but he sees them as a means to an end.
The dispute with Len and the eventual outcome of that is meant to tell us that this group is bad.
Len plants his half of the rabbit that started their dispute on Daryl and confronts him in front of the rest of the Claimers. What he doesn’t know is that Joe saw his plant the hare and has caught him in a lie. A lie that costs him his life. That’s the punishment for breaking the rules. Harsh or realistic? If it keeps these men in line, it can’t be all bad.
If you watch this without knowing the Governor and what he’s done, wouldn’t you think Len is the only bad one and the group rights itself? There’s is no psychopathic tendency here. It’s just survival. Joe and the Claimers are going to be an interesting force in the finale and hopefully next season. They might very well end up being an evil batch of sons a bitches, but right now they just seem like a different look at how you live in this world.
Once they get moving, we find that they are heading to Terminus as well, but not for sanctuary. It would seem that they are more worried with righting a wrong committed by Rick back at the house and they’re tracking him. It’d be too easy to think they’re evil just because they are at odds with Rick, so maybe expect a little more than just a shootout.
Back in the tunnel, Glenn and Tara have found a roadblock full of zombies and have to formulate a way around it. This is a moment when we get not only an awesome cameo by Bub from George Romero’s “Day of The Dead,” but we also get the only true bit of dramatic tension from the entire episode.
Glenn and Tara attempt to silently move past the horde of zombies in the tunnel, luring them out of their path and attempting to sneak over a large cave in within the tunnel. The problem is that Tara becomes trapped between the wall and the dirt and Glenn is unable to free her. She decides to give herself up, but Glenn makes a greater decision and battles to save her life. He runs out of bullets, starts to fight by hand and just as things look their bleakest, divine intervention shows up.
Eugene, Abraham and Rosita did not head off to DC, but circled the tunnel and pulled to the exit on the other end. An exit where they met Maggie, Bob and Sasha. After swapping details, they ride into the tunnel with guns blazing to save Tara and Glenn from the zombies and provide a happy reunion for everyone involved. They spend the night chatting and reacquainting, putting the plans for DC on the shelf once again to agree on Terminus as their destination.
They head out the next day and come upon the train yard paradise that is Terminus. It’s brightly lit, there are cops and flowers growing all over the place and there are signs instructing people to drop their weapons and find welcome in this sanctuary.
It smells like shit and there’s no way it’s going to work out. The first person they meet is Mary, a lady who is far too chipper for a zombie apocalypse and one of the main reasons you have to feel Terminus is too good to be true.
Misdirection is the meal for the day and this episode spells that out clearly. You could almost place money on Terminus being an evil place. It’s no Carcosa and it’s no Woodbury, but there’s something festering under the surface. That’s what the finale will be for of course.
Will Rick ever learn to say Carl’s name correctly? Is Terminus really just a cover for the Church of Scientology? If Eugene drove around the train tracks so quickly, why didn’t Glenn just stay with them? How did Bub the zombie get loose from the underground bunker and end up in a train tunnel in rural Georgia? These questions and more won’t be answered on the finale of “The Walking Dead,” next Sunday at 9pm on AMC.