Violet recaps Season 4 Episode 16, the season finale of The Walking Dead, titled A, which focuses on Rick, Carl, and Michonne as they continue on the road to Terminus! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
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Episode Recap of The Walking Dead, Season 4 Episode 16: A
- The episode begins with a flashback to the prison, which seems to take place between the end of season 3 and the beginning of season 4. Hershel greets Maggie as she gets back from a run with Glenn and Rick. The next morning, Hershel asks for Rick’s help with something, and tells him to leave his gun, because he won’t need it.
- Hershel wants to teach Rick to be a farmer. Later, Patrick plays with Legos while Carl assembles a gun. Rick asks for Carl’s help and tells him to leave the gun behind. Beth and Judith visit Hershel, Rick, and Carl while they’re farming.
The Road to Terminus
- In the present, a bloody Rick sits against a vehicle. We then go back and see the events that led up to Rick being in this state. Rick, Carl, and Michonne, who are still on the road to Terminus, go to check their snare, and find that it has caught a rabbit. Rick teaches Carl how to make a snare, and how to lead an animal right into the trap.
- Just then, they hear someone yelling for help. Carl runs to check it out, but Rick doesn’t let Carl help the man being attacked by a mob of walkers. They run away and kill a few walkers having a meal on the railroad tracks.
- Rick, Carl and Michonne find a vehicle in which to spend the night – the same one we saw Rick leaning against. As Rick and Michonne sit outside talking, Joe shows up with his gang and puts a gun to Rick’s head and Michonne’s. Daryl tries to stop Joe, and offers himself in their place. Some of the guys start beating Daryl up, while one of the guys gets Carl and tries to rape him.
- Rick headbutts Joe and punches him, but Joe gets control of the situation. Michonne tries to fight back, to no avail. Joe picks Rick up, and Rick bites a big chunk out Joe’s neck. Michonne and Daryl take advantage of the gang’s surprise and kill them. Rick stabs Carl’s attempted rapist repeatedly while Carl watches.
- We are now caught up with the scene of bloody Rick sitting against the vehicle. Daryl sits down next to Rick and tells him what he’s been up to. Rick calls Daryl his brother.
- As they get closer to Terminus, they head through the woods, then split up and watch from afar rather than go through the front entrance. Carl opts to stick with Michonne instead of Rick. Michonne tells Carl what happened to her son, Andre, and how she let Mike and Terry turn and made them her pets. Carl confesses to Michonne that he’s not what Rick thinks he is, he’s a monster.
- Rick buries a bag of guns in the woods, then they hop over the fence and sneak in the back way to Terminus. They find a warehouse with people working. A guy named Gareth welcomes them. He asks them to lay down their weapons in front of them, and Alex pats them down, then gives them their weapons back. Alex brings them to the front, where Mary welcomes them.
- Rick looks around and sees people wearing Glenn’s riot gear and Maggie’s poncho. He puts his gun to Alex and asks him where he got his pocket watch, which looks like the one Hershel gave Glenn. Everyone draws their weapons. Alex and Gareth claim they got the riot gear and watch from dead people, and found the poncho on a clothesline.
- Gunfire breaks out and Rick’s group runs, while the sniper shoots at them. They appear to be manipulated into going down a certain path through the building, and when they get back outside, are met by several people along the fence pointing guns at them.
- Gareth tells them to drop their weapons, and they comply. One by one, Gareth directs them to go to the train car, starting with Rick, and ending with Carl. When they go in the train car, they find Glenn, Maggie, Bob, Sasha, Tara, Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita. Rick says to the group, “They’re gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out…They’re screwing with the wrong people.”
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 4 Episode 16 of The Walking Dead: A
Although not a great season finale, this was one of the better episodes this half of the season. Similar to how the Season 3 finale didn’t really feel like a season finale, neither did the Season 4 finale. They both felt more like mid-season finales, while the Season 4 mid-season finale felt more like a season finale. As what seemed to be the case early on, this half of the season merely served to set up Terminus, where the group would reunite. As I’m sure you noticed, we’re still missing Tyreese, Carol, Judith, and Beth. We can assume that Tyreese, Carol, and Judith will arrive soon. Will they be the key to helping the group escape, or will they be corralled into the train car with the others? Will having the baby with them make a difference to how they are treated? As for Beth, we still have no idea what happened to her. I had originally thought that she was taken to Terminus, but now I’m not so sure.
We also got a few flashbacks to the prison, where we learn the circumstances under which Rick became Farmer Rick, where Hershel took it up himself to teach Rick and Carl to be farmers and live in peace. It seems like this was mostly prompted by Hershel’s reaction to seeing Carl shoot that boy in the woods at the end of Season 3. He didn’t want Carl to turn into a cold-blooded killer, and apparently thought that being a farmer would prevent that. Well, we all know how that turned out. Not only Rick but also Carl were forced to take up arms again, and it looks like Carl may be going down the dark path he was originally going down, and Hershel’s efforts were for naught. Or at least that’s what Carl thinks of himself, that he’s not a good man like his father thinks he is, that instead, Carl thinks of himself as “just another monster.”
I was a little disappointed at how Rick fell for the trap set by Terminus, especially after that foreshadowing at the beginning of the episode where he’s teaching Carl how to make a snare, and explaining how you make a path that leads the animal right into the trap. At first I thought he was being smart, when he decided to take a different path into Terminus rather than use the entrance path set up by Terminus. But then when they were running from the sniper, it became obvious very quickly that the sniper wasn’t shooting to kill, he was shooting to make them head a certain direction, and then the group went that way all too easily. I think the most annoying was when someone shut the door and they decided to go to the door further down, which happened to be a clear path. Rick should have recognized it sooner. They still could have gone through that other door. I mean, how many times have we seen someone bust a door open on this show? Plus they have guns.
Well, at least Rick had the foresight to bury those guns in the woods before they came in. Looks like those may come in handy down the road and help play a part in their escape. That is, unless someone from Terminus saw Rick bury the guns, and those were actually Rick’s guns that the people outside the fence were pointing at them. Hmm…
So what is this “A” label supposed to mean? That is the title of the episode, and as you may have noticed, the letter “A” was seen a few times as the group was being herded toward the train car, which also had the letter “A” on it. Do they have different obstacle course paths labeled with different letters depending on which train car a certain group is being herded toward? You may or may not have noticed that while the group was running, they passed 2 train cars, stacked on top of each other, and you could hear people calling for help. Did they take a different path? If so, does the “A” path mean that the group brought their “A” game, and are the most dangerous? Is there maybe a “C” path, for example, for weak groups who have no weapons, and were very weak when they arrived? Assuming the Terminus people (or “Termites” as Andrew Lincoln was referring to them on Talking Dead) are cannibals, as the case seems to be based on all those human skeletons, and the mystery meat that Mary was serving up, is the “A” label a signal as to how much food they need to feed that group to put meat on their bones? Or that they are grade “A” meat??
Lots of questions, but we have to wait at least 6 months before we start getting answers in Season 5! I’m looking forward to learning more about Terminus, seeing what happened to the characters we didn’t see in this episode, and finding out what our group has in store when they fight back!
Josh’s Thoughts: The Walking Dead, Season 4 Episode 16: A
Initially, I was disappointed with this week’s episode of The Walking Dead. I really had a problem with the “Claimers” group and how it climaxed. There were some cool moments during the lead up to the confrontation–for example the “symbolism” in the snare trap Rick discussed with Michonne and Carl right before they were caught in their own snare.
The actual confrontation, I am still undecided on my opinions. When I first saw it, sure, I was shocked what Rick did to Joe, but after it was all said and done, I was feeling as though something was missing. I felt like this confrontation was hyped up so much, but it felt like it was over in a second. It certainly was suspenseful though. When Rick head-butted Joe, I thought it was going to take Joe out then, but the show opted for a much more violent approach to taking out Joe.
As for the flashbacks of the episode, they fill in some holes for the season, such as when exactly Rick became “Farmer Rick”, and Rick’s attempt to bring Carl back to being a normal kid. It was sad seeing Hershel back again. At first these flashbacks didn’t really seem important to me. We can basically infer what happened in these missing moments. But after a few days of thinking about it, those moments are probably the happiest Rick, Carl, Hershel and Beth have been in a long time. Rick especially was glad to start bringing Carl back from the horrors of this now walker-filled world. Now, we see a more hardened Rick, one that will probably not try to bring Carl back to innocence. One that will be more aggressive. One that may turn out to be a lot like Shane.
As for Terminus, obviously this was not going to be a good place to be. I liked Rick’s plan to watch the building some, but it was kind of odd how after basically not seeing anything going on outside, they basically waltz right in, with their guard down. Rick and company has already seen people who seem nice on the outside, but are sinister on the inside (The Governor anyone?), why would they give in so easily to these guys?
In the end, I guess Rick was still suspicious after spotting Glenn’s/Hershel’s watch on one of the men in the camp. I really liked this scene a lot, and thought it was probably the best of the episode. The standoff was really intense, although I thought Rick could have played that observation cooler to try to figure out what’s going on. I guess in the end it may not have mattered, as the other groups were subdued, and they were armed as well.
Obviously the group was led to the train car alive, for a reason. My best guess is to keep the “meat” fresh. It was bound to come up, as it does in most post-apocalyptic movies–cannibalism. I have a feeling this Terminus group is herding people and barbeques them up. Here is my next question: Did Glenn, Maggie and company get some food from the barbeque before they were caged up…?
The reunion was a very bittersweet end to the season. It was emotional to see (most) of The Walking Dead gang back together. I did like Rick’s final quotes of the episode though: “They’re going to feel pretty stupid when they find out…They’re screwing with the wrong people.”