The penultimate episode of the fourth season connects storylines, reunites our characters and finally takes us to Terminus.
“Us,” directed by Greg Nicotero, opens with one of the most relatable scenes in the history of the show: Eugene is speculating about whether or not the dinosaurs died from the zombie virus and how that would make the best video game ever. If you have not had this conversation at least once in your life then I am very disappointed in you.
But after this moment of witty banter, the episode continues on as many other episodes this year have – with a lot of walking. Maybe that’s what the “walking dead” means now: characters who walk and storylines that are dead boring.
There is closure to this journey on the horizon, as Glenn (Steven Yeun) spots Maggie’s zombie blood signs and realizes with certainty that she is alive.
For those keeping track, no, Maggie still does not remember that she has a sister named Beth. The sign says “Glenn, go to Terminus. Maggie.” Did this turn into a CW show when I wasn’t looking and female characters only care about their boyfriends? What show am I watching?
I digress…. love not only gives Maggie amnesia, it also makes Glenn run into a tunnel of walkers to find Maggie. Smartly, Abraham, Rosita and Eugene want to go around the tunnel. Tara goes with Glenn because she owes him for being instrumental in destroying the prison.
Having the two of them alone in the tunnels gives us the chance to gain some insight into Tara’s state of mind and the regret that she feels for being part of the Governor’s group. However, Alanna Masterson’s lines have no resonance. I am not sure if it is Masterson’s acting or the writing that make Tara uninteresting. For me, she is a grey spot in the story, dragging down all episodes in which she appears.
Abraham and his group were right to not go into the tunnel. The amount of walkers in there is unreal and freaking scary. Glenn and Tara are moments away from becoming zombie-lunch when shots ring out and another group of survivors appear in the tunnel. At first, you think it’s Abraham and his crew, but it’s not. It’s Maggie!
The Maggie and Glenn reunion is as sappy and wonderful as you expect it to be. I love these characters individually and as a couple. It’s a relief to see them happy.
As Glenn’s search for Maggie comes to a close, we realize that another search is just starting. The band of thieves that Daryl is traveling with are on their own hunt – for Rick.
There is honor among these thieves. Joe, the de-facto leader played by Jeff Kober, tells Daryl,
“We don’t have to be nice. We don’t have to be brothers in arms. We just have to follow the rules.”
The rules include telling the truth and the claiming of property by shouting out “Claimed!” when you see something you want. This sounds, and plays out, exactly like a game bullies would play on an elementary school playground.
Obsessed watchers of the show remember that the episode with Rick trapped in a house was called “Claimed.” Many have speculated that the men Daryl travels with are the same as those that were in the house with Rick. We get that confirmation here. Although Rick was in the house before any of them were, he still violated their code because he never shouted “claimed,” making his murder of their group member against the rules.
Joe tells Daryl that they assume Rick (though they don’t know his name) is heading to Terminus. They plan on following him there and then taking their revenge.
A storyline that felt like a filler gains new weight, as this group’s search for Rick will undoubtedly have serious consequences down the line.
I don’t think these consequences will include Daryl, however. People make a lot of comparisons between this group of men and Merle. Merle was certainly no nice guy, but he wasn’t as pathological as this crew. He at least loved Daryl and believed in their brotherhood. I don’t think Daryl sees anything of his past in these men. He is with them as a mode of survival and once he spots the right opportunity, he will leave.
That opportunity will likely come in the next episode, as his group finds Terminus.
“Us” closes with Maggie, Glenn, Sasha, Abraham, and the rest of their group arriving at the mysterious location. Terminus has shades of Woodbury in that it seems too good to be true, yet they are welcomed with open arms by a woman named Mary.
We will find out her true intentions next week in the season finale. What do you think will happen at Terminus? Speculate, don’t spoil, in the comments below!
The season finale of the Walking Dead airs next Sunday at 9pm on AMC.