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TV Review: The Walking Dead (Season 4, Episode 16, March 30, 2014)

03.30.2014by: J.A. Hamilton

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THE HOOK: In the wake of war with Woodbury, Rick and his group have turned the prison into a working community, but danger continues to stir on the outside as well as from within.

The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode

THE LOWDOWN: Tonight we come full circle back to Rick. There’s no more room for second guessing, Rick finally opens his eyes and accepts who he is, and it’s the bloodiest of awakenings. This episode feels like a front seat view from inside Rick’s psyche—where his conscience is being tormented by Hershel’s voice of reason. We see small clips from the prison’s early days as Hershel slowly pulls Rick back from the abyss. It’s brilliant. Watching Rick’s mind swim through the past as he tries to deal with right now. That’s what we see as the episode opens—Rick drenched in blood. How he got there is a scene Andrew Lincoln actually questioned showrunner Scott Gimple about upon reading the script. I now see why.

Rick, Michonne and Carl are nearly at Terminus’ door, camping for the night, when a gun pushes against Rick’s temple. Daryl’s crew find them, and it ain’t pretty. Joe’s ready to kill Rick right there, and he should have, rather than pull the classic villain ‘no,no” of telling Rick his fiendish plot—which consisted of raping both Michonne and Carl (gross), beating Daryl to death after he decided to step in on their behalf, and then shoot Rick in the face. Well, Rick ain’t having that shit, but before I get to that, I want to address the one Carl complaint I had. As this is happening, the short fat dude goes and grabs Carl out of the car, but my question is, where the f*ck was Carl’s gun? This didn’t happen suddenly, and Carl had more than enough time to pull his gun, or at least conceal it in his pants. I didn’t get that part. Instead of either of those things happening, he’s thrown on the ground as dude prepares to ‘park the car around back.’ I ‘get’ everything else that was going on, but that part bugged me.

The good news is Rick took charge like the madman badass motherf*cker he is and handled Joe like a supreme boss (Patrick Swayze would have been proud). The tables quickly turn and Joe’s group get stomped like turtles in a Mario game. Rick takes it to the next level with Carl’s rapist though, gutting that SOB like a Thanksgiving turkey, and has a blast doing it too. The sound effects are awesome. There’s also a fantastic scene that follows with Carl and Michonne, where she finally tells him the rest of the story with her son, boyfriend and his buddy. It’s quite a tale. Rick’s back on his A-game, and good thing too, cause (surprise, surprise) Terminus isn’t the quaint little refuge they’d have us believe. A sick, pack of cannibalistic monsters. Watching the whole thing unfold via the look in Rick’s eyes and expression on his face is pure gold. He knows something stinks, and he’s ready to throw down at the drop of a dime. That’s the Rick Grimes I love to see.

THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 4's finale is everything I hoped it would be and more. I loved this episode—from the setup, to Rick’s character progression, the tension, and the way it wraps (most) things up perfectly with a proper cliff-hanger. This series has grown, learned from its mistakes and is trying very hard to be the best experience it can be. This season, the second half especially, proves that THE WALKING DEAD is here to stay and I for one am stoked to see where it goes from here. Sure, we have a couple loose ends carrying over, the Beth mystery, and of course, there’s no signs of Carol and Tyreese just yet, which is a good thing, because like I said last week, I’d love to see Carol come to everyone’s rescue. So yeah, train car A, a clever episode title. The gang’s all back together, captured, but alive for the moment. Rick’s final words put a big smile on my face, Terminus IS screwing with the wrong people, and I can’t wait to see Rick unleash hell next season.

ZOMBIE KILL OF THE WEEK: Michonne slices and dices. I could watch her work her magic all day long.

BLOOD AND GORE: There’s a few walker deaths, but mainly people deaths and the sick shit that comes with it (Rick’s throat ripping was fantastic). It wasn’t particularly bloody or gory, but it was definitely disturbing.

WTF CHARACTER MOMENT: Carl. He actually gets a double whammy tonight. First, he just runs off into the woods when he hears a random scream for help, which could have been easily been a trap (it wasn’t, but it could have been). Then, again, I just don’t understand why he suddenly turned into a helpless little wimp when the chips were down and he needed to be strong. I get that it was an impossible situation, but that doesn’t explain what happened to his gun and his usual nerves of steel.

COOLEST SCENE: For my money, it was when Daryl sits down beside a bloodied Rick to help him justify the shit that just went down. Rick turns to him and says, “You’re my brother.” That almost made me tear up. A solid, cool moment.



Extra Tidbit: It's Carol time baby!



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