It finally happened — we got to see what Terminus is really all about on last night’s finale of The Walking Dead and, well, before we go any further, anyone who is worried about spoilers should probably stop reading now.
The story largely followed Rick, Michonne and Carl as they made their way along the railroad tracks trying to reach Terminus, as supposed sanctuary for all. In a series of flashbacks, we are reminded of their life before at the prison, a time when Hershel was still alive and Beth sweetly cradled baby Judith. Neither Beth, Judith, Carol or Tyrese were seen in the entire episode and we will have to wait until this fall to discover their fates.
In a shocking scene, the trio are discovered by Joe and the group of degenerates that surround him. Joe accused Rick of killing their friend (which he did, for his own survival!) and then promised to exact his revenge. When Darryl, who had been forcibly taken in by this nasty group, realizes what’s going on, he tries to intervene to save his friends but, instead, Joe commands his followers to beat Darryl to death.
As if that isn’t bad enough, he says that when they are done, they will rape Michonne and Carl(!) and then kill Rick. As Darryl is pummeled over and over, one fat bastard actually puts Carl face-down and actually begins preparing to sexually assault him. It’s too much to bear and after both Rick and Michonne fail to take down their captors, Rick does the only thing he can think of — he bites into Joe’s neck, cannibal/zombie-style and, taking advantage of everyone’s shock, Michonne and Darryl overtake the group. Rick goes for the guy who was attacking Carl and literally guts him like a pig.
The whole thing was one of the most shocking scenes I’ve ever witnessed on television. The group was visibly shaken up and poor Carl really seemed traumatize and small for the first time in a long while. We got to remember that he’s still just a little boy and it was pretty horrible.
Finally, they spot Terminus and decide to take the back way into the compound since they want to get in undetected. In a surreal scene, they meet Gareth, who appears to be in charge, and, after being frisked, they were escorted to a courtyard area where they were offered a plate of food. When Rick spots Glenn’s pocketwatch on Gareth, the group draw their weapons and end up in a standoff with the creepy people on the compound.
The finale concludes with one heart-stopping, truly intense scene in which the group try to escape, discover what looks like a cult-ish human sacrifice room and, after almost reaching a fence in an open area, are so outnumbered that they had no choice but to submit to Gareth’s demands.
One by one, he made Rick, Darryl and Michonne walk over to a railcar leaving Carl defenseless and alone. For a few seconds (that felt like an eternity) it seemed as though Gareth might command his snipers to kill the boy but, finally, he allowed him to join the others. After being forced to open the door and go inside, the only good thing we see is that Rick and his group are reunited with Glenn, Maggie and their old friends from the prison, along with a few new faces. Rick’s closing line said it all: “They’re screwing with the wrong people.”
Good to have you back, Rick!
What did you think? Was it good enough to make up for what many called a “slow season?” It definitely set things up nicely for an action-packed and crazy season opener this fall.