So we all knew Terminus was too good to be true, right?
When Maggie, Glenn and the rest of their band of survivors reached the supposed sanctuary during last week’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” they were met with some pretty lax security that immediately raised a few red flags for this viewer.
And it sure seemed like the woman leading the Terminus welcome wagon, Mary, had an awful lot of meat on the grill she was tending to, considering the dwindling resources we’ve seen others face during the zombie apocalypse.
After that episode, the Internet was abuzz that the people who live in Terminus must be cannibals, based on a group from the comics called The Hunters.
It’s certainly an odd way to survive in a world in which their main enemy, the walkers, do the same thing. But I guess that’s always been another theme of the show: People can be just as vicious.
Anyhow, some of the speculation seemed to be confirmed during Sunday night’s season finale, in which Rick, Michonne, Carl and Daryl discovered all was not as it seemed at Terminus.
It was nice to see them take a different approach, too. While the others just wandered in, past gardens rich with food and flowers, Rick and his crew snuck in a back door.
They were right to be suspicious. Once they were led to Mary and her grill, Rick suddenly noticed something: A Terminus resident sporting some of the riot gear from the prison, another in the poncho we last saw Maggie wearing.
What had these people done to their friends?
There was a standoff, in which Rick demanded to know where their people were, and a race through Terminus that led them past what certainly appeared to be a pile of bloody human bones, before they were cornered and directed into a nearby train car, where their friends were waiting.
It was frustrating to not get more answers about what exactly Terminus is, considering it’s been the through line of this half-season, with nearly every character heading toward it.
But I did like that final beat, when Rick — in full warrior mode — told his friends that Mary and her people don’t know who they’re screwing with.
Some other thoughts on this episode and the season as a whole:
– It often seems as if this show can’t really win, no matter what it does.
When the characters are relatively safe — whether at Hershel’s farm in season two or, more recently, the prison — viewers complain that their peace is boring. But I’ve also heard complaints that these post-prison episodes, in which our survivors have wandered about in smaller groups, were pointless and offered very little plot development.
I didn’t mind the meandering when good stories were being told, like the episode entirely devoted to Tyreese, Carol and the girls, which was chilling and hard to watch, but also very well done, and the Daryl/Beth hour.
An exception: Maggie and Glenn’s singular focus to find each other, at the expense of everyone and everything else, was annoying at times, but it did introduce us to Abraham, who I’m really excited to see more from next season.
– I can’t close this column without touching on Rick’s faceoff with the bad guys he first met in an earlier episode, and that Daryl had subsequently started traveling with. They confronted Rick, Michonne and Carl on a deserted road late at night, planning to kill Rick and, after he tried to stop them, Daryl, and do much worse to Michonne and Carl.
I wasn’t sure how they’d get out of that one, so you can imagine my surprise, and disgust, when Rick took a bite out of the neck of leader Joe, who bled out, and then savagely killed the degenerate who was going to hurt Carl.
For me, it was a moment that began as a cheer, because our guy was going to win, but then ended in deeply disturbing fashion. So it goes on “The Walking Dead.”