In “Us,” the season’s penultimate episode of The Walking Dead, not only do we get a hard-won moment of happiness (especially after the trauma of last week!), we also get our first glimpse of Terminus. How’s the view?
SWEET | Although we only briefly see Rick, Michonne and Carl on the path to Terminus, they’re doing great. (Compared to the other problems you could have on this show – and the one the trio seem destined to have next week – a shortage of drinking water is nothing, after all!) Michonne and Carl are laughing and using their last Big Cat bar as the prize in a “Who can balance on the train rails longest?” contest, and we even get a smile out of Rick. THAT’S how great they’re doing.
THUG LIFE | On the other hand, Daryl… well, he’s doing considerably less great. After he gets into it with a hooligan named Len over a rabbit they both shoot at the same time (poor bunny), head hooligan Joe explains that, once one of them says, “Claimed,” whatever they’ve claimed is theirs. Since Daryl didn’t know the rule, rather than penalize him, Joe goes all King Solomon on the cottontail and gives one half to the newbie and the other half to Len. In spite of this show of wisdom (?), Daryl remains reluctant to consider himself an official part of their group. “There ain’t no us,” he growls at Joe. But, since Daryl isn’t leaving them, “it sure seems like there’s an us,” Joe replies. (Maybe he IS wise?) Later, unsatisfied with his half a rabbit, Len frames Daryl for stealing it. Unfortunately for the schemer, Joe saw him plant the dead animal (his half of it, anyway) in Daryl’s bag, so he orders the liar beaten to a pulp. Fatally, it turns out. Finding the body the morning after, Daryl considers affording Len the dignity of covering his carcass, but – perhaps recalling the way the jerk had hinted that he was messed up not just over a girl but over a very young girl – decides against it. On the move again, the gang is just passing over Carl’s candy bar wrapper as Joe tells Daryl that one of them was recently strangled by a stranger they found hiding in a house – Rick!
SEPARATE WAYS | Nearby, Glenn and Tara separate from Abraham, Rosita and Eugene at the mouth of what Abraham quite rightly calls a “long, dark tunnel full of reanimated corpses.” No way is he gonna risk Eugene’s safety going in there when they could simply walk AROUND the deathtrap. It would take an extra day, sure. But it would be safer. So it’s goodbyes all around. Or rather, everyone says goodbye except for Eugene. Instead of goodbye, the Sheldon Cooper of The Walking Dead says, “You are seriously hot, Tara.” To which she replies awkwardly, “Yeah, I like girls.” Inside, Glenn and Tara happen upon a horrible scene – the roof has collapsed on a whole mess of walkers, creating a dusty, disgusting piece of living (or at least not entirely dead) art. Going over it – and into an even LARGER group of walkers – Tara’s leg becomes pinned between a rock and a hard place. She screams at Glenn to leave her, but he refuses. And just when it’s looking grim for the duo…
AGAINST ALL ODDS | … headlights illuminate the tunnel, and shots ring out. It’s Maggie! She, Bob and Sasha apparently hooked up with Abraham, Rosita and Eugene (who cleverly directed an unwitting Rosita drive them to the opposite side of the tunnel while Abraham was napping) just in time to ride to the rescue. As you’d expect, Glenn and Maggie are beside themselves over being, you know, beside each other once again. Rather than introduce Tara as a member of the group behind the prison siege that killed Maggie’s father, Glenn fibs that they met on the road. Which is where Abraham wants to be ASAP. Eugene doesn’t want to go to D.C., however. Since they no longer have a military vehicle for protection, he wants to go to Terminus first. And since Abraham always defers to Eugene, he gets what he wants. Quickly, too. The very next day, they arrive at the promised land. The building itself is fairly nondescript. But inside its gates, there’s peace and quiet, potted plants and a nice lady named Mary who looks like she’s getting ready to do some grilling. In other words, it looks too good to be true.
Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Were you afraid, after Maggie told Glenn that he wouldn’t need her photograph anymore – AND burned it! – she was a goner? Hit the comments!