This was a satisfying roller coaster of a season finale and I appreciated that the writers wrapped up some important things while still leaving us with plenty to think about for next season.
I spent most of the episode worrying about a whole list of terrible things that could happen. I didn't want to see what would happen if Alexandria tried to throw Rick out. I've grown fond of the place and want our people to be able to stay. I certainly didn't want to see either Glenn or Daryl die. I was even worried about Aaron. The beauty of this show is that all or any of that could have happened so I was genuinely on the edge of my seat.
As Michonne pointed out, something was going to happen, they didn't need to force it and that is exactly how it played out. The idiocy of leaving the gate unguarded or even of trusting someone else to shut it, just shows how protected these people have been. The look on Maggie's face when Deanna intimates that she is the one who has really lost something also indicates that they don't have any idea of what loss on the 'outside' looks like. Of course, Deanna might now be getting the idea. Pete killing Reg was tragic and horrible, definitely accidental but once it was personal, Deanna came much closer to Rick's way of seeing the world and Pete died for it. I know Pete was a loose cannon and not a very nice guy but Rick showed no hesitation. That worries me a little especially with Morgan looking on.
On that note, Morgan is back and he is a badass, a male Michonne. When he saved Aaron and Daryl from the car, I was cheering. The way he took out the 'Wolves' was spectacular. I am very happy to see him back. It looks like Alexandria is going to need him. Which brings us to the Wolves who are a particular form of smart, ruthless, nasty. The trap they set was very clever and they have even developed their own mythology and markings. They are the direct opposite of Alexandria. They don't value outsiders, they use them as bait or maybe worse things. As Wolf 1 said, he doesn't get to speak to new people because they are busy killing them and taking what they have. Alexandria will be a prime target.
There was some great character development pieces in this episode and I'm only going to manage the highlights. Nicholas showed himself to be an even bigger asshole than we might have thought. He shot Glenn. Who would shoot Glenn? Glenn showed his amazing strength in escaping Nicholas, fighting off walkers and then just barely refraining from blowing Nicholas' head off. There was some part of me that wanted him to but then he would no longer be the Glenn we know and love. Gabriel continued to be his openly crazy self, trying to get a walker to attack him and then goading Sasha. I was also happy that Maggie showed up when she did. I'm hoping both Sasha and Gabriel can heal, at least a little bit.
Tara has woken up. I'm glad we haven't lost her and I truly enjoyed the scene between Eugene and Abraham. I have grown to like Eugene quite a bit. He probably doesn't have long in light of that. Carol is still over the edge but in a way that I can respect and appreciate. Her 'chat' with Pete was awesome. She was finally given the chance to confront the abuse she suffered and to prove to herself that she will never be in that place again. Did she know/hope that confronting Pete would put him over the edge? The looks that Maggie and Michonne gave Carol while she was doing her helpless housewife routine at the town meeting were priceless.
Rick and Michonne are back on the same page. It was stupid to keep Michonne out of the loop and Rick knows that now. Rick still doesn't want to be a leader. His plan for taking over the town was followed by his admitting that he screwed up and the way he said it seemed to say, I'm not perfect, don't expect me to be. Michonne is reluctantly accepting that their brief period of respite is over and she will also have to take her place of leadership. After the credits, when Michonne took down her sword I wasn't sure if I should be happy or sad. They do need this town, this break from the outside, but they also need to be ready because bad things are coming and they are going to continue to come.
Bits and Pieces
Wild leeks keep mosquitoes away.
I liked Reg but he was too kind and too civilized. Who else from Alexandria is going to go down because they just don't have what it takes to survive in the new world?
Our group can survive without guns. Alexandria relies way too much on them. The scene of Nicholas trying to use his knife to kill the walker and then reverting to a gun said it all.
Glenn didn't let Maggie in on the plan for the meeting. Was he trying to protect her?
Carl isn't afraid for himself at all. He is afraid for the people in the town. That says a lot about how far he has come.
Picky point - I was disappointed in Daryl (well, the writers) that he didn't notice the tin cans hanging from the trucks and he didn't check out the area more fully. He's smarter than that.
It was very cool that Daryl made the decision for Aaron about bringing the group in.
Are Carol's casseroles ironic or satirical? Discuss.
Wolf 1: “Little chats in front of the fire with a stranger, that’s the closest thing to the movies now.”
Michonne: “What’s so funny?”
Rick: “It’s like the train car. After the whole thing, I’m still there.”
Carol: “Because these people are children and children like stories.”
Reg: “The cavemen, they were all nomads and they died. Then we evolved into this and we lived. Civilization starts when we stop running. When we live together. When we stop sending people away from the world and from each other.”
Carol: “You said you don’t want to take this place and you don’t want to lie? Oh sunshine, you don’t get both.”
Carl: “They need us. They’ll die without us.”
Carol: “Play your cards right and you don’t have to die. And I want my dish back clean when you’re done.”
Daryl: “I came out here to not feel all closed up back there. Even now, it still feels more like me than back in them houses.”
Morgan: “Why? Because all life is precious, Daryl.”
Eugene: “All I did was to craft a top-shelf lie to which a person with strength and heroism could apply their talents.”
Michonne: “You think I would try to stop you?”
Rick: “Well, you did hit me over the head.”
Michonne: “That was for you, not for them.”
Michonne: “Who he is, is who you’re gonna be, if you’re lucky.”
Maggie: "This community, you people, that family, you want to be a part of it, too."
Rick: “The ones out there, they’ll hunt us, they’ll find us, they’ll try to use us, they’ll try to kill us but we’ll kill them. We’ll survive. I’ll show you how. You know, I was thinkin’, I was thinking, how many of you do I have to kill to save your lives? But I’m not gonna do that. You’re gonna change.”
Deanna: “Rick, do it.”
“Wolves Not Far.” written on a car in the food factory lot.