Telediction: How Rick Got His Groove Back

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The Walking Dead

I feel like I’ve been saying it every week, but the day has finally come. “The Walking Dead” is finally over and in typical fashion, it had some solid moments in the end of the season before committing to a WTF-worthy ending. When I say that, I don’t mean a huge cliffhanger than leaves us excited for the future. I mean the exact opposite. The wet blanket of season finales, even for a show as sallow as “The Walking Dead.”

But first – the good, and by good I mean F.I.N.E. and by fine I obviously mean Rick Grimes. Did I mention I’m a poet?

I had to stop and psychoanalyze myself when all I could think about in the end of the opening scene before the title sequence played was how attractive Rick looked under duress. Is that weird? Then I remembered this:

True Detective

Enough, now let’s get back to what you all are really here for. I can talk a lot of trash about “The Walking Dead,” but near the end of this season it actually started to get exciting. I would have never guessed that Season 4’s finale would be “How Rick Got His Groove Back,” simply because of the lack of airtime writers afforded the former-central character in the second half.

Joe was Rick’s foil, but proved to have little in terms of TV psychological background throughout the string of episodes he appeared in. He was simply “the bad guy,” sans back-story like the Governor. As ringleader for his rough-and-tough boys, he developed a system of claiming things, but we know just how well that worked out. Daryl gets reunited with Rick, Michonne and Carl under the worst of circumstances. Joe and Co. creep up on them and somehow the guy says Rick is the man who killed one of their men back at the house they raided. I’m not exactly sure the logic behind this since the only men who saw Rick died, either by his own hand or by someone else’s. It would have made more sense for their characters to terrorize Rick, Michonne, Carl, and now Daryl, just because.

One of the men is about to rape Carl, and I can’t believe the show took it to that level. For one thing, they didn’t go for Michonne, but they went for a little boy. Either would have been rage-inducing, but the fact that Carl was the victim really drove Rick to lose his moral pacifism and go carnivorous on Joe. Seriously, he bit the guy’s jugular off and spit it out. Talk about creative ways to die/fight.

Watching “Talking Dead,” afterward, we found out Andrew Lincoln had a choice of raw chicken or beef to tear out. He chose chicken, and all I could think is that it takes major dedication to risk salmonella poisoning for a role.

Afterward, the crew continues to set their sights on Terminus. Michonne reveals to Carl exactly how her son Andre died and where her zombie-protective method came from. She tells Carl that he shouldn’t be afraid of his dad and Carl worries that his dad wont be able to forget everything that’s happened to them and eventually view him as a monster.

This is a turning point for the former budding psychopath, Carl. Ultimately, he ends up respecting his dad again and we can all sigh in relief that we’ll hopefully never experience another second of teen-angst on TV.

When Rick and Co. finally arrive at terminus, everything seems regular at first, but once rick notices inhabitant’s cagey answers as to why they have Maggie’s poncho or Glen’s gifted watch from Hershel, they realize something is seriously wrong. And of course it is. Would it be too much to wish for a safe haven? No, but it would be too boring.

Ultimately though, our protagonists are outnumbered and they’re sent into a boxcar to either starve or be tortured, who knows. Good thing is, the gang’s all (almost) reunited. Glenn, Maggie, Sasha and Bob, as well as Mullet-Man Eugene, the Sergeant, Tara and Latina Hottie are reunited with Rick and his current company.

Rick looks back as the doors shut in the boxcar and heroically says “They’re screwing with the wrong people,” and it’s lights out until next year.

No explosion, no great revelation, just another situation of untrustworthy humans and captivity makes for a rather dull ending after all the hype in getting to Terminus. We also have no idea on the whereabouts of Tyreese, Carol, Judith or Beth, which is something I personally would have liked to see more of instead of the flashbacks to a time right before the prison was invaded.

“The Walking Dead” falls in an all-too familiar pattern. It leaves all the good stuff to the very end, focusing way too much on character development and sloppy life-ending when they’re no-longer useful to the main characters in their current journey. Where is this show going next, and more importantly do we care? That’s something the writers and new showrunner, Scott Gimple, have to figure out because as of now, with deviations from the graphic novel, the show seems to have no end, and that’s way worse than any zombie apocalypse.

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Author: Claudia Marina View all posts by
Journalism student at the University of Florida. Sally Draper is my spirit animal. I love writing about TV and how it affects culture. Occasionally I watch bad TV, but reviews make it better.

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