Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale Review

Season four of The Walking Dead has come to a close, does it live up to the hype?
*Massive Spoilers for the finale below*
After six episodes that are almost entirely setup and one episode that might the best the series has produced to date, we have "A," the season finale that finally reveals what's up with Terminus.
"A" opens with a flashback where we get to see Hershel again, as well as the inception of Farmer Rick. In a season finale where we really need to get the plot moving, the flashbacks almost started to annoy me because I wanted plot progression and these kept getting in the way of the suspense. However, those flashbacks were there to show how Rick changed from Farmer Rick to Bada** Killer Rick. Even though some of those added scenes were good, I felt like there were a few too many of them because, as one IGN critic basically said, the writers spelled it out a little to clearly for the audience that Rick has changed. Showing that he has changed is great for giving us a confirmed identity of the character and his attitude, but a few less scenes in the past could have given us the same effect while still moving the plot forward, at least for those that are avid fans of the series and not the casual viewer. Despite my compliant, this flashback thing was not a huge issue in the end, just a little unnecessary.

Getting back to the present with Rick, Michonne, and Carl, we finally get the long awaited confrontation between Joe's group and Rick and company, and it was probably the most satisfying part of the entire episode. That scene was intense! I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Daryl to show up or for Rick and others to do something. Since I figured all three of the characters are virtually untouchable in terms of being killed, I did not expect anyone to die, but it was suspenseful nonetheless. Then Daryl showed up and instantly did the noble thing and try to sacrifice himself to save the others. Some people on the internet suggested that Daryl might make a tough decision when they finally met up, I knew the writers would keep Daryl as the noble bada** redneck. What surprised me the most is when Rick goes all Walker over Joe and bits a chunk out of his neck and kills him! Jacob and I were in complete "What the Heck!" shock when that happened! Michonne and Daryl taking out the rest of Joe's guys with Rick ripping apart the guy that messed, was very well done. After the fight, there was a great moment between Rick and Daryl with Rick basically saying "You're my brother" to Daryl. I really liked that part. Daryl had so many fantastic moments during the episode in general that I was impressed. Also, on a side note, that scene is said to be heavily inspired by a very similar scene from the comics.
Brothers to the end
Moving on to Terminus, Rick and other not going through the front door of Terminus was a smart move for both the character and the writers to take since Rick is not going to be dumb and trusting anymore. He protects his family and friends first and foremost; no more Farmer Rick. Rick attacking the Terminus guy so soon was not exactly the smartest thing since they were not exactly in the most strategic position. But the action was nonetheless very well done and had some great wide angle shots.
The theorists were correct, the people of Terminus are cannibals! Or at least that is what is being heavily implied with the human carcasses in that pen. If I and others had not basically figured out that they were cannibals, it would have been even more shocking, but it was still a big surprise, especially how it was portrayed. My guess is that the meat on the grill wasn't one of your typical verity of meat if you know what I mean. The entire place is majorly creepy, and the cult like symbols on the walls made it even more eerie. 

After being chased towards the train car, with an A on it, hence the title of the episode, Rick and company finally met up with Glenn, Maggie, and the others with one very cool scene of the group walking forward from the dark, which actually gave me chills. Rick gives an epic speech that ended somewhat oddly. Once he said "They're gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out..." I thought he was actually going to mention something important that the Terminus did not know like a secret escape or that a large herd of Walkers were on the way, but alas, the season ends with him declaring "They're screwing with the wrong people." Not a bad way to end it, but a little disappointing and uneventful. Also, on a general note, the episode had excellent direction, truly top notch stuff.

Now for my thoughts of the episode as a finale. It was great, easily the second best episode of this half season behind the instant classic "The Grove," and a lot better than Season 3's finale, but still not everything that I wanted to see. After so much setup, I expected something big that would give resolution to the Terminus thing as well as all of the characters. Unfortunately, we still do not know anything about Beth or what is happening to Carol and company. My guess is that next season Carol and Tyreese will be the ones to help break the gang out of Terminus. If you thought you might have heard them in the containers as Rick and others were running through Terminus, some fans went back and analyzed the audio and virtually confirmed that those voices were not theirs. My other guess is that Carol and Tyreese are behind the rest of the groups since they took a few days to "Look at the flowers," if you know what I mean. Among the general expected parts, there was one thing that surprised me more than anything else: the lack of a main character dying! In fact, only Joe's group, one Terminus guy, and that one guy that Carl saw get eaten were the only casualties of the episode. After being on the edge-of-my-seat waiting for someone to die, no one died. However, I am actually happy that no one died (unless it was Tara) because I really like these characters. My theory is that Bob, Sasha, or Glenn/Maggie are the next to die since all of those characters were built up even this past season. As a finale, "A" was very strong. Despite the lack of true resolution, the ending of the episode had me more excited and pumped to see what was coming next than ever before. 

Overall: 9.3/10- Despite some flaws, "A" was a strong finale that makes me all the more excited to see what is in store for Rick and the gang next!

My review for the entire season 4 will come at some point within the next two months, so until next season, remember...
Sorry, I had to do it.
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  1. It was nearly a twist that no one we cared for died here at the finale! I was expecting it and was very relieved when it didn't happen. :P I liked the flashbacks in a sense, as it reminded me of what everyone had had and tragically lost. However, I agree there could have been fewer of them. The showdown of the two groups was definitely my favorite part. Daryl reminded me why he was my favorite character. Joe was a great character in that he "wanted" to hear both sides, but really he would only ever see his own truth. Rick attacking him petrified me because it was SO. UNEXPECTED. WOW, WHAT A WAY TO KILL SOMEONE! I think my mouth nearly hit the floor because that whole scene was so intense and just kept getting more and more intense! And of course I loved the part where Rick and Daryl had their reunited 'happy' moment; I absolutely love their brotherhood, especially when I think of how they would never have been friends in the normal world. Ever. It's just another aspect that makes this show so good! As to the end, I was almost sure that Carl was going to get killed during the whole 'get in the boxcar' scene! I was also relieved that most of the group was back together again and I felt very pumped by Rick's intense speech! I'm very very excited to see what they all do next! GAH, I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY, WE NEED TO SKYPE SOME TIME! :P


    1. YES WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS ON SKYPE! :D Thank you for the long comment too!


  2. The only thing that saved this season from being slightly better than Season Two was the Prison Battle and the Cliffhanger ending episode. And the final episode stretched my belief abilty somewhat.
    First Carl behaves like a litttle kid during the confrontation, he should have taken his UZI and splashed that perv. Second Rick jumps into the camp but only after cacheing some weapons. So why did he not also A scout the place for at least a day, do a night infiltration and or only send himself or Daryl in for first contact?

    1. I still liked this season quite a bit more than season two, but it was still not nearly as good as seasons one or three.
      Excellent point about Carl and the confrontation, and I agree, although the series played out like the comic. Another excellent point and I agree, he should have scouted the place first.


  3. For those looking for something to get them to the next season, check our Vikings, at this moment its my favorite better than GOT and WD.

    1. While I don't like it as much as TWD, I do agree Viking is great. Season 2 has been a lot better than the first season!



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