Many fans were placing bets on who would die in this season finale, but no one expected who actually would. It was Rick, or should I say, “Farmer Rick”. Yes, he is still alive, but he’ll never be the same man again after “The Walking Dead” ended its season with the exhilarating and tense “A”.
Last season, Rick decided to not be the harsh and cruel “Ricktator” anymore. Instead, he wanted to be the father he’d always wanted to be towards Carl and Judith, and lived his few happy days at the Prison planting crops, feeding pigs and tuning out the walker’s moans with his iPod. However, the Governor exploded that serene dream of his into rubble with his second and final attack, and at this point, we see Rick still trying to keep that version of himself close to heart.
With a gun to his head though, Joe and his gang of claimers reignited the soldier inside of Rick. Joe’s group had caught up to Rick, Michonne and Carl in the dark hours of the night to their absolute surprise, but no one’s surprise was greater than Daryl’s. As he sees that the “walking pieces of fecal matter” Joe was hunting after was his prison family, he practically begs Joe to kill him instead because Rick, Michonne and Carl are “good people.” Calling Daryl a liar for claiming Lou’s killer to be a good person, two of the gang members start to beat Daryl viciously as another drags Carl to the ground in an attempted rape.
Watching his son being beaten and practically molested, Rick’s rage consumes him and, in a scene that no viewer will ever forget, he rips Joe’s throat out with a single savage bite. Michonne shoots and kills the other members except for the child rapist, leaving him to Rick as simply states “He’s mine” before stabbing the man to death. Carl watches in both horror and satisfaction, which makes him believe that he is not the man his father believes him to be, but simply a monster.
Pushing onward, the group of Rick, Michonne, Daryl and Carl finally reach the outskirts of the famed Terminus. Taking precaution, the gang hops the fence and approaches a few new faces in a warehouse where they are introduced to Gareth. He leads them outside to Mary, who is about to give them a fresh platter of food when Rick notices three familiar objects being worn by some members of Terminus; Glenn’s pocketwatch and riot gear along with Maggie’s poncho.
In the new fashion of “Warrior Rick”, he grabs one of the Terminus citizens with a gun to his head and asks where they got those items from. Carl, Michonne and Daryl raise their weapons in response, and everything begins to fall apart. Gareth claims that the objects came off of dead folk along the way, but Rick didn’t survive this long to fall for that blatant lie. Bullets bang on the pavement and the prison group rush out of the area, but only to be led to a trap like a moth to a flame.
The group ends up in a locked train car, but not without a few fellow inmates; Glenn, Maggie, Sasha, Bob, Tara, Abraham, Eugene and Rosita. Knowing that they are all reunited, with the exception of Carol, Beth, Tyreese and Judith, Rick is, somehow, not scared in the least bit. In reality, he is scared for the people of Terminus. He proclaims that the “Termites” are going to feel pretty stupid when they find out that they have “screwed with the wrong people.”
The screen cuts to black, and the entirety of “The Walking Dead” fandom screamed as they must await another seven months to find out the answer to many questions.
However, some were answered. Our worst fears are confirmed; Terminus is filled with cannibals. Rick and his group passed a caged area of human rib cages, bones and skulls and into a dim room with candles, names etched in the pavement and eerie quotes on the wall, such as “Never trust. Never again. We first, always.” To me, those names are the cannibals’ hold on their fading humanity. In some twisted way, they must “honor” the bodies they consume and do so by writing their names on the ground along with placing an item they may have had.
Also, Glenn and company were not devoured yet, thankfully, but where are Beth, Carol, Tyreese and baby Judith? Are they already scattered among the boneyard in Terminus or in another train car? Did Carol and Tyreese not make it to Terminus yet? Is Beth already grilled?
Those questions are why I enjoyed this season finale so much. While many were disappointed in the lack of closure, I am extremely excited about it. It leaves the season five opener to be explosive and rewarding, and that is something that “The Walking Dead” has not ever done. The three previous season finales had left very little thoughts and reflection on to what may happen to the group, but this one certainly does.
Some, too, were upset due to not a single character died. Sadly, they are misinformed because “Farmer Rick” is nothing but a memory now. The point of the flashbacks was to establish former Rick’s mentality and lack of leadership and raw power. We remembered how upbeat and tranquil he once was, but that man is no more. “Warrior Rick” has now taken over, and I am nothing but pumped for the season five premiere in October.