TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD Season 4, Episode 16 'A'

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Pollard

The finale of Season 4 of The Walking Dead may not offer fans quite the twist and turns that they were hoping for. What we do get, though, are subtle changes in dynamics throughout this episode.

As per the previous weeks’ episodes, we pick things up with arrival at Terminus being the mission for the day. Our prime focus this time out is Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Michonne (Danai Gurira). Remember how we were hoping that Daryl (Norman Reedus) and his new bunch of associates were going to throw down at Terminus? Well who said we had to wait for Terminus. Yes, our duelling groups end up having quite the tear-up before even getting to Terminus. It’s with this fight that we see some major changes in Rick Grimes.

Unexpectedly, we’re treated to flashbacks throughout A; flashbacks of a happier time when all was peaceful at the united prison camp. We even get treated to flashbacks of the since-beheaded Hershel (Scott Green), as we see him dishing out words of calm and sense to Rick. These flashbacks take us back to when Rick was trying to be the better man, to be the thinker, to be the rational head – this is when he lay down his gun so that he could focus on the little things, like gardening and the simpler things in life. Safe to say, as we’re brought back to the modern-day Rick, this is a very different man. Having been beaten down so much, it seems as it Rick is finally at one with having to become a savage to survive, be it by his actions or lack thereof. The kid gloves are off and Rick seems to have a renewed sense of focus.

Whilst A is very much Rick’s realisation of what he has become and what he possibly needed to become, there’s also further progression in the dynamic of other characters. It seems as it Rick has also stepped in and filled the void left by Daryl’s brother Merle (Michael Rooker), whilst the relationship between Michonne and Carl appears to be growing more and more maternal by the day.

But the topic of the day is surely Terminus. Whilst we didn’t get to see all of the characters pop up as hoped, Rick and his crew do make it to the apparent sanctuary. Deciding to go in through the backdoor, all seems friendly enough and the newcomers are made welcome with the offering of some food. Just what said food is, we have our ideas but we’ll leave that for another day. Despite the almost Stepford Wives-esque smiles and pleasantries, it doesn’t take long before things goes sour. Realising that one of the Terminus residents has Hershel’s watch, one Maggie’s poncho and another Glenn’s riot armour, Rick smells a rat. From here things turn nasty. Still, as Rick himself quips, “They’re screwin’ with the wrong people.” It would also help the Terminus residents if they had the ability to shoot a gun. Seriously, count how many bullets they fire in comparison to how many land. It’s like the compound’s shooters were trained by Stormtroopers. Then again, it did appear that these shots weren't designed to take anybody out.

A may not have given action fiends the gory cast-trimming finale that they’d hoped for, but it makes up for this with excellent character development. Much how Rick realised that his time in the prison compound, when all was seemingly well, called for him to be a simpler man, he know realises that the world has changed again. This new world needs a change in attitude, and it appears that The Walking Dead’s Season 5 will see a more aggressive, ass-kicking Rick Grimes. It has to be said, it’s about damn time!

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0 #2 Andrew Pollard 2014-03-31 22:10
That was my initial thought, but still had an element of erratic Stormtroopers about it
0 #1 Chris Gunning 2014-03-31 20:36
Pretty sure the Terminus shooters were just trying to pen them in. There are pretty clear reasons why they wouldn't want to shoot them yet...

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