With us still recovering from the draw-dropping events of last week’s The Grove, this week’s episode was always going to struggle to match the drama, emotion and consequence of its predecessor. But Us is very much a different animal. Whilst the second half of Season 4 has seen The Walking Dead catching up with small groups of characters after the decimation of the prison, Us returns proceedings to the familiar format of focussing on a whole host of characters. As we’re reacquainted with these characters, they all have one destination in mind: Terminus.
Last time out, we spent the whole episode with Carol (Melissa McBride), Tyreese (Chad Coleman), Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino), Mika (Kyla Kennedy) and Judith. Along with Beth (Emily Kinney), those characters are the only ones that we don’t see here. We get to see Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) peacefully heading to Terminus; Glenn (Steven Yeun), Tara (Alanna Masterson), Rosita, (Christian Serratos), Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Ford (Michael Kudlitz) looking to head for Terminus so that Glenn can hopefully meet up with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and so that Ford can get Eugene to Washington in order to save the world; Maggie, Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) are revealed later in the episode, having continued on their path to Terminus. And then there’s Daryl (Norman Reedus). Last seen reluctantly joining a crew of slightly rum characters who seemed to have a lot in common with the previous life of Daryl and brother Merle’s, here he seems to be slowly fitting in with his new surroundings. And yes, he, along with his newfound acquaintances, is also off to Terminus.
Despite Us following the various threads of the splintered groups of characters, it’s Daryl and his group that are best served by this episode. We get to see that this new group have a certain code of conduct, a code of ethics; basically, whoever calls shotgun first gets first dibs on anything, be it a bed, food or animal. Initially uneasy in this group, seemingly having come across folks of this type many times before, Daryl becomes more comfortable in his new surroundings as the episode progresses. Also, in case you had missed it, this new group of survivors is also the same group who came up against Rick after the attack on the prison. Remember the first episode back, where Rick was near death and holed up in a house? Yeah, those guys. And it appears that they haven’t forgotten about this tussle, citing the tracking down of Rick as to their main motivation to head to Terminus. Of course, they do not know that this man is called Rick, meaning Daryl has no idea of who this monster is that they’re hunting. That could get interesting.
Away from Daryl and his superfriends, the rest of the characters are serviced adequately, as we’re refreshed on where they are, who they’re with and what their motivation is for finding the apparently-idyllic Terminus. And some of them do just that – find Terminus. Upon seeing Terminus at the end of this episode, it seems even more tranquil and community-like than the Governor’s once-peaceful “town”. Still, you can’t help thinking that maybe all is not quite as it seems. Personally, we get a feeling of Soylent Green about the place, but maybe we’re wrong.
As next week is the finale of Season 4, there’s plenty to look forward to. Just what did happen to Beth? Will all of our principal characters make it to Terminus? And just how badly will it all kick off between Rick and Daryl’s new buddies? But that’s next week. Us, whilst nowhere near as stunning as last week’s installment, did what it needed to do; it progressed things along nicely in anticipation of what is hopefully going to be one hell of a send-off for Season 4.
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