A short review for a shortly-titled episode. I’m giving this episode a somewhat harsh (for me) 2.5 out of 5. The one major, admittedly satisfying moment was not enough to redeem the whole episode, which was a dull and jagged lead-up to what I’m hoping will be a far more appropriately intense season finale. A second-to-last episode should have built things up to a point where the next week’s finale episode would be the climax. But instead, this episode felt like a creaky ascent to that climax, sputtering and plateauing more often than actually ascending at all, and when it did ascend, it did so far more begrudgingly than it should have, proceeding slowly and with no sense of urgency whatsoever. The closer we get to the end of this season, the more I feel that the second half of the season was itself a messy hodgepodge of tones and focuses: a common problem the series faces, but somehow more glaring than ever. The reason I say this review will be short is because I don’t feel as though a whole lot really happened in this episode, but I’ll do my best.
We see Rick, Michonne and Carl only once early on, and the episode never returns to them, which was frustratingly misleading. Their scene is humorous though at least, as we could probably expect at this point– with Michonne and Carl sharing a bond and a bet over a chocolate bar. Later in the episode, Daryl and the group he is with, end up walking right over the chocolate bar wrapper along the train tracks. The moment is subtle but effective, because we have just learned seconds before that these are indeed the same men from the house Rick had been trapped in; from what I could tell, they’re on the hunt for him. This is scary in theory, yes, but this group is more annoying so far than they are truly scary. They teach Daryl throughout the episode all their cult-like rules about claiming things. I want Daryl to leave this group already, and even though he mentions to their leader his plan to eventually leave, I can’t seem to figure out what his motivation has been for not leaving yet.
Meanwhile, Glenn gives Eugene his riot gear in exchange for the agreement to go their separate ways. Glenn keeps seeing all the messages about Terminus, so he feels like he has to keep going faster than the rest of them are willing to. But, when he and Tara get caught in a dark tunnel of walkers (though, none of them are Maggie at least), things seem ever so slightly hopeless. The shots of the tunnel-walkers are creepy, but soon enough, a mysterious but convenient flash of headlights and a firing squad save the day! This firing squad consists of Eugene and Abraham but also Maggie, Bob and Sasha.
The reunion between Glenn and Maggie was one of the most satisfying things not just in this episode but also in this whole second half of the season at large. In the end, they all find Terminus (agreeing upon using it as a pit stop before heading to D.C.) which is intriguing; I thought it was interesting that it wasn’t presented too ominously. In fact, the music was eerily pleasant and the woman who greets our weary survivors is also oddly pleasant. So, if it does turn out to be the end of the line, the shock might be even worse for viewers and characters alike. But, I’d love that actually. Because after this episode, I think the show needs one final shock in season 4 to wake its viewers up and to revitalize the plot trajectory in time for season 5.