The Walking Recap: Us

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.

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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.

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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.

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2 thoughts on “The Walking Recap: Us

  1. I’ll agree this episode wasn’t all that great either compared to “The Grove”- though those are huge shoes to fill- or any of the previous multi-storyline episodes. I feel like the scene with Rick, Carl and Michonne was just to give us a brief moment to catch-up with them since we haven’t seen them for so long, so we get to see them happy. My best guess is they’ll be heavily featured during the finale. Plus, nice for Rick to see Carl happy again for once. Not entirely sure if the marauders are after Rick since, as far as I know, none of them ever saw his face except for the one that Rick killed and that one strangled guy. Daryl I don’t see leaving them YET. He will eventually, if only to see what happened to Beth, but like Joe said, Daryl gets the rules and doesn’t lie. These people come off as outcasts, with crossbows. They’re like loners and outsiders, which Daryl pretty much is compared to the rest of the main characters. For him, it’s probably familiar territory, but I’m sure he’ll eventually leave.

    The other storylines with Glenn and Abraham’s groups were weaker, in my opinion. Sure, the reunion was a nice moment, but it was a little too convenient that Abraham, Eugeue and Rosita just happened to meet Maggie, Sasha and Bob at the moment that Glenn and Tara needed help the most. And it is odd that Sasha and Bob would willingly accompany this new group to Washington when they know little to nothing about them. Classified or not, I’d ask some questions. Though Rosita had Glenn pegged down correctly when she said that he was being an ass for not slowing down and how Tara would just follow him on the grounds that she owes him. It’s like his mentality is ‘Screw saving the world. I’ve gotta save my woman first!’ It shows determination, but stubbornness as well. And as for Terminus…creepy vibes indeed.

    The issue with the second half of the season is that it all hinges on Terminus. It would make the journey feel like a waste of time if the season finale doesn’t have a satisfying payoff since Terminus has been portrayed as this safe haven. But if it turns out to be a safe LOOKING haven that has some darkness to it, it would basically be Woodbury all over again. Something will be needed not just to make this a satisfying wait, but hold viewers over until the next season. It makes me wonder what would happen if these episodes had been shuffled around: if the reveal of Terminus came earlier and something like “The Grove” ended the season with the deaths of Lizzie and Mika, leaving viewers to wonder IF Tyreese, Carol and Judith would ever reach Terminus. Would hook viewers to see if they’d make it to the next season, but I’m just speculating and trying to write for television.

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