Series Issues: The Walking Dead 5×16 – Season Finale

(Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

(Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Spoilers. It’s the finale. Go watch the show.

The Walking Dead 5×16: Conquer. Yes, it is a good, perhaps even great episode. Of course I gotta nitpick at it, it’s what I do. The second half of this season has raised the following, unescapable question, what if our group of survivors run into a place that was too good to leave behind? Of course, they’d try to stay.

And they are trying. Alexandria is a very lucky place more than it is anything else. It can defend fine against the walkers, but it hasn’t had its Governor, its Gareth, its main megalomaniac antagonist… Or at least, not yet. Let me say in advance, it won’t be Rick.

The scouting team of Aaron and Daryl are pursuing a man in a red hood. That can’t be a coincidence and that’s not a color you want to wear in an apocalypse. It will get you noticed. This means it’s a trap. Fortunately for both of them, there’s Morgan. The loner has become a force to be reckon with, something we already saw at the beginning of this episode. Eventually, Morgan will come to their rescue. The people with the W on their forehead seem to be in a collision course with Alexandria. I believe they’re being call the Wolves? Morgan is trying to find Rick, and when he shows Daryl the map where Abraham wrote, “the new world is going to need Rick Grimes” we know Morgan is coming to Alexandria.

Rick Grimes is awake. He meets with his own people to learn they’re going to have a meeting about him. Carol tells him to tell them what they want to hear, but keeps the guns secret from the likes of the others. Rick seems to be ready to bring down the leaders of Alexandria. Later on, Carol passes him a gun. Eventually he speaks with Michonne and tells him how he along with Carol and Daryl planned to steal some guns back. Michonne still trusts Rick. Maggie too, and tries to get Deanna to talk about what is going to happen at the meeting.

Nicholas leads Glenn outside the fence. Literally everyone can climb that fence it seems. Yes, he’s leading him into a trap. No, it won’t work because although he’ll manage to shoot Glenn (one the classic shoulder shots), he won’t be able to go far. Glenn knocks him down. Of course, walkers show up and the problem escalates. Eventually, Nicholas gets away leaving Glenn in the hands of a horde. Glenn manages to get back at Nicholas but he doesn’t kill him. After Nicholas like the little crybaby he is, they both lean on each other to make it back to Alexandria.

Father Gabriel, who at this point is becoming my favorite character to get killed next, goes outside and almost gets killed by a walker but doesn’t. In the end he finally kills his first walker and comes back alive. Oh, and he leaves the fucking gate open.

The town meeting starts. Deanna speaks, Maggie speaks, Michonne speaks and a bunch of other people do the same but there’s no sign of Rick. That’s because he ends up fighting the walkers that have come through the open gate. Meanwhile, Sasha is having a crisis and she’s found by Gabriel inside his improvised chapel. They’re both at their wits’ end and Sasha ends up pointing a gun at him while he pleads her to kill him. Maggie, who has left the meeting looking for some of the lost people, finds them.

Rick manages to come in, blood on his face once more, dragging a dead walker. He tells them that he’s going to show them how to run the place. It would sound really crazy, except he catches a lucky break when Pete breaks in holding what looks like Michonne’s katana. Deanna’s husband (yeah I could look his name up but it’s not going to matter in half a second) tries to stop him and gets slashed on the throat. Abraham charges and holds Pete down while Deanna cries over her dying husband.

Then things go primal. Deanna realizes that crazy has not come to Alexandria, it already lived there. You can’t talk crazy down. He looks at Rick and tells him to “Do it, Rick!” Rick shoots Pete. As everyone seems to freeze for a second, the next thing we hear is Morgan coming in. “Rick?”. Credits.

Highs:

  • Alexandria will not be casting Rick away. The new world as it turns out, does need Rick Grimes.
  • Deanna learns a brutal lesson. You can’t leave a violent character unchecked and just hope he will get better.
  • Morgan is back and he’s a freaking ninja.
  • The Wolves or whatever the W people are, they sure know how to build an elaborate trap.
  • Did Glenn really taught Nicholas a lesson? This one’s to be continued.
  • Michonne still trusts Rick. That is admirable.

Lows:

  • Everything was obviously poised for the audience to believe Alexandria would turn into Woodbury or Terminus, but for the most part it’s good luck that allows Rick’s group to end up in a positive – or desperately necessary – light. Pure luck. If Gabriel doesn’t leave the gate open and walkers don’t get in, would Rick have gotten as much attention? If Pete doesn’t steal the sword and kill Deanna’s husband, would Deanna condone Rick’s actions?
  • Glenn, why would you follow anybody, much less Nicholas of all people, into the woods? What was to gain? Why not tell someone that you saw Nicholas leave?
  • Carol. Yes, I said it. Carol has been poking a few too many people with her animosity stick. Would Peter have gone crazy without her prodding when she visits him? Was that a good thing? Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a fan of Carol but she does seem to stir the hornets’ nest in the last episodes.

That will do for now.

Coming soon:

(Source: AMC)

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