The final episode of the fourth season of “The Walking Dead” aired tonight. And Robert Kirkman wasn’t joking around when he said episode 16 would offer the most “savage” cliffhanger in “Walking Dead” history.
“Honestly, people are going to be talking about this one. The cliffhanger at the end of Season 4 will make the wait between the seasons 4 and 5 the hardest wait we've ever had. Enjoy!” the creator of the comics teased.
So, what exactly went down during the Season 4 finale that will make us allegedly toss and turn all night long? Well, where exactly do we begin!
First, we believe it’s pivotal to mention that each time “The Walking Dead” returned to the small screen, whether it was the opening scene or the drama returning from a commercial, the AMC series would cut to a flashback, which usually consisted of a council from Hershel to Rick. Oh, yeah! Our favorite father figure made his “Walking Dead” return during “A.”
Initially, the two discussed time. Hershel told Rick that ever since he gave Glenn his watch, it’s been “right now.” Those lines would become essential during the end of the episode but for now, we’ll discuss the storyline of Rick, Carl and Michonne.
The three are continuing their journey to Terminus.
“We’ll stay another day or two,” Rick says of the camp they built in the woods, adding that they’re close to the rumored sanctuary.
Rick then decides to teach Michonne and Carl how to hunt. On their way, Carl asks his father if the truth of what has happened to them upon reaching Terminus will be revealed. The young boy then questions who they are.
With the question still lingering, they come across a walker. Michonne nonchalantly cuts off its head. After killing the groaning creature, Rick returns to his hunting and gathering ways. He goes into the explanation of how he built the trap, saying the creature will be funneled into this seemingly harmless area. Then animal is hanged with a hidden rope. Could that be a metaphor for Terminus? The supposed safe area is funneling people in from all over the place. But are Rick, Carl and Michonne entering a death trap?
While we're having this revelation, Carl hears someone screaming for help. Instinctively, he runs in the direction of the cry. Rick and Michonne trail the boy, begging him to stop. But Carl is determined to aid the person, who is revealed to be surrounded by a group of hungry walkers. Rick pulls his son back and the three watch the man get his face eaten off. Before they slink back off into the woods, a few walkers spot the trio.
They start running through the woods but eventually bump into a group of female walkers chowing down on a poor soul on the tracks. Rick begins bashing heads so they can get through alive.
After walking through the woods completely on edge, the three come across a car. They decided to settle there for the night and begin discussing the possibilities of Terminus.
“If they’re taking people in they have to be strong,” Rick says. “They have to have a system.”
Michonne rebuttals Rick’s comment by questioning the sanctuary’s legitimacy.
Right when the group thinks they’re only a few miles away from safety, Joe and his “claiming gang” show up with guns a-blazing.
“Today’s the day of reckoning sir,” Joe says holding a gun to Rick’s head. “Restitution. Balancing of the whole damn universe.”
Just when Joe starts counting down before blowing Rick’s head clean off for killing their friend, Daryl shows up.
“You’re going to let them go,” Daryl says. “They’re good people. You want blood I get it. Take it from me.”
Joe replied calling Daryl and liar and issued the bowman the beating of his life.
“We’re reasoning men. We’ll beat Daryl to death,” Joe says. He then insinuated that his men would rape and kill Michonne and Carl.
A huge fight breaks out. We see Carl crying on the floor and Michonne watching helplessly as Daryl endures a brutal beating. Joe turns Rick around to face him and questions what Carl’s dad planned to do next. That’s when Rick does the unthinkable and rips out Joe’s throat -- with his teeth. Cue the blood and raw chicken! It's a mess.
Following that chilling scene, nerves are calmed with another Hershel flashback.
“It’s time we started planting,” Hershel says to Rick. “I teach you how to do this. You teach Carl. We’re going to be here awhile. We’ve been here two months. The war is over, Rick.” But Rick isn’t so sure.
“I’m talking about you. I’m saying this. Pull Carl from going out there. He shot that boy. He needs his father to show him the way. What way are you going to show him? He can shoot. What’s his life going to be? What’s yours? I’m just saying everything because I owe you. We all owe you. We can make this better now. We’re here today right now. It’s a good place to start.”
The proceedings then cut to a scene in which Rick is leaning against a car covered in blood. Daryl hands him a towel and tells him to wash up. The two then have a heart-to-heart about what exactly happened during that bloody night.
“I didn’t know what they were. I was with Beth. We got out together. I was with her for a while. She’s just gone. After that they found me. I knew they were bad. They had code. It was something. Enough. Said they were looking for some guy. They said they spotted him. I was going to leave but I stayed. That’s when I saw it was you three. I didn’t know what they could do,” Daryl spills.
“It’s not on you, Daryl. You here with us now. That’s everything. You’re my brother,” Andrew Lincoln’s character says to Daryl.
The four continue their quest for Terminus. Rick makes them trek through the woods.
“We don’t know who they are,” Rick urges. He even buried his ammunition. You know, just in case.
“We spread out. Watch for a while. See what we see,” Rick says.
While the group is poking round Terminus, Michonne confesses to Carl how he son died. She recalls that her boyfriend and friend were watching her son while she was out on a run. They were high when walkers attacked their refuge. Michonne says she made it so her reanimated lover and friend couldn’t bite or scratch and walked them around on leashes like pets.
“Felt like what I deserved. Dragging them around. They kept me safe. They hid me. I was just another monster. And I was. I was gone for a long time. But then Andrea brought me back, your dad, you did.”
“I still have these thoughts,” Carl admits. “I’m not what he thinks I am. I’m another monster, too.”
The group climbs over the fence through the back and eventually enters Terminus. They introduce themselves to a group of welcoming residents.
“We wanted to see you before you saw us,” Rick says.
A man named Garrett greets them.
“You’re nervous. We were all the same way. We came here for sanctuary. Is that what you’re here for? We need to see everyone’s weapons. Lay them down in front of you,” he asks.
After patting them down, they gave them back their guns, katanas and bows. A guy named Alex showed them around Terminus, introducing them to Mary who offered them food. At that moment, Rick spots Alex’s watch -- or as he remembered it, the watch Hershel gave to Glenn.
“Where did you get this watch?” Rick screams. Everyone held up their weapons.
Alex lied saying he got it off a dead one. Then Garrett chimed in saying Maggie’s blanket was randomly found.
“You don’t trust us,” Garrett says. That’s when a sniper shoots Alex straight through the head. The four are then forced to run through a maze, guided by bullets blocking them off. We notice the four are running past signs that read “A,” the title of the episode.
Rick’s group is completely surrounded.
“Ring leader go to your left.” Garrett says, threatening Carl’s life.
As our heart’s race, we watched the four enter a train car marked “A.” Once they walked inside the dark car, we watched Rick reunite with Glenn, Maggie, Sasha, Bob and their new friends.
“They’re going to feel pretty stupid when they find out,” Rick says.
“Find out what?” Abe asks confused.
“They’re screwing with the wrong people” Rick replies.