After a great deal of anticipation and intense buildup, “The Walking Dead” finally put all of its puzzle pieces in one place for a climactic finale. With the herd of walkers finally breaking through the walls of Alexandria, it was a free-for-all as the dwindling number of survivors battled to keep their limited shelter safe.
The episode opens right where last week’s left off when a building adjacent to the walls of Alexandria that was damaged in the Wolves’ attack finally crumbles. This sends a large section of the safe haven’s walls crashing down, allowing the herd of walkers access. The people of the community have grown a lot so far this season, but not even the most grizzled series veterans were prepared for this many of the undead. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) orders everyone to run and seek shelter indoors while he does his best to hold off the horde.
While he’s battling in that classic Rick Grimes fashion fans have come to expect, the newly invigorated Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh) decides to help him on the front lines. It’s a brave gesture, but she ends up being more trouble than she’s worth, forcing Rick to rescue her from walkers and wasting a lot of bullets in the process. Eventually, one of the herd tackles her and she lands her left side down on a nearby circular saw blade. He picks her up and links up with Michonne (Danai Gurira), Carl (Chandler Riggs), Ron (Austin Abrams) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). Just when they get cornered by opposing herds, Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) empties her pistol into the crowd giving them just enough time to slip through and take shelter in her house with her youngest son.
As they start to dress Deanna’s wounds, they notice that the worst has happened. Not only was she impaled, but bitten as well. With the fever starting to overtake her, she embraces her fate and reveals that she’s content with the way her life panned out, presumably with the exception of the last few hours. She acknowledges the fact that, thanks to Alexandria and the apocalypse, she was able to live her life on her own terms and help people right until her end. As strange as it sounds, she seems ready to die. While she contemplates her memoir, drama hits the fan downstairs in the garage.
Carl follows Ron after he seems him have a bit of a breakdown inside the house. He tries to comfort him, but Ron has pretty much snapped after losing his dad, girlfriend, home and future to the Grimes family. He sees no hope in their current situation and decides it’s time for a murder spree. He locks them both inside and tries to pull his gun on Carl. Luckily, Carl notices and the two end up in a struggle. While there are no mortal wounds, their scuffle attracts the attention of the undead outside. Rick and Jessie kick open the door just as they break through the windows. They get inside and, when Rick asks what happened, Carl lies and says they simply dropped a toolbox. He follows Ron into the bedroom and demands he hand over his gun. It’s unclear exactly why Carl seems to have so much sympathy for this kid that’s been nothing but trouble to him, but he keeps their secret.
Meanwhile, Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James) have retreated back into the house where he’s keeping the Wolf hostage. They have to run into the attic, leaving Dr. Denise (Merritt Wever) alone with the anonymous Wolf prisoner. At the end of last week’s episode, Carol had confronted Morgan about his prisoner, but they were apparently interrupted by the herd entering the community. As they ran back for shelter, Carol took a nasty fall and it seems as though she suffered a mild concussion. Morgan makes it clear that whatever argument they were about to have can wait until everyone is safe once again. However, Carol has other plans.
She pretends to pass out and, when Morgan turns his back for a moment, gets the drop on him and runs downstairs. She makes Denise move and is about to stab the tied up Wolf when Morgan enters and stands between them. What follows is an intense standoff in which Carol makes it clear she’s willing to kill Morgan and the hostage to ensure no one else gets hurt. On the flip side of that coin, Morgan is willing to hurt the already injured Carol to prevent her from killing anyone. Unfortunately, that’s what he has to do. Although she’s a worthy adversary, Morgan body slams his faint opponent, knocking her out for real this time. As that happens, the Wolf has picked up Morgan’s staff and surprises him from behind.
With the two heaviest hitters in the room unconscious, the Wolf grabs the knife, cuts himself free and descends on the doctor. Just when it looks like everyone’s favorite new character is about to meet her end, two heroes and Eugene enter. It turns out, he, Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) had taken shelter in the garage of this house. They managed to break into the rest of it just in time to stop the Wolf from slaughtering the town’s only remaining physician. Instead of murder, he opts for kidnapping, taking the ladies’ weapons and exiting into the zombie-infested community with Denise at gunpoint.
Meanwhile, back at Jessie’s house, their meager defenses start to crumble as the zombies break through. Rick and Michonne manage to block the only steps leading to the second floor with a sofa, which buys them some time. Rick hatches the idea to cover the survivors in zombie guts and escape the overrun house camouflaged. Unfortunately, time is of the essence, so Michonne is left with the unfortunate task of telling Deanna that her life introspection time is over. The founder of Alexandria refuses to let Michonne kill her, saying she’d rather cling to the few minutes of life she has left. She promises that, when the time comes, she’ll shoot herself. However, after the others cover themselves to make their daring, and downright gross, stealth escape, she decides she’d rather take six zombies with her and be eaten alive than die quickly with five bullets in the revolver. In what is presumably her final moment, she screams at the terrifying horde that’s approaching her.
From there, the episode takes a quick detour to recognize Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who was immediately trapped on a lookout post when the walkers broke through the wall. Fortunately, her husband and his new reluctant partner Enid (Katelyn Nacon) climb over the wall to see her struggling in the distance. The episode ends on Rick’s group discovering their blood-and-guts camouflage plan is working, except for one major thing. Jessie’s youngest son, Sam (Major Dodson) who has been traumatized by the events of late, can’t seem to stop audibly crying for his mother as they try to silently walk through the crowd.