The Walking Dead 4×16 – A

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Well that was different.

I guess the writers didn’t get the memo, because a season finale isn’t supposed to just set up consequent seasons (which this finale did), it must also supply viewers with just enough tidbits and answers to make us want to wait for next year. Sadly, I’m not exactly dying to see what happens next. What is Terminus? Are these people cannibals? Cult nutjobs? A mixture of both? Do I care?

Those final ten minutes could have been salvaged with a powerful cliffhanger, the crowning jewel of every season finale. But what did we get? Rick reunited with the gang in a train after being separated for an ungodly (and frankly boring) amount of time. That’s it? That’s my hook for next season? Back to the drawing board kids.

Admittedly, the finale was saved by one particularly harrowing sequence that has to be one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever witnessed on the show. Carl’s almost rape at the hands of Joe’s gang (with Michonne being targeted next) was just terrifying. I actually feared this act would come to pass since The Walking Dead has pulled off so many questionable moves over the course of its run (two little girls dying being the most recent). So imagine my utter delight when Rick snapped and bit Joe’s neck off before savagely slicing Carl’s attacker to pieces. It was just remarkably satisfying. And if nothing else, this final further conveyed what an an outstanding job the show has done of showcasing completely anarchy in a post-apocalyptic world. Human beings are capable of doing utterly despicable things to each other, and there’s no hiding from that.

Also in this episode’s favor? Rick calling Darryl his “brother”, and the various flashes to happier times with dear ol’Hershel (and Judith). But please writers, let’s plan out next year better okay? Because it seems finales aren’t your strong forte (proof).

Conclusion
An anticlimactic installment – albeit one that includes a standout sequence. This finale definitely should have been more potent.

Nad Rating
B-

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