I skipped out on last week mainly because it was pretty much a snoozefest of a walkabout, but also because I have been sucked into the binge vortex that is House of Cards.
However, I think that this week set up the last three episodes of the season quite nicely. What we know now - Almost all of the old gang is headed to Terminus. A reunion is probable before the end of the season. Except for Beth and Daryl. Why didn’t they ever find those tracks? Did Beth’s optimism get in the way of Daryl’s common sense? Can Daryl please kill all of those ‘bad guys’?
The episode opens on a pre-prison Bob. For a good minute I was all like “Who the eff is this rando?” before I realized it was our friend Bob Stookey glugging electric green cold medicine. Maybe the whole walker apocalypse is just Bob’s bad trip on some expired cough meds? Probably not. But I’m sure he wishes it were.
Bob aimlessly stumbles around for a bit in a haze. Eventually he encounters Daryl and Glenn. Daryl asks Bob the magic three questions. We find out that Bob killed only one person. A woman, and it was only because she asked him to. Daryl and Glenn find Bob’s answers satisfactory and ask him to come along. Bob hops in the truck, not really caring where he’s going, just relieved to have company.
Back in the present a dense fog has descended on Sasha, Maggie and Bob. Walker snarls can be heard surrounding them. The three take on a small group of walkers, and Bob gets bit, but only on the bandage. To which I ask – if a bandage prevents walkers from biting, why isn’t everyone covered in bandages all the time? No matter. Sasha hugs Bob and they have a little moment.
In another part of town, Beth and Daryl’s not so excellent adventure continues. Beth awkwardly aims Daryl’s crossbow and flippantly tells him, “pretty soon I won’t need you at all”. Daryl looks on while Beth proceeds to make a mess of things, thereby proving that she would be totally screwed if it weren’t for Daryl. She tries to creep up on a walker, but because she’s actually a terrible tracker her foot gets snared in some sort of trap. Daryl comes to her rescue, nonchalantly slapping the walker to the ground.
The duo continues on their way, coming up on a graveyard. Beth whines some more about her foot, and Daryl offers to give her a piggyback. Beth says, “are you serious?” To which Daryl responds, “Yeah, it’s a serious piggy back.” Daryl, you comedian. I just love you so. Mid-piggyback, they see a gravestone that says ‘Beloved Father’ and they stop. Daryl places flowers on the grave, and Beth reaches for Daryl’s hand. It’s unclear what role Daryl is playing in Beth’s life at this point. Father, brother, friend, boyfriend? A combination of all of them? One things for sure – I know I definitely don’t want to see them make out.
Back in the woods, Bob and the ladies see a sign for Terminus. Maggie wants to go, because she thinks Glenn will follow the map. Bob agrees. (A part of me keeps wondering why one of the characters doesn’t whip out their cell phone to snap a sweet pic of the map for future reference, but then I remember, oops, no cell phones. I’d totally be doomed in WD-land.) Somewhat refreshingly, Sasha is the first one to voice some cynicism about Terminus, saying, “If it sounds too good to be true….” Regardless, Maggie still wants to go, and Bob doesn’t want to split up so they continue down the tracks.
Later on that evening, Bob and Sasha have a secret chat. Sasha thinks that they need to find a place to stay. She says that Glenn is probably dead, they’ll all be dead someday. They just need to survive. Sasha tries to convince Bob to get Maggie to agree to her plan.
Maggie has other plans because the next morning, Bob is crouched on the ground. In the dirt is a block letter note from Maggie. “DON’T RISK YOUR LIVES FOR ME. GOOD LUCK.” Bob tells Sasha that they can still catch up to Maggie if they leave right then.
Daryl and Beth walk into a mortuary. The interior looks pretty untouched, and super clean. Definitely cleaner than my house. Beth comments on the cleanliness, and Daryl observes that someone’s been tending to it. If that’s not a warning sign, I don’t know what is.
They wander into the mortuary kitchen, and discover the holy grail of food. Canned goods and diet cola galore. There’s even an entire shelf of baby food. Once again, Daryl observes that there’s not a speck of dust on the food.
Daryl says that they should take some and leave the rest. Beth smiles at him with her big bright naïve eyes and says that Daryl is a good person. He shakes off the comment and calls the jar of pig’s feet. I don’t think Beth was planning on claiming those, but whatevs Daryl. You should get whatever you want because you’re awesome.
Later on that night, Beth goes generally useless things like playing the piano and singing while Daryl secures the house, stringing a sophisticated zombie security system of cans and twine around the entry ways, and boarding up the windows. He comes inside and calls the coffin as a bed, because he’s a badass, and face it, now that Daryl mentioned it, that coffin does look pretty comfy. He asks Beth to keep playing, and all snide comments aside about Beth’s uselessness; it’s a pretty sweet scene.
On the tracks, Maggie comes up along another sign for Terminus. She sees a walker stumble towards her. She quickly disposes of it, but then slashes into it’s stomach and digs her hand into the bloody mess with gusto.
Bob and Sasha walk down the tracks. Sasha notes, “You have been grinning since the prison. Do you even know why you’re smiling?” He responds that he does. He’s not alone. Following the tragedies with both of his previous groups, he ended up alone, and he broke the streak. Just then, the duo spots Maggies sign. “Glenn Go To Terminus. Maggie” is written in walker blood. Maggie is the queen of DIY writing implements this episode. If there was a Pinterest for how to make signs in the zombie apocalypse, I would totally follow Maggie Green.
Beth and Daryl continue to play house. He carries her into the kitchen, bride style, which is weird. They start to sit down to a pretty gross looking peanut butter and pig’s feet feast, but Daryl hears a noise and stealthily creeps to the front door, crossbow ready. It’s a mangy one-eyed dog. The dog runs off.
After they eat dinner, Beth says that she is writing a thank you note for the food. Unlike her sister, Beth doesn’t have to be savvy with her writing utensils because she’s found a pencil! Daryl mentions that he wants to stay, and that if the people come back they will “make it work”. Beth grins and says “so you do think there are good people around. What changed your mind?” Daryl sheepishly shakes his head and mumbles, “you know.” They share a look, and Beth realizes that she has had an effect on Daryl, and that they care for one another in a deep and complicated way.
Side note - I understand that they’re probably starving, and exhausted but I think at this point Daryl has been swayed by Beth’s eternal naiveté and optimism. The previous Daryl wouldn’t have stayed in that house for as long as they did. There were warning signs all over the place. He is attracted to Beth’s sunny outlook on life and this is cute and sweet and all, but Daryl truly knows how the world works. Beth even mentioned that he was made for “this world” in the previous episode. Since Beth helped him let go of his demons by burning them to the ground, he is hoping for a life he never had. And, sadly he won’t ever have it.
Beth and Daryl’s weird but sweet moment is broken by another commotion on the porch. Daryl gets up without his usual caution and goes to the door with the jar of pig’s feet, saying he’s going to give the dog just one more chance. He opens the door with no cautionary measures (an act not befitting Daryl Dixon), and a horde of WALKERS stream through the door. Daryl screams to Beth, and she tosses him his crossbow like some sort of pixie sidekick. He yells at her to “grab your shit and get out of here!” Daryl handily takes on all of the walkers, and then races back outside just in time to glimpse Beth’s pack strewn on the ground, and a car racing down the driveway.
In a heartbreaking moment, Daryl sprints down the road, crying out Beth’s name over and over again.
Daryl jogs down the road, out of breath but determined. Eventually he slows to a walk, and comes up upon the train tracks. He collapses in the middle of the street, at a literal crossroads.
Bob and Sasha continue and approach a town. She points at a tall brick building, and says that they can set up shop there. There’s a bit of back and forth as Bob says hes’ not stopping, and Sasha says that they are. As they debate, Bob pulls out what he thinks is going to be his ace in the hole, and kisses Sasha. Bob doesn’t look like the best kisser, because Sasha just stands, unmoving, until he backs away. When did a kiss ever win an argument Bob? Definitely not this time, because Bob heads down the tracks, and Sasha stands alone.
Sasha cases the brick building. You think Bob could’ve at least stayed to help her secure it, but no. It’s a big building with a large loft space on top. She stands alone at the top, and removes her gear. Come to think of it, this is probably the first time she’s been alone since the end of the world. She goes to use the compass at the window, and sees Maggie lying on the ground between two walkers. Why Maggie is playing kindergarten nap time with two dead walkers is beyond me, but whatever.
Sasha leans out the window, and the pane tumbles out, crashing to the ground and attracting more walkers. She races down with her pointy stick, and she and Maggie take on a small herd. Maggie wins points for using a No Parking sign as the best weapon of the episode, and continues to solidify her status as the best damn DIY-er on the Walking Dead.
The two women chat back to back, still casing their surroundings. Maggie asks Sasha for help finding Glenn and getting to Terminus, and Sasha says yes. A bit later, they’re walking down the tracks and they find Bob. Sasha hugs him. Yay!
Back at the crossroads, Daryl encounters some men with guns and bows. Bad men. The goons that Rick encountered a few episodes ago. NOOOOO! The king of the goons approaches Daryl and comments on his bow. The two of them have a faceoff, and the Goon King appears to believe that Daryl is one of their own, and introduces himself. Joe. Crap. Daryl’s stuck with these awful men now. What will he do? I secretly hope he kills all of them in their sleep.
The very last scene of the episode delivers an emotional punch. Glenn finds a sign to Terminus. YES.
Some final thoughts –
Is Bob basically alluding to the fact that Terminus is doomed for the entire episode? He continually mentions that all groups fall apart for one reason or another. This will be his fourth. Why will this one be any different? Will he get out alive?
Where is Beth? I highly doubt that ‘good’ people kidnapped her. I think her worldview is about to get drastically reframed.