The season finale of “The Walking Dead,” “A,” combined both entertainment and suspense through its use of action and dialogue. However, considering the hype the episode received prior to its airing, the finale felt lackluster.
Here is the good, the bad and the ugly of the season four finale:
Rick is back to being the central character.
As rough as Rick’s [Andrew Lincoln] journey has been in the past four seasons, it was always clear that the show is meant to follow him. When the back half of this season split the group up, we lost sight of Rick as our central character. Now, he has moved back to the forefront.
We’ve seen the lengths Rick will go to protect his son Carl [Chandler Riggs] and the other people he loves. However, in the finale, we see just how much rage he possesses when he bites Joe’s [Jeff Kober] throat out and repeatedly stabs Carl’s attacker in the throat and torso. After losing so many people in his life, it is obvious why Joe is acting this way, but highlighting that in this episode was important to set the tone for next season.
Rick is the epitome of what the apocalypse does to people. Without his story, the show loses its emotional core.
We still don’t know where Beth is.
For the last few episodes, there has been no sign of Beth [Emily Kinney] and very little mention of her. What baffles me is that this half of the season, so much time was spent developing her character and her relationship with Daryl [Norman Reedus]. With that being said, it is bizarre that Beth gets kidnapped and no one seems to care. Even Daryl, who spent a lot of time with her, did not seem fazed by it. My guess is, as I’ve said before, Beth is in Terminus. The real question that will hopefully be answered early next season is if she is still alive. The idea of the Terminus group being cannibals has been thrown around a lot on social media and during this episode we saw a bunch of skeletons. This could mean that Beth was in this episode, just being cooked on the grill.
The “cliffhanger” was mediocre.
When the episode ended, I didn’t jump out of my seat. I wasn’t upset that I have to wait six months for the show to come back. This is because the ending was anticlimactic. Sure, they’re trapped in a train car with little chance of surviving and Rick does have an epic Walter White-esque ending line, but what else is there? They’re all in the same amount of danger. What would be interesting is if Carol and Tyreese (who I’m assuming are still on their way to Terminus) showed up and saw what was happening. Putting the remainder of the group in the car together was only smart in the sense that the group is once again united.
One thing the finale did well was set up a great start to season five. Hopefully it won’t take long for us to find out where Beth, Carol, Tyreese (and Judith) are and see the group’s escape begin. In the future, though, I hope the creators remember that it’s a lot easier to care about an individual character than it is to remember to care about a group of them.
“The Walking Dead” season five premieres in October at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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