It’s been a couple of long weeks since we last caught up with Tara, Glenn, Abraham, Dr. Porter and Rosita, which means a few things: Dr. Porter’s mullet continues to out-dazzle everything in sight, and they may or may not be heading toward Terminus. We know from bits and piece of the last couple of episodes of The Walking Dead that Maggie, Sasha and Bob are headed there after a seriously volatile case of indecision regarding whether or not they would set out to help Maggie find Glenn, or find a base camp to protect themselves. There are at least six separate groups headed in various directions now—if you believe Beth, who was kidnapped by someone in Hearse, is alive still. Will Terminus bring the salvation it promises? Or is it just another dead end with no resources to keep up morale, no protection, a barn full of walkers, and/or a dictator with a severe idea of what constitutes shelter?
Protection and vulnerability have been a major theme as of late. Daryl was just breaking down his walls with Beth at his side before joining a group of unruly men with new world rules. Carol had to make a tragic choice last week. Sasha almost left Bob alone out there so she could feel safe in a building and stop sleeping with one eye open out in the forests. Aloneness has crept in, perhaps in ways it hadn’t for many seasons, even say, since the very first episode of the series. Remember all the way back to Rick waking up in that hospital bed? No Carl. No Lori. The importance of togetherness has continuously meant someone has their backs covered—it has prevented death at so many turns. But, can it hold out forever?
Trotting along, Abraham, Tara, Glenn and the gang are walking the tracks after Abraham sort of, kind of outs Tara by asking her if she’s into Glenn or into Rosita. (You guys, he so caught her checking out Rosita’s boobs earlier that night, and calls her out!) Tara bashfully smiles, a little unsure about how to respond. She simply compares his military duties to her own missions—asking him what they’re supposed to do when a mission ends. I feel ya, girl.
I don’t even know if she means “my mission as a single lesbian on the hunt for a cool lady.” But if she is mourning the loss of OKCupid or is super mad still about the middle part of The Kids Are All Right and wonders if Ellen Page made it through the zombiepocalypse, then yes, what DO we do when our missions end?
Glenn has finally spotted the first of bloody Maggie signs that she’s in fact going to Terminus. His eyes light up and he charges ahead. This episode is huge—setting us up for the kind of joyful reunion we only get once in a blue moon in TWD, but worthy of the wait. Getting to know Beth was sweet, and I wish Daryl and Carol would sync back up because they need each other so much. The budding friendship between Michonne and Carl is endearing beyond words. However, it’s time to get to goddamn Terminus. And it’s time for Glenn and Maggie to have that reunion. So long as everyone follows the train tracks, something tells me we’ll get there.
Speaking of Daryl—he’s really found himself in a sticky situation. He’s linked up with a band of rebels who adhere to a strict set of rules. You claim things, and if you don’t, or if you steal or lie, it’s punishable by death. The leader of this group is a silver fox named Joe who seems to have his eye on Daryl, and wants him to stick around. But, is this safe for Daryl?
Glenn and the gang have reached another sign from Maggie. Problem is: They’re at a tunnel, which means this episode has turned into a Choose Your Own Adventure book yet again, If they skip over the tunnel and track further out, it’ll take extra time, but if they charge into the dark, where walker echoes gurgle in the distance, who’s telling if they’ll make it. (We all saw how clumsy Dr. Porter can be, and the man’s gotta make it to D.C. to “save the world.”) It’s no wonder Glenn’s finally shed himself of his prison armor to lend to Dr. P. He needs it — bad. Finally, Glenn and Tara decide to part with Abraham, Dr. P and Rosita. The tunnel it is!
Oh, wait. Before you guys go, Dr. Porter has to flash us a few more angles of his mullet, and gift you with these parting words:
Dr. Porter: I have to say, you are seriously hot, Tara.
Tara: Uh, yeah. I like girls.
Dr. Porter: I’m well aware of that.
Glenn, holding back his laughter, looks down and grins.
He and Tara go onward. Tara tells Glenn about the night she lost her girlfriend, her neice, and then finally her sister in the prison raid that began with Hershel’s death. She’s still troubled by what she saw–like we all are. The tunnel turns into a cave-like mess with walkers caught in a pile of rubble that looks impossible to get around. They make their way over the heap, but Tara gets her leg caught in some rocks. Fearing for the worst, she firmly instructs Glenn to get the hell out of dodge. Glenn being Glenn refused to leave and just as the walkers are about to take the both of them out—bright ass lights from the other end of the tunnel flash onto the walker-pile followed by a ripple of shots.
Who’s that standing in the dust? IT’S MAGGIE. YOU GUYS, it’s Maggie! This moment is romantic to the extreme. Glenn has reunited with his wife. I want to cry, but I’m so stressed out right now!
Daylight breaks again and we see Daryl has chosen to stick with silver fox Joe’s gang for another day. He’s getting the hang of the rules and it looks like they’re sticking to the tracks, but trouble is brewing. They tell Daryl that Terminus is a giant lie. But they’re headed down the tracks that way anyhow, because there’s man who they’re on a mission to find — only problem is, just one of them caught his face. Who could this mystery man be? All signs point to Rick. It seems this is the same group that Rick had to escape from when they barged into the house he, Carl and Michonne were squatting at in Episode 11. Now, they’re tracking Rick and headed to Terminus to finish their deed.
That said, Maggie, Glenn, Tara and the rest of the gang have finally made it to Terminus. The sun is high in the sky and their heels are tired from walking. They make their way in through a set of gates that are very loosely bound together. It’s not like the prison compound, or the Governor’s town, that’s for sure. Where are the gunmen watching the premises? Instead, there are signs of life: Wash basins and a garden. A woman is cooking at a grill and turns to greet everyone. “I’m Mary! Welcome to Terminus,” she says with a warm smile.
But is it too good to be true? Questions linger in the air as we wait with bated breath for the highly anticipated season finale. Will Rick, Carl and Michonne make it to Terminus, or will they cross paths with Daryl and his cronies first? What the hell happened to Beth? Does Dr. Porter really know what caused this all to happen? Will they really ever make it to Washington? Are we going to jinx things if we get too cozy over Glenn and Maggie being reunited again? Is Terminus a big lie? Is someone important going to die? We can’t rule anything out, can we? And anyway–doesn’t the word “terminus” make you think of the word “terminate”? Exactly.
Follow Kim Hoffman on Twitter: @the_hoff and tune in next Sunday for the season four finale of “The Walking Dead.”