After the mental and spiritual anguish of last week’s horrifying episode, “The Walking Dead” tossed viewers a bone with a much-awaited reunion.
The last episode before the season finale wound together three of the splinter groups after our band of heroes became separated during the attack on the prison. The survivors are all in the home stretch to Terminus, the mysterious place where “those who arrive survive.”
We pivot between Glenn trying to find Maggie; Rick, Carl and Michonne on the road; and Daryl getting acclimated to the group of rednecks he’s running with.
The main plotline revolves around the post-apocalyptic couple of the year. Glenn discovers a message Maggie has left him, saying to head to Terminus. He literally takes off running down the railroad tracks in pursuit of her.
Daryl, meanwhile, is learning the rules of his new gang. He gets into a feud that almost comes to blows over a dead rabbit with Len, a member of the vicious group who has it in for him. Joe, the cutthroat leader, solves the dilemma by chopping the rabbit in half, but it is obvious blood is gonna be spilled. “Ain’t nothin’ sadder than an outdoor cat thinks he’s an indoor cat,” Joe sagely tells Daryl.
While that’s happening, Rick, Michonne and Carl share a more ideal moment. Rick’s wounds from his fight with the Governor are starting to heal. He smiles when he sees Carl and Michonne playing a game to see who can walk on the rails the longest. Life is starting to seem a little sunnier (which is usually when the carpet is yanked out from under our heroes).
Glenn runs everyone with him ragged trying to catch up with Maggie until they follow the tracks to a railroad tunnel that leads underground. Abraham, Eugene and Rosita bail on the idea of walking through a tunnel full of “reanimated corpses,” but Tara feels indebted, after how her group killed Herschel and blew up the prison. She goes with him into the tunnel only to discover a pile of zombies trapped in the rubble and a slew of them blocking their path.
Meanwhile, things finally come to a boil between Daryl and Len, who accuses him of stealing his half of the rabbit. Joe, the arbiter, listens to both sides and promptly punches Len in the mouth and tells the others in the gang to make him pay. “I saw him plant it on you,” he tells Daryl. The new gang does more than just deliver a beating: The next morning, Daryl finds Len beaten to a pulp with an arrow through his head.
Tara and Glenn try to traverse the mound of rubble to pass the walkers blocking the tunnel but Tara’s leg gets stuck. She tells Glenn to leave. He says no and empties his clip into the zombies. As they are about to be overrun, a group appears and blow the walkers away. When they come closer, we see Maggie. She rushes to embrace Glenn — the happy lovers are reunited at last.
As they embrace, Joe, Daryl and the gang of thugs find their way to the tracks. Daryl asks where they are going and Joe tells him they are following a “walking piece of fecal matter” that killed one of their members. We know from a past episode that they are in pursuit of Rick.
Glenn, Maggie, Bob, Sascha, Abraham, Eugene and Rosita make it to Terminus as the episode ends. They enter the gate, pass a garden and enter a labyrinth of buildings, where they see a washing station and a vegetable garden. They see a woman washing dishes ahead. She turns around and welcomes them to Terminus. But where are the rest of the people? Why is the place so deserted? Will Daryl’s gang catch up with Rick? All questions for the final episode.