It’s here! The Season Five finale of ‘The Walking Dead’ is here! So let’s not waste anymore time. As always the following episode recap may contain spoilers and bad taste, reader discretion is advised.
‘Twas the night before Monday and all through the car, not a Walker was stirring, well maybe just one. The rabbit’s foot was hung from the mirror with care, in hopes that St. Grimes soon would be there.
Morgan seems to be doing pretty well for himself. He wakes up and has a nice little breakfast by campfire when a wolf comes sniffing around camp. This wolf has a gun and it’s pointed at his head. Morgan doesn’t seem all that worried though. He just keeps sipping his coffee as the wolf and he have a nice fireside chat. They talk about “W’s” and how the settlers used to put bounties on wolf heads and it’s just like old times. Everything gets a return. The young wolf likes talking to Morgan; he doesn’t get to do that anymore. It’s all raping and pillaging and taking, which is what he is going to do to Morgan. He is going to take everything Morgan has, every last drop. He’s even going to take Morgan. Morgan calmly lets him know he’s not OK with that. The young wolf doesn’t seem to care and it’s then that the wolf in hiding leaps out behind Morgan and tries to chop him into little pieces. Morgan goes all Michonne on the both of them, although his weapon of choice is a staff. Morgan beats them both into unconsciousness, all the while trying to reason with them. Seems you can’t reason with wolves. Morgan loads the duo into the backseat and honks the horn, making sure no Walkers are in the area. Morgan values life. He looks up at the lucky rabbit’s foot hanging from the rearview and grabs it, smiling. Just another day in paradise as the credits roll.
Daryl and Aaron are tailing a few people. Aaron explains to Daryl how he brought three people into Alexandria early on and how he thought they were strong and a good fit. He was wrong. They had to exile them, two men and a woman. He let Daryl know they didn’t fight back because they had their guns, all of their guns. He brought them in and he had to bring them out. He doesn’t want to make a mistake like that again. That’s why they follow, set up microphones, and spend time getting to know the people before approach. There is a method to the madness. It’s a long process but hopefully a solid one.
Rick wakes up in a room, all bandaged up and looking like Marv from Sin City. Appropriate, since I think they have a lot in common at this point. Rick can’t help but laugh, Michonne on the other hand, can. She doesn’t think any of this is funny. Rick equates it to the train car. He’s still here. Things were moving fast, and then Noah… it’s a lot to process. Glen, Carol, and Abraham walk in. Carol is quick to say how Rick stole the single gun from the armory and how dumb that was, not wanting to let the others in on the secret… they have more guns. They talk about the big meeting tonight to decide Rick’s fate. Carol urges Rick to lie, to tell them everything they want to hear. These people are children and children like stories. Rick likes action, and comes up with a rather violent plan to take the city should things go south. When he whistles, let loose the dogs of war. He is very nonchalant about the whole thing. Plus he’s tired. He screwed up and he’s tired. *shrug*
Maggie is giving Father Gabriel the same look my ex-wife used to give me while spying him from a window happily doing his laundry. She turns away in disgust and talks to Deanna and Reg. Maggie has some concerns about leaving Rick’s fate to a group of scared and ignorant people. Deanna lets her know she’ll deal with it herself, like she always does. Reg is a bit more sympathetic and let’s Maggie know that he’ll give his civilization speech to Deanna and everyone else tonight. He seems pretty reasonable and level-headed… so he’ll probably die next.
Speaking of dead, Sasha is milling about outside the walls of Alexandria tossing Walker corpses into a make-shift pit before lying down with them. Rick is unhinged but this girl is crazy.
Carol pays Rick a one-on-one visit and tells him she’s glad last night happened. It puts everyone at ease if they think it’s a one-off incident. She gives Rick another gun, just in case. Rick doesn’t want to lie and says he doesn’t want to take this place. Carol sweetly reminds him he can’t have both.
Rick is finally up and out for a walk. He passes the three armed men outside watching him and eventually passes Deanna who glares at him from her porch. Making friends is what Rick does. At his house Rick meets up with Carl who is glad to see him, but worried. They talk about the meeting tonight and how Rick wants Carl to stay home. They both agree that for the first time in forever they have a home and it’d be a shame to lose it. Rick lets him know that things might go south tonight. Carl isn’t scared for Rick and Co., he’s scared for the people of Alexandria. They will die without them. Rick has to make them understand. He has to make them hear.
It’s a beautiful day and everyone seems to be out. Father Gabriel, armed with the righteousness of God and a whole lot of crazy leaves the compound so he can go for a quick stroll. Maggie finds Glenn and the two of them share a moment while Nicholas angrily watches before scurrying over the wall himself, something Glenn spies and heads out to investigate.
Daryl and Aaron are following Little Red Riding Hood. The guy seems to be leading them all over, though they can see he knows what he’s doing. They eventually lose him at a food cannery. Oh well, can’t save them all… but you can feed the ones you do. Plus, that guy is wearing a bright red poncho, they’ll spot him again. The two clear out some Walkers and head to the dock where they find a bunch of trailers, still closed and hopefully filled with food. Aaron gets a new license plate and the two relax a breath as they open up one of the trailers. Just then Admiral Ackbar swivels in on his space chair and yells his catchphrase! Too late for our heroes as weights and pulleys open all of the trailers and the doors of the dock. Walkers spill out en-masse and chase Daryl and Aaron into a car. The future is not looking bright as we go to commercial.
A metric shit-ton of Walkers are clawing at the car and Daryl and Aaron are desperate. If they block themselves from view they hope something else will grab their attention in a few hours and they can escape. They begin looking for something to block windows when Aaron finds a hastily written note. Don’t stay, bad people coming. They give each other a knowing look and finally realize the depths of the trap they stumbled into.
Pete is at a house, sitting alone in the dark when Carol stops by with a casserole. She wants him to go treat Tara, since he’s a surgeon and all. He has responsibilities. Pete starts to cop an attitude so Scarol makes another appearance and, brandishing a brass knuckle hilted knife, puts him in his place before leaving him alone with a casserole. Pete drops it on the floor and goes into the other room to have a nervous breakdown.
Rick continues his run of good decisions by visiting Hot Neighbor. He’s not sorry for what he did or might have to do in the not so distant future. She seems OK with that. Pete, who watches Rick leave, is not.
Glenn is following Nicholas through the woods. He momentarily loses sight of him, but that’s all that cowardly SOB needs. Glenn is shot in the shoulder and falls down a hill. Nicholas rushes over from cover but Glenn is nowhere to be found. I have a feeling Nicholas just made his last mistake.
Aaron and Daryl are trapped in a car, a horde of Walkers are clawing at the windows. They are going to die. They share a nice little moment and Aaron explains how he made the choice to invite them to Alexandria and the important role Daryl played in that. He praises Daryl. It’s a nice pre-slaughter moment. Daryl, as we know, will not go down without a fight. C3PO better not tell this outdoorsman the odds. He tells Aaron that he is going to lead them away and Aaron needs to make a break for the fence. He just wants to finish his smoke first. Aaron tells him no way, they make the run together. They will live or die together. They steel themselves for the moment. On three.
Bam, a Walkers head caves in outside the window. It’s Morgan and his Staff of Make Jeff Jump Up And Squeal Like A Little Girl! It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum and Morgan is all out of bubble gum. The fight is quick and awesome and soon Morgan, Aaron, and Daryl find themselves alive on the other side of the fence. The bad guys are coming, so they can’t properly enjoy Morgan’s baddassery. Aaron invites him to come to Alexandria with them. Morgan declines because he is on his way to something, though he’s lost. He hands Daryl the map… THE MAP, the one Abraham wrote on so long ago. Daryl almost smiles as he and Morgan share a look of comprehension.
Meanwhile, Father Gabriel is still out for his walk when he comes upon a Walker feasting on some poor soul. He whistles tentatively to get the Walker’s attention. As the creature turns to face him Morgan raises his arms and proclaims that he is ready as we go to commercial. I sure hope so.
Father Gabriel is such a tease. He lured the Walker in only to noose its head off. He then hovered over the writhing body of the one who the Walker was feasting on before smashing in his head and falling to the ground, curling up in the fetal position, and crying.
Abe brings flowers to Tara’s room, cause you know, he’s a big softy. He sees Eugene there and tells Rosita he’ll come back. She assures him Eugene is sleeping and he should come in and sit down. When he does she knocks a metal tray to the floor, waking up Eugene. Oops. It’s time for the two men to talk. Eugene apologizes as only the Tennessee Top Hat can. Abraham apologizes for almost killing him.
Father Gabriel comes back and meets Spencer at the Gate. He asks the Father if they can talk some time… about Aiden and stuff. Father Gabriel seems lost in his own world and says yes. Spencer tells him he is going to sneak off to the meeting and asks if he can close the gate for him. Sure. So as soon as he is out of sight Father Gabriel does the opposite of closing the gate. It’s open, and that can’t be good.
Nicholas is hunting Glenn in the woods. He shoots a Walker and Glenn bull rushes him. The two fight and Nicholas keeps pressing his fingers into Glenn’s shoulder wound, giving the coward an unfair advantage. More Walkers come to play and fall on Glenn, clawing and biting at him. NOOOO! Please let Morgan save him too!
Michonne comes to get Rick and Rick comes clean about everything. He tells her about the guns and tries to give his to her. She refuses. See, she knocked him out for his own sake, not for them. Sure, she wants this to work. They don’t need guns or swords in Alexandria. If on some chance it doesn’t work out, she is with him. She will always be with him. She tells him something is going to happen tonight and advises him not to make something happen. He again tries to hand her his gun and again she does not take it. Rick takes a moment to collect himself before heading to the meeting. He replays Bob’s nightmare speech over in his head. Nightmares end. Just then Rick notices what could be the start of a big one. He rushes outside to the gate. It’s open and there is Walker goo and dribbles of blood leading into the compound. He shuts the gate and runs off to follow the trail.
It’s hitting the fan and this act is fast, furious, and disjointed. Rick is running along the fence, looking for the Walker that got in. He finds it, or rather it finds him. And it’s not alone. Rick fights one off only to get knocked down by another. It’s at this point that Rick Grimes taught me yet another way that guns kill. He pressed the barrel up through the Walker’s neck and pulled the trigger. The Walker’s head acted like a pretty good silencer. Sure, he got a face full of yuck for his troubles, but better than alerting any other Walkers that might be hanging around.
Glenn catches up to Nicholas and beats him senseless.
At the big meeting everyone is talking nice about Rick. Michonne and company remind everyone that they need Rick. Carol, sweet demure Carol, tells how Rick rescued her and has saved her life more times than she can count. People like her, like all of “us” need people like Rick Grimes. Abe even puts his eloquent two cents in as he gives the ole shit speech.
Sasha is in the garage church when Father Better Die This Episode comes in. She is lost and asks for help. He says no. She deserves to die. He even goes as far as to blame Bob’s death on her sins. Sasha promptly beats the crap out of him in a blind rage.
Maggie is talking now. She speaks about Rick and family. She’s very eloquent. Deanna is not pleased. She lets everyone know what Father Gabriel said. Apparently her grief has caused her to drink the crazy Kool-Aid. Even Hot Neighbor speaks up in Rick’s defense. Rick and Gabriel are conspicuously absent.
Glenn hits Nicholas a few more times for good measure and then holds a gun to his forehead.
Sasha hits Father Gabriel a few more times for good measure and holds her big-ass gun to his head.
The Wolves are resetting the trap. These guys are ruthless and will undoubtedly be next season’s Big Bad.
Everyone at the meeting is talking and Rick shows up with a Walker over his shoulder. He dramatically tosses it to the ground and gets to talking. He reminds everyone of the threat lurking outside the walls of Alexandria. The Walkers and the people are going to come for them. They are going to hunt them and try to use them and try to kill them. Rick can’t do it alone; the people of Alexandria have to be ready. Now. Rick’s speech is scary, but shows he isn’t completely insane yet.
Glenn tries his best, but just can’t pull the trigger. He’s a good man. Perhaps the last one left.
Sasha is standing over Father Gabriel as he pleads for her to end him. Maggie comes in and stops her from pulling the trigger. It is emotionally wrenching. Sasha is so lost. Gabriel too. He is lamenting about all those parishioners who died because of him. Maggie takes them both, and holding hands they all form a prayer circle and take their first step back to God.
Pete barges in on the meeting with Michonne’s sword. He’s drunk and looking for Rick. Reg tries to talk him down and gets a sliced throat for his troubles. It’s sad, but I called it. After he dies in Deanna’s arms she looks to Rick and commands him to “Do it.” Rick, with empty, haunted eyes, pulls the trigger and ends Pete. Oh… Morgan, Daryl, and Aaron just got back and watched the whole thing. Morgan and Rick lock eyes as each man sees in the other the person they used to be. A very powerful moment and a great way to end the season.
That’s it folks, the end of Season Five! Oh what a season it was. What did you think of the finale? The season? Find your voice in the comments below.