'The Walking Dead' Season 4 Finale: So, What Exactly Is Terminus?
'The Walking Dead' Season 4 Finale: So, What Exactly Is Terminus?
Gina Vaynshteyn
Gina Vaynshteyn
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
For eight episodes, we have patiently waited to find out what Terminus had in store for The Walking Dead crew. Personally, I always thought "Terminus" sounded creepy, and wasn't totally surprised to learn it wasn't the safe haven the characters hoped for. While we now know that Terminus is "bad," the season four finale never did shed light on what exactly goes down. Does that make the finale stronger, or does it weaken it? 

I'm a Walking Dead fangirl through and through. I've loved it since season one, and I'll continue to love it, watch it, and root for all my favorite characters. I also must admit I found parts of this recent season a bit lost and wandering. It seemed like the writers were transitioning from writer Glen Mazzara's world to Scott Gimple's, who took over at the beginning of season four and will continue writing for the show. Gimple wanted to wrap up the prison life and head in a completely new direction, and did this by splitting everyone up. This wasn't a bad idea, but as far as cohesion goes, it wasn't totally solid. 

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In fact, the latter half of season four was slow. Heavily dependent on character development (which isn't a bad thing), the show took its time to focus on Beth, Carl, and Michonne. It also highlighted the fact that humans in a non-human world are bound to change. Maybe they are "too far gone." 

While the slow pace kind of bugged me, I still held out in hopes for a dramatic season conclusion. Terminus has been such a huge motif, that I expected it to play a much larger role in the finale. In fact, most of the finale was about Rick's resurgence into his old leader self. The flashbacks (which were mostly distracting, in my opinion) paralleled Old Rick to New(er) Rick. They showed how Rick grew into his farmer, almost spiritual, position and how this helped heal him as well as the group. Of course, this kind of mindset is not appropriate anymore, and Rick learns that this season, after he has to kill several men who pose as a threat to his family. Kill, or be killed. 

By the time we get to Terminus, most of us probably felt off about the whole thing. The writers focused on Rick burying his weapons "just in case" and that's never a good thing (smart thinking, Rick!). Gareth is friendly at first, but a creepy kind of friendly that should set off alarm bells. Finally, Rick notices that some of the Terminus members are wearing familiar things. Hershel's watch that he gave Glenn. Glenn's riot gear. Maggie's poncho. Yeah, that's not okay. 

New Rick flips out and orders Michonne, Daryl, and Carl to run, but the Terminus sniper leads them into another trap. We see human bones, a room filled with candles which makes it seem like a major sacrifice went down, and writing on the wall. It's all very morbid, but we're still left assuming. Will the writers follow the comics and go the cannibal route? Is that what's happening?

Gareth orders everyone to line up in a single file line. It frighteningly parallels something out of a Holocaust era concentration camp. One by one, Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Carl are allowed into the boxcar, where they reunite with most of their group, including the newbies. 

The Walking Dead  season 4 finale wasn't a bad one, but it wasn't my favorite. I wanted to learn more about Terminus, and at least have an idea of what's in store for the gang. I get that it's a finale, and I'm not privy to the entire storyline, but some kind of explanation would have been beneficial. All in all, we are left with more questions than answers. 

The Walking Dead season 5 premieres this fall on AMC. 

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(Image courtesy of AMC)