Season four of AMC’s hit zombie-apocalypse drama The Walking Dead wraps up tomorrow after 16 surprisingly good installments. This year, especially the second half of the season, the episodes have been consistent and strong, especially considering that has been a huge issue, and right now The Walking Dead is as good as it has ever been. Building up to the finale, the network has released a series of ominous character posters, and they’re back with three more that still seem to indicate gloom and doom on the horizon, if and when the survivors reach the mysterious Terminus.
After the events at the prison that finished up the first half of the season, the group of survivors was forced to split up and find their own way through the walker infested Georgia wilderness. Like the episodes, these posters check in with one splinter at a time, and first up we have Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman). Wounded, worried about his sister, and playing guardian to two young girls and a newborn, he’s had some stuff to deal with. And then factor in the brutal, heart-breaking situation that he and Carol (Melissa McBride) had to deal with in “The Grove” a few weeks ago, and he’s carrying an almost unbearable emotional weight with him as he approaches Terminus, which may or may not provide a safe haven.
More than any character in the second half of the season, Beth (Emily Kinney) has been a pleasant surprise. Over her time on the show she’s mostly just been there as filler, but wandering alone with Daryl (Norman Reedus), the writers have finally given her an actual character to play. Just look at “Still,” not only does she deal with the imminent danger of being eaten, but there’s the whole watching-her-father-get-beheaded thing, her missing sister, but she also has the awkward privilege of growing up in this horror story of a world. She has a lot going on, and the show is finally showing some of that.
Rick (Andrew Lincoln) has honestly become my least favorite people on The Walking Dead, and is the most single-note character on a show that has been populated almost exclusively by flat characters. The strongest episodes of the season have been ones where he is entirely absent, or at least in a coma. On the other hand, Rick not being around gave Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Carl (Chandler Riggs) time to come into their own, which they both sorely needed. We’ll see if they all make out of season four alive.
Here’s the brief description we have of the finale, “A”: “As multiple paths collide, Rick comes face to face with sheer brutality. Will he and the group have what it takes to survive?”
That doesn’t get into the specifics, but while it sounds like the remaining pieces of the prison crew will come back together at the end, that it might not be an entirely happy occasion. When you look at the “sheer brutality” portion of this synopsis, I have to wonder if that means they’ll encounter the Hunters, a group of survivors who have some very specific dietary restrictions. When it was announced that Anissa Matlock was being added to the cast, there was speculation that she could be a part of this group. I don’t know how likely this scenario is, but it’s certainly possible that the whole Terminus thing could be an elaborate trap. Something to think about and keep you busy until tomorrow night.