On the season five finale of AMC's The Walking Dead, "
Conquer," the showrunners have a seriously heavy job as the unanswered questions are bountiful and run deep. Can they satisfy the fandom with tonight's 90-minute show? Let's dive in and find out...
We start out with the ever-so-elusive Morgan!!! Morgan has literally been in the background this entire season, and I'm thrilled to catch up with him.
He's alone in the woods, and now I'm beginning to think the theory that the "Ws" on the walkers are actually upside-down "Ms" for Morgan and madness and majestic could be accurate.
Oh never mind. Cuz now there's a dirty ragged man-child with a gun on Morgan while he's drinking his instant cocoa and Morgan asks him what the "W" is for (since there's a huge one on his forehead).
MC tells him that, "The first settlers put bounties on wolves heads, brought the natives into it, made them hunt them. Didn't take them too long to kill them all. They're back now. Thoughts?"
Morgan tells him "everything gets returned," I think... I couldn't understand exactly what he was saying, even after several thirty-second turnbacks on my DVR. Anyway, MC tells him he enjoys talking to new people. He tells them they burn through camps and set traps. He seems to be enamored by meeting Morgan in the woods as equals. MC tells him that he's going to take every last drop of what Morgan has, including Morgan himself. This guy is beyond creepy, but still, my money is on Morgan.
MC cocks his gun and tells Morgan to be still. A second dude comes rushing at Morgan from the woods, and Morgan deftly takes both of them down. Morgan gives them both the chance to leave but when they refuse, uses a big stick to continue to kick their asses. He still gives them the chance to walk away, but they rush him again. Now they're unconscious and a walker is a coming. Just go Morgan, let these creeps be dinner. Yeesh. People really are more dangerous than the dead these days.
Morgan loads them in his car and honks the horn. Either friend or foe will be drawn to it and then their douchey lives are in the hands of fate. Good riddance. Though I am glad that the whole "W" thing looks like it will be coming to light this episode.
Now we pick up with Daryl biking through a wooded back-road, with a car hot on his heels. The driver of the car turns out to be Daryl's new bestie, Aaron.
Oh okay, well now we're onto Rick who I assume is just coming-to from being knocked the hell out by Michonne. He chuckles as he wakes and Michonne asks what's so funny from a dark corner.
Rick gives a weird, vague answer and Michonne gives the rundown of what's happened since he's been out. Then she levels with him. Asks what he's thinking. She tells him that they put Pete in a different house and that she's mad he didn't tell her what was happening. He tells her he couldn't be honest with her, because she needed this place too much.
Glenn, Carol and Abraham come in and ask why he stole the gun from the armory. He says, "just in case." Glenn tells them Deanna wants to have a meeting. Carol tells Rick that he needs to tell them exactly what they need to hear. When asked why she's placating them, she tells them, "because these people are children and children like stories." God I love her.
Rick lays out the plan for what's happening at the meeting tonight. They will not be made to leave, but they will keep Alexandria if it comes down to it. Carol tells them they have knives and, with these people, that's all they'll need. Rick says this was not his intention and that he screwed up. That's a monumental admission for Rick.
Maggie is now speaking with Deanna and they're going to talk to about the meeting tonight. Deanna says they won't talk about this, and Maggie tells her that if the meeting includes sending Rick away then it is not going to work. She puts up a hell of an argument for Rick and tells Deanna putting whether he stays or goes to a vote from a bunch of frightened people who don't have the whole story is not leadership. Rick didn't pull the trigger on anyone and one of THEIR OWN people stopped him. I mean what else is there to say, really?
Sasha is still on her one-woman walker extermination mission, singlehandedly ridding the area of walkers one-by-one. Ew. Except now she's laying on a pile of dead walkers in a walker grave and I am beyond grossed out. Not cool, Sasha. Not. Cool.
Daryl and Aaron are on the trail of something now, and I assume it's those W creepers. Or Morgan. They're spilling stories and forging their bestie bond even further. Aaron's telling him about the three people they had to exile. They left them miles away without any weapons and clearly Aaron doesn't feel good about it.
Carol is rousing Rick and tells him that it's good that shit went down the night before. Carol is wondering whether or not Michonne and Glenn are really with them, which is why she didn't tell them about their extra guns... you know... "just in case." Then she tells Rick he can't NOT take Alexandria and not lie. "You don't get both sunshine." Carol is just the best.
After the commercial break we come back to Daryl and Aaron checking somebody out walking through the fields in a red poncho. So this is who they've been tracking. Oh just kidding, back to Rick.
Rick leaves the infirmary and has to walk by some townspeople. They exchange pleasantries as if he didn't have a gun on them last night. Deanna also spots him and shoots him some aggressive side-eye.
Then we see Nicholas creeping on Glenn in the shadows, clearly thinking about just getting rid of the threat now. But Maggie walks up and she's the cutest and they're the cutest, and NO DON'T WALK AWAY, MAGGIE, NICHOLAS WILL TRY TO KILL GLENN!
Glenn spots the asshat climbing up a drain pipe. Then we see the other huge asshat, Father Gabe, leaving the grounds. The guard asks if he's sure he doesn't want a gun, and Gabe says he just needs a walk and the word of God will be all the protection he needs.
Carl is now trying to implore Rick that they have to stay here because these people will die without them. Carl does not want to leave, and Rick does not know if he can make them understand that things have to change.
Daryl and Aaron have lost track of the dude in the red poncho. Instead, they've stumbled upon a food distribution warehouse. Aaron tells them that it's not often they come upon something like this and, if they're going to continue to shelter the good people left, they're going to need to be able to feed them. So they abandon their mission to find red poncho and go to explore the bounty.
They very nonchalantly open one of the doors which turns out to be an enormous booby trap that opens every trailer and dock door in the place effectively unleashing a fucking storm of walkers. This has got to be one of those traps those W dudes were talking about. Now they're in a car that likely doesn't run with a parking lot worth of walkers upon them.
The sheer volume of walkers is enough to collapse every window in the car. While looking for something to block the view, they find a handwritten note that says, "Bad people coming, don't stay." Not good.
Now Carol is at Pete's house telling him that he needs to check on Tara. He tells her to get out, and she pulls a knife on him. She tells him that she could kill him right now and nobody would believe it. Then she literally says, "Come at me," continues to bait him and he doesn't move a muscle. Wisest thing he's done so far. She tells him he's a small, weak nothing and that in this world, this makes him even weaker. But, if he plays his cards right he may not have to die. Then she leaves him a casserole and tells him that she wants her dish back clean when he's done. Have I mentioned she's the best?
Glenn appears to still be on Nicholas's trail and oh my fucking god holy shit oh my God. He shot Glenn. But wait, maybe not? Because when he looks for Glenn he's not there. So maybe a shot but not a fatal one?
Rick is at Jessie's and she tells him to get away, people shouldn't see them talking right now. Pete sees Rick at his house from a distance and gets a murderous look in his eyes.
We're back in the car with Aaron and Daryl who are basically just waiting to be eaten or shot or something at this point. Daryl tells Aaron that being surrounded by writhing maneaters still feels more natural than being in one of those houses in Alexandria. Aaron is mad that he gave up and looks kind of swoony at him and Daryl lights a cig and tells him that he's going finish that and then go out and distract the walkers so Aaron can make a run for the fence. Aaron says no way, they're going to run for the fence together and fight side-by-side. Daryl agrees and they get ready to make a break for it when one of the walkers at the window is killed. MORGAN TO THE FUCKING RESCUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They make quick work of it and get on the other side of the fence. Aaron introduces them and Daryl asks why Morgan helped him. Morgan says that it's because all life is precious. They invite him back to Alexandria and he tells them that, actually, he's looking for someplace and shows Daryl the map that Abraham left for Rick way back when.
Now Father Gabe is going to commit suicide-by-walker-consumption by walking through the woods whistling and opening his arms to the Lord and hollering, "I'm ready." I'm ready for you to go too, dude.
Father Gabe is being attacked by a walker, seemingly ready to die, but when it comes right down to it, he actually just kills the walker instead. The walker had been munching on a dude in the road, and he's still twitching disturbingly. Gabe puts him out of his misery and then falls into a weeping mess on the road.
Abraham comes to bring Tara flowers but tries to leave once he sees Eugene. Rosita tells him that it's okay, because Eugene is asleep. So Abe sits and Rosita makes a ruckus to wake Eugene so that they're forced to talk. Eugene apologizes to and thanks Abraham for keeping him safe and for his heroism. Abe then apologizes to Eugene for almost killing him, and Eugene tells him it's unnecessary.
Gabe comes back to Alexandria and Aiden's brother asks if they can talk later, you know, Priest to civilian. Brother bear leaves Gabe to close gate, which was a huge mistake because obviously Gabe cannot be trusted with literally anything. He leaves the gate gaping open. Fucking idiot.
We catch up with Nicholas in the woods and Glenn attacks him. So at least Glenn is alive. But he is wounded and Nicholas quickly uses that to his advantage. He gets Glenn on the ground a bunch of walkers come up on him. Oh my God no. They cannot kill Glennnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Michonne comes in to collect Rick for the meeting and he spills the beans about why they didn't tell her about the guns, because they weren't sure if they could trust her or not. She tries to assure him that they're all on the same side, and that they don't NEED the guns here. She thinks they can find a way to make it work here, but if they don't? She's still with him, always. Just, can they just fuck and get it over with already? The sexual tension on this show is too much to bear sometimes.
Rick spots something out the window and goes to investigate. Oh, it's the open gate, thanks for that Father Gabe. And around the gate, Rick spots blood on the ground. He locks everything up quickly and goes to investigate.
Father Gabe comes upon Sasha in the chapel and she starts to share her problems. When asked if he can help her, the good Padre tells her, "no."
Now we're onto the meeting and Glenn and Rick are not present. Maggie asks her to wait and Deanna says no. Carol gives her best housewife face to try and ease the tension of the missing group members.
Nicholas is walking through the woods alone and we have zero idea what happened to Glenn. Mother eff. Sasha tells Father Gabe that she thinks she wants to die. He asks why wouldn't she want to die, after what she did? What she did can never be undone. He tells her that none of them deserve to be here.
Rick is still wandering the streets and hits paydirt when he finds a walker roaming. Oop, more than one, a whole shit-ton. In the midst of all this, Sasha and Father Gabe are still fighting.
Then we see Nicholas wandering the woods in the dark when Glenn comes up and knocks him out from behind. HOORAY! Glenn lives!!!
The group is giving testamonials about why Rick not only deserves to stay, but why they should listen to what he has to say. All the while, Rick is trying to protect the town from the intruders.
Abe tells the committee that the world is a vast ocean of shit, that they don't know shit about, and that Rick knows every grain of sand in that shit. Basically, Rick is who they all should aspire to be.
We then see red poncho and the W boys coming upon the trap that Daryl and Aaron tripped. They said it would take too long to reset it, and then they kill red poncho guy.
They're all still giving testimonials about why Rick is the best. Now Deanna stands up and says she needs to share something in the spirit of transparency. She tells them what Father Gabe said about the group. Jessie tells Deanna that there's no proof any of that transpired since she didn't tape him and the Father isn't there corroborate the story.
Glenn now has Nicholas pinned and Sasha has Father Gabe pinned. But before we see what happens there, we shoot back to the booby trap and see the W guys blasting music to lure the walkers back into their trailers.
Then one of the Alexandrians says that they just want to protect his family, and if that means getting rid of... oh and then Rick comes in bloody and carrying a walker on his back which he quickly drops to the floor.
Oh we flash back to Glenn and Nicholas and Glenn letting that utter douchebag go when he clearly just should have killed him. Now Maggie comes up on Sasha holding the gun over Father Gabe and stops her. Gabe tells Maggie that she should let him die because they all died because of him. She bends down to help him up.
Rick tells the people that he did not let the walkers in, but they got in anyway. He tells them that they HAVE to protect themselves against all the threats out there because people will try to kill them and take what they've got. And as if on cue, the W guys find pictures of the Alexandria community while gathering the walkers back into their traps.
Rick tells the group that he was wondering how many of them he would have to kill before he could save them. But now he says that he's not going to do that because they are going to change. They are going to change and protect themselves. Then Pete comes in with a sword and kind of, somewhat accidentally kills the only voice of reason in the place, Reg, Deanna's husband. Deanna looks up at Rick, weeping, while Pete is still rambling and says, "Do it."
In that moment, Rick kills Pete and hears someone say, "Rick?" He looks up and sees Morgan sandwiched between Daryl and Aaron, and that's the end.
Or wait, no, maybe now is the end. Michonne is putting her sword back in it holster on her back, where we all know it belongs. So clearly she has had a change of heart.
Then we REALLY end the episode with a car that bears a message that I can't read.
I mean, really? Really? That's it?! That's how you're ending the entire season!? Arrrgggghhhhhhhhh. We have to wait SEVEN MONTHS!?!??!??! Ugh. The only thing making up for this travesty is the fact that Norman Reedus, Melissa Mcbride and the actor that plays Morgan, Lennie James, on The Talking Dead
So I'm going to try and forget that this ever happened and just bask in the glory of this. I guess, see you in October, or something.
Okay fine. I give this episode two stars only. And it only gets THAT many because of how utterly amazing it was to have Morgan back, and what an extraordinary character Carol has turned out to be. She is complex and strong and self-sufficient and smart and what all writers should aspire to create for their women characters.
See? I can say nice things. So yeah. October.
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