Season 4, Episode 15: “Us”
Plot: For the first time in a long time, we have very nearly everyone left over from midseason’s big prison showdown in the same episode. Glenn and Tara are still teaming up with Rectangle head, Danny McBride and Latina Sarah Connor. They’re following the messages Maggie left for Glenn in walker blood along the route to Terminus. Eventually, they come to a dark and scary tunnel that sounds like it’s full of walkers. Rectangle head don’t play tunnels so everyone decides to split up. Tara and Glenn head to tunnel town, while the other three are back off to Washington. Trouble ensues in the tunnel, things are looking bleak for Glenn and Tara when BAM! Reunion time. Maggie, Bob, Sasha and Rectangle head’s gang show up from the other end of the tunnel and mow down some walkers.
Elsewhere, Daryl is palling around with Joe’s crew of delightfully unhinged survivalists. Daryl’s there but not for the long haul. There are some disagreements over claiming stuff – the term the gang uses for marking their territory on stuff they want. At first Daryl resists, but by the end of the episode he’s claiming all sorts of stuff. Has Daryl found his new Merle? Late in the day, Daryl finds out that Joe’s crew is also on the way to Terminus. Not for shelter, but because they’re tracking some guy who was hiding in a house and killed one of their buds. (Whisper: It was Rick!)
Rick, Carl and Michonne make a cameo appearance in a cute little scene where the latter two are playing games for candy bars on the way to Terminus.
The episode ends with Glenn, Maggie and all the rest of that crew showing up at the massively undefended Terminus, walking right in the front door and meeting Mary, a mysterious hippie gal who may or may not be the leader of Terminus, its only resident and/or completely insane. Who knows?
Good: Danny McBride talking about zombie dinosaurs. More and more I’m starting to get the idea that “Walking Dead’s” Danny McBride is as much a scientist as the real Danny McBride. But as long as he keeps coming up with zombie-based theories on dinosaur extinction, whether or not he’s actually furthering the show’s big picture will be completely meaningless to me. In fact, it’s probably better if he doesn’t actually do anything. Four seasons in and this show could use some real comedic relief.
Good: Rectangle head and Tara talk missions. Pretty sure this speech was crucial to Rectangle head’s character. I’m convinced this idea of needing a mission is the reason why he’s ignoring the fact that purported scientist Danny McBride seems like wouldn’t know a beaker from Beaker from The Muppets. He needs something to do and right now that’s getting a mulleted weirdo to Washington to talk to the President or something. Huzzah.
Good: Joe. There’s a slight Charlie Manson vibe to this guy that is just awesome. He’s reduced the world to an incredibly simple concept: If you claim it, it’s yours. Done. Sure, there’s not any thought being given to if whatever’s being claimed is on board, e.g. a lady type. I guess that’s the least delicate way I could put that. But anyway hey, rebuilding society takes time. I’m sure he’ll get around to that whole equal rights stuff soon, right?
Good: Carl and Michonne. No doubt making Carol interesting last week as an achievement, but it still pales in comparison to making Carl a tolerable character. Props belong to Michonne for doing a lot of the heavy lifting as far as this chore went. Turns out all he needed to come out of his irritating shell was a mother figure who wasn’t a gigantic wet blanket and who knew her way around a katana. That simple.
Bad: Joe tracking Rick. I don’t want the finale to be all about resolving this minor angle that’s only had time to gestate for one episode. I’m way more interested in Terminus. You know, that thing we’ve been building up to all half season? Let’s focus on that instead.
Bad: The reunion. Glenn and Maggie are back together. Showing up out of the blue and gunning down a bunch of walkers at the last second? Meh. Didn't do it for me. Glad they're back together though.
Bad: Almost everything that happens involving Glenn’s crew that doesn’t involve Danny McBride. Everything he has a hand in, awesome. The rest of it, I had a hard time caring about. Glenn trading his armor to keep the band together for some reason, Tara hurting her leg, getting trapped in the tunnel. All seemed like a lot of filler. Didn’t care. More dinosaur talk from the guy with the mullet please.
Good: The tunnel. Cool setting. Wasn’t used all that well, and a better example of the exact same sequence can pretty much be found in “The Stand,” by Stephen King, but oh well. The dark is always scary.
Good: Terminus. Just walked right in the front door. No locks, no walls. Just a lady at a grill. Hmm. Didn’t see that coming. I’m underwhelmed, but unlike the end of season three, this feels like it’s in a good way.