The Walking Thread

[Content Note: Descriptions of violence. Spoilers are lurching around undeadly herein.]

image of Daryl from The Walking Dead, with a soulful look on his face
These eyes are the window to the only soul left in this show.

When last we left our sweaty band of survivalists, Grimes Gang + the Doctor Mulletsworth Crew had reached Terminus, following signs that promised sanctuary, only to be shoved into a train car to await their literal slaughter by the bunch of fine young cannibals running the joint. Soylent Terminus is people!

We knew this wasn't the end for Grimes Gang, though—and not just because there's no way AMC is going to make burgers out of this cash cow anytime soon, but because last season ended with Grimes growling, "They're gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out they're screwing with the wrong people." And Grimes always keeps his promises! No matter how improbable! Because he is full-tilt powered by patriarchy and perspiration!

Grimes Gang spends their time building makeshift weapons in the train car, but their weapons are useless against the canister of teargas the Terminus Heads launch into the car. They grab Grimes, Daryl, Glenn, and Bob, tying their hands and leading them to their slaughterhouse, along with four other random dudes, who are there to die for our viewing pleasure to try to generate tension, as if this show is likely to kill off any of the three male leads (sorry, Bob).

One by one, the randos are killed, and just when it looks like Grimes Gang Prime is done for (ha ha just kidding there is zero tension because this fucking show), one of the top Terminus Heads interrupts to quiz Grimes about their stash of weapons, which provides just enough time for a big explosion to halt the slaughter.

Cut back to Carol and Tyreese, who are still traveling separately toward Terminus with Baby Zombie Whistle Grimes. They hear gunshots coming from the direction of Terminus, and, as they make their way closer, they bump into some Terminus Head at a cabin and take him hostage. Care of a perfectly timed walkie-talkie conversation he was having, they know Michonne, "the chick with the sword," is being held at Terminus.

Tyreese stays behind with the Terminus Head, who is poorly confined with a loosely tied seatbelt, and with Baby Zombie Whistle Grimes, while Carol takes off for Terminus. She slathers herself in zombie guts so the zombies won't eat her and so she won't be spotted.

Questions: This is not the first time the old zombie goo concealment ruse has been used in the show, and, if it's so effective, why aren't they are lathered up in stink-guts all the time? It's not like there's a shortage of 'em. Also: Considering that survivalists are constantly just decimating hordes of zombies, is it really safe to conceal oneself for travel inside a zombie pack?

Anyway! Carol arrives at Terminus just in time to see Grimes Gang Prime being taken to the slaughterhouse, and so she causes a big explosion care of a propane tank using a firework she stole from the dude who's being incompetently held hostage by Tyreese. In the chaos, Grimes manages to cut through his hand restraints using the makeshift weapon he crafted in the train car. Stab stab stab. Rescue rescue rescue. Grimes, Daryl, Glenn, and Bob make a run for it, and find confirmation in the form of butchered human torsos on meat hooks that these weirdos are definitely cannibals.

Even though our bozo heroes are totally horrified, of course the reveal surprises exactly zero of us, thanks to the heavy-handed hints at the end of last season and the fact that they were about to bleed out the Grimes Gang like livestock.

Chaos chaos chaos. Shooting shooting shooting. Grimes, Daryl, Glenn, and Bob pause in the commotion to have yet another exhausting (but blissfully short) conversation about "who we are." You're all terrible! Just shut up with your precious navel-gazing yawnfests already! If the key to retaining one's humanity is constantly having mendacious, cherry-picked, ill-timed fireside chats about your ethics in the middle of a zombiepocalypse, then I'll be happy to be A MONSTER, thankyouverymuch.

Meanwhile, back at the cabin—surprise!—Terminus Head has loosened his already loose restraints and is threatening to break Baby Zombie Whistle Grimes' neck unless Tyreese goes outside where a bunch of zombies are clamoring to get in the cabin and eat their faces off. Tyreese decides to sacrifice himself for the baby—who Terminus Head inexplicably does not kill instantly, because what purpose does it serve for him to keep her alive? there's not even any meat on dem little bones!—but obviously Tyreese manages to somehow kill all the zombies with his bare hands, then comes back inside and kills the Terminus Head.

This is Very Important, because Tyreese was having angst about killing people and zombies. But when it came down to brass tacks, he killed everything in sight. To save a precious white baby. Who constantly imperils their lives. Obviously.

Meanwhile meanwhile, back in the train car, Doctor Mulletsworth holds forth for the rest of Grimes Gang + His Crew—Michonne, Carl the Hat, Maggie, Sasha, Tara, Sgt. Red Bull, and Rosita Espinoza—giving them a terrific monologue about how before the start of the zombiepocalypse, he was privy to ScienceTM in which weaponized diseases were engineered to fight other weaponized diseases and something something superbug could save humanity.

I don't even know. How am I supposed to pay attention to anything this dude says when I can't take my eyes off his glorious hair?

image of Eugene from The Walking Dead, sporting a tremendous mullet

Eventually, Grimes Gang Prime rescues the rest of Their People, and everyone fights their way out of Terminus, now overrun with FIRE ZOMBIES, and makes for the woods where they've hidden their cache of weapons.

Everyone wants to leave, but Grimes insists they go back and make sure all the Terminus Heads are good and dead, because apparently this blockhead imagines they might survive the zombie onslaught and manage to rebuild the walls around their engulfed-in-flames facility and get Ye Olde Sausage Factory up and running again.

"I run the only Sausage Fest in these parts!"—Grimes.

Everyone starts to tell Grimes his idea is terrible, like most of his ideas, but then Carol shows up, and Daryl runs to her and hugs her like a little kid, and it is very cute. Carol takes them to the cabin, where Grimes and Carl the Hat are reunited with Baby Zombie Whistle and gently squeeze her, because you can't hug a baby tight, no matter how much you want to!

Question: When Carol shows up, she's all clean again. When did she have time to take a shower?! My only guess is that she used a bunch of Baby Zombie Whistle Grimes' baby wipes on getting prettied up for the reunion.

Anyhoo, they all hit the road, presumably after telling Grimes he's fired and making Carol their new leader, since she is not only Queen of Wrecking Your Shit but also President of Getting Things Done and Prime Minister of Good Decision-Making and High Priestess of Being the Opposite of Rick Grimes.

On the way out of Terminustown, Grimes changes a sanctuary sign to read "No Sanctuary." Good one, Grimes.

At the very end, long after they're gone, Morgan (hey, remember that guy?!) finds the sign and looks sad. Aww.

Next time on The Walking Dead: Grimes continues to annoy the everloving shit out of me!

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