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Glenn looking a little worse for wear

This week brings the penultimate episode of Season 4; it’s hard to believe that we have only one more week to go after this, and then the long wait until October. Last week was an extremely intense, challenging episode that held viewers in its rather discomfiting spell for the whole hour. How will this week’s episode manage to measure up to that? It is important to note, however, that penultimate episodes have been important each of the last three seasons. In Season 1, we had Episode 105 “Wildfire,” where the survivors arrived at the CDC, only to find things much worse than they thought; then Episode 215 “Better Angels,” notable for the final showdown between Rick and his best friend Shane; and last year’s Episode 315 “This Sorrowful Life,” in which Merle made the ultimate sacrifice as a form of redemption, and the Governor got ready for his assault on the prison. The thing is, each of these episodes was a culmination of events and tensions that had been building for several episodes (for two seasons, in the case of Shane). Here in Season 4 Land, however, things are not quite so obvious. Yes, it looks like Terminus is going to be the location of this season’s endgame, but we still know absolutely nothing about the place, its inhabitants, or their purpose (if the place is even inhabited at this point – the signs could be old). Terminus as a name is patently symbolic, representing both the end of the road for our survivor groups, and the end of the season as they, presumably, start to meet up once again as they arrive, not to mention that it is a euphemism for death itself. Is that what our survivors will find down the tracks? For my thoughts on where “Us” will take, well, us, click through after the break.

<<Spoiler Alert: This Sneak Peek of The Walking Dead Episode 415 “Us” will discuss events from earlier episodes in the series, as well as discussing events that may be upcoming. Read only if you’re all caught up!>>

To begin, let’s take a look at the official Sneak Peek video:

 

A quiet night finds Abraham and Tara sitting with their backs to a tree, watching over the other group members as they sleep. Tara offers to take a turn and let Abraham get some sleep, but he declines, telling her, “No offense, but I’m not leaving Eugene’s life in your hands.” It quickly becomes apparent that he doesn’t trust her, telling Tara that she’s “support, not point.” His military terminology is interesting. To be honest, the complete lack of military outside of the National Guard unit slaughtered by the Governor in Season 3 has always bothered me a little – maybe their units were assigned to high-danger areas and were overrun early on. Abraham suggests that he is only using her and Glen until he gets a suitable vehicle in which to head north, but she hints that it may be only he and Eugene going on. Abraham replies that they “each have their missions.” This kind of bothers me a bit – I know it’s been a few weeks since we saw this group, but the last time we did, Abraham jumps Glen to prevent him from leaving, as he stated quite clearly that he needed Glenn and Tara to help get Eugene to DC. What’s happened in the interim to change his mind? Or is this a gaffe on the writers’ parts? Abraham does make an attempt to bond with Tara over their shared attraction to Rosita; at first he thought she was following Glenn because she was in love with him, but when he saw the way she looked at Rosita, he realized her interests lie elsewhere. This leaves Abraham a bit confused – not over Tara’s sexuality, but over her motivation for helping Glenn. They still haven’t opened up to him about the prison and the Governor (why would they?), so perhaps this is why Abraham is pulling back a little. His worldview is strictly Manichean, a with me or against me dichotomy that informs his decisions, based on what we’ve seen so far.

Next, we have the television Promo video:

 

We start with an overhead view of Daryl with the marauders walking down the tracks, then a front shot of them. Joe (the marauders’ leader) speaks in voice-over: “When men like us…follow rules;” the words THE END appear, and then we cut to Abraham, Tara, and Glenn walking down the tracks, looking worried; “the world becomes ours.” Cut to IS NEAR. Each pause is punctuated with an intense industrial chord, reminiscent of the music from Inception, which is an interesting choice. It not only captures the nightmare-like quality of the world in general, but also of the group that Daryl has inadvertently found himself tied up with. We hear Daryl replying to Joe, “Ain’t no rules no more,” as we see Glenn and Tara from behind, walking down the tracks toward a tunnel. The promo now goes into its flash cut mode. We hear Joe saying, “Well, teach him a lesson gents,” and the group descending on (presumably) Daryl inside an old warehouse; Abraham ducking back as a female walker sticks her head out of a car; Glenn running, out of breath; Daryl sighting down his crossbow in a very brief cut; walkers in artificial light, likely inside the train tunnel; Eugene and Rosita in a car, Rosita in the driver’s seat, and Abraham sticking his head out between them from the backseat; someone confronting a walker in the forest; Glenn and Tara inside the tunnel, lantern held out before them, a bunch of walkers milling about in some sort of pit between us and Glenn, as their heads are at about knee height; Daryl on point with his crossbow raised as the marauders enter a building; Abraham, light from below by a campfire, saying, “Tomorrow, we go to the end of the line” (obviously a euphemism for Terminus – which itself is something of a euphemism for death); and we end on a rising shot looking up the tracks to where they disappear into the forest.

As usual, a whole lot of short clips into which we can read as much, or as little, meaning as we’d like. Based on past experience, the clips will be all out of order, and apparently connected bits very well might not be. The most interesting story here seems to be Daryl’s. It looks like he’s going to have to face some sort of initiation at the hands of Joe’s group. Regarding his clips, I think the building we see them entering is where he’s being “taught a lesson,” and they’re likely on the tracks at the end of the episode. Personally, I hope not – I’d like to see Daryl ditch and/or take out this group as soon as possible, but he isn’t stupid enough to try anything until the odds are at least a little closer to even. He might, however, be taking one of the marauders out this week. Here’s the special Promo video shown on Talking Dead last Sunday:

 

Looks an awful lot like Daryl intends to use that knife. What a creep this guy is! First, he claims dibs on Daryl’s jacket before they’ve even decided to kill him, and here he is apparently claiming Daryl’s fresh kill. He tells Daryl, “You see the rules of the hunt, don’t mean jack out here. Now that rabbit you holding, it’s claimed. Boy.” Daryl nonchalantly tosses aside his bolt – it must have broken – and walks right toward the marauder as he keeps talking. As he gets to the other man, Daryl says, “It ain’t yours,” in a low growl. He tries a different tack, suggesting that Daryl’s messed up about a woman, but Daryl just walks past him, doing his best to ignore the asinine comments, but pausing once he’s past. The marauder then turns on full-creep mode. He asks, “Was it one of the little ‘uns? Cause they don’t last too long out here.” As the man is saying the last, Daryl unlatches his knife holster out of sight of the creep, and draws the knife quickly – and the scene smashcuts to the AMC logo. I’d be very surprised if this encounter doesn’t result in a death, and it’s bound to be the marauder’s. There’s just no way that, even if Scott Gimple and co were so inclined as to off Daryl, it would be in so meaningless a manner.

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Abraham, for the thirsty traveller

Well, those are my thoughts on Episode 415 coming up this Sunday. We’re getting at least three groups, although Rick was only given one short shot in the Promo. It looks like the focus will be on Daryl, and on Glenn’s group with Abraham. And where the heck is Beth? Daryl won’t be forgetting about her, so look to see him trying to steer Joe’s marauders in the direction he wants.

Comic Book Extra: Did any other readers of the comic book find the marauder’s use of the word “hunt” interesting here? Could it be that Joe’s marauders are a stand-in for another group from the comics?

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  1. […] Sneak Peek: The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 15 “Us” […]

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