'The Walking Dead’ season finale was : Conquer

How Many People Does Rick Have to Kill to Keep Everybody Safe?

'The Walking Dead’ season finale was :Conquer

There’s so much to digest here, and it’s not just because the episode was 90 minutes long, although that certainly helps. So let me start at the end and say that if the goal of a finale is to provide enough resolution to satisfy the viewers who have stuck you with for a full season, but also introduce the elements that lure us in for the next, then mission f’ing accomplished. The meeting by the fire, invoking Lord of the Flies, managed to pack more tension than a thousand zombie attacks. It was all because so much hung in the balance, and the results could go ten different ways. Would Rick’s gang have to kill Deanna and the rest of the Alexandrians? Would she have a backup plan? Would they pardon Rick, or would an uneasy truce continue? As it turned out, it was a zombie break-in and a late intervention from Pete the irate surgeon that finally opened their eyes. With one command, Deanna sacrificed the thin veneer of civility that had sustained them since the walls went up, and gained a dose of realism that might help them survive.

That’s the big news—in order to truly unite as a community, one side had to join the other’s level, and Rick’s had been out in the “shit,” as Abraham put it, for far too long to ever go soft. That meant the Alexandrians needed to at least commit to hardening themselves, or the conflict between the two sides would lead to inevitable violence and death. But the minor themes in this episode made it possible for the huge pay-off, and I think we need to touch on a few of those.

Thoughts For the Finale.....

So was that enough death to sate us? Was the final trigger pull on the asshole doctor — sorry, Pete, but at least it was better than being gutted by Carol over an unwashed casserole dish — a sufficient exclamation point on an overall pretty blood-drenched season? Are we OK with the fact that all of our core heroes will return in the fall, when we’ll crank up the old death-watch machine once again? Was the contract fulfilled?

Let’s say yes. We may be entitled ghouls, but we’re not greedy. There will be plenty more sacrifices next time around. Maybe even Carl.

But in the meantime, there’s a long, restful hiatus waiting for us all. And a leisurely summer lounging by the pool here in Los Angeles. What could possibly go wrong?

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