“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster.”
–Friedrich W. Nietzsche

“Never again. Never trust. We first always.”
–Terminus Motto

The Walking Dead reaches terminus until next season.

The review will not entirely avoid spoilers.

Title: “A”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Written by Scott M. Gimple and Angela Kang

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Danai Gurira as Michonne
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Larry Gilliard, Jr. as Bob Stookey
Sonnequa Martin as Sasha Tyreese
Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler
Michael Cudlitz as Sgt. Abraham Ford
Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter
Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa
Jeff Kober as Joe
Davi Jay as Tony
JD Evermore as Harley
Marcus Hester as Len
Eric Mendenhall as Billy
Keith Brooks as Dan
William R. Brock as Forrest Swanson
Andrew J. West as Gareth
Denise Crosby as Mary
Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

Rick, Michonne, and Carl encounter Joe’s group; the band makes it to Titus Terminus, but they wonder if this new community will serve them, or if they need to take the A-train out of there.

High Points

I found the early scenes gripping, from the metaphor of the rabbit trap to the anticipation of both Joe’s group of marauders and Terminus’s community of uncertain survivors. The handling of the fighting monsters/becoming a monster themes was as heavy-handed as anything in the show’s history, but I liked the ways it pervaded the episode. The contrast with Rick’s flashbacks strengthened the tension in the

Low Point

The episode dispensed with its new situations far too easily. Darryl miscalculated badly, in a way that felt out of character. A confrontation that could have comprised most of the episode (of become the Dead‘s version of the Red Wedding) got forced to a quick and too-easy resolution.

Terminus turned on them very quickly, but we have yet to learn for certain the solutions to the colony’s mysteries.

The Scores

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 6/6 This week showed us more original takes on zombies (Flat-man, anyone?)
Rick’s attack looked startling real.

Story: 4/6

Acting: 5/6 The prestige shows raise the bar; they have to keep meeting it. This is not an action movie. Andrew Lincoln should not have been given that over-the-top final line; he did the best he could with it.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 6/6 Despite some weaknesses to the script, the episode was well-directed, with some interesting uses of the camera.

Overall: 4/6

In total, “A” receives 32/42

Final Comments

How will Carol, Tyreese, Judith, and the missing Beth factor into the events?