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Spoilers if you haven't watched tonight's episode of The Walking Dead ("Us")
After a particularly disturbing episode in "The Grove," tonight's installment of The Walking Dead bordered on uplifting, which is a rare thing for this series. How often do we see Rick smile? How often do we feel compelled to sniffle up by the sight of two characters embracing? How often do we see a guy get kicked to death? Well, ok that last part is a bit more on par with the tone of this show. And for the record, I wouldn't be surprised at all if it turns out that Joe put the rabbit in Daryl's bag just to have a reason to take Len out. Given the choice between trouble-making Len and the tough but more reasonable Daryl, Joe might have decided Daryl's a better asset to the team. Claimed!
We'll get back to Daryl in a moment. Let's talk about Eugene. Tonight we saw more demonstration of Abraham and Rosita's determination to keep Eugene safe and get him to Washington. And we saw Eugene express extreme interest in Tara and video games. So, I'm not saying that being a gamer with an eye for a hot woman makes him less likely to be a mega-genius with world-saving information. He can be all of those things. And he does seem smart. But watching his efforts to check in on Glenn and Tara, and then his determination to go to Terminus with the rest of the group and save Washington until later, I'm wondering if he's just a guy who wants to be someone and to have people, so maybe he told a lie about having the answers. Or maybe the answers he claims to have are based on things he knows from games and movies? It seems like that might almost be too obvious though, so maybe not. Either way, I'm wary of Eugene. I don't think he's a bad man, but I'm not sure he is who he claims to be, which would probably be a shock to Abraham and Rosita if that turns out to be the case, considering both seem set to protect him and get him to their destination.
Moving on to Glenn, his character was put to the test tonight when he and Tara were in that tunnel. We know Tara's determined to redeem herself for her involvement with the Governor. She's made that very clear. She's almost blindly followed Glenn's orders and interests in an effort to make amends for what happened with Hershel. So I wasn't surprised that she ordered Glenn to leave her behind when she found herself stuck between a rock and a hard place in that zombie-infested tunnel. And frankly, I wasn't surprised that Glenn refused to leave her. But I was a little relieved, considering we had good reason to believe help might be moments away. Glenn's a great man and his efforts to save Tara or die trying was one more example of that. Fortunately, help really was on the way.
Not only were Eugene, Abraham and Rosita approaching with guns, but they found Maggie, Sasha and Bob! The group of them mowed down the walkers in the tunnel and then Glenn and Maggie shared a much-needed embrace. Glenn later let Maggie burn the photo of her, swearing he'd never need a picture of her again. Happy! (For now.)
Over in Rick's side of the story, he, Michonne and Carl seemed to have found a comfortable traveling groove together. They're sharing candy bars and smilies. It's kind of magical... and too good to last.
And then there's Daryl, who spent the episode trying to learn the rules of Joe's people and not trying to follow them. Everyone "claims" things. And there are harsh repercussions if these basic rules are broken, which Len may have done. Joe played Solomon on a rabbit Daryl tracked and hunted but Len technically bagged first. Daryl got the tail end, Len got the head. And later on when the head ended up in Daryl's bag, Len claimed Daryl stole it. Joe sided with Daryl and had Len punished with a beating that turned out to be fatal. I assume he was beaten to death and then the arrow was put through his head to make sure he didn't become another nuisance in walker form.
Like I said, I think Joe might've arranged that to get rid of Len by setting up that situation so he could apply his own rules against Len and not upset the rest of the herd. Or Len planted the rabbit head in Daryl's bed. It doesn't really matter. Joe's bad news and I think Daryl knows it. And now he also knows Joe has his sights on some drifter (Rick) that they came across. Daryl might not know it's Rick that Joe encountered, but there was some crossover there and that might catch up to Rick if/when these two groups' paths cross, assuming they do.
The episode ended with Glenn and Maggie's group arriving at Terminus, a barely secured place with a garden and a grill and an inviting woman named Mary who seemed happy to have them and ready to give them food. So what's the catch. Is it a cult? Do they have a basement full of imprisoned people? Or is this a genuinely good place? I don't trust it. (We know there are theories based on the comics but please be courteous in the comments and offer a spoiler warning if you want to discuss them!)
Before we wrap up, with one episode left in Season 4, let's just check the inventory for a minute and see what's what here.
Glenn, Maggie, Sasha, Bob, Tara, Abraham, Rosita and Eugene are at Terminus, seemingly safe.
Rick, Michonne and Carl are still on the road. They seem to be doing ok. But they may be targeted by Daryl's new "friends."
Daryl is sort of stuck with Joe and these guys. Is he considering their code of survival? Is he thinking maybe he really is an outside cat who was just fooling himself into being an inside cat? Or is he just waiting for a chance to part ways with these guys?
Tyreese and Carol are likely traveling in mostly silence toward Terminus with Judith.
And Beth's in the trunk of a car somewhere. I'm most concerned about her mainly because no one is looking for her. I have to believe Daryl's thinking about her but is there any way he can track her down at this point?
I think that's everyone. Will they all make it to Terminus by the end of the next episode? Will they all make it out of Season 4 alive? We'll find out next week!
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