I had a thorough discussion regarding “A” with my mother last night, who is one of the true authorities out there on The Walking Dead. My mom’s main concern about this episode was one that had not occurred to me, but now that she has brought it up, I must admit that I find it quite disconcerting as well. How exactly does one cannibalize a human during a zombie apocalypse? The virus is in everyone, so when someone dies, he or she will inevitably become a zombie. What is the turnover time here? Apparently, a good method is just to “chop them up and toss ’em on the grill,” at least according to mom. Maybe. Hopefully this will be addressed in Season 5, because it is a significant issue.
I am assuming that the show is going in the cannibalism direction, at least based on the various context clues throughout Terminus. Apparently, this concept is not a foreign one in the comic book. “The Hunters” are a group of cannibals that become a threat for our heroes in Volume 11. As there is no Terminus in the graphic novels, it has been speculated that it will function as the vehicle for introducing the Hunters. The picked-clean human bones seem to be a good indicator of this, as well as the surprising lack of people inhabiting Terminus in spite of their persistent advertising campaign. Hell, Rick could potentially join the group, seeing as he is quite adept at tearing out human throats with his teeth.
Speaking of that, RICK TORE A GUY’S THROAT OUT WITH HIS TEETH!! I know that we all missed Rick in leader-mode, but this is a whole new level of Rick that we’ve never seen before. There was an episode towards the beginning of Season 3 (it might have been the Season premier) in which the group was raiding houses for food and supplies, and Carl found some dog food. Rick refused to let Carl take it, signifying a determination to hold on to their humanity. Flash forward to the end of Season 4, and the preservation of humanity is the last thing on Rick’s mind. This man is no longer in denial about the situation: it’s all about survival now. Rick will do what he has to…finally. That was the main disparity (and the main source of contention) between Rick and Shane, and it’s what would have probably made Shane a better leader. It will be interesting to see how Rick’s shiny new attitude will play out in Season 5.
Most importantly, though, is Rick’s declaration that Daryl is his brother. He emotionally utters, “You’re my brother” in a moment that parallels the below tearjerking scene in Tropic Thunder. I effectively spent the remainder of the episode watching YouTube clips of Tropic Thunder on my phone.
Thus another season is over, and we have until October to mull over everything we’ve seen. I don’t know that this season was worse than Season 3, but it was certainly no better. I have no expectations for Season 5. Other than cannibalism.