The Walking Dead Episode 4.15, Us, brings us to Terminus, and there, at the end of the line, is Denise Crosby. She taught Betty Draper how to ride a horse, and remains most famous for her role on Star Trek: The Next Generation, twenty years ago. She’s got a strong presence, though, and the introduction of an actor well-known in genre fiction means she’s going to be very important next week.
I’m full of dread about Terminus. In truth, I have been from the beginning. Why don’t we think this is Woodbury? “Safe haven” communities don’t have a good history on this show. Speaking of Star Trek, The Walking Dead seems to share Captain Kirk’s ideas about safety and comfort. Whenever you feel good, it’s not good for you. It’s always some sort of mind control or totalitarianism or something. Captain Kirk really had a problem with pleasure, and TWD really has a problem with safe communities. So I’m worried.
Harley Joe, the “people like us” “claimed” guy, is a pleasant fellow. He’s pleasant the way the Governor was pleasant. Group leadership is a nasty thing in the world of TWD. Everyone is either deluded (as Hershel was originally) or evil ( Harley Joe, the Governor). And if you’re thinking that maybe Harley Joe isn’t so bad, and that “Apocalyptic Justice,” as Professor Spouse called it, is necessary, then I remind you that the right to rape is one of the things you can “claim” under his rule. He’s a guy who is happy that the world went to pieces. And, naturally, he’s hunting Rick, so this won’t end well.
In a lot of ways, this was a lackluster episode. It covered ground with the characters that we’ve covered before, and other than finding Terminus at the end, nothing really new happened. Yes, Maggie and Glenn were reunited, and yes, I was as choked up as everyone else. They really are lovely together, aren’t they? But that was inevitable. Touching, but inevitable, and so not new. Otherwise, what new happened? Abraham changed his mind a bunch of times, Rosita finally got a chance to speak, and Eugene seems more and more like a total asshole.
There was a lot of camera time on a creepy zombie horde in the tunnel, the first time we’ve seen something like that in quite a few weeks. They’ve gotten creative, lately, with how they show zombies, because plain ol’ horde gets old. So in this half-season we’ve had the fight in the blinding fog, hiding in the trunk of a car, scary paintings, and burnt-up zombies: Pretty much everything but the approaching horde.
The tunnel should have been terrifying. Roberta and I still get nightmares from the Lincoln Tunnel scene in The Stand (the novel, that is). Instead, it was a little scary, but the reveal came quickly, and then, horde. Not The Walking Dead‘s finest hour, frankly. I mean, the character stuff between Tara and Glenn was really good, but given the past six episodes, I was expecting better.
A few points:
- Abraham and Eugene’s hairstyles are straight out of the comic books. That kind of stylized, recognizable feature works very well in a comic book, but on TV it’s just silly.
- Abraham doesn’t convince me. Or to be more precise, Michael Cudlitz doesn’t convince me as Abraham. He seems so cuddly that his tough military demeanor just looks like playacting.
- Looking at a woman’s boobs doesn’t make you gay. Straight women do it all the time. And someone might also tell Abraham that there’s such a thing as bisexuality. Geez Pete.