The Walking Dead – Conquer (S05E16)

The Walking Dead.Well, looks like I’ll be watching the next season of AMC’s The Walking Dead! If you read my previous recap, you know what that means – MORGAN!

I’ve been a fan of the so-cool-without-even-trying Lennie James since Jericho. (You haven’t seen it? You need to. Awesome show!) There’s just something about him. He’s like the cool guy that you’d love to have as your neighbor ’cause you just know he’s going to have all the power tools and a cold beer in his fridge.

There was some speculation on the web last week that Morgan was already dead, and that Daryl and Aaron actually encountered what was left of him in their travels. I made the bold proclamation that if that was the case, I was done. Now, my statement didn’t stem from the fact that without Lennie James The Walking Dead wasn’t worth my time, but rather I’ve seen some sloppy storytelling lately – namely it seems as if the powers that be are whittling down the cast by simply knocking people off. WEAK!

Because of that, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot when it came to the finale, episode 16, this past Sunday. Basically, I was wondering who we were going to lose.

With that, let’s get started with the recap of the season finale, “Conquer.”

Note: I probably don’t have to tell you this, but there are going to be spoilers throughout this review/recap. You may want to stop here and return after watching the episode.

Well, COLOR ME STUPID! We didn’t lose any of the core people. Mind blown!

Let’s just get this out of the way – Morgan is a badass! When that very creepy guy with the “W” on his head came up and boldly told Morgan he was going to take everything (including Morgan), you knew he was in for a world of hurt. Yet the only thing I could think about during that very cool fight scene was:

“What if Morgan and Michonne got together and had awesome little ninja babies?”
-or-
“Maybe Michonne could be with Rick and keep his Rictator tendencies in check, and Morgan and Carol… Oh, the possibilities!”

Now, I realize The Walking Dead isn’t a romance, but hello! Nothing wrong with getting a little lovin’.

Anyway, I was just thrilled that Morgan wasn’t lying in pieces in the woods somewhere.

After that great opening, we dive into a few different events – I’ll cover a few in no particular order.

The Walking Dead.To start, we are treated to Rick waking up from… a nap? I don’t know, but what did Rosita do to his face? I could do a better job bandaging. I don’t know if the producers were going for a comic look or not, but every time I saw Rick, I had to laugh.

Sidenote: Notice I’m dropping the moniker “Rictator.” I’m liking Rick more, though some of his actions still annoy me.

As much as I like Carol and Rick, a part of me has been wondering if they are getting a little cray cray. The Husband doesn’t think so, simply because the two of them are right. I wondered why Carol was hiding her badass self, and just being all around shady, and she answered my question with this exchange:

Setup: Carol, Michonne, Abraham, and Glenn are telling Rick about the forum that night. And Carol is trying to tell Rick how he needs to play it.

“Just tell them a story… that they want to hear. It’s what I’ve been doing since I got here,” Carol advises.

“Why?” asks Michonne.

“Because these people are children, and children like stories,” Carol explains.

Carol kind of nailed it. Before our survivors got to Alexandria, these people were a bunch of little kids trying to survive in a world they didn’t know shit about. Enter Rick and the rest of the crew. Mommy and Daddy are home!

As much as people want to believe Carol and Rick are off their rockers, well, I’ll just have to disagree. Abraham offered up another of his Potent Potables:

“There’s a vast ocean of shit that you people don’t know shit about. Rick knows every fine grain of said shit… and then some.” (Listen to this scene with a nice quality pair of headphones for the full effect!)

The Walking Dead.Now, I don’t know if Rick knows more than everyone else. I just think Rick made up his mind to accept the new world order and live, and due to his background, he might have a little more know-how than say… Reg.

Maggie going to Deanna was another great scene – especially since Maggie hasn’t had much to do as of late. And once again, our survivor nails it. Rick is frustrated with what he is seeing in Alexandria, and now Deanna wants to open the floor up to a group of… well, children to pontificate on a situation they just don’t get. I’m curious… Who the hell made Deanna queen or God? Was their a vote before the group got there? Did they hold an open election? The fact that Deanna thinks simply sending people that don’t fit into her little mold away is the answer tells me that she is a very poor leader indeed.

But my big surprise was Gabriel. WTF? When he decided to “go for a walk,” we assumed this was it. Maybe he was going to simply wander off. When he encountered the walker feasting on a man, I wondered what he was going to do… and then WTF? Yes, I said it again, because I still don’t understand the point of the scene. Was Gabriel trying to see if he could kill? Was he going to commit suicide and chickened out? Either way, he ripped the walkers head clear off, and then finished off the poor guy that was lunch. I’m still scratching my head.

The Walking Dead.But Gabriel isn’t the only one that had us wondering what was going on. Sasha might have lost it… maybe she never had it. When we see her pulling the body of a walker she killed and then depositing it into a large hole, Son #3 pointed out that she was trying to restore some of the walkers’ dignity by giving them a proper burial. Ok, I can by that… but when she decides to take a nap on the pile of walkers… WTF?

Yet, nothing prepared me for the scene with Sasha and Gabriel. When she went to him seeking… something, and he turned on her? WHOA! A part of me knew he was projecting, but to hear him say that Tyreese and Bob died for her sins? OUCH! Watching Sasha hold that gun on Gabriel was intense, but Maggie deftly defused the situation, and seeing the three of them sitting there praying was a very moving scene. Maybe this is the beginning of Gabriel and Sasha finding what’s been eluding them the back half of this season.

In another scene, the piece of shit that is Nicholas is plotting as he watches (spies on) Glenn and Maggie. He makes sure Glenn sees him scale the wall, and just as he promised in episode 15, Glenn goes after him. I sure wasn’t expecting that gunshot.

“What the hell?” Son #3 and I yelled at the same time!

“I won’t watch if Glenn dies, Mommy,” Son #4 offered.

Yes, The Walking Dead is a family affair. The Husband points out that it was just a shoulder wound, and a little while later Glenn rallies, giving Nicholas quite the beat down. Unfortunately, shit is slippery, and Nicholas (the piece of shit) doesn’t go down without getting in more than a few shots of his own. Neither of the men says a word in these scenes, and it’s intense. When Nicholas has Glenn on the ground, and walkers approach, once again we see Nicholas walk (or should I say run) away. But Glenn isn’t going out like that, and in the end, Glenn shows us just how good at heart he is when he helps the injured Nicholas back to Alexandria. (Glenn kinda stomped on his knee… OUCH! But it was well-deserved.) Glenn is impressing me more and more.

Now, what about that scene with Carol and Pete? WOW! It was telling that he went at Rick, but when confronted with a strong, capable woman, he backed down. When Carol had the good doctor against that wall with a knife to his throat… INTENSE. I’m using that word a lot here. She let him know that she would kill him right then and there. She even taunted him. And yet, there was no look of madness in her eyes. Like Rick, Carol has accepted the new world order, and you bet your ass she is going to make sure she fits in.

The Walking Dead.In another segment, Daryl and Aaron (who I am liking more and more) are out doing their search when they stumble across “red poncho guy.” That’s what we called him, as he wasn’t long for this world, but they also come across a warehouse of sorts. Big trucks advertising canned goods are parked there. SCORE! Or so they think. Daryl opens the door to one, which releases some sort of lever that opens all the trucks. Guess what’s in them! WALKERS! Whoever set this trap is sneaky and diabolical. Our duo is able to get to a disabled car, but even then they are just biding time. The car is surrounded by walkers, and frankly the scene grated on my nerves, which is what I am sure it was supposed to do. The banging and the walkers growling – CREEPY! (Especially the walker trying to get some camera time.) After a bit of brainstorming, Daryl was willing to sacrifice himself so Aaron could make a run for it, but Aaron wasn’t having it. Much to his credit, Aaron tells Daryl that they were going to do it together. If anything, they were going to go down fighting. Oh, but wait… MORGAN!

Like the stealthy ninja he is, Morgan creeps up on them and is able to make a path for Aaron and Daryl to escape, after which the men are able to get outside the gate and lock it back up. Aaron tries to recruit Morgan, who at first isn’t interested, but when he says he is lost and hands Daryl his map… Well, ok. I don’t know what Daryl said. But you may remember that Morgan found the map that Abraham left for Rick, and it had Rick’s name on it. So I assume Daryl told Morgan that he is best buds with Rick Grimes and to follow him! Or something like that.

Let’s not forget the Forum, as Deanna and Reg call it. It’s a joke. Apparently, Deanna and Jessie are the only Alenandrites that can speak. We see Maggie, Abraham, and Carol make a plea for Rick, including Abraham’s quote above. But where is Rick?

Oh yeah, after Gabriel returns from his walkabout, he forgot to shut the gate (or did he forget?). Rick comes by later and sees the gate open… and notices blood on the gate. Whose blood is that?

The Walking Dead.WALKERS! They’ve arrived, and Rick is on his own in taking them down (Seriously?). I don’t know what he did to that last one, but the goo that squirted out onto his face – FOUL! I’m still skeeved out!

Back at the Forum, Deanna is whining about Rick not showing up… when lo and behold the big guy saunters in with a walker over his shoulder. And this is what Carol was talking about. The look on everyone’s face as Rick dumps the body on the ground is priceless – bunch of sheltered ninnies!

Rick makes an impassioned speech about how he figured he was going to have to take a few Alexandrites down to show everyone just how bad things had gotten, but he decided not to do that. Instead the plan is that people are going to change.

But wait! Here comes the town drunk… I mean the good doctor, Pete. He stumbles in, mumbling a bunch of crap about Rick being a bad guy, blah, blah, blah. I wasn’t too interested, until poor Reg tries to stop him, and Pete just slits his throat with Michonne’s katana! WHAT?

“Rick. Do it,.” Deanna orders Rick, while cradling her dead husband.

Rick doesn’t even hesitate as he puts a bullet in Pete’s head.

“Rick?” We hear from off-camera.

The Walking Dead.Rick, who is a gooey mess (and, frankly, looks completely insane), looks up to see his friend, Morgan, standing there… staring at him.

Fade to black.

We do get a short scene after the credits with Michonne slipping her katana back on. I liked the sigh of relief she gave when she settled it into place. (Or was it angst?)

I don’t know what to make of this episode. We got some action, sure, but nothing like I was expecting. We got more than a few very intense scenes. And we got an impassioned speech from Rick. We didn’t get a lot of what I was expecting – carnage.

What we did get though was Morgan – YEAH! And a great setup for next season. I assume we are going to find out what the “W” means in season 6, and I can’t see it being anything good. (We know it’s something about wolves. Animals? People?) But one can assume that Deanna and her people might have opened their eyes a bit, so they might be willing to accept that their way is leaving them wide open to attack – not only from the dead, but the living as well.

The Walking Dead.I do hope there isn’t a lot of heartache next season with Rick and Jessie. One, because I’d rather see him with Michonne, but also because I’m not buying the infatuation. She was a damsel that he could save, a replacement for the wife he couldn’t, and I can’t see a relationship between them being very interesting.

I do hope we get more Morgan, and we hear what brought him back from the brink, as in Season 3 he was seemingly a lost cause.

In the end, this was a solid episode, and though it might not have been as exciting as I was hoping, it did set us up nicely for Season 6. We’ll see what’s in store for us.

About Xina

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Hello, fellow horror fans! I grew up watching horror, and my love for the genre is still going strong! Slasher films are sort of my secret-well, probably not so secret-obsession, but I'm up for anything-zombies, creature features, B movies, D movies-you name it, I'll give it a shot. Sometimes to the annoyance of my husband. I'm on twitter @Xina143, send me a tweet and tell me what I should watch next!"

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