For the first two-thirds of “Us,” last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, the only thing less interesting than The Walking Dead was the obscene number of commercial breaks during the episode. In fact, until the final act, the best thing about the airing was seeing Josh McDermitt (who plays Eugene) in a Talking Dead promo without his Kenny Powers get-up. Holy sh*t, a mullet can really transform a guy.
This is crazy.
Besides that reveal, the first two acts mostly entailed a lot of walking, a little talking, and a lot more walking. Michonne and Carl split a candy bar, while Rick beamed with fatherly pride, as the three of them continued their walk toward Terminus. As we’d find out near the end of the episode, Daryl and his new gang are only a short distance behind. That’s not good for Rick.
Why? Because Joe and his men are not good people. They basically live by shotgun rules: You claim it, and it’s yours. If you break the rules, you get the sh*t beat out of you, as Len demonstrated when he planted a rabbit in Daryl’s bag in order to implicate Daryl in a rule violation. Len got caught. His punishment? Death by ass-whooping.
They take their rules seriously.
Still, there’s an uneasy understanding between Daryl and Joe, who probably reminds Daryl a lot of his brother, Merle. Yeah, he’s an a**hole, but he’s reliable, consistent, and — as long as you stick to the rules — trustworthy, even if he is a scumbag. The catch here, as we learned in the final act, is that Joe and his marauders are making their way to Terminus for one reason only: To find and kill Rick, because Rick killed one of their own back in “Claimed.”
By far, the more interesting storyline in last night’s episode was that of Glenn, Abraham, Tara, Eugene, and Rosalita. Eugene, early on, completely stole the show as what may be the nerdiest character in basic cable history. He’s an RPG-playing, dinosaur-obsessed, Mt. Dew swilling (probably), mullet-wearing dork, and I love him. As we are reminded by Abraham on a couple of occasions, Eugene knows how the outbreak began, and knows how to put an end to it, but before Eugene can save the world, he has to help Glenn find Maggie. (Eugene is also probably either full of sh*t or completely delusional, and Abraham has gotten swept up in those delusions.)
Fortunately, Glenn did find Maggie, and the reunion is a sweet one, although maybe not as euphoric as I’d hoped. After Glenn and Tara enter a railway tunnel full of walkers to catch up with Maggie; Eugene, Abraham, and Rosalita find a car and circle around to the tunnel exit, where they stumble upon Bob, Sasha, and Maggie. They all turn back into the tunnel and blow away a gang of walkers seconds before they can feed on Glenn and Tara.
Glenn and Maggie make out, our hearts swell, and everyone lives happily ever after …
… For about five minutes. Because as soon as the group of eight get together, they all decide to walk to Terminus before heading to D.C., and instead of dragging the reveal out until next week’s finale, we get an actual glimpse of the place. It’s fenced in, barely secured, and full of little gardens. Once inside, the crew of eight walk upon Mary, who welcomes them to Terminus with the promise of dinner and a place to sleep.
There’s no way Mary is what she seems. There’s just no f**king way. NOBODY in the zombie apocalypse is that nice, welcoming, and trusting of strangers. There’s something obviously off about Terminus.
What lies inside? Is Mary a wacko? We’ll find out next week, as Rick, Michonne, Carl, Carol, and Tyreese also join the rest of the survivors at Terminus.