For the season 5 finale, ‘The Walking Dead’ definitely did not disappoint. As the town of Alexandria debates whether or not to keep Rick, Morgan makes an epic return, and two characters are killed off in a tense showdown.
On the March 29 episode of The Walking Dead, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) has left the town of Alexandria forced to decide whether or not he is worthy of being behind their safety walls. Meanwhile, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) have a near-miss with the survivors newest threat, and Morgan (Lennie James) makes a timely comeback.
‘The Walking Dead’: Rick Wins Over Alexandria
It’s no surprise to get an update on Morgan at the very beginning of The Walking Dead finale episode. After all, he’s been appearing at random throughout the season, so it’s nice to find he’s still following Rick. When we catch up with him, he’s sleeping in the back of a car that looks like it crashed into a tree a very long time ago. He’s safe, and he smiles when he wakes up and sees a rabbit’s foot hanging from the rearview mirror. He definitely has luck on his side.
Just a moment later, Morgan makes himself something to eat over a fire just a few feet from the car he slept in. Then, suddenly, he’s not alone. A man slowly walks up to him with a gun in his hand and sits across from him. “Looks good,” he says, startling Morgan who quickly looks around to make sure there aren’t others approaching.
When we finally see the man up close, he has a W carved into his forehead. Morgan asks him what it’s for, and he explains that it goes back to the first settlers in the area who put bounties on wolves heads and wiped them out. But, now they are “back,” he explains, pointing at his head. Morgan isn’t afraid of what he says, and they continue to talk, which seems a bit bizarre as the man with the W continues holding a gun on him.
“Sometimes we find camps, we burn through them. But, we have traps, too,” he tells Morgan, admitting that they have been rummaging their way through survivors. As many of you TWD comic book readers know, this guy is a part of The Wolves — who will be the most present villains in season 6.
W then tells Morgan to stop drinking from his mug because he wants it, and he wants everything Morgan has. With that, he also tells Morgan he’s going to kill him. Morgan is quick to give up everything he has, all of his supplies and food, but tells him that he will not allow this wolf to kill him.
When the man with the W tells Morgan to “be still,” suddenly a second man jumps out of the bushes with a huge knife and just barely misses slashing Morgan. Surprisingly, Morgan is too quick for that, and he quickly grabs a stick to defend himself with moves that look like they are straight out of a Jedi handbook. He protects himself and knocks both of them on their backs, but they come back strong for a second attack. Morgan gives them a chance to leave this time, but they keep at it, which leaves him no choice but to knock them out completely. In order to keep them safe from being eaten, he packs them into the car he was sleeping in, honks the horn a few times, and heads out.
But, not before grabbing the lucky rabbit’s foot. Clever, Morgan!
Rick Becomes A Prisoner In Alexandria
We’re back to the good people of Alexandria again, and by that I mean Aaron and Daryl as they continue scoping out the woods within driving distance. We get the vague sense that they are on someone’s trail, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s one of, or both of, The Wolves.
Back behind the walls of Alexandria itself, Rick wakes up on a bed covered in stitches and bandages that we can only assume came after his violent outburst with Pete. When he realizes where he is he starts to laugh, and Michonne startles him by asking him what’s so funny. Apparently, she’s been sitting in the corner watching him the entire time.
He tells her that he feels like he’s in the train car at Terminus again, but this time he’s been imprisoned in Alexandria. It still feels the same to him though.
Michonne tells him that Rosita was the one to patch him up, and that Carl stopped by but she sent him home.
Carol, Glenn, and Abraham come to visit and, for whatever reason, Carol gets Rick to lie about where he got the gun he threatened Deanna with. Even though she’s the one who stole it for him, she says he took it without anyone knowing. It’s pretty clear she’s doing it so that Michonne won’t try to find it or take it away, because Michonne really wanted Alexandria. She really wanted to not be “out there” any more. Plus, she’s the one that put a stop to Rick’s outburst.
They tell Rick that Deanna is hosting a town forum that night to figure out whether or not they want to kick him out. Rick devises a deviant plan almost instantly and assigns an Alexandrian for everyone to grab if things don’t work out the way they want them to. Rick, of course, assigns himself Deanna, and he says that they will have to threaten to kill everyone if the town doesn’t turn over the armory to them.
While that was going on, Maggie went to Deanna in hopes of talking her out of the town forum. She reminds Deanna that she made a decision to let them in, and now she’s giving the town the decision to send them back out. She tells Deanna that’s not leadership, and she’s right, but Deanna isn’t interested in hearing any of it. It’s almost as if Deanna has already made up her mind about Rick and just wants to make sure the town backs her up before kicking him to the curb.
After her failed attempt at swaying Deanna, Maggie finds Glenn and tells him she plans on talking to everyone in town to get them on Rick’s side. Much like Michonne, Maggie seems determined to make sure Alexandria works out for them.
Right after Maggie heads off to woo the town in Rick’s favor, Glenn catches Nicholas climbing the safety wall behind a house — and he quickly follows after him. Little does he know that Nicholas stole a gun recently, and he definitely has it out for Glenn.
The Woods Are A Dangerous Place To Be
Somewhere in the woods outside of Alexandria Sasha has a pit full of dead walkers she has been collecting. After she dumps her latest victim in the hole, she climbs in and lays on top of them. It’s quite possibly one of the weirdest things anyone on this show has done, especially when she closes her eyes and pretends to be dead with them.
Elsewhere in the woods, Aaron reveals to Daryl that he lost three other people when they first started scouting other survivors. They weren’t careful, they approached too quickly, and he wants Daryl to learn how to sit back and watch for a while. It makes sense, especially with those crazy Wolves out there.
Later in the day Carol pays Rick a one-on-one visit, and the first thing he asks is why she didn’t want anyone to know they have other guns hidden somewhere. She reminds him that Michonne is the one who knocked him out, and that’s because she wants to be here in Alexandria. She also tells him that his outburst provided them with more cover, because now they are focused on keeping him locked up and they aren’t paying too much attention to what anyone else is doing.
This is one of Alexandria’s biggest flaws — only focusing on one thing at a time.
Daryl and Aaron finally find someone to follow in a field out in the wild. It’s a man in a red poncho, and they find him rubbing something on his face and hands. Daryl tells Aaron it’s to protect himself from mosquitos, and when the man moves on the slowly and carefully follow after him.
Their next stop takes them to a walker-filled parking lot, but what’s more important is that it’s attached to warehouse they think might be filled with food. They decide to distract the walkers and take them out through a fence, and then they find their way to the back of the warehouse where there are a handful of trucks they can break into.
Unfortunately, we quickly learn it’s a trap set by the Wolves — and opening one truck opens all of them. What’s inside is not food, but instead dozens of walkers with W’s on their foreheads. Daryl and Aaron try to hide under a truck but it’s no use, and suddenly walkers are crawling towards them.
They finally find a car to jump into, but it’s in the middle of the parking lot and it’s not long before the car is swarmed by walkers. Now, they are trapped — and the Wolves are on their way back.
Rick finally leaves his “prison” cell and walks down the street saying hello to Alexandrians with guns who look like they were put there to protect the town from him. He even strolls right passed Deanna, who looks incredibly unhappy to see him back on her streets. Oh well, Deanna!
When he gets back to the house he apologizes to Carl and tells him he’ll have to stay home during the meeting. Carl questions whether or not this is really home now, and then Rick tells Carl that he might have to threaten or kill someone at the meeting tonight to make sure they can stay. Carl is convinced that’s not true, and you can tell he’s already attached to the town. To be honest, that probably has a lot to go with Enid. He wants to stay, and he wants Rick to behave so that they can do just that.
Sadly, Rick makes no promises to his son.
Nicholas Tries To Kill Glenn
Carol decides to pay Pete a visit before the town forum, and she takes it upon herself to walk right into the house he’s being kept in. She brings him food and then demands that he go check on Tara, since he’s the only doctor in town. He treated her, but he hasn’t checked on her in a while because of everything that happened with Rick. In return he demands that she leaves, but she slowly pulls out a huge knife and tells him she could kill him right then and there. She tells him that no one would believe that she did it just because she didn’t like him, but they would believe she did it because he tried to hurt her. Way to go, Carol!
Moments later Rick appears on Jessie’s front porch, and she walks up to the shattered living room window that still hasn’t been fixed since he and Pete fought through it. She tells him that he shouldn’t be there, and he tells her he just wanted to check on her. Jessie has a black eye, and when Rick questions it she tells him it happened in the middle of their fight — when Pete backhanded her to get her away from him.
When the camera pans out, Pete has been watching Jessie and Rick talk on his old front porch from the dark living room he was left in.
Out in the woods, Glenn finds the walker that nearly killed Tara while he was on a run with Aiden and Nicholas earlier in the season. Then, suddenly, a gunshot — and it hits Glenn straight on. When he falls down, Nicholas comes running out of the woods to check that he’s out cold, but Glenn is already gone.
For whatever reason, Father Gabriel decides to outside the walls without a weapon. Even Deanna’s son is baffled by this, but he has something up his sleeve.
He comes across a walker eating someone in the road and opens his arms, calling for the walker to come and get him. When the walker approaches he grabs the rope around it’s neck and uses it to decapitate it. Then, he uses a stone to crush it’s skull. Through tears he approaches the twitching body that the walker was eating, and then, from a distance, we watch as he crushes that guy’s skull, too. But why?
Unfortunately, Daryl and Aaron are still trapped inside the car as walkers desperately rub on the windows in hopes of getting a meal out of them. They decide to fight together, to make a break for it and go for the fence. When Daryl protests because he wants to go on his own, Aaron convinces him they need to go together.
Just as they are about to bust open the car doors, a walker next to Aaron’s window gets stabbed in the head. Suddenly, Morgan rips open the car door and pulls them both to safety. The three of them fight their way through the walkers until they get the fence closed, and it’s clear that Daryl has no idea who Morgan is — and vice versa.
Daryl asks him why he helped them and Morgan tells him that everyone deserves to live. Aaron immediately tells Morgan about Alexandria and hopes he’ll come with them, but he refuses and instead tells them he is on his way somewhere and that he is lost. Then, Morgan hands Daryl the map he found at Father Gabriel’s church — the one that Abraham wrote a note to Rick on.
Speaking of Abraham, he brings flowers to see Tara but finds Rosita and Eugene are already there. He goes to leave, but Rosita asks him to stay because Eugene is sleeping. He does, and he takes a seat right next to Eugene, which is when Rosita throws a pan and makes just enough noise to wake up Eugene.
This is the first time Abraham and Eugene are really forced to interact with each other, and Eugene starts talking before Abraham can protest. He apologizes, a genuine, heartfelt apology, and then Abraham not only accepts, he apologizes in return. When Eugene tells him that’s not necessary, Abraham reminds him that he almost killed him. It’s true, but that moment in time has passed, and, hopefully, these two can go back to their spectacular bromance.
Father Gabriel Leaves The Gate Open
Out in the woods, Nicholas comes across a walker. He struggles over which weapon to use — a knife or a gun — and then finally shoots it square in the head. Right after he does, Glenn attacks him, and the two of them get into a physical fight right there in the woods. Nicholas is able to take over Glenn because of the bullet wound in his shoulder, and when a gang of walkers comes out of the woodwork he leaves Glenn there in the dirt.
Father Gabriel finally returns from his weapon-less walk, and when he does it’s clear he’s feeling a little too cocky. Deanna’s son asks him to close the gate, and he does so in such a careless way that it rolls right back open as he walks away from it. This is not good.
Inside Rick’s house, Michonne checks on him to see if he’s ready for the town forum. That’s when he decides to tell her about the guns that Carol stole, and reveals that he still has one — and so does Carol. Michonne seems offended at first that he thought she would stop him, but, as always they quickly level with each other.
“Something’s going to happen, but don’t make something happen,” Michonne warns him, hoping he’ll follow her advice at the meeting with Deanna.
Before the meeting can happen, Rick sees the open gate from his bedroom window. He goes running outside to close it, but when he gets there it seems like there is fresh blood on the lock. He gets the gate closed quick, locks it, and then goes running to find whoever or whatever has gotten inside.
When Father Gabriel returns to his chapel he finds Sasha sitting there, and she immediately starts talking about how she’s lost herself and she doesn’t know what to do about it. Sasha asks him for help, but he tells her he can’t help her.
Everyone else is gathered at the meeting place, and Deanna finally starts — without Glenn or Rick present. They have no idea that Glenn is in the woods, dying, and that Rick is trying to protect them from a walker. Maggie asks her to wait, but she continues without them.
“I think I wanna die,” Sasha tells Father Gabriel. “Why wouldn’t you want to die? You don’t deserve to be here. What you did can never be undone,” he tells her in return, accusing her.
Father Gabriel starts to taunt Sasha, reminding her about Bob was disfigured and consumed, about how he died, and she starts to scream in retaliation. When she shoves him against the wall things take a turn, and it becomes very clear only one of them is going to make it out of that chapel alive.
As Michonne and Carol say their peace about Rick, he’s killing a handful of walkers all on his own in the dark streets of Alexandria. There are more than even he expected, and they are really giving him a problem. One even gets on top of him and nearly takes a bite out of him, but he uses a handgun as a knife and shoves it up into his skull. It works, but slowly, too slowly — so instead he shoots the walker so it’s head explodes all over him.
Rick Saves Alexandria Without Them Knowing
Back out in the woods, Glenn has somehow survived the group of walkers that dog piled on top of him and even caught up with Nicholas. Once he’s close enough, he takes Nicholas down and keeps hitting him over and over again. It’s rare you see this sort of rage coming from Glenn, and, for the first time, it really seems like he’s finally on Rick’s level. He just needed to be provoked to get there. So, is he going to kill Nicholas? Fingers crossed.
The two W’s we saw with Morgan at the beginning of the episode have captured the man in the red poncho,
Maggie talks about her father, Hershel, and how her whole family respected him. She tells the people of Alexandria that Rick is her family, that group is her family, and that Rick started that for them and brought them together.
After Maggie’s speech, Deanna tells the town the story about how Father Gabriel told her not to trust Rick and the survivors. It was only one day later that Rick demonstrated every quality Father Gabriel warned her about, and she makes that very clear to the town. But, both Maggie and Jessie are quick to remind her that Father Gabriel didn’t even show up. Deanna is quick to retort that Rick isn’t there, either. Touche.
Then, Maggie quickly excuses herself to go find him. She arrives at the makeshift garage chapel just in time to catch Sasha pointing a gun at Father Gabriel’s head as he begs her to kill him, and she manages to stop him. As Sasha breaks down in tears, Father Gabriel tells Maggie she should have let her kill him because he let all of his people die. Instead of walking away, Maggie leans down and takes his hand.
Later, we see the three of them holding hands and praying inside the chapel.
When we get back to Glenn and Nicholas, they are having their final confrontation. Glenn slams Nicholas into the dirt and tells him he was trying to save him, even after he killed Noah, and in return he tried to kill him. Glenn then points a gun at Nicholas’ head and holds it there, point blank, as Nicholas cries that he was scared.
But, Glenn can’t do it — and instead he pulls the gun off of Nicholas before it’s too late.
Not too long after Maggie leaves the meeting, Rick shows up to covered in walker blood. He drops a walker’s limp body just feet from the rest of the town to show them that it got inside. Deanna’s son quickly spits out that he asked Father Gabriel to shut the gate, and then runs out of the meeting to check on the gate — and maybe do a sweep of the streets that will be too little, too late.
Rick Gets Alexandria On His Side
Rick takes this opportunity to win over Alexandria, telling them they need to smarten up and toughen up before it’s too late. He gets them to believe he is not the threat, the walkers are, and that only he and his group can really teach them how to defend themselves.
As Rick is giving his speech, we see Carl and Judith playing inside their new home. We also see Tara waking up to a smiling Rosita, and we even see Glenn helping Nicholas back to Alexandria.
Unfortunately, we also see The Wolves flipping through Aaron’s photos of Alexandria — including a picture of Rick and Carl that he’s added to the pile.
“I’m not sorry for what I said last night, I’m sorry for not saying it sooner,” Rick tells Deanna, telling her that luck runs out. They need to be ready for what’s next.
His speech is powerful in the way only a Rick speech can be, but it gets interrupted by a very drunk Pete.
Pete, holding Michonne’s sword, declares that Rick is not one of them. Deanna’s husband tries to stop him, but Pete uses the sword to slit his throat — leaving him to die in Deanna’s arms. As Abraham keeps him pinned down, Pete continues to scream that Rick isn’t one of them. But, it’s in that moment that Deanna looks up at Rick and tells him to do it — so he shoots Pete right in the head in front of everyone.
“Rick?” we hear, and it’s Morgan standing at the fence with Daryl and Aaron. He looks horrified, confused, and definitely appalled by the man that stands in front of him — Rick. He is not the same man that Morgan remembers, that’s for sure.
Are You Ready For The Wolves?
The last thing we see in a bonus scene after the credits is the man in the red poncho, now a walker after getting his throat slit by the W’s, shuffling through the parking lot. When the camera pans out, we see the car that Daryl and Aaron were trapped in earlier has a message spray painted on the side: “WOLVESNOTFAR.”
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — Do you think Rick will successfully take over Alexandria with Deanna now? Are you concerned about The Wolves? Comment below with your thoughts on the finale!
— Lauren Cox