The Walking Dead Thoughts: Season 5 Episode 16 “Conquer”

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By: Casey (@DarthHockey)

WARNING: There are spoilers beyond this point.

Rick

We’re not ending the season with another Ricktatorship, but it looked like it was coming to that. After last week, I thought the group might be divided over Rick’s actions, but that wasn’t the case at all. Even Michonne confessed that she knocked Rick out for him, not the Alexandria residents. We knew that Rick’s people were with him on the outside. He’s guided them out of Atlanta, through the inner-turmoil on Herschel’s farm, past the Governor and the Hunters, and into Virginia. As everyone settles into the safety of this walled community, we see that they’re still with Rick. To a man and woman, their loyalty is not fleeting.

This will be important next season as the others will need a leader to navigate them past new threats. Deanna is good, but Rick is right when he says she’s not ready for the new “real” world. This episode ended with the words “The Wolves Are Not Far.” Everyone will be happy they stuck with Rick Grimes.

Morgan

We got our first look at Morgan in a long time, and “wow” is all that can be said. I have to question the logic of attacking a guy sitting by himself by a campfire. This far into the walker apocalypse, that guy is alive and well for a reason. If the rest of the Wolves are that foolish, then they won’t be much of a threat to the rest of the group, but I digress. Seeing Morgan at the beginning of this episode got me very excited. It’s a moment that’s been teased since the first half of this season. We’ve gotten snippets of him as he wandered the Georgian backwoods searching for Rick. Taking down the two Wolves and then later rescuing Daryl and Aaron from the herd of walkers is why we’ve all grown to love this character. With Daryl now out recruiting for the community, Rick needs a new right-hand man. Morgan can now serve that purpose.

The Wolves

After everything that’s been teased about the Wolves during this half-season, we still don’t know much about them. They’re a formidable threat (their inability to take down Morgan not withstanding). That trap they set for Daryl and Aaron was the stuff of evil geniuses. Seeing all of those walkers coming out of the trucks was one of the most tense scenes in this show in a very long time. That’s about all we know. There’s going to be speculation for months whether or not Negan is leading this group. That could happen. I would feel let down if we found out that it’s only those two guys. Whomever they are, they’re going to serve as the catalyst that brings Rick’s group and Deanna’s group together for good.

The Finale

As far as The Walking Dead finales go, this was a pretty good one. I’m sure there will be some complaints that no main characters died, especially with all the speculation that Daryl or Glenn’s days were numbered, but this was a very tense episode. Not knowing the fate of Rick, the cat-and-mouse chase between Glenn and Nicholas, Daryl and Aaron being trapped, and the fight between Sasha and Gabriel gave us more than enough conflict. Some may look at only losing Reg and presumably Pete as a disappointment, but it wasn’t. This finale served two purposes: it brought the two groups one step closer towards unity, and it set up the conflict for season six perfectly. Was is the best finale? No, I think that honor still goes to the season 2 finale. However, after all of the disappointments of the last two half-seasons, we’re finally getting coherent writing for this show. Thankfully, The Walking Dead is, once again, a great show.

Thanks for reading!