8. “A” (co -written with Scott Gimple)
Season 4, episode 16
The fourth season finale, “A” really felt like two separate episodes. In the first part of the episode Michonne, Carl, and Rick come across Joe and The Claimers. Joe is determined to kill Rick as punishment for Rick killing one of The Claimers. And Carl’s in some pretty serious danger from the other Claimers.
Rick and Daryl reunite briefly and Daryl offers to die in Rick’s place to fulfill the debt. But Joe isn’t having that. Daryl gets beaten within an inch of his life, and so does Rick. In the end, Rick, with a savagery he had never shown before, tears out Joe’s throat with his teeth to save them all.
Rick takes a few moments to recover from that and he and Daryl have a bonding moment where Rick tells Daryl that finding Daryl again is “everythang”. And he tells Daryl that Daryl is his brother. Then together Daryl, Michonne, Rick, and Carl eventually reach Terminus.
After planning for every contingency and arriving at Terminus through the back door instead of the front they meet Gareth and the others. But Rick’s suspicions of Terminus are well-founded. He notices Glenn’s orange backpack and other items that he knows belong to other members of the group. Rick goes on the offensive but it’s too late. After a firefight and a chase with the Terminus people, Gareth lines them up and forces them into the train car.
As his eyes adjust to the dim and dusty light inside the car Rick sees Glenn, Maggie, and the others. And Rick knows that somehow they will manage to fight their way out as long as they have each other.
This episode really highlighted in a subtle way the connection that all the core characters have and their faith and trust in each other. Against all the odds they found each other. So it doesn’t matter if they’re all being held prisoner when the episode ends. The unspoken bond and faith in each other comes through loud and clear and fans know even though the situation looks grim that together Team Family will come out of it ok.