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Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5, Episode 16: ‘Conquer’ Your Fear

Review: 'The Walking Dead' Season 5, Episode 16: 'Conquer' Your Fear

PREVIOUSLY: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5, Episode 15: ‘Try’ A Little Harder

Whose Episode Is It?

This episode definitely belongs to Morgan. How long has it been since we’ve seen him? He and Rick bonded way back in Season 1 and he went a little crazy in Season 3, but when he was on his way to Terminus earlier in Season 5, it was looking a bit worrisome. As it turns out, we needn’t have worried at all. Morgan has turned into a staff-wielding badass. Making his way from Georgia to Virginia, Morgan has survived seemingly alone while inexplicably becoming a little saner along the way. He defeats a pair of Wolves, who apparently are the ones who’ve been carving Ws into foreheads.

Keeping Prisoners 101

When Rick wakes up after last week’s knockout from Michonne, he finds himself in a comfortable bed, in a room where Carol, Glenn and Abraham are free to come and go. Boy, these Alexandrians sure don’t know how to keep someone prisoner, if that’s what they’re even attempting to do. Lesson number one: When you’re afraid a member of your society has gone insane and someone had to stop them from shooting people, you don’t let their companions freely walk in and out to continue to conspire, at least not without frisking them first.

Man Is the True Monster

The entire time that the Ricketeers have been in Alexandria, they’ve all had their own individual struggles compromising their will to survive with their lingering humanity. No one seems to want civilization more at this point than Michonne. “We had to stop being out there,” she tells Rick. But Carol is ready to lie as much as necessary, and is willing to play the game in order for their group to keep the upper hand: “These people are children and children like stories.” Yet while they were willing to work with the Alexandrians, meshing their survival skills with what Deanna wants of them, it seemed as if the Alexandrians were regressing, resorting to more brutal acts despite the fact that they’re supposed to be the civilized ones. 

First, Nicholas lured Glenn outside the gates to murder him, first shooting him and then leaving him for walkers. (I must admit, I thought Glenn was a goner here, especially the way the show cut away at that point.) Later on, during Deanna’s little town meeting, Carol, Maggie and Abraham all stood and vouched for Rick’s character, while Rick was hunting the walkers that Gabriel inadvertently (?) let into the compound. When Pete showed up to offer his counter point, he was the one to attack and slit Reg’s throat. We all knew Pete was an ass, but this move was pretty shocking. In a final twist, Deanna made the shift as well, ordering Rick to finally kill Pete. It seemed, then, like the Alexandrians understood much more about the darkness of this world than before.

Achievement in Grossness

Where to begin? Though Daryl beheading three walkers at once with a chain was pretty awesome, the rest of the episode had some pretty disgusting walker deaths, not to mention the blood-soaked slicing of Reg’s throat. First there was the walker whose gushing head Daryl slammed in the door. Then there was Gabriel pulling a noose through another walker’s bubbling neck. Finally there was the walker Rick killed by shoving his gun up through the walker’s neck and pulling the trigger so that the brains and blood came through his eyes and mouth… Yep, that one was definitely the grossest. 

A Shred of Humanity

Out looking for new members to join the community, Daryl and Aaron found themselves caught in a trap laid by the so-called Wolves. They managed to make it into a car, and found a note that read: “Trap, bad people coming, don’t stay.” When it seemed like they’d have to make a run for it, Morgan showed up to save the day with his awesome staff. Not since MIchonne showed up with her sword has a character on “The Walking Dead” been so cool with a weapon. But the heartwarming part was when Morgan declared that, rather then go back with them to Alexandria, he was on a journey of his own. When he shows Daryl the map he found bearing Rick Grimes’ name, something in Daryl’s head clicked. Morgan had come all that way, and survived that long, in hopes of seeing his friend again — and so Daryl convinces him to come back to Alexandria, for just that purpose. 

Shreds of humanity also have to be awarded to Glenn for not totally pummeling Nicholas to death, and Sasha, for not pulling the trigger when Gabriel berated her so thoroughly. Looks like Alexandria has changed them a bit too.

How Far Is Too Far?

The heartwarming plot point of Morgan on a journey to find his friend quickly became heartbreaking when they arrived back at Alexandria, just in time to witness Rick executing Pete. Covered in blood from his fight with the walkers, Rick looked like an insane killer, and Morgan’s dismayed reaction was a tough one. How the tides have turned since these two last saw one another.

“Fear” No Evil

While there were some good moments in this finale, probably the most notable thing that happened was the sneak preview for “The Walking Dead’s” spinoff series “Feat the Walking Dead,” which is set to his AMC this summer. Check it out below:

Grade: B+

READ MORE: How ‘The Walking Dead’ Cast Would Kill Zombies and Other Red Carpet Secrets

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