TV Review: The Walking Dead Episode 516 “Conquer”

**Unlike most of my reviews this one is super spoiler heavy! I describe the entire episode. So, if you haven’t seen it be warned**

In the season finale, we finally get a proper introduction to the Wolves that have been hinted at more and more through out the whole season. And the drama in Alexandria comes to a bloody ending.

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The Wolves have been much talked about and speculated on by viewers and reviewers of the show. At the beginning of this episode we finally get to meet them. Or at least two of them. One walks up randomly and gives Morgan a nice little speech about wolves being wiped out by the original settlers. Oh yeah Morgan is back but more on that later. Wolf #1 talks a lot and threatens Morgan then Wolf #2 shows up and tries to ambush him. Morgan has obviously learned a lot. He knocks out the Wolves and gets away (without killing them which I’m sure was a bad idea so maybe he hasn’t learned THAT much).

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Meanwhile, Daryl and Aaron are out scouting and run across first a random guy in a bright red poncho (I assumed he was also one of the Wolves) whom they fail to catch up with and then a bunch of food trucks in a fenced area full of walkers. They take out the walkers and then open one of the trucks only to be ambushed by more walkers in what has to be the most elaborate and pointless trap ever. They take cover in a nearby car which, according to a note they find, turns out to also be part of the trap.

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Morgan shows up to help them fight their way out of the pack of walkers. They tell him about Alexandria and invite him to come. He first says he doesn’t want to come because he is heading somewhere else but is lost. Then shows Daryl the note Rick left him telling him to come to Arlington. Daryl visibly reacts to Rick’s name.

In Alexandria, Rick is recovering from his fight watched over by Michonne. His group start to plan for the meeting that Deanna is having. Carol suggests lying, telling them what they want to her. She calls the people there children and says that “children like stories” but Rick doesn’t want to lie. He says he’ll try to reason with them but if the meeting goes south they plan to take the arsenal and take over Alexandria by force.

When we go back to the Wolves we see the wolves from the beginning resetting their trap with the walkers and the food trucks as well as killing red poncho man. It seems he was with them to begin with but maybe he was the one that left the note in the car to warn people? I’m really not sure. It isn’t entirely clear.

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A lot is going on in this episode. We also see Maggie running interference trying to both find out information and lobby in Rick’s favor. Even warning Deanna that kicking Rick out of Alexandria isn’t going to work. Glenn and Nicholas get in a fight. Sasha acts crazy still in random weird ways (laying in a grave with dead walkers?), Tara wakes up and Gabriel continues to be a dick.

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The meeting itself goes about as well as could be expected. Rick is late and shows up with a dead walker he killed within the community gates because the gate was left open and the guard tower unmanned. Glenn never shows up at all because he is in the middle of that fight with Nicholas. Not long after Rick shows up (once again bloody and yelling – I really think he would be taken more seriously if he wasn’t always bloody and yelling when trying to explain to the Alexandrianites how weak and stupid they are) Pete appears wielding a sword (Michonne’s I presume…I’m unclear on how the hell Pete got it) and waving it around without any idea what the hell he is doing. Which is made obvious when he slits Deanna’s husbands throat after the old man gets close to him trying to reason with him.

Of all the people Pete could have accidentally killed this is the one that does the most damage to him being sympathetic to anyone. Her husband was one of the locals and he was a peaceful and caring man. Has he of injured one of Rick’s people or even anyone who were trying to subdue him it would have been a different outcome I think. After Deanna holds her husband as he bleeds to death with Rick watching on with revenge and murder in his eyes (seriously – it was a very intense look he had) she looks up from her dead husband and tells Rick to do it. He doesn’t hesitate for a second and immediately turns and shoots Pete who is being held down on the ground and is still screaming and blaming Rick for everything.

After the shot the screaming stops (we don’t see Pete dead but we assume that he is). Then we hear Morgan say “Rick” and Rick up looks up to see Morgan, Daryl and Aaron standing there watching the events. It isn’t clear how much they saw.

The episode goes off then with a post credit teaser of Michonne hanging up her sword only to take it back down again and put it in its sheath and on her back.

With that ending and the post credit spot with Michonne I think its safe to say that next season will be bloody and violent with the group realizing they have to fight to protect themselves and if they stay in Alexandria they will also have to fight for them…..and teach them to fight if they want to survive.

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Rick has grown into a character that I really like. Ruthless Rick is much more interesting and easier for me to cheer on than the Rick at the beginning of the series was. I think this Rick is a lot more attractive than Rick at the beginning to. He was not a fictional character that appealed to me at all but as he proved more and more that he is a survivor and what lengths he will go to to protect his people he is definitely more appealing now.

The moment when he got permission from Deanna to kill Pete and turned and fired gave me chills. It was a great performance by an actor that I think has more than proven what he can do when given good material to work with.

Since the Wolves were teased as being the people kicked out of Alexandria and Daryl, Aaron and Morgan escaped one of their traps I also assume next season’s big showdown will come when the Wolves come back to Alexandria. So, we will see how Rick handles that.

I’m excited to see what happens next season. This last half of the season got off to a start that I found boring and I hadn’t been super fond of the first half of the season. So, I’m glad it got really good toward the end. I look forward to binge watching all of this season at some point before the beginning of next season to see if the story progression better as a whole as opposed to being watched one week at a time.

I think in the months leading up to next season I may post a review of each season as a whole once a week. So, make sure to look out for that.

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The Walking Dead isn’t currently airing new episode but you can catch the old ones on Netflix or DVD (or Amazon Instant View, itunes and HULU). When new episodes are airing it airs on Sundays at 9pm on AMC.

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