Where We Left Off:
Last week, Morgan managed to get the group off the hospital roof and out to safety, attempting to stay behind and deal with the mess he had created and stay with Jim during his final hours. However, after getting to safety, the group found a way to rescue Morgan as well, with Jim sacrificing himself to distract the horde of walkers long enough for them to escape. Alicia and Charlie survived a skirmish with Martha (the mystery woman), found the SWAT van, and saved John and Strand from the gator swamp. The group has plans to head back to Virginia, but Martha escaped and has control of the newly-turned Walker Jim.
What Went Down:
We open with Althea running through an alley near the hospital, having escaped after firing up the generators. She slips away from a group of walkers and finds a walkie inside a police car. She tries to get ahold of Morgan and June, but to no avail. She finds a news van inside the parking garage and it contains a still-functional camera. Leaving the garage, she runs into Martha and Jim. Martha tells Al she likes her because she knows she doesn’t make people weak and that she watched the interviews. Martha has a message for Morgan but Al refuses to give it to him, causing Martha to unleash Jim on her. She shoots Jim and another nearby walker before Martha knocks her out.
When Al wakes up, she’s in the SWAT van with John and June. They heard her on the walkie and found her unconscious in the street. The message Martha wanted to deliver is on a tape inside the camera. Morgan watches as Martha tells him she gave him every chance to be strong and he wouldn’t take it, but they will see each other again and she will be stronger than ever. The group is camping and Morgan tells them about Alexandria. Morgan tells John he is going to save Martha because he understands her. He used to be her. Morgan gives John directions to Alexandria but John says they will wait at the truck stop for two days for him. As Morgan walks away, he talks to Martha in the radio, assuring her that there is another way to live. She tells him she is at mile marker 54.
The group is at the truck stop. Alicia, Strand and Luciana look at the map and discuss finding a new reason to live in Alexandria. John and June finally connect again, with her telling him she showed her who she was and they share a kiss. On the road, Morgan finds Jim in a car and kills him. He finds Martha face down in a clearing and approaches with caution. She is dying and he puts her inside the cop car he just pulled Jim out of, though she doesn’t want the help. He tosses her some antibiotics for her infection and asks what happened back at mile marker 54, the spot where we know she lost her husband. Morgan tells John over the radio that he found her and is bringing her back.
Walkers almost catch Al outside of the truck stop, as she appears very weak, but Alicia shoots them before they all go back inside. Martha begins to tell Morgan the story of her husband. They had been run off the road and nobody would stop to help them. He tells her it’s not her fault. June’s voice comes over the radio and tells Morgan that it’s not just Al who is sick, it’s everyone. The truck stop is surrounded, everyone in the group is falling out on the floor, and he needs to get back quickly. But just after he puts down the radio, Martha causes them to crash.
When he comes to, Martha has stuck something through his thigh to ensure that he can’t help his friends. She has written “I lose people, I lose myself” on his forehead. She will kill him if he doesn’t kill her. So he either needs to become what he used to be or she will make him strong. At the truck stop, June discovers that all of the water bottles have been tampered with, which must be causing the sickness. Martha admits to Morgan that she poisoned the water with antifreeze last time she was at the truck stop. They are going to die and he can’t stop it. He begins to choke her out while picturing his friends dying, but stops when he sees himself in the side mirror. He pulls the metal out of his leg, handcuffs her to the steering wheel of the dead car so she can’t kill anyone else once she turns, and hobbles off.
He hotwires a car and speeds down the road but it doesn’t get him very far. Al watches one of her tapes on mute and appears very attached to the people in the video. Morgan collapses under the pain, still unable to transmit his signal far enough for the group to hear him. Al gets on the radio and says she is coming for Martha and Morgan is finally able to get a signal to them. He tells them it’s antifreeze and June says ethanol will stop them from metabolizing it. The group struggles to get up, determined to fight their way to the crashed tanker outside full of ethanol. They are all very weak, but manage to fight their way out past some of the horde. Al unleashes the SWAT van’s mounted guns and takes out the walkers, which also pierces the truck and loses the ethanol. The group barricades themselves inside again and talks to Morgan. He is afraid that he isn’t strong enough and will go back to who he was if he loses any of them. His radio dies and he fights off a walker attack.
The group is doing very badly, and Al records a message telling whoever finds her tapes to take care of them. They all seem resolved to dying, but Morgan pulls up in a truck, drawing the walkers away and stumbles in. He says ethanol is a fancy word for alcohol and he made a stop along the way. The truck he was driving was a beer delivery truck full of Jim’s beer. They all drink and recover, including a humorous moment where John tells Charlie this is just a one-time deal and that she’s not allowed to get poisoned again. Morgan washes the writing off his face and is shown returning to where he left Martha. Her handcuffed arm was severed after she turned, and he finds and kills her.
Morgan decides not to go to Virginia. Using Polar Bear’s journals, he finds the old denim factory that the trucker had used to start his supply drop operation. It is secluded, has access to water, and Morgan wants to stay and use it to keep helping people. Alicia agrees, saying they need to make it bigger and better like her mom would have done, and Al says they can start looking for people using her taped interviews.
In the final scene, the group uses a convoy (which they have reinforced) to head out looking for people to help. Morgan has saved his sanity and his humanity as well as his friends.
Where We Go From Here:
While it seems like a bait-and-switch to spend half the season trying to get back to Alexandria only to swerve us in the final five minutes of the season, it does make sense that Morgan would want to use this newfound place that has helped him and others grow to something bigger and even more useful. All of the members of our group are now more committed to each other, which should lead to some more emotional moments once season the next season rolls around. Are we headed toward eventually merging the two universes together, as we were expecting, or is that just a pipe dream for Walking Dead fans? Either way, this season was strong, albeit not as good as the third season in my opinion.
What did you think of the fourth season finale?
Can Morgan and the others build a new, humane community?
Who will be the next threat they have to deal with?
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