#TheWalkingDead Season 5 Finale Recap: “Conquer” [Episode 16]

Posted on Mar 30 2015 - 5:39am by Norrth Cafe

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Morgan!
 At last! And some damned fool with a “W” on his forehead catches him off guard, holding him at gunpoint.  We learn that the “W” is a reference to a time when the first settlers held a bounty on wolves’ heads. It seems the walkers from earlier scenes were intentionally killed and left to turn.  The tribes who lived in the area thought the first people they met were wolves transformed into men. I gotta’ say, if I was this guy, I would put my primal senses to work and would be a little unnerved by how calm Morgan! is. The stranger seems to indicate that he and his band run through camps taking everything they can from everyone they meet.  He plans to take everything Morgan has, including the coffee he’s drinking, and the man himself. Morgan tells him he won’t allow it. When the stranger’s friend tries to sneak attack him from behind, Morgan beats the two “wolves” to the ground, knocking them unconscious when they refuse to leave as he asked them to do. As a walker approaches, we learn that the stranger’s gun was empty. Instead, Morgan dispatches the walker with the staff he used to take out the “wolves.” He loads the two men into the backseat of the abandoned car he was sleeping in, blowing the horn for good measure, and walks away with a hanging rabbit’s foot that was indeed lucky for him.  For a character with so little screen time, the writers and the actor all know how to make every “Morgan! moment” matter.

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Watching Daryl on his bike, and Aaron following him in his car, makes me want to forget what humanity is facing. They look like two friends on the open road (and P.S., are there no car dealerships in Alexandria?  Why is Aaron driving an unsafe beater?)  Nothing to report, other than the men pulling off the road.  What will they find?

Rick wakes up. Rosita has tended to his bruises, we learn from Michonne. She also tells him that Carl kept coming by to check on him. She doesn’t understand why he didn’t tell her about Pete (who has been moved out of his family home) or the gun. Rick treats his deception about the gun as an act committed to protect her.  It seems to feels to Michonne as if he no longer trusts her.  When Glenn, Carol, and Abe stop in, Carol plays it to the hilt and pretends not to know why Rick would do such a thing.  She gives Rick the cover story that will help explain that he was only planning to protect Jessie. She feels the Alexandrians are childlike and both need, and would love, the story. Rick comes up with a takeover plan, if the meeting about expelling him goes badly. The plan includes, threats to slit the throats of their captives.“Like Terminus”, Glenn counters. “No!” says Rick. He is bothered by the comparison but does not back off his plan. He decides he needs more sleep and dismisses his family…none of whom have refused to follow the plan.

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At the same time Maggie is pleading his case. Deanna tells Maggie that she is not impressed that Rick did not shoot anyone and that she will do what she has to for the community. Reg reminds Maggie that it was Michonne who stopped him, not Rick himself.

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Sasha continues to work in solitude, dumping the walkers she dropped outside the gate into a pit. Falling into it she decides to lie on the pile. I am seriously unable to cope with her inability to cope. She either pulls it together or Carol will be showing her the pretty flowers. Aaron and Daryl are still tracking through the woods when Aaron talks about the two men and a woman (Enid’s mother?) who didn’t work out and had to be driven away from the group.  They were a bad fit.  He recruited them and doesn’t want to make that mistake again.  My guess is that we’ll learn that at least one of them is leading this “W” group. They are following a man in a red poncho but lose him. Back at camp, Carol goes to see Rick and gives him an extra gun. When Rick asks why she didn’t tell the others the truth about the additional guns, she reminds him that it was Michonne who knocked him out. He is sure that Michonne, and everyone else, is still with them. He states that he doesn’t want to lie to anyone, any more. Carol calls him “sunshine” and tells him he doesn’t get to have both. Ouch! Not realizing that he is still armed, Rick is allowed to walk freely.  Maggie tells Glenn that she will talk to everyone she can and try to swing things in Rick’s favor. Glenn remains quiet about the plan. He turns in time to watch someone climb the wall. Nicholas? Also heading out is Fr. Gabriel – who refuses to take a weapon since he has the word of God with him.

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At home, Rick warns Carl that he can’t come to the meeting and informs Carl that he may have to kill someone. Neither are sure that the people of Alexandria are ready to hear and understand RickCarl is afraid, for the Alexandrians.

Aaron and Daryl stand outside a food warehouse (Del Arno Foods… “Are no”… get it?). The Red Poncho stranger is long gone, and while Daryl wants to keep looking, Aaron hopes there is food left to take home.  They take out the walkers in the yard and case the place. Aaron is excited by finding an Alaskan license plate as Daryl opens a trailer.  It is a trap.  Semi- trucks, filled with “W” etched walkers, open and the men are forced to fight their way to an SUV sitting in the yard. Between the seats is a crumpled note, “Trap. Bad People Coming. Don’t Stay.” It would have been helpful to have the note pinned to the gate!  The men hope the glass windows will hold until evening, or until something comes along to distract the walkers.

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Carol visits Pete, bringing food. Once inside she puts a knife to his throat, reminding him that he needs to check in on Tara. She tells him that he is a small weak nothing, even more so in the new world.  She gives him the dish she brought with him and tells him to bring it back to her, clean. That causes him to fall into a tear when she leaves, screaming that it isn’t his house.  Pete watches from his front window as Rick speaks with Jessie while she is covering her broken window. Jessie tells Rick that they can’t be seen together, but tells him that he was right. This is Rick’s new world, where women always seem to tell him he’s right. No one knows that while this was all going on, cowardly Nicholas shot Glenn out in the woods, but was unable to find him after Glenn fell into a ravine.

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Aaron tells Daryl that he was right, they should have kept looking for the guy in the red poncho. Daryl is not as comfortable as Rick being told he’s right – he plans to finish his smoke and draw the walkers away. Aaron refuses the offer, it’s them fighting together or nothing. (Sorry, Eric, I’m loving these two and will take them however the writers give them to me). No sacrifice is needed. Morgan! and his trusty staff to the rescue. He frees them from the car, pushing back the walkers.  When asked why he saved them, he tells them all life is precious.  He refuses to join them at their compound, and opens the map Abe left for Rick, asking for directions.  As Morgan! saves them, Fr. Gabriel goes whistling in the woods, strolling up to a walker, telling it that he is ready. At the last minute, he saves himself and releases the man the walker was eating.  Abe joins Rosita and a sleeping Eugene at Tara’s beside. Rosita intentionally wakes Eugene by making noise. Eugene thanks Abe for leading them and apologizes for his lie. A deeply remorseful Abe apologizes for nearly killing him. It’s all good.

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Three questions are answered – Fr. Gabriel returns, after crying at the side of the road. Spencer, who wants to talk to him later about Aiden’s death, trusts him to close the gate not realizing that the fragile father is devolving. He only partially closes it, leaving the community exposed. Second, Glenn is alive and tackles Nicholas, who is too busy shooting a walker to see him coming.  Nicholas leaves a wounded Glenn on the ground, as walkers pile on top of him.

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Third, Michonne and Rick are solid. He tells her everything. She tells him that she knocked him out to protect him, not them. He heads for the gates after their talk, and after recalling his last conversation with a dying, but optimistic, Bob – who, in essence, told him that they would eventually find a place that reminds them of the way it used to be but it won’t feel real.  It looks as if Rick is thinking of escaping back to the “real world” until he realizes the gates have been breached by walkers.  He locks up and heads back inside.  Also inside, Sasha is at the chapel, asking Fr. Gabriel for help, she’s losing her head.  His look seems to suggest that he is empathetic, but he angrily refuses her request.

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The meeting starts. Deanna gives her anti-Rick speech while Maggie reminds her that not everyone is there. Deanna continues. Nicholas is outside the gates.  Glenn has not been seen.  Rick is looking for walkers. Fr. Gabriel is telling Sasha she doesn’t deserve forgiveness and tells her that Bob was killed and “consumed” because of her sins and that Tyrese deserves to be there, she doesn’t.  Rick finds the first walker and kills it as Michonne is defending him, telling the Alexandrians that Rick only wants them and their families to live.  It’s hitting the fan!  Rick is fighting a small herd inside the gates, alone. Glenn shows up, outside, and is fighting Nicholas, smacking him to the ground. Sasha is fighting Fr. Gabriel, in the chapel. Abe gives the following million dollar speech, “Simply put, there is a vast ocean of shit you people don’t know shit about. Rick knows every fine grain of said shit, and then some.’ The man is a poet.  The writers must fight over who gets to write his dialogue. Back at the “Del Arno foods” warehouse we see part of that “ocean of shit” as the two men Morgan! took down are alive. They kill the Red Poncho stranger. Bastards!  Loving the finale, except this part. We JUST got rid of The Governor then the Terminans. Too much, too soon?

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Maggie talks about how Hershel respected Rick and how they are now a family and that they will want to be a part of that family, too.  Deanna shares, in the spirit of transparency, Fr. Gabriel’s words.  Since he didn’t show, Jessie decides that it’s just Deanna repeating his words, not evidence.  Glenn is trying to determine if he is going to put a bullet in Nicholas’ head, but spares him as Nicholas screams that he was just afraid.  We see how the wolves load the walkers into the trucks – remotely turning on lights and music to draw them in.  A bloodied Rick drops a walker in the middle of the council meeting, telling them the gate was open. Spencer notes that he left Gabriel to close the gate and is sent by Deanna to check it. Maggie arrives at the chapel in time to save Gabriel, who cries that they all died because of him, remembering his flock. Rick tells the group that the dead and the living will try to get in because they are inside. Sasha and Maggie sit with Gabriel.  Tara wakes up to a smiling Rosita at her side, as the two wolves are looking over Aaron’s pictures of the community. Rick tells them he will show them how to survive, but earlier he was thinking about how many of them he would have to kill to save them.  He tells them that he won’t kill them but they will have to change.  He’s not sorry for what he said to them last night (during the fight), he’s sorry he didn’t say it sooner. He tells them they have to be ready, luck runs out.

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An enraged Pete shows up screaming that Rick is not one of them, he cuts Reg’s throat with Michonne’s blade, when Reg tries to hold him back.  As Deanna holds her dying husband, she looks up and tellsRick to “do it.” Rick shoots Pete in the head.  Rick hears his name being called.  It’s Morgan! ..oh, and Aaron and Daryl.  Michonne planned to hang the blade back on the wall, but puts it on her back, instead.  The game has changed! We conclude with the Red Poncho walker moving through the warehouse yard.  The SUV trap has been spray painted and now reads “Wolves Not Far.” 

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Brilliant!

 

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About the Author

I’m an exasperated soap fan who keeps hanging on – waiting for the daytime I once loved to return to its former glory! Hey, it doesn’t hurt to have a dream. I learned to love soaps thanks to my wonderful mother and grandmother. I’ll always have fond memories of daytime, most especially of ‘Another World’, my first stoap love. The ever great, but sadly defunct, daytime shows like Ryan’s Hope, Search for Tomorrow, The Doctors, Loving, and many others keep a special place in my heart, as well. ♦ Norrth Cafe's BlogTwitterFacebook

  • Caden

    I think this series ending was the best one of the series, by far! Kudos to the writers for this synopsis….and kudos to the WD writers, the ending was brilliant!

    • Shelly Jones

      It was amazing!

    • Norrth

      Thank you (and I agree with the kudos to the WD writers. They have outdone themselves.) At this point, It think it has to be easy writing out a character and much harder to know what to do with the survivors!

  • Shelly Jones

    OK….has the real zombie apocalypse started…because I can understand why this recap is not flooded with comments. This was the best darn finale ever. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Norrth Café, your recap was so spot on. When you mentioned that girls mother possibly being linked to the “W” group, also “Del Arno Food”, my mind was blown again! This was a great season. I’m soo glad none of the main characters died. Glen are Carol are officially bad asses now and Morgan is British.

    • Norrth

      Wowza, I’m so with you! If we had lost one more of our survivor family, I would have flipped. Amazingly enough, and it’s been awhile since I’ve read the graphic novels, I think Andrea is still alive at this point in the novels. I never know what to expect but I loved every minute of the finale. Morgan’s introduction couldn’t have been any better.

      • Rochelle Barozzi

        I can’t tell you how loud I screamed at my TV when Noah was killed!

        • Norrth

          So THAT was the other screaming voice I heard when I was watching. ;))) I was so angry at the writers, that day.

          • Rochelle Barozzi

            LOLOL Yes it was! I almost…almost decided to stop watching.

  • Brattus Rattus

    Damn it. I read it without watching it. Great recap of something I have yet to see. It’s like I have a cheat sheet though and I can’t wait to watch! Thank you!

    • Norrth

      There are so many things I couldn’t include, you will still LOVE the show. I wish I could have transcribed Rick’s entire speech. It was masterful.

    • Rochelle Barozzi

      Perfectly said Brattus. We are on vacation and the stupid hotel we are at doesn’t carry AMC!! LOL

  • twifan2

    AWESOME recap again, Norrth! Thank you for your great work! 🙂
    I had forgotten about Mr. Ninja Morgan! MY HERO! 🙂
    OMG Fr. Gabreil! I was like do it Sasha! Do it Maggie! 😀
    This was the best season finale of the series-imo. Hate that it was left with still so many questions.
    NOW the Aleandrians are like ‘them’-Rick’s group.

    • Norrth

      Hee hee! Sometimes I feel bad for wanting to see someone knock Gabriel out… then he speaks and the feeling passes. I’m glad he FINALLY said what we all knew, that had not forgiven himself for the deaths of his flock, deaths he could have prevented.

  • colleen

    Norrth! I haven’t finished reading your blog. I need to pause & give you props for one of the best TWD comments—–> “There are no car dealerships in Alexandria?”
    I couldn’t understand why there was no buggy or wagon to haul Judith. Never thought about car dealer!

  • Love your recap Norrth! What a fantastic season closer. I’m VERY grateful none of our beloved characters died. So amazing to have Morgan back in the mix. So much changed with him from the last time we saw him to his new “all life is precious” way of thinking. The ending was sad tho, seeing Deanna’s hubby die then her other son may be dead also after Glenn put a hurting on him. I ponder/hope no one behind the walls was bitten by the Walkers that slipped through the gates.

    • Norrth

      I LOVE the new Morgan, who is kicking even more butt! I can’t wait to hear what woke him up and made him go looking for Rick.

      Glenn, fortunately, only beat up Nicholas. I would not have been mad if he took him out, but I was happy, for Glenn’s sake, that he didn’t.

      Ok, is it bad that the thing I was happy about is that the poor dog was safe from the walkers? I hadn’t even considered that anyone was around to be bitten.

    • Rochelle Barozzi

      OMG me too! I read it might have been Daryl! Whew!

  • CNN

    I loved the season finale! Morgan definitely has another way of looking at things. I just hope that they didn’t bring him back to just kill him at the end of next season as irony for letting those two “Wolves” live.

    • Norrth

      When you look at what happened with the Governor… Geez… I hope you’re right that he won’t be sacrificed to give the wolves more life. It’s time to let Carol and Sasha loose on those guys!

  • Yolie

    GREAT recap Norrth. I believe Morgan will be the new moral compass, i.e. Dale, Herschel, etc. His zen nature along with his skills using the stick was cool to see. Too bad the reunion with Rick got off to a bad start. It was probably not what Morgan expected during his journey to find him.

    • Norrth

      I hope he won’t be killed off like the other two. Morgan does have more of an edge and is more realistic about people as well as the dead. It took a long time for our beloved Herschel to believe the dead weren’t coming back. Dale wanted to believe the best about Andrea even though it was clear she was headed down a dark road.

  • Yolie

    Norrth, I’m going miss the show and your recaps. Until next season. Will you be recapping the new spin-off show?

    • Norrth

      I hope so! I think Doc is all for it.

  • colleen

    So was there any purpose to Red Pancho Guy? Was there a hidden meaning or lesson to be learned by his presence? Thank you in advance

    • Norrth

      I think the point was just how quickly things can change with these wolves. Daryl and Aaron weren’t far behind the poncho guys. Had they followed him, I think they might have met with the same fate (or at least maybe the writers want us to think that). Had they found him, they would have missed finding Morgan. Tracking him at least gave Daryl and Aaron more time to bond as friends. I’m so glad Daryl admitted that he had never felt like he belonged in Alexandria. Maybe that will change next season.

      • colleen

        Thanks, North. Maybe I am over thinking the show. Not everything has a hidden meaning. Have a good day. Colleen

  • Rochelle Barozzi

    Thank you thank you for this!!! Our hotel didn’t carry AMC, my husband and I were so P.O’d that we couldn’t watch the season finale.

    • Oh boy! Did you miss a doozy. I plan to watch it again tonight. That’s how good it was.

      • Rochelle Barozzi

        Argh….I have to wait until I get home. And that won’t be until the end of April!! LOL

      • Rochelle Barozzi

        Sniff…rub it in Suess….**wipes a tear from my eye**

    • Norrth

      Sorry you didn’t get to watch it live. There was so much that even watching it again I couldn’t believe how good it was. You will enjoy every minute of it, I think.

  • MorningYawn

    Hey Norrth! Awesome recap! Love the del “are no” foods! Totally missed that. Couldn’t understand why rick looked for and fought the walkers alone. Any of his group would have helped him!

    Carol was something! She really has used her words as weapons in this half if show!!! They seem just as lethal!!

    • Norrth

      Carol broke Pete down in a way that Rick’s thumping couldn’t! She was scary good. It had to freak Pete out to be confronted by a woman he couldn’t defend himself against. Coward.

  • TheBeverlyHillsHaveEyes

    Great recap Norrth!!! This season was one of the best by far – more than makes up for last season’s nothingness. The Wolves are a breed apart from the other baddies encountered so far- the fact that they are killing off survivors and leaving walkers roam is more insane than the Governor or Terminans. Love Morgan and hope he stays next season.

    • Norrth

      It has to be a form of insanity on the “poor Lizzie” scale! What could be their end game? To be the only humans left with flesh consuming monsters? True insanity. They have gone mad.