Walking Dead Watch: Did The Season Finale Satisfy?

Critics weigh in on episode 'A'

The Walking Dead

88%

[Beware: Do not read this unless you are OK with spoilers!]

Season four of The Walking Dead ended on Sunday night with episode "A." After the much buzzed-about "Grove" shocker two weeks ago, the finale disappointed fans who were expecting a more definitive conclusion (and also the death of a major character or two). Others felt that it was a refreshing move to reprieve the characters until at least October.

As for the critics, see what they thought of the season four cliffhanger.

John Lopez, Grantland: Yes, I'm thankful the writers decided to end on an actual cliffhanger, rather than something like Season 3's anticlimactic showdown with the Governor, which was such a bummer that new showrunner Scott Gimple felt the need to do it all over for the midseason finale. But rehashing that hiccup of a story beat, then throwing in a plague plot and scattering the Rickettes to the wind, felt more incoherent than avant-garde. And this finale hung its hat on possibly the least compelling character arc in the show: Farmer Rick realizing he's not Hamlet, Prince of Denmark ... I'm plenty happy Rick's got his mojo back, but did we really need this entire season to get there?

Zack Handlen, A.V. Club: It's no big surprise that "A" ends on a cliffhanger, but what is surprising is how almost hopeful that cliffhanger feels. Next season, we'll probably have to go through hours of soul-searching about whether or not it's possible to do the killing you need to do to survive and still hold on to your soul, before circumstances contrive to force everyone to kill again. And it'll probably feel tired and a little sad. But this episode's best moments are when it puts the forced morality lessons aside and just revels in being pulpy and kind of crazy and willing to do what it takes.

Andrew Conrad, Baltimore Sun: [When Rick said, "They're screwing with the wrong people"] it seemed a little out of place to me, because I prefer the "actions speak louder than words" Rick to the "action movie hero catch line" Rick, but it definitely did not spoil what was one of the strongest episodes of the series.

Troy L. Smith, Cleveland Plain Dealer: The Walking Dead Season 4 certainly saved its best for last. This season's finale, titled "A," was easily its most intense body of work.

Dalton Ross, Entertainment Weekly: I like how the producers didn't feel the need to kill someone just because it was a season-ender. And I like how after going pretty Grimeless over the past month, the show all came back to Rick and his new don't you dare mess with me and my crew attitude. It is a more than welcome return.

Roth Cornet, IGN: An open ending works for a series like this one; it leaves room for the viewer to ruminate on the ultimate fate of these characters ... I found this to be one of the stronger episodes of the latter half of this season.

Kevin Yeoman, ScreenRant: In the end, the survivors are in quite the pickle, but hearing Rick tell his crew their captors are "screwing with the wrong people," feels like precisely the kind of action the show needs from its central characters. As far as the cliffhanger that "A" leaves the season on, it too is relatively simple, but it produces an effortless, effective, and welcome feeling of excitement and anticipation that the series hasn't had since the end of season 2.

Sean Daly, Tampa Bay Times: In an altogether Hollywood denouement that might prove smart for the show's future, if a polarizing tease for patient fans, the ballyhooed ep kicked with, lo and behold, some Schwarzeneggerian rah-rah.

Aaron Neuwirth, The Young Folks: Season 4 of The Walking Dead has now come to a close, and while there were plenty of bangs, "A" honestly felt like a bit of a whimper in its final moments.

Luke Gelineau, TV Equals: The big showdown that we've literally been waiting for over these last eight episodes was over before it began, and now we have to wait until October to see what happens. I was hoping that the showdown at Terminus would live up to the hype that they were building up, but man was it a disappointment. Nothing happened!

Alan Sepinwall, HitFix: The action was effective, and some of the character beats worked, too ... I don't know that anything that happened this season pulled me off of my belief that the show might be more interesting if Rick died -- though this half-season at least made an effort into working on the non-Rick characters while Andrew Lincoln got some light duty -- but if the idea of the final scene is for Rick and the show to once and for all stop dithering about whether he's the leader, whether he's a warrior, etc., then I'm all in favor of that.

Tim Surette, TV.com: It's too bad that it was so singularly focused, because the Season 4 finale had the chance to be something great; instead, "A" was an okay middle-of-the-season installment but a pretty crummy season-ender.

Roger Catlin, TV Eye: There is still some artistry involved to the show; I could tell from watching the finale after missing a bunch of episodes ... But at this point I'm not sure I need such a brutal show to make me think about the animalistic natures of men and what our limits are. I've learned mine, and that is mostly not watch The Walking Dead.

Richard Rys, Vulture: What was mostly a solid episode should have ended with a roar. Instead, it goes out with a sad trombone as Rick reveals what he says the Terminus folks are going to find out: "They're screwing with the wrong people." Dun dun DUN! ... Looking back on this season, the promising first half gave way to a disappointing back-eight.

What did you think of The Walking Dead season four finale? Was it a disappointing ending, or did it make you that much more pumped for season five?

Comments

tehe

Tehe Tehe

The finale was weak, but the cliff hanger looks to be foreshadowing for a fantastic five season.

Apr 1 - 06:23 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I'll wait until they're all on DVD first, and then I'll watch all of them all at once!

Apr 2 - 04:39 PM

Boltie

Jessica Anaya

No DVD here I'm fully pumped for blu-ray the smart choice.

Apr 16 - 03:18 PM

John Gunder III

John Gunder III

Rick was back to his awesome self.

Apr 1 - 07:17 PM

This comment has been removed.

Mike Conway

Mike Conway

go make something better man, this show aint made by the government. people can watch anything they want... although there have been some lameness in episodes. i think all these guys would be dead.

Apr 1 - 10:19 PM

Sudhir Raju

Sudhir Raju

i think ..theres no hope for u

Apr 1 - 10:41 PM

Keith Gaule

Keith Gaule

It's lame, yet, here you are, on the review page specifically for it, just to have a moan?

Apr 2 - 02:45 AM

John Taylor

John Taylor

I bet your a reality tv show fan.

Apr 2 - 03:49 AM

Patrick FD

Patrick FD

I never understood how, with all of the content on television, somebody would watch a show they hate.

Apr 2 - 07:14 AM

Wanda Harrington

Wanda Harrington

then stop watching it and leave America.... please!

Apr 2 - 08:53 AM

Richard Wood

Richard Wood

Troll

Apr 2 - 09:04 AM

Colby Fulton

Colby Fulton

You're lame (roasted).

Apr 2 - 10:55 AM

Or Elias-Bello

Or Elias-Bello

Like a soombudi fuk you big

Apr 2 - 11:52 AM

Rae Morgan

Rae Morgan

So glad you are watching and go home!

Apr 2 - 02:17 PM

Mike Conway

Mike Conway

go make something better man, this show aint made by the government. people can watch anything they want... although there have been some lameness in episodes. i think all these guys would be dead.

Apr 1 - 10:19 PM

Sudhir Raju

Sudhir Raju

i think ..theres no hope for u

Apr 1 - 10:41 PM

anshuman s.

anshuman singh

Decent end to a not so decent season ..

Apr 2 - 01:33 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

see it's comments like this why I haven't got passed the first season. You walking Dead Fan's are so strange! During the run of the show I hear "You aren't watching! Oh man Brad.. YOU ARE MISSING OUT" then the season end and I say "So I might give the show a chance again, how was it?" and websites a long with fans say "Wow, what a disappointing slog of a season BUT THE NEXT ONE COULD PICK UP!" it's like a practice in hope before despair and then hope again.

Apr 2 - 05:59 AM

Wanda Harrington

Wanda Harrington

it's one of the highest critically acclaimed and most watched shows. that's without superstar actors on top of that. sounds like "the bachelor" and "real wives of new jersey" is more your style.

Apr 2 - 09:09 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

by critically acclaimed you mean 0 awards don't you.. and the episodes I did watch seemed a lot like MTVs the Real world only a zombie would occasionally wander through the scene. Real World Seattle.

Apr 2 - 12:23 PM

Greg Baltzer

Greg Baltzer

Than you haven't watched that many episodes. There's zombies all over the place. But the show isn't about the zombies, it's about a group of people trying to survive in a world full of zombies, cannibals, and anarchy. I love the show. And you can't have zombies all the time because that becomes just as boring as never having zombies. Having constant zombies would remove suspense and tension from the show.

Apr 2 - 02:08 PM

Manuel Granados Vargas

Manuel Granados Vargas

In an overall sense (unless you are tired of zombies) the show is good. BUT it has some glaring weaknesses, like some of the actors are pretty meh and can convey nothing, then some of the characters end up being dull. On the plus side, the characters and actors who carry the show do it well.
This is no The Wire or Deadwood that you know it's going to be excellent and only go up from there, but it's not a bad show, just not absolutely must love television.

Apr 2 - 01:47 PM

Wanda Harrington

Wanda Harrington

brad check out tomato meter and imdb score.

Apr 4 - 05:01 AM

Keith Gaule

Keith Gaule

It's lame, yet, here you are, on the review page specifically for it, just to have a moan?

Apr 2 - 02:45 AM

John Taylor

John Taylor

I bet your a reality tv show fan.

Apr 2 - 03:49 AM

Patrick FD

Patrick FD

I never understood how, with all of the content on television, somebody would watch a show they hate.

Apr 2 - 07:14 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

see it's comments like this why I haven't got passed the first season. You walking Dead Fan's are so strange! During the run of the show I hear "You aren't watching! Oh man Brad.. YOU ARE MISSING OUT" then the season end and I say "So I might give the show a chance again, how was it?" and websites a long with fans say "Wow, what a disappointing slog of a season BUT THE NEXT ONE COULD PICK UP!" it's like a practice in hope before despair and then hope again.

Apr 2 - 05:59 AM

Wanda Harrington

Wanda Harrington

it's one of the highest critically acclaimed and most watched shows. that's without superstar actors on top of that. sounds like "the bachelor" and "real wives of new jersey" is more your style.

Apr 2 - 09:09 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

by critically acclaimed you mean 0 awards don't you.. and the episodes I did watch seemed a lot like MTVs the Real world only a zombie would occasionally wander through the scene. Real World Seattle.

Apr 2 - 12:23 PM

Greg Baltzer

Greg Baltzer

Than you haven't watched that many episodes. There's zombies all over the place. But the show isn't about the zombies, it's about a group of people trying to survive in a world full of zombies, cannibals, and anarchy. I love the show. And you can't have zombies all the time because that becomes just as boring as never having zombies. Having constant zombies would remove suspense and tension from the show.

Apr 2 - 02:08 PM

Manuel Granados Vargas

Manuel Granados Vargas

In an overall sense (unless you are tired of zombies) the show is good. BUT it has some glaring weaknesses, like some of the actors are pretty meh and can convey nothing, then some of the characters end up being dull. On the plus side, the characters and actors who carry the show do it well.
This is no The Wire or Deadwood that you know it's going to be excellent and only go up from there, but it's not a bad show, just not absolutely must love television.

Apr 2 - 01:47 PM

Wanda Harrington

Wanda Harrington

brad check out tomato meter and imdb score.

Apr 4 - 05:01 AM

Patrick FD

Patrick FD

I don't know if it was the writers intention, but I enjoyed has the show sort of went back to square one by fleshing out the backstory's of many of our main characters, while giving us more to learn from our newer characters. We easily forget that many of the original characters from seasons 1 & 2 are dead, and that many of the characters we have no are relatively new. Due to the pase of the show and the many deaths, the "Walking Dead" never had any real time to explain who these new people were. I felt the second half of season 4 did an awesome job of tying up loose ends from the past, and giving us a new beginning in a way. Finally, I thought the season finale was the best this season has had to offer since season 1 & 2.

Apr 2 - 07:12 AM

Patrick FD

Patrick FD

I never understood how, with all of the content on television, somebody would watch a show they hate.

Apr 2 - 07:14 AM

Wanda Harrington

Wanda Harrington

then stop watching it and leave America.... please!

Apr 2 - 08:53 AM

Richard Wood

Richard Wood

Troll

Apr 2 - 09:04 AM

Wanda Harrington

Wanda Harrington

it's one of the highest critically acclaimed and most watched shows. that's without superstar actors on top of that. sounds like "the bachelor" and "real wives of new jersey" is more your style.

Apr 2 - 09:09 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

by critically acclaimed you mean 0 awards don't you.. and the episodes I did watch seemed a lot like MTVs the Real world only a zombie would occasionally wander through the scene. Real World Seattle.

Apr 2 - 12:23 PM

Greg Baltzer

Greg Baltzer

Than you haven't watched that many episodes. There's zombies all over the place. But the show isn't about the zombies, it's about a group of people trying to survive in a world full of zombies, cannibals, and anarchy. I love the show. And you can't have zombies all the time because that becomes just as boring as never having zombies. Having constant zombies would remove suspense and tension from the show.

Apr 2 - 02:08 PM

Adam

Adam Root

If a show was on point 100 percent of the time than that show would cease to evolve. The high points would not strike a nerve because all of it is high points. The lows are needed as much as the highs so that the highs seem more...um...high! There are plenty of viewing choices these days. And there will be opinion abound as to those choices. However in my experience I find that people will go againt something strictly because its popular. I find walking dead to be entertaining enough and interesting enough to follow. Sure, not every episode is gold. But this makes the good ones even better!

Apr 2 - 10:43 AM

Bill David

Bill David

I thought it was easily the best episode since the first 2 episodes of season 3.

Apr 2 - 10:54 AM

Colby Fulton

Colby Fulton

You're lame (roasted).

Apr 2 - 10:55 AM

Or Elias-Bello

Or Elias-Bello

Like a soombudi fuk you big

Apr 2 - 11:52 AM

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