Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
It's been a long and winding journey for the battered and bruised characters on The Walking Dead. They have all lost their way, battled demons and done their best to survive in an unforgiving world filled to the brim with walking death. In fact the last few episodes on the show have been about the battle with their pasts, and how it seems in many ways, the darkness of the world they have been living in was beginning to destroy their opportunity at a new life.
But I am happy to say that after spending weeks worrying that the worst case scenario could come for Rick Grimes and the people that he has worked so hard to protect, they were all given a respite from the darkness and treated to the bright light of a new day. Yes, daybreak came at last in impressive fashion in last night's episode as every single plot thread came to a logical conclusion, at least when it comes to the characters, and well...I was damn impressed with how they did it. I thought all along that an incredible disaster would be the only way to unify the people of Alexandria and Rick's group, but it turns out...for the most part the people who had been struggling mightily were able to find their way either on their own or with a little help.
As we discussed last week, Sasha and Gabriel were two giant concerns when it came to their past haunting them, and well...they brought about the most concern in "Conquer". After all, Sasha had no problem lying with the dead as if she was one of them and Gabriel still battled the horrors of what this world had now become. All of that came to a head between the two of them when they confronted one another in Gabriel's church. Sasha admitted that she wanted to die, and Gabriel later admitted his guilt over the fact he let his congregation die in front of Maggie when she came to cool down the battle between the two of them. It took a lot to see them confront their mistakes and fears but it took even more to see Maggie, who admitted to losing her faith earlier this season...bring it back and pray with the three of them.
But of course the man we were worried about the most, Rick Grimes finally found his way as well. I mean, let's be honest, last week was about as scary as it gets when it came to Rick. He completely lost it in front of the town, and his being covered in blood and waving a gun didn't help matters either. But this week his journey was simply magical and clearly his anger and guilt at the things he has done and the horrors he holds on to had to come to the surface in that scary moment for him to finally see the light. He understood at last what Alexandria could mean, what it could become and that final moment at the meeting when he brought a walker to show the people of the town what kind of threats exist was the end of letting the past control him.
It was a wonderful episode filled with redemption to wrap up season five, something that I didn't expect to be honest, not with so much tension and terror surrounding the group this week. Heck, I was even happy with the fact that Glenn couldn't bring himself to kill Nicholas. It speaks volumes about how all the characters now understand that Alexandria is truly their salvation and their chance to start again and that they have to focus on what they do today, to make it to tomorrow. It's a powerful message to say the least, but also a bittersweet one. For despite the growth that all the characters enjoyed last night, daybreak doesn't last forever. The darkness of the night and all of its terrors awaits them, but at least we know they can handle the next threat with a newfound strength and they are going to need it...for the Wolves, are coming.