Episode 16: A

In a flashback to the survivors' time at the prison, Rick, Maggie and Glenn return from a supply run. Hershel watches as Rick slaughters walkers at the perimeter fence.

In a flash-forward, Rick sits catatonic on the ground, drenched in blood. His hands tremble.

Back in the present, Rick, Carl and Michonne rest around a campfire, remarking how hungry they are. Rick suggests they check the snares for food.

As they walk through the woods, Rick guesses they're close to Terminus. Carl wonders how much they should tell others about what they've been through. Before Rick can answer, a walker approaches and the three take formation to kill it.

Rick finds a rabbit in a snare and explains to Carl that the trap works by funneling the animal into the noose: "Any animals going by will have to run this way," Rick says.

They suddenly hear a cry for help. Carl runs toward the scream and finds a stranger surrounded by walkers. Rick stops Carl from helping, but not before the walkers spot them. Cornered, the trio takes the walkers head-on.

In another prison flashback, Hershel wakes Rick and asks for his help. He tells Rick to leave his gun behind.

Back in the present, Rick, Carl and Michonne fight walkers. Afterwards, they find an abandoned truck and decide to camp there for the evening.

That night, Carl sleeps in the truck while Rick and Michonne keep watch. Suddenly, Joe emerges from the woods and points a gun at Rick's temple. "You screwed up asshole," Joe taunts as his gang surrounds Rick and Michonne.

Daryl emerges and tells Joe to let Rick go. "These are good people," Daryl says. "See, now, that right there is a lie," Joe replies. He orders the gang to beat Daryl to death.

Meanwhile, one of Joe's men wrestles Carl to the ground at knifepoint and unbuckles his pants.

Rick suddenly lunges at Joe, biting his neck and spitting out the flesh. Joe collapses to the ground as he quickly bleeds to death. Rick then turns his attention to Carl's attacker: "He's mine," Rick says before repeatedly stabbing the man in the chest. Michonne holds Carl close as Carl watches on — a dark look crossing his face.

In a prison flashback, Hershel asks Rick to help him grow crops and raise pigs at the prison. "The war is over," he says, explaining that Carl needs a role model. Rick disregards Hershel's advice, saying he needs to go on runs and be at the fences.

In the present, a blood-soaked Rick is catatonic after brutally killing Joe's gang. Daryl sits down beside him. "What you did last night, anybody would've done that," Daryl says. Rick disagrees but says he has to be this way to protect Carl.

Carl listens in on the conversation from inside the truck, where he's pretending to be asleep.

Later, Rick's group follows the tracks to Terminus. They pair off and case the camp's perimeter. Carl partners with Michonne instead of Rick.

Michonne reassures Carl that he doesn't need to fear his father. She tells him that she had chained up her boyfriend and friend after they turned — their punishment, she explains, for letting her son be killed. "It was sick," she says, but Rick and Carl helped her come back. Carl confesses that he, too, feels like a monster. Michonne hugs him.

Rick buries a cache of weapons in the ground. "Just in case," he tells Daryl.

They climb the fence and enter a large warehouse full of people quietly painting signs to Terminus. Nearby, a woman sits before a microphone delivering the "sanctuary" radio message that Daryl's group heard on the way to the vet school. "Welcome to Terminus," says a man named Gareth. They lower their weapons and submit to a frisk.

Another man, Alex, escorts them to a courtyard filled with Terminus residents. Alex asks Mary to prepare a plate of food for the newcomers.

Rick quietly takes notice of Hershel's pocket-watch chain sticking out of Alex's pocket. Looking around, he then sees other items originally belonging to his people, now in the possession of the Terminus residents.

Rick points his gun at Alex and demands to know where he got the watch. Rick's group and the Terminus group raise their weapons at each other: It's a standoff.

In a prison flashback, Rick sees Patrick assembling Legos in the cell block. He then sees Carl assembling a gun. Rick asks Carl to assist him with something and tells him to leave the gun behind.

Back in the present, Alex says he got the watch off a dead body. Gareth says the other items were similarly procured. Gareth makes a fist — a signal to a gunman standing behind Rick.

Rick spins Alex around just as the Terminus resident fires. The bullet hits Alex. A shootout ensues. Gareth shouts to "push A" as Rick's group flees into a warehouse while gunmen fire at their feet.

The group continues to run, but the only open passage through the building is via a series of doors marked by the letter A.

They come upon a room lit by candles. A message scrawled across the wall reads, "Never again. Never trust. We first, always."

Outside, they race toward the fence but are met with a line of snipers. Gareth orders them to drop their weapons and, one by one, enter a nearby train car, also painted with the letter A. As the door closes behind them, Glenn, Maggie, Sasha, Bob, Tara, Abraham, Rosita and Eugene emerge from the darkness.

In a flashback, Rick, Carl, Hershel and Beth joke around while farming in the prison yard. "It can be like this all the time," Hershel tells Rick.

Back in the present, Rick speaks to the newly reunited group. "They're gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out," he says. "Find out what?" asks Abraham. "They're screwing with the wrong people," Rick says.

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 16

View photos from Season 4 Episode 16, "A"

Guest stars:
Dan - Keith Brooks
Mary - Denise Crosby
Abraham - Michael Cudlitz
Alex - Tate Ellington
Harley - JD Evermore
Len - Marcus Hester
Tony - Davi Jay
Joe - Jeff Kober
Patrick - Vincent Martella
Tara - Alanna Masterson
Dr. Eugene Porter - Josh McDermitt
Billy - Eric Mendenhall
Rosita - Christian Serratos
Gareth - Andrew J. West
Broadcasting Woman - Irene Ziegler

Written By: Scott M. Gimple & Angela Kang
Directed By: Michelle MacLaren

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