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The Walking Dead Season 5 Finale Recap: Rick Fights Back, Morgan Returns — Find Out Who Survived a Brutal Episode!

Danai Gurira and Andrew Lincoln on The Walking Dead
Pete finally died when Rick took control in The Walking Dead season 5 finale. 

The Walking Dead finished its fifth season with a bang — literally! While there was plenty of fretting from fans that this episode could be the end of beloved Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), it was Pete Anderson (Corey Brill) who was at the receiving end of a Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) bullet. There were plenty of pivotal moments throughout “Conquer,” but here are the ones everyone will be talking about until the show returns to AMC for season 6.

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Welcome Back (Again) Morgan 

“Conquer” opened with Morgan Jones (Lennie James) being confronted by a random man who was seemingly desperate for supplies. The man was creepy — and not just because he insisted on Morgan being “still” while pointing a gun at him. He had a “W” on his forehead, which had been seen on zombies throughout the season. When Morgan asked about the letter, the man told him that he was part of a group of “wolves,” who are hunting people with the goal of turning them into zombies. Thankfully, Morgan managed to escape from the Wolf and his accomplice by channeling Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Go ninja, go ninja, go.

C is for Carol. Also for Crazy

Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) is nothing if not completely insane. When she went to visit Rick — who was recovering from his fight with Pete — she explained that she was happy Rick went berserk. As the group attempted to sort through what Rick would tell the townspeople at a planned meeting, Carol made suggestions and ended them with “These people are children and children love stories.”

melissa mcbride twd finale
Carol went a little nuts in The Walking Dead season 5 finale.

Later, when Rick asked her why she didn’t tell the others about the guns she and Rick had stashed, Carol said they had to lie to the others “Just in case,” which was a slightly odd thing to say about the core group. When Carol went to Pete’s house with a casserole, she threatened to kill him and basically asked him to attack her so she could. She left a shocked Pete with a demand for him to not only return her dish, but to make sure it was completely clean. Here’s hoping the Alexandria Safe Zone has plenty of dish soap.

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Best Friends Forever

While out searching for new people to bring back to Alexandria, Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Daryl decided to take a detour at what appeared to be a produce company full of food. Shockingly, things took a turn for the worse! Aaron and Daryl got trapped inside a car after Daryl unlocked a truck, which was a set trap that unleashed heaps of zombies. While inside, the two had a heart-to-heart, because why not? It’s not like they were inches away from a gruesome death. At the last second, Morgan showed up with his bo staff to help spring Aaron and Daryl. One perk of the zombie apocalypse appears to be the unlimited time available to learn new and exciting hobbies, like becoming extremely lethal with a large piece of wood.

The Opposite of Best Friends Forever

Aaron and Daryl are likely going to start off next season with matching friendship bracelets. Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and Nicholas (Michael Traynor) are not. Glenn caught Nicholas escaping the compound, and followed him out into the woods. Nicholas shot Glenn in the shoulder, which led to a fight between the two. After much struggling and grunting, Glenn ended up on top of Nicholas. He pointed a gun at Nicholas’ head, but ultimately decided against killing him.

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Practice Makes Perfect

If Carol is Captain Crazy, Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) is Lieutenant Loony. Gabriel continued his downward spiral during “Conquer” via two valiant attempts at getting himself killed and one attempt at getting others killed. First, he went out into the woods with the “word of god” as his only protection. When Gabriel found a zombie, Gabriel proclaimed he was ready to die, only to back out at the last possible moment. Then, when he returned to Alexandria, Gabriel purposely left the gate unlocked so that zombies could enter the complex. When he stumbled upon a remorseful, scared — and also crazy — Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) in his makeshift church, Gabriel provoked her until she attacked him. Luckily (or maybe unluckily) Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) found the two fighting and stopped Sasha.

norman reedus twd finale
Aaron and Daryl nearly met their end in The Walking Dead season 5 finale — but thankfully managed to escape attacking walkers.

All’s Well That Ends in Two Brutal Deaths

As the townspeople attended a meeting about Rick, he was off hunting zombies that had entered when Gabriel left the gate open. In what will surely redefine “fashionably late,” Rick eventually showed up to the gathering and announced his arrival by dumping a zombie on the ground. He told the gathered crowd that he wanted to make things work, but only if they dedicated themselves to changing, because the world had also changed.

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Pete disrupted the meeting and yelled about how Rick wasn’t one of the townspeople. He brandished Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) sword, and when confronted by Reg Monroe (Steve Coulter) — Deanna Monroe’s (Tovah Feldshuh) husband — Pete killed Reg by slicing his neck with the sword. As Reg laid dying, Deanna asked Rick to do what should have been done already: Kill Pete. After Rick shot Pete, Morgan, Aaron, and Daryl showed up. Morgan was clearly shocked at how different Rick was.

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“Conquer” was an action-packed season finale, but it also gave viewers plenty to chew on (zombie pun fully intended) as they await next season’s premiere. Will Carol continue to splinter from the group? How will Rick deal with being reunited with Morgan? Is Rick’s baby Judith the best behaved baby ever? What will Glenn tell everyone about what happened between him and Nicholas? Will all the townspeople accept Rick’s demand for change? And perhaps most importantly, how long until the Wolves pick up the group’s scent?

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