Well, there that was. I have to give The Walking Dead this: Never has it started out so strongly to the season and ended with such a relative thug. Usually the seasons seem to start and finish with a bang with the middle being as soppy, gooey, and exciting as the open midsection of a walker, but this year it was more like the half-life curve on the new element Zombinium, each episode seemingly less exciting than the last.
Where does that leave us? Well, honestly, right back where we started. At the end of Season 1, what were the circumstances? A rag-tag bunch of survivors are stuck in Atlanta during the zombie apocalypse. Where are we now? Ditto. We don’t even get new conversations. Every year, “Are we the same people anymore?” Every year, “Is there good in the world anymore?” Every year, “Should we be more afraid of other people than of walkers now?” In order, to the point of nausea, YES, YES, and YES. For God’s sake, ask some new questions, or don’t even ask any questions at all! Either way it would be something new.
Maybe they have some great plan for the second half of Season 5, but it looks to me more like they took the biggest shot of momentum the show had received in years and spent it rebooting the show like it was a Spider-man trilogy. All this will probably be rendered obsolete by some sweet trailer for next year but, for now, much like one of the increasingly few survivors, I feel rather jaded. Let’s be honest though, it doesn’t matter, they’ll get ratings no matter what!
Anyway, on to a shorter (kinda), sweeter (sorta) Recap.
Also, thank you to @NickNafster79, @BleedigBlue, @Finna_Go_HAM, and @lizziegetslost for participating in the Funkhouser Walking Dead discussion this year, you guys had some great observations and I really enjoyed reading your tweets! #BBWD
At the beginning, we find ‘New Bob’ working on his escape, chased by walkers, Rick running after him. Rick gets in a car and runs him down, quite literally. After running over, ‘New Bob’ begs to live and Rick says, “You wouldn’t stop.” When Rick says stop, you stop. After a bit more begging, Rick tells him to shut up, with his gun. If this is any indication, things aren’t going to go well at the hospital.
Back at the church, Father Gabriel is wandering around when he finds the cannibal camp, sees Old Bob’s foot. Old Bob’s cooked foot is rather maggoty now. The walkers might be his former congregation, because Gabe finds a bible with a girl’s name written on it and begins to cry. The walkers that had been in the school break out, and Gabe limps into the forest. He leads them all back to the church, idiot.
— Wade Collins (@BleedigBlue) December 1, 2014
Gabriel begs to be let back into the church and Carl and Michonne oblige him. The walkers follow them in and, despite some major badassery involving Michonne and her Katana, the walkers overrun the place forcing them all to escape through the hole in the back. Poor Judith, though, stuck in that giant leather sack the whole time. I’d be angry too! They lock the walkers back into the church and, right as they’re about to break out Sgt. Ford/Maggie & Glen, etc. return and when they hear that Beth and Carol are alive, the agree to go help with the raid in Atlanta.
Back in Atlanta, the crew argues about the hostage/guns blazing approach. The cops both agree to lie about Lampson (‘New Bob’) getting killed by walkers so that Dawn won’t start a fight with Rick. In the Hospital, Dawn is getting angry with her cops who won’t answer her. While cleaning her office, Beth asks about Captain Hanson. Dawn is coy about it, must have killed him because he ‘lost his way.’ Things in the Hospital with the ‘Police’ being abusive and strange. Dawn tries to hash it out with Beth, tries to make her understand, again, when a random cop walks in on the conversation. He threatens to out her to the other cops as a fraud, even though she killed Hanson. Dawn protests, she’s nothing like Hanson:
— Nick Nafpliotis (@NickNafster79) December 1, 2014
Indeed. Dawn drawn her gun on the cop, O’Donnell, and they argue, leading O’Donnell to attack her. Eventually, Beth helps shove him down the elevator shaft, saving Dawn and splattering another body at the bottom of the elevator shaft. Later Dawn and Beth argue over the comatose Carol, Dawn trying to explain, again, why she does what she does. They come to an agreement and Carol magically awakens.
On top of a building across the street, Tyreese and Sasha argue over the merits of killing early/getting bit in the butt by not doing so, also arguing about if they’re good people any more or not, one of those far-too-oft repeated conversations I spoke about above. At their signal, two of the officers from the hospital drive up and meet Rick at the proposal site. Rick proposes the trade and shows them he means business having one of his snipers show off their aim.
They radio Dawn and lead the hostages into the hospital. Beth gets ready to go but, for some reason, decides to hide a pair of tiny scissors in her cast. This seems like a bad idea. They go into the building. That also seems like a bad plan, why wouldn’t you make them come outside of the building? I mean, couldn’t any number of people be hiding in rooms behind you? Just tactically, this doesn’t seem smart.
They get to the exchanging hall way and, slowly, they trade the guy for Carol and the girl for Beth and start to walk away. Dawn, against the wishes of the other officers, demands Noah back. No one wants to make that deal, except for Noah who gives in. As he goes back, Dawn teases him a bit (not in any jovial manner) which makes Beth hug Noah and tell Dawn that she gets it now. Then, for some reason I’m still not certain of, she stabs Dawn with her tiny scissors causing Dawn, somehow, to blow her brains out. My reaction when this happened was:
Wait, what!? #BBWD
— Tara (@lizziegetslost) December 1, 2014
I agree Tara, that seemed really odd. Like, they’d have had to have been really unlucky with how she was holding her gun for it to have gone down like that. What a terrible cop if she just runs around with her finger on the trigger all willy-nilly like that.
*Addendum: I might have treated the death of Beth somewhat lightly. I realized that it was supposed to be shocking but, honestly, she was probably the most ancillary and least interesting character remaining on the show so, on some level, it made sense. That being said, I just bought a 40oz of King Cobra, took a long swig and poured the rest out on the ground. RIP Beth.
Anyway, not-so-shockingly, Daryl kills her and everyone else stands down, shellshocked from Beth dying. They exchange “pleasantries” and invite anyone who wants to leave the hospital to come with them, none of whom accept. Outside, while carrying Beth’s corpse away from the hospital, they meet Maggie and everyone else. Maggie collapses to the ground and writhes about in agony then, boom, the half-season ends. Sort of.
Because, Oh, wait. There’s Morgan, the first survivor Rick ever saw. He’s following them around and eating Goo-Goo clusters.
— Dave Scott (@Finna_Go_HAM) December 1, 2014
What does it mean? Probably that the upcoming Walking Dead spinoff is going to be all about Morgan walking through all of the locations from the previous Walking Dead episode laughing and things and looking into the distance. By himself. Just to troll us and see if we’ll watch. Sigh. We probably will.
PS. Daryl’s not gay. I was pretty worried. Glad we can finally move on from that, maybe now they can work on scripts!
So there it was, another half-season of the Walking Dead in the books. Like I said above, I’m not sure I trust where they are going with the show. Yet, as I write this I’m thinking about how exciting and great the first 4-5 episodes of this season were and, just slightly, it gives me hope. Maybe this was getting rid of the baggage. Maybe this was paring down to bare essentials before we finally leave Georgia. Maybe this is where it finally reaches its true potential as a show.
I’m not sure I believe that, but maybe, just maybe, the Walking Dead is finally learning some lessons.
What do you think? Did you like this episode, this season? What do you think will happen next season? Will they finally leave GA?
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