Walking Dead 5.8 – Coda



PREVIOUSLY. So hopefully this means we’re done with Grady Hospital. Because I gotta be honest: it wasn’t compelling. I was never REALLY creeped out by the set up with the exception of a few scenes, mostly that first episode and the moment in Dawn’s office with Gorman creeping on Beth. They fell into the number one rule of “don’t do this” in storytelling: they told us it was scary and awful and didn’t show us.

Raise your hand if you actually got nervous every time Dawn stood calmly? Or every time she said in her neutral mom voice, “It has to be this way.” And it’s because we all know that it doesn’t. It absolutely DOESN’T have to be this way, Dawn, because we’ve seen the prison, we’ve seen Terminus, and we’ve seen Tenpenny Towers, aka Woodbury. I mean, if y’all are gonna be slavers, y’all need to be 100% menacing. And they just weren’t. Right? But let’s get to brass tacks.

Bob Cop runs off, and we see him frantically attempting to use the grille on his cruiser to try and break through the zip ties on his wrists.

PROTIP: HOW TO BREAK ZIPTIES. Step one: rotate your hands so the interior base of each is touching each other. Like you’re going to “here is the church, here is the steeple.” Step two: using your teeth, turn the plastic until the locking mechanism in in between your hands near the base of your thumbs. Step three: using your teeth, pull on the excess tie to make the plastic as tight as you can. Step four: brace yourself by slightly bending at the knee. Bring your bound hands up high and drive them down forcefully until your forearms smack against your hipbones. Step five: make your kidnapper know they messed with the wrong person, preferably by hogtying and suspending them in the air. NOTE: this works on all plastic zipties rated up to 175 pounds (the majority). I believe the military uses a metal-reinforced ziptie.

Back to our cop not knowing how to do this. We keep seeing running, then ziptie rubbing, then running, and it made me think of the endless running scene from Monty Python. Walkers start to approach, and ha! It’s Rick running! And he slices the guts on a creepy gaunt Walker [nice look, FX department!] as he races to one of the cruisers, hops in and takes off. Bob Cop struggles to get away with his hands tied, Rick catches up to him and uses the intercom to tell him to stop. Bob Cop won’t, so Rick floors it and hits him, knocking him forward. HOLY. SHIT. He’s not dead, though, just lying there saying “Help me”

Found on Tumblr uncredited, unfortunately. I'm still laughing, though.

Found on Tumblr uncredited, unfortunately. I’m still laughing, though.

Rick: You coulda stopped
Bob Cop: UH. Nuh uh. I don’t know you. But I think I’m getting a good idea. Can you take me to the hospital?
Rick: Nope. Can’t go back, Bob 2.0. [pulls his gun on him]
Bob Cop: You’ll die. You’ll all—[BLAM!]

Via six-shooter, Rick shuts him up for good, hops in the cruiser, and drives off. Yeah, let’s not forget that Rick will take a life if needs be. Bob Cop couldn’t be trusted and attacked their own, probably was going to endanger not only Beth and Carol but the whole group.

We cut to a shot from inside where multiple Walkers are trapped. We can see Father Gabriel walking slowly outside. OH. Oh, nice call back to his crime. (I still say it’s worse than we’ve been led to believe.) He picks up a magazine, True Police Stories, not realizing he just increased his Critical Chance by 10% and raising Luck +1. Oho, I see where he is! It’s where the Terminus peeps ate Bob’s leg. A popular tourist spot here in the apocalypse.

He picks up a backpack and finds a bible inside, one with “Mary B <3” inscribed on the cover. [The bespectacled woman from the Food Pantry, maybe?] As he opens it, the shot expands to show us Bob’s maggot-riddled, charred foot on the grill, the sound of flies overwhelming. Good lord, this is a beautifully shot and disgusting scene.


AHHHHHH! I said medium, not well-done!

He screams and throws it aside in anger as the Walkers still pound on the glass, trying to get to him. And they break the door down, of course. He’s left limping along to one of the trees with a mark on it, a horizontal line ending in a vertical slash. WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THESE AT THE END, GUYS. He cuts through a cemetery and right to the back to the church, but there are more Walkers coming out of the woods. He cries out for the folks inside to help him, trying to use a pipe from the organ to defend himself as he continues to scream for help.

Problem: they can’t undo the fortification they’ve done without sacrificing their own safety. Thanks, padre. And great, the Walkers are getting through the pipes. Michonne has to use an ax to break through the front door’s fortification, there goes that stronghold, the Walkers stream inside, Michonne goes katana on their asses, but there are too many. SHIT.

I have missed this woman! Also, this is sort of hypnotizing, right?

I have missed this woman! Also, this is sort of hypnotizing, right?

The church is overwhelmed. I assume that’s Judith on her back, not a backpack. I know they can’t actually have a baby on her back during a fight scene, but they never look right, do they? Gabriel shows them how to sneak out like he did, says he’ll stay there and take what’s coming to him. GOOD. BYE BYE, FATHER DANGER.

“It’s worth it. I’m not going anywhere until you’re gone.” LOL, JK. He immediately jumps into the hole after Michonne, the Walkers pour in, there’s an awesome shot of one falling onto his machete and splitting her head in half, but they keep pouring in, right through the gateway that reads, “O Lord we ask thee to smite these Walkers until they shall truly be smoted, for O thou art so great and big.” Wait, no, it reads: “For who eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall have eternal life.”

Yeah. Unless they land on a Holy Machete of Antioch, amen. (And the number shall be three! Neither shall it be two, nor four. Five is right out!)

Uh-May-Zing. The blood splatters on the lens really makes this for me. GAH.

Uh-May-Zing. The blood splatters on the lens really makes this for me. GAH.

Gabriel crawls out, says he can’t run anymore and demands a piggy back ride. Surely it’s time for Judith to learn how to walk. But Michonne says they’re not running. They’re surviving. And also, you’re a grown ass man, make a crutch or something. And in a neat twist to Gabriel’s story, they then trap the Walkers inside the church where they can be surrounded by the passages about eternal life and resurrection for all time.

Sasha is seething and wishing Bob Cop hadn’t applied his escape directly to her forehead. Daryl and Ty stand guard. When Rick returns, he fills Daryl in on Bob Cop eating lead, but they don’t know if this changes their hostage trade plans or not. When asked if so, Girl Cop says Bob Cop was “attacked by rotters,” ooh, she’s a good liar! Daryl doesn’t trust her at all (me neither), but the Girl Cop keeps saying she wants to overthrow Dawn. Hmm. I still don’t care about this upset in power at the hospital, guys. Bald Cop says Lamson getting “ate” by rotters won’t mess with Dawn’s false sense of control, so he’s siding with his partner, I guess.

SPEAKING OF DAWN, she’s on the electricity-generating bike trying to get anyone to respond to her, but no one’s radioing back. It seems Beth is her new right hand man.

PROTIP: Standard bicycles converted to generate electricity lose up to 60% of power by virtue of poor, indirect design. Best is to build a pedal-powered generator that is directly connected to the machine it will power. Get plans to build your own here.

Beth asks about the former leader, Hanson.

Dawn: You’re going to hear stories about him and me, but this is a preemptive strike on my part to tell you that you shouldn’t believe any of it that paints me in a bad light. Ha, I’m kidding. We’re not going to actually talk about anything that happens at Grady in depth, because that might make you care about the hierarchy of power here. And you don’t. No one does. By the way, anything we hint at about Hanson is to make you think he went bad. So you’ll care. Which you don’t. And Beth, you need to do what these cops say so you have people at your back and because I’m telling you this, not really showing it. We really screwed the pooch on upping the tension at Grady, really squandered those first scenes.
Beth: I don’t like anything about this, but I’m getting paid, so. [weakly smiles]

Michonne asks Gabriel where he went on Walkabout. “Looking for a Bible, because there aren’t enough in the church, evidently.” Meanwhile, Walkers are starting to pour out of the church and a vehicle is fast approaching. YAY! ABRAHAM IN HIS FIRETRUCK! Whoo hoo! Dr. Mullet is still out cold, but IDC about him right now.

Glenn: So… that whole DC thing. Lies. Yeah. We all hate Eugene.
Maggie: [freaks out and cries]

Beth watches as one of the cops shoves an old man, because white cops are the worst. SORRY, CURRENT POLITICS ARE A PART OF THIS STORY and I’m really glad the show has gotten better about race and representation. Except they need to work on [zips lip until the end]. But seriously: a cop shoves an old man down and this is the interior tension you’re building, show? You’ve done so much better, I just don’t get it.

We next see Beth sitting in an open elevator shaft with Dawn watching.

Beth: Hey, so you keep saying that I’m stuck, well…so are you. Because this life sucks, this hospital sucks, your MOM sucks, and this is who you are. This life is how it’s gonna be forever.
Dawn: Uh, you should shut your face? BTW, with the Gorman wants to see me stuff? That totes makes you a cop killer. So…
Dawn: I’m choosing to ignore that. Here, lemme put on an Officer Friendly face. Now help me help you—wait, what was that?

The Douchey Old Man Pusher Cop shows up, has overheard the whole “Beth sent Dawn in to get nommed by Gorman” thing and plans on ratting her out. Time to overthrow the queen!

Except the queen pulls her service pistol and reminds everyone why she’s been in charge for a while. She’s willing to make the “tough” calls. Like maybe shooting a cop in the back of the head. Or making him walk to stand close to the open elevator shaft.

Before she can do something drastic, though, HR Shovenstuff Cop rushes Dawn, disarming her as they tussle. Dawn is no lightweight, though. The gun goes down the open shaft. It looks bad for Dawn until she busts out her Krav Maga moves, getting him perfectly poised for a sharp call to Beth to knock him down the shaft. Which Beth does. He falls with a wet splat just before we hear Walkers snarling.

Dawn: Thanks. I’ll take off the Jell-O from your bill for that.

She goes into Carol’s room for a little peace and quiet, which of course is why Dawn comes in with her false sympathy and calm voice. Beth is no dummy, though. She knows that Dawn had her do all the things she did because Dawn’s position is shaky. So Beth’s hands are dirty instead of Dawn’s. That’s what the hospital is: they use each other to get what they want. But she’ll get out just like Noah did. You watch.

Dawn offers her a part in this hospital sitch, her and Carol, because yeah, Dawn figured out that they know each other. And Beth killed two people who needed to die, and that carries a lot of weight with her. That’s the apocalyptic hospital slaver version of holding a BFF’s hair back while she pukes, so… BFF, right? Ki Omega lyf! (UGH. DAWN USES A SOFT VOICE BUT SHE IS ALL AWFUL INSIDE.) Aaaaand Carol begins to stir in her bed. SHIT.

Ty and Sasha are in sniping position on a roof as the hostages are brought up, too. Ty explains how he didn’t kill Martin/Ball Cap Douche from Terminus. STOP. Y’all see that Ironsides patch on her over shirt? Is this supposed to be Medic Bob’s? Because that’s a 1rst Division (Fort Bliss, Texas) patch for the first armored division. Medic Bob was a Medic? Hmm. The symbol stands for shock and awe, fire power, and mobility. I don’t understand. Anyone?

Anyhoo, Ty wants to believe the two of them are still the same people from before, but Sasha’s hard now, okay? (Is she? Is she “ironsides?” Because she hasn’t quite shown that. That’s a problem with a large cast spread out, me thinks. She hasn’t hit Michonne levels of badassery, imo.)

The rescue plan is now in motion. Rick walks out to meet two new cops with his hands up. There’s a bloody rag or bag flapping in the wind. White is for parley or surrender. Red means “you’re fucked.” Well, technically it’s a sign of gearing up for war or a massive warning. Nice touch. Rick introduces himself as a former deputy—smart—and lays his weapon on the ground, nice and slow. OOH. Daryl has one cop dead to rights. Rick says he wants an even exchange: their people for his. These cops look green to me. They wonder if Noah is with Rick. Yep.

Cop 2: Where are your people?
Sasha: [snipes a Walker coming up behind them]
Rick: Heh. They’re close.
Rick: So… maybe touch base with your superior.
Me: [hums “Big Iron On His Hip”]

We cut to Rick walking in his bound captives, led by the New Cops. Beth, in her “bloodied by Daryl” yellow shirt, slips her scissors into her cast, then pushes Carol in a wheelchair to where the remaining cops are all lined up behind Dawn. Rick can see both of his missing women folk are there. Dawn orders her people to holster their weapons, Rick does, too.

Beth and Carol come forward, the captive cops reiterate that Lamson went down by Walkers. I FELT LIKE THIS WAS CODE. AM I THE ONLY ONE? It was all the significant looks being shared, I guess.

They start with a one and one exchange, Bald Cop for Carol. Dawn personally walks Beth in to trade for Lady Cop.

Dawn: Nice work, everyone! Now if you’ll just hand Noah over so it’s all even- Steven.
Rick: Asshole who goes back on her word says WHAT?
Dawn: …what?
Daryl: [snickers] Good one, Boo.
Noah: No I’ll go, it’s cool
Dawn: [smugly towards Noah] I knew you’d be back for some White Chocolate
Beth: Oh. I get it now. [STABS DAWN!!!]

Everyone holds their breath, ev-er-y-one. Well, except for one. Daryl Gee Dee Dixon shoots Dawn right in the brain pan. Lady Cop tells everyone on her side to stand down, because she knows it was all about Beth and Dawn’s weird boner for her. And maybe for Noah, jeez.

DARYL STARTS CRYING AND WHIMPERING which is when I start losing it, and Carol is, too, holding him, pulling him away.



Rick is shell-shocked. They all are. I AM. This is… shit, this wasn’t really earned.



Cops: So you maybe wanna stay? It’s pretty great. You know, for us here? Aside from all the implied rape and slavery, that is.
Rick: That’s a HARD NO. In fact, anyone here who wants to leave is free to come with us.

Y’all should be grateful you didn’t all die in a hail of bullets and bolts, tbh.

SHIT, ABRAHAM’S TRUCK PULLS IN, and they arrive just as our group exits the building, Maggie cracking a smile with excitement because she hasn’t seen Beth since the Governor’s prison attack, since they watched their father get beheaded, and this is awful, AWFUL. She breaks down with the most pitiful, awful noise as she sees Daryl carrying out her sister’s dead body, falling over in her anguish. OH MY GOD. And Daryl is crying and I’m crying and ALL OF THE NATION CRIES FOR BETH GREENE.



I know Emily Kinney has a music career she wants to pursue, but this wasn’t earned. It’s a waste. I can work with that, but the hospital should have been built up more. OR. She should have been shot when they first handcuffed her on the ground, her happy smile as Noah gets out. THAT would have been more effective, I think. BOO HISS.

And in a teaser, we see Morgan come to the school, survey the magazines—he picks up a Lad’s Life and a Patriot’s Cookbook to up his Survival and Explosives in a pinch—then spies a lady walker trapped and moaning. He quietly dispatches it. He heads to the church where we see the horizontal mark on the tree. He goes inside, places a crucifix on an altar, a GooGoo peanut cluster candy and Fancy Lad snack cake, lights a candle, and prays, breaking into laughter. Laughing at his own folly, maybe? And then he finds a map with Rick Grimes’ name on it and realizes his nice cop friend from S1E1 is still alive.

And…now we have to find a way to deal with waiting until February. SURE. YEAH.

But let’s talk about those marks on the trees, huh?

I cannot wait for this glorious man to arrive on scene.

I cannot wait for this glorious man to arrive on scene.

Okay, so hobos have their own set of glyphs to communicate danger, etc. to one another as they ride the trains. And we’re intersecting the two, I think, since all last season featured our gang walking along train tracks to “terminus,” which was a way-station for all train transport in Georgia. Now, we see Morgan with an X in a circle, and in hobo-speak, that’s a sign of safety, that you’ll get a handout at that spot. He keeps following those until he gets to the church, where we have that horizontal line ending sharply in a vertical slash. That’s not a specific glyph that I can find, but it’s similar to a bunch of variants, all meaning: STRANGER DANGER. Straight horizontal lines mean “doubtful location.” SO I’m hanging onto my slaver theory, that they signs were a way to signal that people could be purloined from specific locations. Or maybe it’s for people who broke away from slavers?

WHO KNOWS. Also, while I’m happy the show has gotten so much better about representation (two amazing and complex black women! Black men! Latinas! LGBT!), I wish they didn’t sacrifice young girls. On one hand, the virginal white girl being traded for a black character is pretty groundbreaking, but killing women–especially young women–is pretty standard (gross) fare. Hmm.

You tell me your thoughts. (And remember, no comic book talk here! No spoilers of any kind for upcoming episodes! HELP ME STAY SANE.)

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  • Karen

    Well, I was never much of a Beth fan, so I’m not gutted that she’s gone. I liked the idea of the character well enough, but thought there were problems with Kinney’s portrayal and acting skills in general. I’m sure we’ll come across other young white girls who will join the group. And I’m still having problems with Maggie’s grief when she has only mentioned her sister like 2 times since the prison fell. Too little, too late from the writers, I’m afraid.

    And Daryl has lost Sophia 2.0 now. And he lost her on HIS watch, which is worse. Hope we don’t have to deal with a guilt-ridden Daryl for too long though – this grief SHOULD be Maggie’s to portray.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what Noah can bring to the group. And Rosita. And so, so glad that Carol is still alive.

    • If we find more young white girls, I’m afraid Carol is going to make them look at the flowers. ;) I thought Emily did a fine job with what she had, but to each his own. I just wished they’d sold the hospital better to earn the tragedy of Beth’s death like they THINK they did. I think the whole “Maggie says nothing” about her sister until now was a magic trick by the show to make this death poignant, but again, too many missed steps to really sell it like, say, Lori’s death.

      Oh my gosh, I am SO HAPPY Carol is still alive. That woman has grit and so much to bring to this overall story.

  • cindergal

    Yeah, there was a lot of tell instead of show with this Grady storyline, wasn’t there? Dawn even had to tell us that Beth is strong, not weak anymore, like we couldn’t figure that out for ourselves. And that’s one of the reasons I’m not surprised at all that she’s the one who died. We hadn’t had a major death in a while, and she got her own episode where she was all awesome and heroic, just like Hershel did last season.

    If someone had to go, I’m glad it was Beth and not one of my favorites, but I hear you – another woman sacrificed, and I’m sure we will see lots of Daryl manpain as a result. Karen’s right that this should really be about Maggie – my God, how much more can she take? So I hope the show does her justice, more so than they have recently, because I do think it was a big mistake that she has barely mentioned Beth since they were separated.

    That said, there was a lot of great moments in this episode. Rick was awesome, Michonne was awesome, and I have no idea what’s going to happen next, which is always a good thing. I’m so looking forward to more Morgan.

    • I agree that if a regular had to go, Beth was a logical (and personal soul-saving) choice.

      I want to believe we’re going to get a lot of Maggie-pain, but we haven’t so far, and we really, really should have. Hmm, unless they’re operating off the principle that she’s been running since they left the prison and hasn’t had a chance to stop and process? I could buy that if they SHOW us that.

      With the exception of that, I really REALLY liked a lot of things about this episode. I cannot stop watching that gif of Michonne. I want more of her this season. I know, I know, ensemble, etc., but I’m greedy. ;) AND THEN MORE MORGAN!!!

  • I really don’t understand why Beth stabbed Dawn. How is she a murderer? Didn’t she know she was putting her friends’ lives at risk with all those armed cops just right there? Didn’t she hope that her sister was alive and that she could see her again? Is it me or was she stupid and OOC ?

    I liked Beth. She was more to me than a pretty face, a ray of sunshine or a love interest for Daryl (who’s gay for Rick ok?). I supported her, but now I’m not sure what I know about her, so…

    • Hey! Welcome!

      My read on things was that Dawn demanding Noah back, after Beth had insisted he was gone, he wasn’t coming back, SHE was leaving just like him, caused her to snap. Plus, she was taking a page out of the Rick Grimes “Some people should die, that’s just unconscious knowledge” book. I think she could tell Dawn’s hold was tenuous at best, and that the other cops wouldn’t challenge her on it.

      The problem was Dawn’s reflex on the gun at being stabbed.

      Mostly this whole hospital arc didn’t sell the story they thought they were telling, leaving us viewers scratching our heads. I liked Beth, too, and really enjoyed her story arc on the show. :(

  • Colleen

    This episode. I can’t even. Beth!!! She reminds me of Katniss at the end of Catching Fire. What the heck did she think she was going to accomplish by stabbing Dawn in the shoulder with a wee pair of scissors?

    Still, poor Beth. Watching all of the other characters grieve for her was soul crushing. Especially Daryl. :(

    Is it wrong that Rick’s hotness went up went he told Cop Bob to shut up after he shot him?

    So yeah, I see your point about white girls not doing well in the ZA. Do you think that would realistically be a portion of the population that would not fare well? I know you are a survivalist, but I am on the opposite end of the white girl survival spectrum. Interesting.

    Bye, Beth. *sniff*

    • Beth was the female Carl — a sign of hope, of goodness still left, you know? And I think they meant to tell the story of Dawn/the hospital breaking her, but it didn’t really pay off, did it?

      And hahaha, if that was wrong (Rick getting hotter) then I don’t wanna be right! ;D

      As for the white girls, I think that’s mostly a media thing. There’s a thing called “fridging” where it basically is a standard story telling trope to kill a girl (or start off with a dead girl’s body) to give the men a story or amp the manpain. Every white girl I know is far cannier than movies and TV like their white women to be. =/

      (And hey, you’ve been reading along, so you have lots of Protips to pull out in your time of need! :D)

  • Tiffany

    I had been working on this long message, point by point thenn my 16month old got a hold of my phone…so this will be shorter (lucky for you)!

    I’m sorry but Bob2.0 got what he deserved – did he think knocking out the only people who might help him would help his situation? And Rick – Mmm Rick! In his defense he did tell the guy to stop running (but he’s gonna stop with Rick Grimes bearing down on you?)

    I think Sasha and Tyrese’s convo was deep. Short and deep. Tyrese finds that clinging to his old, pre-Z personality helps him move forward and I think Sasha is realizing she has to embrace the new her. I think that’s what the first half of the season was about – people finding a coping mechanism for survival and the bits of pleasure you can find. Carol in the consumed episode – coming to grips with this bad ass Carol. Daryl realizing he can still be a bad ass bowman but get tender feels too. (And I’m sure tender feels wasn’t a Merle thing). And Father Gabriel NOT coming to grips with the new world. I wish he had died. Ugh! Why would these people save your life, then make up some grand, fanciful tale IN THE MIDDLE OF A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, about cannibals?!? And to make it more real and trick this one podunk, priest, let’s cut off our friends leg? Ugh so stupid!

    So yes Beth’s death was a shock! There was screaming, then standing, then holy shits, then pause, then rewind, then listening and watching quietly, then tears (mine)..then my husband convincing me to have a joint with him, then screaming…needless to say it was a 30min whirlwind of screams tears and rewinds.

    So several things – I think you’re right about her having Rick’s attitude about some people not deserving to live, remember she was gonna take out the doc but carol was wheeled in? Also when Daryl just automatically reacted and shot Dawn?!? My ovaries exploded, I screamed, and I started ugly crying…when he came out carrying her…I just…it was crippling. And then Maggie…

    Okay because of Lauren Cohan’s performance as crushed sister who just realized her entire family is gone was so amazing – I’m going to defend Maggie! Remember Daryl said she’s gone, she just disappeared but she could be alive and anywhere. It’s only been like 3-4 days since he said that and basically that’s it…they have nowhere to run off to and so no plan to devise. All she can do is silently hope she’s okay and alive. So that’s my defense…

    And my big one – I think Dawn was going to shoot Noah! That’s why she even had her gun out and pointed up. She really didn’t mean to shoot Beth cuz she was going to shoot Noah. After seeing Morgan find the map and hearing Michonne in the background of previews for next season talking about going somewhere maybe they’ll run into him on the road?!! Just a theory.

    So overall, I LOVED IT! I mean, I’m one of those fans who enjoyed season 2 and the endless farm – I’m just a fan of having that escape once a week! I don’t if what the writers are trying to do works or not, they’re trying, so I appreciate the effort! There’s not many shows I feel that way about but this one def. Sorry for any grammatical errors many thanks for being awesome! I’ll see you in Jan/Feb!

    • Your husband is a treasure for helping you so perfectly. :D And I was shocked, too! Maggie’s scream and then falling to the ground KILLED me. You can TOTALLY defend Maggie to me! I love her! Oh, how I love Lauren Cohen. LOVE. I really hope we’re able to get more of her in the next half of the season. WIth the hospital and Termites dealt with, there should be more screen time for our band of brothers/sisters. FINGERS CROSSED!

      Do you think she would have shot Noah? I think she would have hobbled him and put him right back to work, increasing his debt so he could never leave. And I absolutely agree that she didn’t mean to shoot Beth. Oopsie doodles! Daryl: [BLAM]

      (Count me in with you on loving the farm. I love this show, I love where it takes me, I love the characters, so I’m all in, too.) See you back in February! *hugs*

  • Tiffany

    Please let me fix my grammatical errors – it’s almost unreadable.

  • Lee No

    Hey there Laura :) I don’t comment as much on the TWD stuff as I do on GoT, but I’m here, reading your recaps!
    I feel some of your criticism regarding the Grady storyline, but overall I thought this was a really well-written conclusion. Let me make my case – but before I do, some general observations:

    -I love all the Fallout references.
    -How do you know all this survival stuff? Did you graduate in post-apocalypse studies or sth?
    -The markings on the trees were made by the hipster cannibals to mark their way tot the church from Terminus, as Hipster Nr. 1 said in Ep. 3.
    -The bible was in a hipster cannibal backpack and probably belonged to Mary from Terminus, there killed by Carol. They kept it as a memento, showing Gabriel that good people (Christians turned cannibal hipsters) do bad things and bad people (savage church defilers who save Gabe multiple times) do good things.

    This leads me to the overarching theme I felt this episode had and it’s twisting or reversing elements.

    -Rick gets to be a cop again, drives a cop car. But he doesn’t act like he would have as a cop, killing the fleeing Bob.
    -Not only are the walkers shut in the church, clawing to get out, but also Gabe clawing to get into the church to get away from them, both twists on his backstory.
    -All the Daryl/Beth stuff, including him carrying her, which you pointed out.
    -Beth saying “I would never (conscuiously, thanks, Dr. Feelgood) kill anyone” and then making this exact choice a few minutes later

    I bet there’s more. I have to say – I called them killing Beth last week, because that’s how I thought would write it: If you leave out all the gender/race stuff you pointed out when thinking about who has to die, I felt this was the obvious choice – This is an unforgiving world. One where expectations and hopes are shattered. And this was what they set up: A big rescue operation to save someone (and I agree that from a storytelling point of view it’s unfortunate that the character that needs saving is the innocent girl, she should be doing the saving!). How much more futile and pointless does life become in this environment if you fail to save the person you risked it all for? I think this was mostly a statement about what you can expect from this Walker-filled world: Heartbreak and shattered expectations. That, and everything above, was why I thought it was a very well-crafted midseason finale. :) And FEBRUARY? How is that fair?

    • LEE!! Always a pleasure to see you pop in! As for my background, I grew up in a fundamentalist religion that was centered around “End Times” and the preparation for said times, so I spent my summers learning how to do all of this stuff. (I got away from it, so don’t worry! Ha.)

      Oh, way to point out Hipster Cannibal mentioning the Hobo Glyphs! I totally conked on that one. So then my question is: why does Morgan know to follow them? And can we believe Hipster Cannibal? Was he bragging to Bob just to do it? Or did that weird tattooed group of rapists Mary and G-Doof overthrew actually put them there? AND WHY DOES MORGAN KNOW TO FOLLOW THEM?

      I love you pointing out Rick getting to be a cop again, but NOT being a cop. He isn’t anymore, is he? OH MY GOSH, WAIT. So every season he loses a little more of his uniform, right? The badge, the hat, the brown pants, the last was his Colt Python, which he laid down on the ground before they took hostages. The gun is his very last symbol of his old life. (I assume he got it back, but they made a point of it and it ties in neatly with your point.)

      I will agree with you on the statement the show is making: anything can and will go wrong, setting our group up nicely for a “what’s the point?!” Come To Jesus moment (good thing they have a preacher, hyuck). But I feel the hospital moments lost a LOT of fizzle. They told me what was happening instead of showing me. I really needed to see it–see more, at least, feel the menace, feel the tenuous grip Dawn held over ALL the cops there instead of two. I wanted it to gut me, I wanted to cheer that the Bad Guy was killed. And neither happened.

      That’s not to say this wasn’t a great half of a season, in fact I think this season so far is one of the tightest written/directed yet! But it lacked zazz. ;)

  • I was shocked at the manner and abruptness of Beth’s death, no that it happened. In my opinion they did a horrible job trying to make us care for her. I really wanted to. Especially after her bonding episode with Daryl GD Dixon last season. Then she disappeared and her story was too far disjointed from the rest of the group for my care to continue. As you said, the rest of the Grady storyline wasn’t enough to make me care either. As soon as Maggie was told that Beth was still alive, I knew she was as good as dead. I didn’t have as much of a problem with Maggie never mentioning Beth as some other people online, simply because I felt that Maggie had attached herself to Glenn as her primary family when he gave her the walker wedding band at the prison. Then when Herschel was killed and she got separated from Beth, she had to let go of her Greene-ness, if you understand what I mean. Beth was lost. She just had to forget.

    Can we also talk about the fact that Rick, very white cop, uses a police cruiser to run down a zip-tied person-of-color fleeing custody? I know Rick is the “hero-ish” person in the story, and Cop Bob had just assaulted one of Rick’s tribe, and that if Cop Bob escapes the plan is FUBAR’d, but I couldn’t escape the symbolism there. Especially because this felt like a moment we were supposed to cheer at and be shocked by. Especially since (as you wrote) current events are on the table.

    Gabriel being locked out of his own church, and those he had feared inside opening it up to save HIS life, priceless.

    Morgan is a serious wildcard. I read an inference somewhere that we don’t 100% know where he is temporally compared to Rick & crew. He could be hours/days/weeks behind. And agreed that we don’t know everything about those marks. I will be interested to see if we encounter more in February. And to see what happens when/if he catches up with Rick & crew.

    Speaking of February, did you watch the preview during Talking Dead? There’s something minor I wanted to mention, but I don’t want to spoil anything if you want to avoid anything about the upcoming episodes.

  • Alison

    Did anyone else watch SOA last night, and think during the scene with Gemma in the garden…


    Anyway, yes. Lots of dittos to the above comments. What really broke me wee heart was watching EmKin on TD afterwards, and she was crying about leaving her cast/friends. Thanks for the info about breaking the zip ties, Laura! I’m going to experiment. I don’t think Bob 2.0 could have done that though, since his hands were tied behind his back.

  • matt

    I know I don’t comment much (because u always beat me to the punch and u see so much I don’t!) but awesome recaps for this show and GOT! Please keep them coming!
    I agree about the hospital storyline, kinda felt like a cheap kill for Beth and the show. Her character deserved better as far as I’m concerned. Poor Maggie! You’re sister’s gone no she’s alive no she’s not. Very bad.
    Anyways, February. Wish u did recaps for Banshee, but not enough viewers yet. Criminally underrated show.
    Thanks again for the best recaps by far!